SOTA is a great school! When my son was in middle school, every morning was a struggle just to get him out of bed for school. Now that he is at SOTA, he eagerly looks forward to joining his teachers and friends each day. The talent of the teachers and students is incredible. Some of the academic classes are still quite a challenge for my son but most of his teachers try to help as much as they can. We haven t heard of any drug problems within our department because our son's vocal teacher has a strict policy that drugs are an absolute no. FoSOTA is the nonprofit group that raises money for the school. They help keep the art programs in operation. My son went on the vocal trip to NY this January and FoSOTA was instrumental in making the trip a reality for all the kids in the department. The campus facilities are worn but most of the spaces work well enough for the classes. The performances are amazing! If your child is interested in auditioning, you should definitely go see a few shows. Our overall experience has been wonderful!
This is a free public arts high school with lots of talented kids applying. They don't all get in, it's not that you're kid isn't good or anything, there's just a lot of talent out. For every one spot, I think about 4 - 8 students apply depending on the department. So the school has a reputation for drugs, it doesn't have a bigger problem than any other school, but here, they talk about it to the parents and students. Their test scores are the 2nd best in the district, right after Lowell. Think about it, Lowell only takes the best, we take the most talented and they push for education here, not just the arts. Some of the teachers are awesome and go above and beyond to help their students, some just suck. It happens in every school. The PTSA is great here, they try to keep families involved by bringing programs such as how apply for college, talks on drugs, internet use, it's all good stuff. They also do a lot of school activities like staff cookie boxes for the holidays. As always there's tons of school politics and it's sad but it mainly falls under on group FOSOTA which is basically do it's their way or no way. I think with the politics parents don't get as involved.
Excellent school for students art, music or theater talent. We live an hour from the school and could not imagined any other school for him, Highly recommend it!
Amazing team! Motivated and engaged PTSA. Kids are happy! what more could a parent ask for?
This school is a jewel of San Francisco. Everything about it - the size, the care and understanding of teachers, the spirit of the student, the incredible artwork and student projects.....this school is very special. My son is very proud to be going here and I am grateful for this opportunity for him.
My child is thriving at SOTA. While not every academic teacher has been a perfect fit for her, the great majority are engaging, encouraging and excellent overall. The heads of her artistic discipline (Theatre Design and Technology) are wholly dedicated to the students. They demand the very best from each child, and get it. Staff and administrators are responsive to any issues that come up. In addition, the culture of the school is unique. Frequent performances and exhibitions in all disciplines make up the core of social life at SOTA. The best aspect of the school is the young men and women in action, expressing themselves and supporting one another. There are no stars on GreatSchools to measure that important area, but I'd give SOTA an "11".
I am sure that the previous comment is posted by a prankster of some sort. It just doesn't read like an actual comment by a teacher. A teacher would probably spell "Principal" correctly at least. I find Carmelo to be an excellent administrator. Easy to talk to, low drama, intelligent and a straight shooter. I guess this site can't do any fact checking or prevent anonymous posters from posting falsehoods.
Best school in San Francisco! I love going there! All the teachers are great, most are like personal mentors! I have friends at other schools in SF, most hate them, but I love going to school! Also, the classes are really not as easy that people say. The academics are very challenging.
SOTA has great positives and some negatives. The academics are excellent - only if you are in Honors and AP. You can get a great education here if you take that track. If you don't, expect to get into the California State University system or City College. My son did great, but some did not. Parent participation is key. Some teachers are fantastic, but some really do not teach well. Be a pro-active parent. My child was in theater and the teachers were negative and arbitrary in some ways. They seemed to bear grudges in a manner inappropriate and unprofessional. Perhaps they are burned out. There was still much that was terrific, unique, stirring, exceptional. You will be stunned by the sheer talent in these programs. No school is perfect. All in all, I would do it again.
Both my teenagers love attending this school. Although there are not as many choices in terms of clubs or classes that you would find in a larger school - the fact that these young artists can immerse themselves in their field is a fantastic opportunity. The academics are certainly strong - the most exciting humanites faculty you could wish for and the leadership of a great Principal. If your student is serious about the arts - this school is the top choice - we have had growth on the API, our students get accepted into top colleges and do well on the SATs.
My kids are a SOTA graduate and a SOTA junior. I'm so glad they chose and had access to an arts school; their high school life has been far, far richer than I could ever have imagined. Both have top standardized test scores and SATs, so the unbiased data confirms that their education has been fine. They are both quirky kids -- and a school full of artistic kids and artistic teachers can be like herding cats; it's not a desks-in-a-row-rigid-schedule atmosphere -- but we've been very happy with SOTA. My son was totally focused on his music and attends Oberlin College, getting a dual music-liberal arts degree. My daughter is very involved with her music but is also deeply engaged with SOTA's championship Mock Trial team, which was No. 2 in California last year and is going to the state finals for the fourth year in a row this year. SOTA is probably not for a kid who needs total structure at all times, but for a kid who's passionate about his or her art and thrives in a creative atmosphere, check it out!
Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public School is good for your child who has art talent.
SOTA is a druggy school. It also doesn't have a very good academic program. Not one of the schools I'd want my kids attending.
My adult children are both graduates. They received a consummate music education and the academics were strong, too. The performing opportunities helped them develop confidence, discipline and creativity that carried over to all their work. They are both productive graduate students now (daughter, law school; son, getting his masters in piano in Germany), and part of the credit goes to the strong foundation and love for learning they developed at SOTA.
SOTA is a great school if your child has a particular art they want to pursue and is strongly self motivated academically (or with parent support). The staff and administration are doing a lot with very little. Unfortunately, SOTA's culture is influenced greatly by the lack of resources for public schools and especially with lack of professional development for the teachers. The teachers and directors have a wide variety of experience and skills, from excellent to sorely lacking. Due to class size and lack of resources and support, there seems to be an inability to follow through with promises of communication with the parents and natural consequences for positive student participation or behavior problems. I've personally witnessed directors being unprofessional in their interactions with students, with little or no indication that this would be corrected. I would not recommend this school if your child isn't self-motivated or has learning differences.
the Ruth Asawa San Francisco SOTA does a fabulous job of integrating the arts into a rigorous academic regimen. Intense parent involvement and support where each student is valued and supported. The students are friendly, open and accepting in a vibrant arts community. A very high percentage of SOTA students are accepted to the most prestigious universities and arts schools in the nation.
A special place for young artists to grow and for them to define themselves. The creativity encouraged in the arts classes and the confidence gained through the teachers' respect for the individual, shows in the academic classes. I wish there was a school like SOTA when I was in high school.
The students here are so accepting and open minded bunch o findividuals, who care about each other and their arts
Our school is a place of creativity and inovation. It is filled with kids who want to be there, who want to learn, and who want to share their art with the world. We have great teachers and faculty who are dedicated, careing, and energetic, though grosley underfunded. The kids are accepting and all get along. If someone felt like it they could come to school in anything from a buissness suit to full drag and not get laughed at or made fun of. We already know that our school is great, and we hope that you will recognize its greatness as well.
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