Curricular Enhancements | Mission Dolores Academy

Mission Dolores Academy prides itself on the richness of its curricula, offering a plethora of opportunities by which students have the chance to develop their minds, hearts, and bodies.  We are grateful for partnerships which extend beyond the classroom to engage our scholars in activities that promote mindfulness, body positivity, and stewardship of the planet.

CUESA Foodwise Kids

Mission Dolores Academy is proud to be the pilot school for an expansion of CUESA’s (Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture) Foodwise Kids’ platform, providing students in Grades One and Four with the opportunity to not only experience, firsthand, the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market in both the Fall and Spring seasons, but to also have hands-on cooking classes here on-campus, both with their classmates and their families.  Students are educated about everything from how produce is grown and distributed at the Farmer’s Market to how to properly chop kale for a healthy salad.  For more information on this program, please visit their website:



​Mission Dolores Academy has recently partnered with the Movemeant Foundation to work with our Seventh Grade girls, implementing their curriculum focused on health, wellness, and body positivity.  Students meet with their mentor twice a week to learn the art of hip-hop dance, practice teamwork, and embrace mindfulness.  For more information on this program, please visit their website:



The Human Rights Commission of San Francisco has partnered with Mission Dolores Academy to sustain a vibrant and inclusive community of respect, love, empathy, and compassion.  Students and Staffulty alike have worked under the leadership of the HRC to develop a platform for expanding our community’s capacity for being the change that we wish to see in the world. A Student Relations Council has been formed in order to enable students in Grades Six through Eight to assume leadership positions on campus, helping to enable inclusion amongst all of their fellow classmates, Kindergarten though Middle School.  For more information on this organization, please visit their website:



For the last two years, Mission Dolores Academy has teamed up with Street Soccer USA to provide our students with a unique blend of sports and wellness education. With an emphasis on confidence-building, communication, team dynamics, and social awareness, our kids can play soccer while learning to be thoughtful, engaged members of their communities. Traditionally, sports programs are too expensive for most families, but Street Soccer USA’s focus is on underserved communities in 14 cities across the United States. Please visit the SSUSA site for more information:



Mission Dolores Academy has worked with Youth SF for the last three years to educate and inspire our students to be active participants in the ever-expanding world of tech. Through experimentation, peer collaboration, and hands-on fun, the children involved in Youth SF’s Tech Rec are developing a deep engagement in the fields of Technology, Science, Math, and Engineering. Additionally, the participating students are immersed in an environment that celebrates individual thinking, an active imagination, and a love of learning in all forms. To read more about this program, please visit: 



Spanish Club has been a vital part of our MDA community over the last three years. Meeting once a week, the club has focused on learning about and honoring the diverse Latinx cultures represented in our student body. With both beginning and intermediate levels, the Spanish Club engages the students in conversational Spanish at any level of proficiency. For more information, please speak with Francisco Luna, who facilitates the club.



In addition to MDA’s art classes taught by Ms. Debbie Ray, Mission Dolores Academy offers after-school art instruction led by internationally-exhibited artist Jesus Perez Zamarrón. Jesus Zamarrón is a San Fransico-based graphic artist whose work explores urban environments and the people who populate them. Zamarrón’s work, made using a wide array of media, is vibrant, gestural, and distinctly kinetic. During his MDA art instruction, Zamarrón focuses on instilling the children with the foundational skills and classical principles of shape, form, color, and perspective. Using step-by-step instructions, these classes provide our students with the ability to represent forms realistically in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylic, graphite, and charcoal. Under Zamarrón’s instruction, the students gain confidence in the basics, giving them room and opportunity to further explore artistic expression in the ways which inspire them individually. To learn more about Jesus Perez Zamarrón, please visit:



Teaching students how to play the violin since 2008

It has been known for a long time that there are long-term benefits of learning an instrument from an early age. An integral, but often neglected aspect of a child’s education is learning about music - singing, listening, playing an instrument and playing along with others. Learning an instrument is linked to higher scores in school and long term benefits extending well into old age. Learning an instrument teaches cooperation, sharing, caring, paying attention and discipline to stay the course and learn something new that no one can ever take away.

Our String Program accepts students from the 3rd to the 8th Grade who have the interest, aptitude, and discipline to commit to instruction. Students who participate in the violin program must pay a non-refundable participation fee of $20.00 before the first lesson and final payment for the tuition of $50.00 due within one month. Instruments are provided, but parents are encouraged to rent a violin for a nominal monthly fee to free up instruments for those who cannot rent. The program begins in late September and concludes in May. There are two 45 minute instructional periods weekly. There are opportunities for multiple public performances during the year: Playing before the student body, at Mass and the highlight of playing at the Academy’s annual luncheon in a sophisticated venue; this year at the Four Seasons Hotel. Since the program’s inception, nearly 100 students have held a violin in their hands.

​​​​String Program Music Director - Mr. Calvin Musasaki, M.A.​

Maestro Murasaki has taught violin and string classes for over 30 years on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. Graduating with a Masters Degree in String Pedagogy. Calvin studied with Paul Rolland - internationally known for his unique approach to string playing through freedom of motion. Maestro Murasaki has been teaching students how to play the violin at Mission Dolores Academy for 8 years. He works with compassion and understanding to develop the singular talent of each student emphasizing free body movements required to avoid physical tension and pain. Maestro Murasaki brings joy and enthusiasm to his students.