School Details

Asawa (Ruth) San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public Scho

555 Portola Drive, San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 695-5700
8

(out of 10)

Public Grades 9-12 600 students 19 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

24%
25%
25%
41%
69%
65%
86%
62%
62%
57%
25%
38%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • San Francisco Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

10%
40%
39%
26%
37%
41%
55%
52%
46%
79%
54%
52%
76%
29%
15%
63%
56%
54%
74%
42%
46%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
95%
78%
83%
94%
84%
84%

CA00019

None
  • This school in 2013
  • San Francisco Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

75%
64%
51%
89%
54%
48%
35%
9%
8%
58%
57%
49%
80%
55%
50%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • San Francisco Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Asawa (Ruth) San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public Scho is a public high school in San Francisco. The principal of Asawa (Ruth) San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public Scho is Brian Kohn, who can be contacted at kohnp@sfusd.edu. 600 students go to Asawa (Ruth) San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public Scho and identify primarily as Black, non-Hispanic; Filipino; and Unspecified. 2% of the Asawa (Ruth) San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public Scho students are "limited in English proficiency." 23% of the 600 students here get reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Asawa (Ruth) San Francisco School of the Arts, A Public Scho is 19:1. Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the nearest high schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • French
  • Italian
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 7% 12%
Filipino 6% 6%
Unspecified 5% 5%
White, non-Hispanic 38% 11%
Multiracial 3% %
Asian 26% 41%
Hispanic 14% 23%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.8% 56447%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.5% 0.6%
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.5% %
Pacific Islander 0.5% 1%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 23% 56%
Limited English proficiency 2% 31%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (5 months ago)

    SOTA is a fabulous school! My child has been studying here for the past two years and each year I ve noticed staff making improvements. We are so pleased that several advanced placement courses were added to the curriculum this year. Adding challenging subjects allows our teenagers to be more engaged and it shows that SOTA admin are paying attention to parent feedback! Additionally the quality of the artists-in-residence program is remarkable. If you have a talented kid who is academically motivated you should absolutely put SOTA on your list!

  • (11 months ago)

    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!

  • (11 months ago)

    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.

  • (1 year ago)

    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!

  • (1 year ago)

    Amazing team! Motivated and engaged PTSA. Kids are happy! what more could a parent ask for?

  • (1 year ago)

    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.

  • (2 years ago)

    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".

  • (2 years ago)

    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.

  • (3 years ago)

    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.

  • (3 years ago)

    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.

  • (4 years ago)

    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!

  • (4 years ago)

    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.

  • (4 years ago)

    Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts A Public School is good for your child who has art talent.

  • (4 years ago)

    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.

  • (4 years ago)

    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.

  • (4 years ago)

    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.

  • (4 years ago)

    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.

  • (5 years ago)

    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.

  • (5 years ago)

    The students here are so accepting and open minded bunch o findividuals who care about each other and their arts

  • (5 years ago)

    I love this school. Everyday is full of energy and the students are incredibly interesting. It is like one of those places where you will never be bored.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 62 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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