- SOTA II began operation in the fall of 1997 as a middle school of choice and currently serves approximately 40 students, grade 6-7. Studies link the active learning of an art form to increased student motivation and the ability to learn other skills like reading, mathematics, and writing. Research has also linked participation in the arts to such positive outcomes as increased student participation in community service and appreciation of cultural differences. Similar research indicates that a wide range of computer technologies support the development of advanced thinking, analyzing, and synthesizing skills. SOTA II uses technology and the arts as tools for integrating learning of core subjects into thematic units. This method of curriculum delivery takes into account individual student interest and skills and allows students a different way to show their learning. SOTA II extends the learning experience of SOTA I to emphasize the importance of social and emotional learning, community building, and teamwork.