"We are best known for our joyful learning community."
Students enrolled 366
Hours 8:20 AM - 3:15 PM
School leader Fernando Aguilar
Transportation options None
District San Francisco Unified School District
Before school no info
After school Yes
Summer program no info

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Contact this school

1601 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94115

School website
(415) 749-3512
(415) 749-3437
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Creative Arts Charter School address.

4 stars
Based on 93 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

August 13, 2014
Remember when you were in middle school and the majority conformed to whoever and whatever was popular? Imagine a school where nonconformity is the norm. That s Creative Arts. Every student works hard on developing who they are and praised for it. I attended the 8th grade graduation in May and all the students were so proud of their individualism. All who attended could clearly see future innovators, nobel laureates, rocket scientists, artists, writers, and goodwill ambassadors. If you have a chance, attend the graduation, it s intimate, fun, emotional, and it s a great window into what the community is like and how your child will develop if they attend CACS. From the first day of Kindergarten until their last day, students are encouraged to think outside the box, create, invent, and problem-solve. They are challenged and enjoy learning. My son will graduate next year and it will be hard to find a high school that will even come close to matching CACS. We feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the CACS community.

- submitted by a parent
July 01, 2014
Exceptional teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students. The school was a California School Recognition Program (CSRP) distinguished school honoree for 2014 and received an additional award for Exemplary Arts Education Program.

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2014
Why CACS is such an amazing school: the incredible and loving community, the service learning days where students go out in the community and help others, the camping trips where students and families bond in nature, the dynamic, creative, and hard working teachers, the innovative projects students create every day, the art, dance, music. and theater performances the community work on and display in a variety of ways, the dedicated administration, and the phenomenal art specialists. We love CACS and feel so lucky to be part of this beautiful community.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2014
If you are seeking a small community where it feels and operates more like a family as opposed to a traditional school then this is the school for you! Every child, including my daughter, feel they are being educated by aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, grandmas and grandpas -- this is because every child/family is an integral part of the community. Creative Arts students are loved, respected, and looked after by every single staff member in the building. This is what I love about CACS and I am very grateful for. My daughter, who in the past, had a very difficult time with transitions and new situations, transitioned into Kindergarten seamlessly because she felt she was with family from the first day of school and felt that her individuality was a beautiful and an important addition to the school. I also admire that the every child at CACS feels freedom on a daily basis -- they are free to be themselves and encouraged to explore and work on their relationships with their peers, their teachers, their family, their neighborhood, and beyond. I can t imagine a better community for a child to grow and learn in.

- submitted by a parent
September 30, 2013
This is only school I know of in the city that produces students who can think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, collaborate with diverse groups of people, display excellent leadership skills, and compassion to people from all walks of life. This school is nurturing and creating visionaries every day. We feel very lucky to be part of this amazing community and I can't wait to see what our graduates go on to achieve.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
As a prospective parent I toured many of the public schools in SF and frankly it was frightening -- all the Kindergarten classes were almost identical, the students were going through the motions like robots, and I witnessed almost zero engagement from the students and teachers. Then I visited CACS where the classrooms were reflections of the teachers -- they were different, fun, lively, completely outside the box, the students were having FUN, were completely ENGAGED, LAUGHING and learning every moment. If that wasn't enough, the music/art program is unbelievably amazing/top notch. I can't say enough about it. If your son or daughter likes music or is musically inclined send them to this school! My son now attends CACS and we could not be happier. The staff is amazing, the community is wonderful and my child LOVES school. I honestly don't think there is a better school than CACS and it's a K-8 which is ideal. Lastly, the middle school program incorporates camping, outward bound and community service as part of their curriculum. Can this school get any better?

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
This school is the best kept secret in San Francisco. It amazes me that so many people don't even know this school exists. I honestly wonder if this is done purposely. I only heard about this school myself because a friend of mine knew a staff member. In any case, it won't be this way for long. Our children have been attending this school for three years and with sincerity, I say CACS is a phenomenal school. The school is innovative, warm, inspiring, and it feels like a home away from home for the students on all levels. I wish I had gone to this school. I have also found that all the students are very cerebral, the parents are extremely involved, and the staff is caring, understanding, and dedicated. But, most importantly, the students are getting an excellent education. The program is comprehensive, hands-on and the school is creating innovators. Tour this school, apply, and good luck getting in!

- submitted by a parent
March 01, 2013
I just spent the morning watching my son's kindergarten class lead the CACS all-school meeting and I am once again filled with admiration for the wonderful, caring, and attentive staff, the engaged parents, and the passionate young students of CACS. This is our 4th year at CACS. My two children have very different learning styles, and both are thriving in this project-based, arts-integrated learning environment. We are watching the transformation of the middle school curriculum and are excited to see the strong math and science program that our science-minded girl will be entering. Weekly music, dance, and art throughout the school year are a big hit with my kindergartener. The school partnership with the Page St. Boys and Girls club means daily van pickup and dropoff to homework help and swimming lessons. My kinder, who doesn't go to the Boys and Girls Club yet, loves CACS's weekly on-site chess club after school. We are extremely satisfied with CACS and recommend it to anyone who wants to imbue their child's education with creative thinking, unique challenges, and joy.

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2012
I have 2 kids at CACS and have been at the school 7 years and couldn't be happier. The teachers, parents, board and director are working like a well oiled machine and the school has made great advances in its program over the last 3 years despite budget cuts and personnel changes. It feels like we have hit our stride. We even have 2 new positions on staff this year to oversee the arts and academics and I dare say we offer one of the best educational programs offered in San Francisco.

- submitted by a parent
December 03, 2012
We have two children in this school (including K) and are impressed. After attending SFUSD first, we were lucky to get into a charter school and we won't ever go back. They teach our children how to be critical thinkers and they educate them to communicate with each other. Our director left due to family situation, not because he didn't believe in the school and I disagree that the academics have changed since his departure. The school has project based learning and that can't change overnight. Both of our kids teachers have a masters and love teaching.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2012
As a kindergarten parent, we are thrilled with CACS. The teachers and staff are amazing. The responsive classroom allows the children to all work at their own level. They learn from a young age to be responsible for their own education. Most importantly, our daughter loves school!

- submitted by a parent
November 30, 2012
Since the director quit at the beginning of this year, this school has really gone downhill academically.

- submitted by a parent
August 12, 2012
was always a very well run school. Always hire very good teachers Now completely renovated.

- submitted by a parent
May 09, 2012
Creative Arts Charter School offers a learning environment where every child is seen in all aspects of its personality and dedicated teachers really go out of their way to help every kid to live up to its potential. Moreover, it was the CACS-community that made us feel at home from the first day at school on. When we moved from Europe to San Francisco with three kids (entering K, 4th and 8th grade) the oldest spoke just a little English while the two younger ones did not speak the language at all. Now, after less then a year, they all thrive and meet the learning requirements of their age level. Our daughter and many of her fellow 8th graders got into some of the cities most competitive high schools. We couldn't have wished for a better school than this one!

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2012
Creative Arts has incredible middle school science and math classes. My son is doing high school level work and loving the challenge. The advanced math teacher is amazing, bringing years of real world experience to the students. Finally, San Francisco has a middle school that meets the needs of high achieving students.

- submitted by a parent
January 23, 2012
Our family has been at Creative Arts since our 6th grader began Kindergarten and with two sons at the school now we couldn't be happier. The small school environment and whole-child approach means each of our sons is truly well known and nurtured. The school meets the needs of both our math- and science-oriented 6th grader who loves electronics, computer programming, and D&D and our 3rd grader who loves music and dreams of being a toy designer. The project-based teaching approach allows each child to focus their efforts where they're most passionate, making the learning experience more meaningful and helping them develop their individual sense of self. Teachers provide very personalized feedback through the report card process and are available to support the child and his or her family throughout the school year. The parent community believes in the school's mission and is actively involved in bringing it to fruition. And our director is a wonderful advocate for the use of creativity in learning as well as a thoughtful, deliberate leader. I couldn't imagine sending our children to another school. I am confident that each our our sons will be well-prepared for whatever life brings.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2011
My son is a physically active and creative child who was sent to counselling and remedial classes in a generic public school when we first moved to San Francisco. Since he has entered CACS he is the top of his class in writing, excels in math , has lots of friends and is generally percieved as a well liked, high functioning child. CACS allows children with strong personalities and love of physical activity to excel instead of being marginalized and suppressed.

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2011
We were fortunate to have choices during the Kinder search last year, and we ended up getting in to a very traditional, high-performing SFUSD school and CACS. My husband and I both felt very connected to CACS from the moment we toured the school. All you have to do is experience the Community Meeting on Fridays mornings, and you will feel the sense of community and see the healthy confidence of the students. Kids are happy at CACS and thrive at our school because of the open arts- integrated curriculum. I'm amazed at how synergistic the programs are from their classroom teacher, to the art, dance, music and even the aftercare program...you can see the amount of effort that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that each child has the opportunity to learn core competencies through different modalities. And to top if off, this school encourages open communication and full flow of creativity and expression. I bet you can see why we chose CACS over the very traditional high API score school down the street. Research shows that arts-integrated and project-based programs encourage whole child development, and for us that made sense. Not to mention the happy feeling I got on my tour!

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2011
We came to CACS last year after stints in a private as well as a top SFUSD elementary school. Although we encountered wonderful educators and families in all schools, I feel we have finally found our home here at CACS. Our two children who are quite different are both thriving and their love of learning is nurtured every day. Our more academic child is continually challenged; our child with some learning differences is accepted and supported. We have been impressed with the caliber of teaching, the innovative curriculum and pleased to find that not only does CACS excel in the arts but also in math and science. CACS is truly a gem of a school!

- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2011
Our middle school-er is thriving at CACS. If you are looking for an alternative option that is nurturing, challenging and safe for your child - come visit this school. The teachers are so dedicated and teach to the whole child - they teach every child, because every child learns differently. Kids graduate from this school with confidence, extremely high self esteem and ready to move on to high school. I am proud to be associated with such an incredible group of kids, parents, teachers and administrators.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2011
This is our fourth year at Creative arts and I cannot imagine going anywhere else. I know how excited my daughter is going to school everyday, great community, support. I am the only parent and we are an adopted family multi racial and I never felt at odd at creative arts. I know my kids gets all the support she needs, socially, academically and so forth. remarkable faculty, no bullying, extremely creative environment, yet I know my child is getting what she needs academically

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2011
Both my son and I could not be happier since we transferred to the Creative Arts Charter School this year. He has transformed as child and is clearly more grounded, happy and growing as an individual. My son is a motivated student and this school has delivered both the academic enrichment he needs but also support in social development. It is a joyful, warm community and we are thrilled to be part of it. I think CACS is a gem in the city of SF.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2011
If I could give none stars, I would. This school is a joke. My son went here for 3rd grade, and I pulled him out. Also few other kids got pulled out by their parents. He is so incredibly behind academically and guess what, I have NO art that he worked on at this school. I really felt like I wasted a year of my child's life, brain and education. He learned to do half work, that teachers don't read what he turned in and that he hates reading. He was bullied, with little to no intervention by the administration. I can't even explain how much of a disappointment this school is. Go somewhere else. We are in the Oakland Public School district now and its a VAST improvement.

- submitted by a parent
October 20, 2011
Creative Arts is a wonderful school that achieves the delicate balance between a child-centered, developmentally appropriate approach to education and academic excellence. The arts are integrated into the school's approach to education, and students spend 3 hours a week in specific arts classes. In elementary school, students have dance, music, and visual arts every week, and in middle school students select from electives that could include art, guitar, piano, creative writing, dance, video, and others. The school also places a strong emphasis on promoting the social and emotional development of its students and creating a strong community and safe learning environment. We came to CACS 3 years ago in part because of our frustration with the heavy emphasis on worksheet-based learning that dominated our older son's experience in his SFUSD school. Our children are now in 3rd and 6th grades, and we couldn't have made a better choice. They get a good mix of project-based learning and fundamentals, and a level of individual attention that is inspiring. Next year CACS is expanding to include 2 kindergarten and 2 6th grade classes, so now is a good time to look at the school.

- submitted by a parent
September 20, 2010
What a wonderfully unique, developmentally appropriate school. We couldn't be happier with the high academic rigor, safe environment, constructivist learning approach, social skill development and a very gifted team of teachers and administrators. What a gem!

- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2010
My son just graduated last week and I am grateful for the wonderful education he received at CACS! He has grown in so many ways and our love of our CACS family will forever be in our hearts! Thanks to Maria J. "the most awesome teacher in the universe" and our new director Fernando for making our last year here so memorable!CACS rocks!!!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 20, 2010
the project based learned, the individualized attention, the size of the school, the wonderful community, the arts incorporated into the daily curriculum, the encouragement of original ideas, I could go on & on....

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 16, 2010
I love Creative Arts because I'm seeing my child thrive and grow through this fluid and dynamic curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2010
We've been there for years and my kids continue to thrive, both scholastically and emotionally. Great teachers, staff and community. And the school just keeps getting better!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 14, 2010
My son's attended art schools, I think it's extremely important to have creativity in school and I'm happy to see that my friends send their children to an Art School

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2010
I can't imagine my children anywhere else. They're learning more than facts, they're learning how to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
Wonderful community of parent and the teachers are top notch.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2010
Wonderful project-based learning in San Francisco -- for free! I love that there is no homework until about 2nd grade and the kids stay with the same teacher through both Kindergarten and 1st grade.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
It's a school where parents really get involved and make a difference in their children's education. It's filled with great teachers and parents who really care and want a special experience for their children. I've been at Creative Arts 11 years now and have no regrets. Creative Arts rocks!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
One of my favorite kids in the whole world goes to school there and I can see first hand that he is getting not only a great education but a great experience as well. He loves it there and it shows!

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
Two of my favorite children go there, and both love it. They are very different in personality and interests, but the school suits each of them. An exciting place that nurtures intellectual curiosity, creativity and confidence.

- submitted by a parent
May 13, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
I love the project-based learning at the school which incorporates art and music.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 13, 2010
It has provided a creative, joyous place to learn for one of my favorite young people!

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 06, 2010
My little great nephew goes to the school and he has shown great progress in all areas. He loves school so that means a great deal to his parents.

- submitted by a community member
April 28, 2010
This school is a mess,no guidence, bad education,leadership is a mess.Unsafe unnurturing environement

- submitted by a parent
April 28, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
Creative Arts Charter School is a great school with a top notch staff and great community! My son has been happier here then at any other school he has attended, and his academics have improved 100%!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 21, 2010
It is a great place for students to learn in many different ways and to be able to express themselves traditionally or differently. I love teaching here and my own children got a fantastic education (not just academic, but socially capable of dealing with many situations). My son is in college now and is doing very well and my daughter is in high school. Both are achieving well academically and have taken the critical thinking skills they learned at CACS and put them to work.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 21, 2010
For the very caring and kind teachers that pay attention to the whole experience a child goes through to learn.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 20, 2010
The school has really brought out the best in my son. And I love his teacher Brooke.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 20, 2010
My kindergartner LOVES CACS. We love being in a school with the integrated creativity fostered by weekly art, dance, and music class. As a bonus, she loves reading and math and is excelling in both!

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2010
Creative Arts simultaneously supports high academic standards while meeting children where they are. Both of my children feel loved and supported by their teachers - which allows them both to take risks!

- submitted by a parent
April 19, 2010
We're very happy at Creative Arts. Our shy oldest child has really blossomed. She also needed tutoring in reading and we credit her insightful K/1 teacher for being on top of it very early on and gently helping her to gain enormous amounts of self-confidence. We really appreciate the individual attention and care our children have been receiving at this school and how much they enjoy learning. The smaller class sizes, arts-focus and tight-knit community of active parents are a great fit for our family.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 19, 2010
Our school delivers an arts-focused, project-based curriculum in a k-8 format. We're small, which means NO child gets lost or forgotten. Our community is relentlessly positive, creative and giving. Great parental/family involvement.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 19, 2010
Great teachers, boards and great small community

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 19, 2010
This precious little school has transformed my son's life. art, music and dance are held with great importance. project based learning and smart caring teachers makes this charter #1 in my book.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 19, 2010
We have some of the most talented and committed teaching staff in all of San Francisco who come to work each day with an unparalleled passion for and commitment to progressive education. We see this love and dedication reflected every day in our childrens joy of learning, their inquisitiveness about the world around them and their deep and enduring friendships. We also have an extraordinary community of families who truly make CACS a unique school in the district.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 19, 2010
My friends daughter attends this school, and she loves it! She comes home happy everyday, with stories of her teachers and classmates. I think this school has done much to inspire her to learn and grow.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 19, 2010
The staff and students genuinely care about each other.

- submitted by a parent
April 18, 2010
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- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2010
Our experience has been fantastic. I would give it a higher score but the leadership is in a bit of a flux. I was never particularly impressed by the outgoing director. I wasn't involved with the board, but didn't think that they treated her unfairly. I have every reason to believe that the school can hire a good administrator and get back on track, attitudes like the review of March 24 are really in the minority.

- submitted by a parent
no rating March 24, 2010
This school is a train wreck. The school has never looked better. The staff has never been better but a small clique of parents has ousted the fantastic principal. This is the principal who hired virtually the entire staff and gave every tour for 8 years recruiting parents. The meddlesome amateur Board of Directors has set the school on a path of disaster. I am pulling my kid out.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2010
We've been at Creative Arts for 2 years now and are so happy with the caliber of teaching. The kindergarten teacher is world-class and embodies the principles of experiential learning and progressive education. We are currently undergoing a change of leadership and a difficult transition. But I am confident that the community will pull together and move forward. For those of you considering Creative Arts, don't be put off by the unseemly gossip on the school blogs. Come see for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
January 03, 2010
We've also been at Creative Arts Charter School for 3 years, and I love this school, but more importantly, my son loves this school. He is excited about learning, and not bored to death as he was in his previous school. I think the leadership is great because she is an educator and a visionary -- not a businessperson in a suit. If you're looking for a diverse, exciting, child-centered school, check out Creative Arts Charter School.

- submitted by a parent
December 20, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
December 11, 2009
Our family came to CACS 3 years ago and it saddens me to report that we've never experienced what we switched schools for. There are skilled and talented teachers, a strong core of hardworking parents who are resourceful, but the school lacks good leadership, which ultimately compromises all efforts. I believe now that while some families and classes may be having a positive experience, there are others who are not. The disparity can be significant. The two areas that challenge CACS are a lack of a developed curriculum and pervasive discipline issues. Until these issues get addressed in a serious way, you have a school with a lot of soul, but one that can't deliver on its goals.

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2009
Project oriented learning and supportive community all help to make this a great environment for our kids. That is what matters most. Our kids love this school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 02, 2009
I am very impressed with Charter Arts' eclectic curriculum that promotes imaginative and creative learning experiences for its students

- submitted by a parent
no rating November 02, 2009
Creative Arts Charter School is fabulous! Great community environment and education for K-8 in San Francisco

- submitted by a community member
no rating November 02, 2009
Creative Arts is like a close-knit family that nurtures their young people to be independent thinkers, to think outside the box, to explore, run their imaginations wild. Kids learn amazing social skills and values, public speaking skills, not to mention Arts and music. They delve into hands-on activities, experiments and research, while all the while forming unforgettable childhood memories with their classmates. Our kids actually feel sad when they miss out on school for being sick. It's a special place and very unlike any ordinary public school. And it's the guiding principle that Creative Arts lives by that makes it so special.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 30, 2009
CACS takes into account the whole child, including learning needs, developmental stage and individual strengths. I feel like my child is really seen, nurtured and valued. There is a strong community of active parents, and continuous conversation about how to keep making this a great learning environment. Also, character education and classroom and schoolwide community is valued through the Responsive Classroom program. My child is thriving at this school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
The involvement in the arts is significant, art, dance and music every week with professionals in each. Teachers developing their own curriculum in progressive educational approach-we're very lucky.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
Great Teachers! Emphasis on the Arts, and Arts integration into Learning! An inclusive, accepting, creative environment and approach to learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
I had fun at the Fall Fest and my friend and her daughter love it. And they help with life issues.

- submitted by a community member
no rating October 29, 2009
I love the teachers, staff, community and the diversity. I also love the integrated arts and project based learning. Every year i am impressed with the growth. It is the dedicated staff and amazing community of parents who work hard, striving to always take it to the next level. In fact, this has been a particularly good year, despite the challenges faced with deep budget cuts. My son's experience has been a thoughtful journey with amazing teachers who have given him a solid foundation for his now and future learning.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
Creative Arts is the embodiment of community. Parents and children pull together to help make the school a better place. Older kids watch out for younger kids and teachers and parents keep lines of communication wide open. Add to that the fantastic curriculum and innovative ideas for teaching and integrating music, art and dance into everyday, and you have an amazing, fantastic school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
CACS is a school that truly centers everything around the experience of the children. It treats them with respect, gives them personal responsibility and engenders a love of learning that I have no doubt will last their lifetime.

- submitted by a parent
October 29, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
This is an amazing public school. The leadership has recruited a great staff and is committed to continuous improvement through staff development. Everyone is pulling in the same direction: project based learning in a caring environment with a focus on participatory music, art and dance in small settings. My 2 kids love it and are thriving.

- submitted by a parent
no rating October 29, 2009
Great arts based curriculum. Project learning diverse school PUBLIC education!

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2009
because the teachers are the best I've ever seen and my children can;t wait to get to school every day

- submitted by a parent
October 25, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2009
To the previous reviewer, if your son is excelling in high school then he must have received an excellent foundation to build on. I find Creative Arts to be amazing in that it provides a private school caliber education in a public school setting while working with a public schools limited resources and social equity highs and challenges. The director Liz Jaroslow is amazing and the current new 2009/10 faculty a dream team of primarily veteran educators who all wanted to teach here. I write as the parent of current and former CACS students and as a veteran education expert. This school educates the whole child, not just the head, but the hands and the heart. Hooray!

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2009
My experiences with the CACS is that when my son changed schools. He was terribly behind Academically. I find that the academic standard at this school is very low. My son is very visually oriented in regards to art and is very talented in his own right. He was never challenged artistically or taught to expand his artistic horizons and think outside the box. The music program..well its not much of one. I suppose if you call strumming ukeleles and beating on a Cajon a music program then this might be the school for you. No Music or sonic arts to speak of. My son is now in high school and excelling in Art music and athletics.

- submitted by a parent
September 15, 2009
Creative Arts is an excellent school. My son is really thriving in this environment, where children find a caring but still challenging environment.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 04, 2009
We have never been happier with CACS. The staff is highly professional, ingenious, creative and very intelligent. They find creative approaches to teach the curriculum that truly engage children and foster a life long love of learning, thinking and problem solving. It's refreshing to be at a school that doesn't teach to the test through rote memorization, but instead use refreshing approaches (ie, project, multiple modalities, social etc.) to nurture and inspire the whole child. The school is very safe with older kids looking out for younger one's and they have added various middle school dimensions that support children's learning and teach them to be socially responsible. They all seem to very wise and focused on each and every child, believing that all children deserve equal access to quality education. They really practice and adhere to the responsive classroom principles which as a parent, I appreciate the non-punitive approach to discipline.

- submitted by a parent
September 02, 2009
I would not recommend this school. My children attended for six years and four years respectively. They loved the community. However, they did not learn. I removed them last year and my youngest child's test scores rose by over 100 in both math and language. She is now qualified for GATE and is getting a great education at a SFUSD (non-charter) school. Tests are not everything. However, she is being challenged acadmically, and most importantly more enthusiastic about school than she was at CACS.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2009
The first day of school this year was the most beautiful first day I have ever witnessed. The kids were welcomed on to the yard by the director and greeted by their friends and families with big hugs and smiles. Once they entered the school the teachers were all standing in the hallways welcoming all of the children as they entered their classrooms. It was the most warm, welcoming and comfortable first day I could have hoped for. I am looking forward to my childs continued joy and eagerness to learn at this wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2009
It may be fun and games for the younger students of creative arts but middle school was an extremely diassapointing experience for us ththere was a lack of support from the principal in behaviorial issues. Teachers coming and going constantly in middle school. Out of control kids and the uninvolved parents.My child learned very little at that school during middle school and had to transfer in order to get a better education.It entailed a lot of catching up in order to get to the correct grade level. I would not recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2008
As a CACS parent I take issue with the previous review. Parents are asked to be goodwill ambassadors for the school. It's called peer community outreach and traditionally it's one way all schools get the word out and increase diversity. Second, there are major funding issues at all California public schools these days. Third, the board at CACS is made up of hard working parents, faculty and community members who commit to giving freely of their time and talent in an efforts to make CACS the best possible school for all it's families. School behavior issues are quite frankly no more or less out of the norm for children these ages at any similar school. The way in which teachers and staff handle them is exceptional. Check Great Schools, CACS is 45% white/ 55% non white about the same as Miraloma and many other S.F. schools. Big clique

- submitted by a parent
October 08, 2008
To point out what other parents stated here, anywhere you go, there's always going to be kids bullying other kids. My son just started at CACS this year and he had his own complaints on some bullying but I make sure that I speak to him and tell him how to deal with it and how important it is to be the better person... everything is going well so far.. kids will be kids. As adults, we must always be there to reason with them and guide them.. My son is a very smart kid but is so much younger than other kids in his class. But I was amazed to hear when he told me that CACS makes Math and Reading fun.... hearing from these from my son makes me believe that me and my husband made the right decision to be a part of this school

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2008
Both of my children started at CACS this September and it has gone beyond our expectations. The project-based learnign is such a blessing for my 1st and third grader who, previously, spent so much time on standardized thest they had lost the excitement and the creative spark that should come with education. The teachers, families and staff have all chosen this school and share its philosophy, which creates a porsitive atmosphere. The responsive classroom means that kids are learning to communicate with each other as well as being academically challenged. We feel very lucky.

- submitted by a parent
October 02, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
October 01, 2008
This my child's first year here and he loves it!! CACS has provided an environment for my son where he can be a child and have fun while learning. My child transferred to CACS from a Private School but this school has more parent and teacher involvement. I'm glad that I looked into this school....

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2008
We really wanted to like this school. But it's just not a safe atmosphere. The interim director does not appropriately handle parent complaints. If your child isn't getting bullied, you probably will do fine. However, if your child is picked on, the administration would rather see you leave than work on a creative solution.

- submitted by a parent
September 25, 2008
Although there are many things to like about CACS, we withdrew our child from during the 2007/2008 school year. His classroom was chaotic, and the teacher oblivious to inappropriate behavior. There was inadequate supervision on the playground and in the aftercare program as well. When we raised concerns, we were alarmed by the response we got from administrators and sadly left a community we had come to love. Our child still thinks of school as unsafe.

- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2008
Our Kindergartener just started at CACS and we couldn't be more pleased. Her teacher is a dedicated professional who is adored by the whole class (including the parents). From the moment we set foot at CACS we felt embraced and welcomed by the entire community. The small, cozy environment fosters a 'family' feeling with the middle schoolers looking out for the younger kids. Our creative daughter is thriving here with weekly offerings of visual art, dance and music. The school fosters a love of books and reading and has amazing resources and a wonderful hands-on learning philosophy. Not only that, but throw in a fun aftercare program (karate, clay, mandarin, dance, sports) and the school is a true gem.

- submitted by a parent
September 08, 2008
I'm the parent of a 3rd grader at CACS. We've been there since kindergarten and have loved it. Our son has developed a passion for reading and math at CACS. The care and attention he and the rest of the kids receive is exceptional. The arts-focused, project-based learning is such a gift. The arts program, with a heavy emphasis in music, art, and dance/theatre, and the dedication of the staff to the development of each student, has been great. Since we've been at CACS, there's been a high level of constant improvement and a great deal of attention to reviewing and modifying programs as needed. Take a tour and see for yourself.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 04, 2008
all three of my children go to this school and they love it if you think this school is bad you don't know what you're talking about

- submitted by a parent
November 09, 2007
Creative Arts offers the best in alternative education. My kindergartener has a PE teacher, an art teacher, a music teacher, and a dance teacher enriching his regular classroom activities every week. The co-op atmosphere makes for a tight-knit and friendly community. This school has a private school curriculum and resources for no fee. We love it and could not be happier here.

- submitted by a parent
October 23, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2007
This school sounds great on paper, but make sure to really visit it and figure out if your kid will fit into it's approach. I realize quickly that my child needs more structure in an educational program. This school promises to be great, but the attitude of the administration and faculty is alarming.

- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
October 11, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
September 23, 2007
My daughter started Kindergarten at Creative Arts this year and so far it is everything that I had hoped for in a school, and more. Her teacher is dynamic, engaged, and open minded. Her friends are a diverse group. The class parents are all friendly and invested in seeing the school thrive. And last, but not least, the focus on the arts is truly wonderful. In this day and age, where 'school success' is defined solely academically I'm thrilled to have been able to find a school that I believe will nurture my whole child, not just her brain.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2007
Overall, my family is extrremely happy with this school. My older daughter used to often complain of stomache aches and would find reasons to stay home but after we transferred to CACS she really wants to go to school seven days a week. The school has a ways to go in the area of academics but because I feel that the community at CACS supports good social values I feel that I can supplement the academics with family study time and reading time. The addition of the asssitant administrator , Liz, last year was a great decision. She will be able to focus more on improving the overall curriculum and she seems really dedicated to that process.

- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2007
CACS has a great resource specialist and as my child has special needs, I will keep her at CACS. However, be warned, the school has a high teacher attrition rate which affects morale and interrupts learning. The lower grades are fun and the younger children are happy and so parents of children in the lower grades are happy. Lack of strong academics is a problem.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
Take a tour of this school and look at the amazing mosaic mural created last year by the students of all grades. This is one example of the art produced by these kids. I came to this school because an SF magnet school couldn't provide for the special needs of my son entering Kindergarten. He is now in third grade and we stay in this overpriced City because of this school. The Director, Mr. Good, sends his children to this school, as have many of the teachers and administrative staff. The school serves a diverse community and each year the academic scores have improved, garnering accolades from various authorities. Kids go on to attend Lowell, University, SOTA, among others. My son attends music, dance, and art classes each week here and the teachers are excellent at engaging students in learning projects. Parent participation is required, but it is worth it.

- submitted by a parent
February 15, 2007
CACS is a very small school. This school has a real safety issue which cause for the children to have to use a passcode to get on school grounds. This school is located right in the heart of the Western Addition. Beware! This school is not at all what it cracks up to be. I know from experience. The Principal however is doing his best with what he has been dished out and the children are his first concern.

- submitted by a parent
February 03, 2007
This is a great school. It is a small K-8 program. It has small class size and good parent participation. This means each child get needed attention from the Teachers, Principal, Vice-Principal and the involved parents whom volunteer in the school.I will also mention that this school offers Dance, Music and Theater and Visual Arts and a well rounded project based curriculum. My children are always excited to go to school and hate missing school when they are sick. Again all this is possible due to parent involvement in fudrasing and teaching support. There are after school sports and P.E. classes for 5th-8th grade.

- submitted by a parent
February 01, 2007
I am in love with this school. My daughter started in january 2006 having come from a very trauamtizing learning experience. She was very creative and, smart and easily bored. Cacs is a school where she has thrived and excelled. Since my daughter has started at this school a resounding thought rings true; you must truly take the time out to research and choose a school that is a good match for your child's learning and socially developing style/needs. Not just what is convenient, or what you think your child needs, but what kind of environment they can thrive and succeed in.While I admit this learning environment may not be for some this school has been a perfect macth for my child. It's clear to me that the staff cares for my child and the rest of the children there and work well with a diverse group of students.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2006
CACS provides the very best combination of a project-based academic curriculum, art, music, and dance programs for all grades, and a strong parent community with active involvement. My 6-year-old is a strong academic performer and told me yesterday he wants to stay at CACS as long as possible. When I asked him why he said, 'I like that it gets harder.' He experiences the differentiated learning first-hand and recognizes that he and several others in his class get extra problems to challenge them. He feels nurtured and challenged. What more could you ask? The teaching staff is young overall, but so is the school. The school is growing and has a waiting list each year. Word is getting around that the charter school model, and CACS in particular, is a successful approach worth driving across town for.

- submitted by a parent
September 18, 2006
Around the time our daughter got accepted at CACS (from the waiting list) we learned that a friend had won some money in a lottery--enough to pay off her mortgage and we were very happy for her. Then we realized that we had won the equivalent to a lottery in getting a place for our child at CACS, a school offering the quality of a private school education without the price tag and the exclusivity that price tag brings. Our high expectations have been met! We love CACS and our daughter is absolutely thriving. The teachers are excellent and the program is well rounded including sports, art, music and dance. She and her friends are learning not just to read, write and do math but to enjoy these subjects. Parents are involved and our community is diverse, engaged and exciting to be a part of. I highly recommend this wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
May 27, 2006
CACS has developed my son's ability to stand out in the crowd. He loves going to school every day and doesn't want to leave. I believe a child that wants to go to school will learn better. He went to a school before this and di not want to go to school because as he said, 'they never taught me anything new'. The hands on approach and deep understanding of the children's mind shown by his teacher, not to mention her love of the children, opens doors to him I don't think we would have found in a more traditional school. I am happy we made the change and feel he is developing both educationally and socially.

- submitted by a parent
May 20, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2006
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- submitted by a parent
April 12, 2006
I was very impressed with this school. On the outside it seems shabby and old, but you learn very quickly that this is a very hands-on school that has taken over a new school and are transforming it into a fantastic, messy real leaning environment.

- submitted by a parent
March 23, 2006
This is a great public charter school for parents that are looking to ensure that their children get a solid education with an emphasis on the arts.

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2006
Great environment for hands on learning using all of your senses. Creative atmosphere with music, dance and art all round you. The children are pleasant and has a co-op nursery feel to it. The teachers are skilled, creative and insightful. Since the move, the location is not the best but we are creating a lovely home now full of color, flowers, and slides.

- submitted by a parent
January 11, 2006
My daughter has been at CACS from K-3rd grade. I believe that the most important element in a school is the skill and dedication of the teaching staff, and Creative Arts Charter School is lucky to have extrememely dedicated teachers. There is a sense that each teacher is completely dedicated to their job and cares about the children - both their academic success and their well being as a person. Time after time, I've seen teachers go the extra mile at this school. Because the school is small and there isn't much turnover in teaching staff, children have longlasting and meaningful relationships with adults beyond the teacher in their own classroom. I speak to parents frequently about other schools, both public and private, and I've rarely heard about as much personal attention as my daughter has received at CACS.

- submitted by a parent
October 19, 2005
As an veteran Creative Arts family, we look back on our 9 years at this school with fondness. Although there were some growing pains in the early years, the talent and dedication of staff and parents kept it all growing and improving. Now in year 12 this school is one of the best kept secrets in San Francisco. Art, music and dance is part of the daily life where full-time arts specialist collaberate (in weekly collaberation meetings) to bring meaningful content to students. Twice yearly performances showcase all that the students have learned.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2005
As father of two CACS students, I was initially happy to find a public school in SF that I can support and send my sons to. That said, I can't help but feel sorry for everyone in this effort -- parents, teachers, kids, all of whom seem frenzied by the constant imperiling of funding, discipline, reliability, and the resulting insecurity EVERYWHERE in this ever-moving campus. The 'creative arts' label is misleading - as the school can barely afford the minimum. I am concerned my sons' behaviour has declined greatly with the generally anxious mood and lack of behavioural standards/models . My youngest son's teacher keeps forgetting who he is, (gr.3)which is disturbing, at the least. I'm concerned about dropping off the boys each day but don't know alternatives. This place is too disorganised to recommend. No solid extra-currics, no clear mission, no music, sports, counselling, etc.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2005
This is a wonderful little gem of a school. My child is just beginning his 2nd year at the school and both he and his parents couldn't have chosen a better place for him. Outside of his regular class he gets a full hour each of music, dance and art each week. If you are looking for a great, creative environment for your child look no further.

- submitted by a parent
August 03, 2005
This school has builded my childs love of reading. Parents are involved dailey. Music, arts and extra activities are always available. Due to the school moving locations, I don't know how well the school will continue

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2005
San Francisco's first and oldest charter. Both of my children attended Creative Arts, and both had a good experience. Small schools are the best places for kids -- especially for K-8. A lot of attention from adults and teachers, and a place where kids can feel comfortable with their parents. The curiculum has improved every year that we've attended, as has the school organization and staff retention. The biggest challenge has been the physical facilities provided by SF Unified -- but there is a sense of owenrship and participation by the comunity that really benefits the kids. The graduates of CACS are attending many good high schools, not just SOTA. Creative Arts now has it's graduates attending at Lowell, Mercy, St.Josephs, Gateway and St. Ignatus.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2005
This school has a great arts program and is close knit. Students stay with the same teacher for 2 years and learn to think in creative ways.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
July 07, 2005
This school is a well-intended mess. It lacks cohesive, consistent pedagogy, and a frequently moving location. Though said to be a creative arts school, the offerings are slim. There is no music department, little in the way of sports, and their shows are slipshod and embarrasing. The teachers are nice, in particular, my daughter's 2 grade teacher, but the teachers are leaving in droves.

- submitted by a parent
April 02, 2005
Both of my sons attend this school (K and 6th) and I am an involved parent. All of my experiences with this school have been wonderful. My children are nutured,educated and thrive in this school community.Project based learning has developed their curiosity and deisre to learn, deepened their involvement in their education and broadened their intrests on all levels. My older son has confidence and excitement in starting a project based on current curiculum and has developed skills in completion of his goals. All lessons are project based and while it is an art focused school this type of learning process was directly responsible for his winning a science fair. My younger son has learned to read and has basic math skills all learned in manner in which he was involved and delighted. This is a woderful school.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2004
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- submitted by a administrator
January 29, 2004
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- submitted by a parent
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About this school

The mission of Creative Arts Charter School is to provide Kindergarten to 8th-grade students of San Francisco with an innovative, high-quality education that focuses on an arts-integrated, hands-on curriculum, with the overall goal of giving our students a lifetime appreciation of learning and the development of their unique talents and abilities.CACS was founded in 1994 by a small group of families and teachers who shared a vision of an arts-rich, hands-on curriculum.

January 31, 2014

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Creative Arts Charter School
1601 Turk St., San Francisco, CA  94115
(415) 749-3512
Last modified Creative Arts Charter School is a Charter school that serves grades K-8. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Creative Arts Charter School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 128 reviews.