From January 2007 to May 2009, Leadership High School co-habitated with Burton High School; as did Metropolitan Arts and Tech Charter School from May 2009 to May 2011.
According to US News and World Report, 98% of Burton's student body is "of color," with 73% of the student body coming from an economically disadvantaged household, determined by student eligibility for California's Reduced-price meal program.
Over the last few years, African-American enrollment has steadily declined in regards to the overall student enrollment. The trend of the shrinking African-American population from Burton’s enrollment may correlate with the shifting popularity of Burton from families of students who hail from Bayview-Hunters’ Point to families of students who reside in the Ingleside and Excelsior neighborhoods. Both neighborhoods adjoin the Portola District, Burton’s home neighborhood. This trend may also correlate with the overall city trend of African-American families leaving San Francisco for more affordable locales (from 1970 the city’s African-American population was 13%; in 2006 the population declined to just 6%).
With the awarding of city funding to host a citywide Beacon on campus, Burton adopted the community schools model as means to elevate the status of the school, improve its reputation in the community, and better serve the students. The Beacon arrived with three major tenets that focus on the enrichment and development of the Burton studentry, school-age children in the community, and adult members of our larger community. Under the coordination of the Beacon the school hosts workshops for youth and adults, as well as one of the district’s Saturday and Evening High School credit recovery and enrichment programs. Burton students participate in intramurals, club meetings, and a wide range of other youth development activities.