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A California Distinguished School

Founded in 1982, the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts invites students to explore an alternative college preparatory experience: a public high school that offers a full academic curriculum complemented by a pre-professional arts training program in which students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The School of the Arts is the only public high school in San Francisco to require an audition as part of the admissions process. Talented students are recruited from across the entire Bay Area, resulting in a rich student body full of artistic and academic possibility, representative of the diverse population of San Francisco.

Powered by a versatile and gifted team of academic teachers, arts directors and artists-in-residence, Asawa SOTA students receive academic instruction in the morning and spend the balance of the day immersed in learning the essential skills and craft of their chosen areas of creative study.

ACADEMICS The four-year academic program at SOTA aligns with the “A–G” requirements for admission to the University of California and California State University systems and a range of Honors and AP classes give students the opportunity to excel beyond the minimum grade-level expectations to demonstrate a level of academic rigor valued by the most selective public and private colleges and universities.

ARTS The dedicated arts directors have created an inspiring hands-on program that draws on the talents of over 66 Artists-in-Residence working in the broader arts community, recruited to support specific goals of each department’s curriculum. This unique teaching structure exposes students to fresh ideas and experiences, creating a learning environment where vision, creativity and passion are valued in the formation of the whole person.

Content from the arts curriculum is integrated into traditional academic subject areas and includes attention to multi-cultural arts. Arts directors regularly emphasize the importance of maintaining a balance between process and product and between discipline and creativity. Additionally, students have the benefit of on site resources through the Asawa SOTA Wellness Center, grade level counselors and a College Center.

Upon completion of the four year program, Asawa SOTA graduates will have developed into excellent communicators, critical thinkers and lifelong learners, emerging artists, collaborators, and leaders and contributors to their communities.