New Enrollment Policy for Ruth Awasa School of the Arts

The San Francisco Unified School District reports that the San Francisco Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution that enrollment at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (RASOTA) be restricted to students who live in the City and County of San Francisco. The Board’s resolution also expressed support for institutionalizing systems and procedures to support middle students in preparing for entry to RASOTA.

For many years, Board of Education policy allowed the school to accept up to ten percent of its student body from outside SFUSD as a way to help broaden the pool for harder-to-find talents or abilities (for example, male dancers or harpists or tuba players); however, actual school enrollment has regularly exceeded that percentage.

In support of determining how to shape a curriculum that attracts a broader auditioning base and culturally diverse demographic, the board committed to partner with community-based organizations to fund and support a summer program for SFUSD students in grades five, six, and seven. These programs – with outreach to under-represented populations – will be designed to enhance artistic skills, competencies, and dispositions to better prepare them for the application and audition process for the school.

The new policy will go into effect for students applying to attend in the fall of 2016. Students who have been accepted to RASOTA or who currently attend will be allowed to continue until their families choose to leave the school or they graduate or are removed from the school as otherwise permitted by law.

Blog by Maria Castro, B.A., UCSD

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