School News

Portraits on Exhibit at Mojo Bicycle Cafe
April 18, 2016

CACS 7th and 8th grade visual arts elective students have crafted portraits of winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, which are on display at the Mojo Bicycle Cafe on Divisadero from April 15-29. These images depict a sampling of Goldman Environmental Prize winners and their work from 1990 to 2015. Student artists created portraits using a mulit-color, reduction block printmaking process in recognition of Earth Week.

Each year the Goldman Environmental Prize honors grassroots environmental heroes from the world’s six inhabited continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Islands & Island Nations, North America, and South & Central America. The Prize recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. The Goldman Prize views “grassroots” leaders as those involved in local efforts, where positive change is created through community or citizen participation in the issues that affect them. Through recognizing these individual leaders, the Prize seeks to inspire other ordinary people to take extraordinary actions to protect the natural world.

The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Berta Caceres, Goldman Prize Winner 2015. Berta was assassinated in her home in Honduras in February, 2016.

CACS ArtsLab Welcomes essence
January 8, 2016

CACS ArtsLab kicks off the new year with a performance by local musician ‘essence’ on Friday, January 15 from 2:15-3pm. A sixth-generation San Francisco native, has been immersed in art and music since childhood. In addition to winning the Grand Prize in the National Lilith Fair Talent Search, and the Grand Prize for the Great American Song Contest, essence has opened for Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Miller, Pat Benetar, and Linda Perry. Her sound has nods to songwriting heroes and legends like Tom Petty, and Lucinda Williams. In addition to writing folk/americana, pop, and rock songs, essence expanded her repertoire by creating a collection of charming, catchy tunes inspired by her son that turned out to have a life of their own becoming favorites of families nationwide, loved equally by parents and children alike. Her album, A Dog Named Moo, was entirely funded by loyal fans on Kickstarter and was picked up and released by My Kazoo/ Universal Music.

ArtsLab is part of our Artist in Residence program, in which we reach out to local artists in all disciplines to share their work with the Creative Arts community each month. Artists perform, discuss their process, and answer questions from the community. Community members outside of family are also invited, and in support of our program, CACS asks for a $20 contribution. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.

We Are Makers and Thinkers Exhibition
January 8, 2016

December featured CACS’ annual We Are Makers and Thinkers Exhibition of Learning, a celebration of our students’ work in their classes through the semester. Each grade staged an exhibition, with students presenting their ideas to families and friends. Here’s a sampler of class exhibitions:
Kindergarten: Hike through the Redwood Forest with kindergarten forest rangers. Learn about redwood trees and forest animals.
1st grade: Come visit our Western Addition Community! You'll learn all about the buildings, jobs, and important pieces of how a community works together
2nd grade: Come see our investigations into plants and food! Watch us perform seed dances with Katie! Taste a pickle made by 2nd grade Sarah's class
3rd grade: The Jewel City. 3rd graders share their knowledge of San Francisco through the lens of the Panama Pacific Expo of 1915 and present day San Francisco.
4th grade: Join our 4th grade regional expert tour guides and travel through all 8 regions of California.
5th grade: Learn about the California gold rush through narratives written and spoken by the fifth graders.
6th grade: Science students exhibit their prosthetic prototypes and learning through the Design Thinking process AND Humanities students will exhibit their many projects from studying Mesopotamia including Myths, Daggers, Cuneiforms and more.
7th grade: Humanities Presentations on the history behind and materials used in religious structures such as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Mosque of Sultan Hassan in Cairo, and the Paravur Synagogue in Kerala. In addition, visitors can read student short stories that are based in the Middle Ages AND Math students will exhibit their sacred site structures. There will be 14 models to view in process.
8th grade: Welcome to Mars. 8th graders are attempting to colonize Mars. Cardboard models, science fiction and more.

The evening also featured performances by a variety of students, including the 6th grade Jazz Band, 4th grade percussionists with Artist in Residence Alfie Macias, 7th-8th grade Rock Band, 1st grade community dances, and 2nd grade dance. It was an exciting night for all of our students to celebrate their learning!

Family Arts Night
November 2, 2015

Art was everywhere on Thursday, October 8, as CACS celebrated Family Arts Night. The evening began with a middle school dance performance and middle school band performance, followed by arts workshops with our art teachers throughout the school. SF MOMA and the Museum of Craft and Design hosted art-making stations in the halls, while our new librarian Emma celebrated “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” with duct tape bookmarks and pigeon-drawing in the library. We celebrated art with our children, families, and staff for an art-tastic night!

Art Happenings Tonight, Tomorrow, and Beyond!
March 5, 2015

Creative Arts has a packed Spring schedule of arts events. Check out our calendar:

  • Creative Arts in SFUSD's Arts Festival Celebration at the Asian Art Museum, Opening Reception March 5, 5pm-8pm. Checkout art by our 4th grade and our 6th graders Tobias, Kiran and Sophie. The Exhibit can be viewed without paying admission to the museum. The museum's hours are 10 - 5 daily and is located at 200 Larkin Street, next to the Main Library.
  • ”We are Changemakers" Art Happening at SkunkFunk on Friday, March 6. Families, please join us at 302 Valencia St from 5:30pm-8pm for a kid-friendly event. Not only will there be 1st grade art, the CACS rock band performance at 5:30pm, light refreshments & clothing for sale, but also Balloon Artist Mr. Shap and Face Painter Yabette Alfaro will join in the fun! 50% of sales to support Creative Arts.
  • Student Exhibition of Learning at the California Academy of Sciences! We received an exciting request to exhibit at the Academy of Sciences the Week of March 16. Our students will provoke visitors to interact with their classroom learning around the rainforest, plants and the ocean.
  • The CACS Spring Show: An Evening of Dance at the Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason. Mark your calendars for Thursday, April 30. Performance times: 6pm/grades K-3; 7:30pm/grades 4-8.
  • May is Arts Month! showcasing what we love about the Arts with performances by AfricanSoque, and other visiting artists, our music classes and Visual Arts workhops. Schedule to be posted in April.
  • Exhibition of Learning: Thursday, May 14, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Join us as we share what we have learned this past semester through interactive displays and performances.

Mark your calendars and join us for our celebration of the arts!

President of SF Board of Supervisors London Breed Visits
February 4, 2015

CACS was honored to have London Breed, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, join us for our weekly community meeting on January 23rd. After the community meeting, she spent some time chatting with parents and students, visiting a classroom, and taking a brief tour of the school. She was thrilled to see the art studios and the excellent resources we have here at CACS, and she remarked on how lucky our students are to have a school like this to attend. President Breed invited us to come and visit her at City Hall as well, which we plan to do. Thank you, President Breed, for your visit to our school.

Hour of Code
February 4, 2015

This December, sixth graders at CACS teamed up with local developers and joined tens of millions of other students in 180+ countries to participate in a global computer science event called The Hour of Code. UClass, a local ed tech company founded by former teachers (one of whom works at CACS) was excited to spend some time with the population that their technology serves (students and teachers) and asked if they could facilitate the hour of code. CACS students are lucky to attend a school where they are already developing design thinking and applied math skills, so getting involved in the language of the future here in the heart of the tech bubble made perfect sense. CACS teachers immediately saw the application of science and math in coding and opened their classrooms to this authentic learning experience.

The UClass development team, four engineers who love the creative component of their jobs, shared how they got passionate about tech and what it is like to be an engineer. They opened the code base for Google and delighted students by fiddling with the code to plug in student names and new colors and expose the inner workings of the technology that students use every day. CACS 6th graders came with various levels of exposure to coding and were able to engage in engineering games that ranged from specifying coordinates to move a character across a screen to writing the code base for their own unique creations. The common thread between all of the activities was that students were given a problem and a set of tools and had to find solutions on their own.

During the hour of code, students could be seen leaning in to support their classmates in troubleshooting, high-fiving developers when they found their way to an effective solution, and making exclamations about connections to math lessons that arose from their work. CACS works to develop students who are engaged creatively and critically with the world around them. The Hour of Code provided both students and developers the opportunity to be inspired by the possibilities that problem solving opens both online and off.

We Are Makers and Thinkers Night
February 4, 2015

Creative Arts overflowed with families for our 2nd Annual Exhibition of Learning- "We are Makers & Thinkers"- on Thursday, December 18, 2014 from 5:30pm-8:00pm. All K-8 classrooms were open for exploration and crafted something to share their learning, whether it be an artful product, a wall exhibit, interactive demonstrations/experiences, or performances. A stroll through the exhibits revealed a variety of wonders, such as 7th grade students testing their newly designed prosthetic prototypes for a fictionalized amputee victim of war, a culminating project for their study of skeletal and muscle systems using Design Thinking; 1st graders performing community dances in the Dance Studio as a part of their Community Unit of study; 8th graders explaining their MARS colony, a project integrating humanities, science, and math as students; and 2nd graders telling personal family stories via a dinner theater experience.

Students created art pieces that evolved from their classroom studies. Most classes had a creative product for sale, which told the story of their learning. A sampling of works included kindergartners selling animal pins from their unit " Woods," 1st graders offering coloring books and a "Go Fish" game from their unit "Community," 2nd graders hosting a printmaking station experience and block printed greeting cards from their " Food" unit, and 3rd graders peddling San Francisco landmark prints, puzzles, and coasters from their unit "We are San Francisco." Parent Artists exhibited too! Parent artists shared and sold their artwork, including comics, jewelry, knitting crafts, pottery and prints. Overall, the community was abuzz with art, creativity, and design on display in every classroom and hallway.

Family Arts Night
October 28, 2014

On October 9, Creative Arts hosted Family Arts Night, our annual celebration of the visual and performing arts at CACS and in our community. The evening began with a dance performance by our middle school dance department, featuring Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and a high-energy hip hop piece “One, Two Step.” We also celebrated the opening of the 3rd grade mural “Triving with Plants: A Tribute to Bay Area Indigenous Wisdom.”

Families and students explored art stations hosted by the SF Museum of Art and Design, the SF Moma, and the Asian Art Museums, as well as exhibits of family portraits by 7th/8th grade photo students, trash costumes, and the longest collaborative drawing. Our arts staff hosted workshops in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, and the evening closed with an open rehearsal of Opera Parallele, in residency with our 4th grade, performing their newly commissioned children’s opera “My Head is Full of Colors.” We thrilled in a night of exploration and creation, and thank all of our community partners and families for contributing to the event.

CACS Equity Support Team
October 6, 2014

Creative Arts' Equity Support Team (EST) is off to a great start. This team is comprised of 7 teachers and 3 administrators. We are collaborating with San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools (SF-CESS), whose mission is to interrupt and transform current and systemic educational inequities to ensure all students have access to personalized, equitable and high performing schools that believe and demonstrate each student can, should and will succeed. SF-CESS is supporting the three branches of our diversity work this year by working with administrators, teachers, and our Family Association. Our administration will focus on enrollment and outreach in our attempt to diversify our student population. Our teachers will focus on ensuring their curriculum and pedagogy guarantee equitable outcomes for all students. Our FA will work to ensure that our family community is having serious discussion around diversity and equity at CACS.

Middle School Camps at Anthony Chabot
September 15, 2014

163 middle schools students and their teachers returned safely from their camping adventure, a three-day, two-night trip to Anthony Chabot State Park. Students went hiking, and engaged in workshops about first aid, photography, art inspired by nature, cultural reflections, team building, and dance, as well as orgami shapes and structures. They also took on responsibilities at the campsite, assembling tents and taking turns cooking meals. Students participated in advisory activities to get to know their classmates and advisor in a more dynamic way, while appreciating each other for the experience. Our middle school students (and teachers) were able to work through their challenges and feel proud of their accomplishments. They also celebrated with a trip-ending talent show full of the silly, the artful, and the fun. We hope the experiences they gained from the outdoor education program will provide them with their own real-life allegory, and remind them that they can accomplish so much.

A big thank you to all of the teachers and parents who helped in keeping this tradition alive.

CACS Wins California Distinguished School Award
July 30, 2014

CACS received the California Department of Education's prestigious Distinguished Schools Award in recognition for our educational excellence in all students and for our work in closing the achievement gap. In addition, CACS also received the California Department of Education's Exemplary Arts award for our outstanding arts programming. We celebrate our staff, students, and families for all they have done to achieve these two impressive honors.

CACS First Graders at Poems Under the Dome
April 24, 2014

On April 24, two of our first graders, Evie M. and Zimry R., will celebrate National Poetry Month at City Hall, performing alongside San Francisco's Poet Laureate, Alejandro Murguía, as well as poets from Wallenberg High School and Mission High School. They will lead off San Francisco's Poems Under the Dome, the city's largest open mic poetry event where poets of any age can enter a lottery to be selected for a performance slot. This free event runs from 5:30 to 8:00pm. We're proud of our young students representing our school!

Seventh Graders Participate in Service Learning
April 21, 2014

The seventh grade participated in their third service learning activity for the year, focusing on a wide variety of issues important to San Francisco.
One advisory group spent the day learning about the organizations that serve the people of the SOMA community. Rudy Corpuz, CACS parent and executive director at United Playaz, took students on a tour of the neighborhood. They visited the Hub (a small police station), the Bayanihan (a community center that works with elders), Crossroads (a youth center), and an elementary school, then went to Westbay to learn about pedestrian safety. At each location, students had the opportunity to tour the buildings, speak with employees, and experience some of the fun activities they offer there. Their last stop was the United Playaz Center, where they learned about violence prevention, youth empowerment, and social justice. Students had to think critically about the problems, solutions, and ideas that support a community's growth.

A second advisory group focused on Golden Gate Park. Students met with Andy Stone, head gardener at the boat house, who lead a nature walk introducing them to several species of plants. They touched, smelt and even ate some of the agriculture. Students spent the rest of the day pulling invasive plants and planting banana trees, working hard to improve our community park.

A third advisory group volunteered at the downtown YMCA, where they learned about community resources and helped the neighborhood by picking up trash in the street. They also spent time learning about the effects of plastics on the marine ecosystem, then went to Ocean Beach and cleaned up trash. Students collected over 1,000 pieces of trash and talked about human's effects on ecosystems and our responsibilities to the world.

Overall, students spent an amazing day examining a wide variety of ways to support our San Francisco community, and they left our city just a little bit cleaner and greener in the process.

CACS Focuses on Environmental Issues
April 21, 2014

On Tuesday, our students were very fortunate to be visited by H20 EarthCapades, whose mission is to demonstrate that "saving the planet can be fun". The performers educated our students about serious environmental issues and taught practical solutions while juggling, performing magic tricks, and telling interactive comedic stories.

This was followed by a smaller presentation by SF Environmental for selected compost monitors, grades K-8. Students were trained how to be monitors during their lunch period to encourage their peers to compost and recycle. The monitors will be wearing orange vests and working one day a week to help protect our environment. Using a train the trainer model, students will educate their peers and take turns as monitors. We're working to help CACS become greener!

CACS Hosts Global Lives Project
April 21, 2014

Last week, CACS hosted the Global Lives Project, an interactive video project that focuses on cultivating empathy across cultures. The project curates a collection of films that capture the lives of people around the world. Eight television screens were set up in the cafeteria, each displaying images from twenty-four hours of people’s lives from different countries and cultures. Students watched as others slept, ate, played, and went about their lives, discussing the diversity of the human experience while they ate lunch together. To explore the images yourself, check out the project's video collection.

CACS Teachers Spread Creative Learning
March 27, 2014

Seven master teachers from six different states and two countries gathered in San Francisco to dig into the concept of "Quality Content." They spent the weekend at a retreat hosted by UClass, an educational resource sharing company co-founded by CACS Literacy Specialist Leah Schrader.

CACS teachers leapt at the invitation to share some of their unique approaches to student-driven learning and interdisciplinary collaboration. Jasmine Sheldon, first grade teacher and Ann Ledo-Lane, director of arts at CACS lead a workshop with the visiting educators. They shared a dynamic book project about activism that they collaboratively facilitated with Jasmine's first grade class. Highlighting the integration of the arts with history, they presented the power of bringing multiple disciplines together to offer children deep encounters with the learning process. They also shared the Studio Habits of Mind employed by CACS students and teachers alike and inspired the visiting educators with CACS' framework for making learning an engaging and meaningful process for our students. We're excited that our teachers are embracing opportunities to share our work with other educators around the country.

Upcoming Spring Arts Events
March 27, 2014

This year has been so artful with a variety of Arts Events, including our Family Arts Night and We are Makers exhibition of student work. We've also been sharing our work in the community, with a visual arts exhibit at the Madrone Art Bar, our middle band performing at The Knockout, and our photography exhibit at Photobooth. Spring brings a wide variety of additional arts events celebrating CACS student work. We kick off the season on March 28 with our celebration of Dance Anywhere Day on our school yard. Our K-5 Music and Dance Show will be held on April 30 at The Brava! Theater in the Mission district. This show features all of our students in grades K-5. On May 15, we hold our spring Exhibition of Learning, as students share their design-thinking projects and second semester studies, celebrating the integration of art and content learning. Our Middle School Dance and Theater Performance will be held this year at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, who has generously donated their space for our students to perform.

Performances are also headed to the CACS stage. On April 8, the Earthcapades will perform for our K-4 students, and the New Conservatory Theatre Center will perform a new show around CyberBullying on Tues, April 22 for our 6th graders. We're excited for our spring celebrations of the arts!

Gray Exhibit Opens on March 13th
March 7, 2014

The CACS 7th/8th grade photography elective opens their exhibit "Gray" on March 13th at Photobooth SF on 1193 Valencia Street. The exhibit features a variety of works by our middle school photographers. The open reception will run from 6-8pm on March 13th, and the exhibit runs through March 30. Come check out the fine work of our artists!

Goldman Prize Presents to 7th Grade
March 7, 2014

The 7th grade advisories have been learning about how communities can make a positive impact on our city, and ultimately our planet. In addition, students have been exploring this question in their science classes, as they investigate human effects on ecosystems. To further their studies, CACS hosted the Goldman Prize this week, as Liz Means, Communications Coordinator at the Prize, presented about the history of the Goldman Prize, grassroots environmental activism, and the work of Prize winners.

Creative Arts has been thrilled to be a pat of the Goldman Prize Youth Program. For the past several years, CACS has been invited to attend the Goldman Prize ceremony, where our students have met current and past Prize winners and attended a special reception with a DJ and refreshments. We are excited for our continued partnership, and thank the Goldman Prize for their commitment to teaching our students about environmental activism.