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Idyllwild Arts Academy

Private | 9-12 | 302 students


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Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $170,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,100.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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12 reviews of this school

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Posted May 1, 2014

I attended the summer camp as an 8th grader. I loved my experience so much that I decided to apply to the school. Glad I did. I am having a great experience and I cannot see myself going to any other school. It is hard work but I am hanging in there. I love all my teachers. The students are SO NICE and accepting of who I am. I am so glad to be here.
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 24, 2013

At first - after entering the school - I thought, or realized - it is "The emperor's new clothes" case - but I talked myself into believing that nothing is perfect and kept on staying into second year when I realized that it is actually not only an illusion we have bought into but more of Orwel's Animal Farm reality. For those who are not familiar with the work I strongly recommend to read. In short it has to do with farm animals taking over a farm and getting rid of farmers. Pigs voting themselves in governing positions and setting up rules as they go - by and large - self serving rules. Idyllwild so called "art's academy" is a perfect parallel. Plus - one can't for some reason realize this right away -- there is no art education in this school - meaning it is not a part of curriculum - fact about which we have been complaining in public schools - And don't let them fool you about art being incorporated into subjects. It consists of elaborate time consuming projects - involving group collaboration, narrowly outlined by subject teachers involving cuttings and writings which preschoolers would be proud of . Not too amusing after 1/4 of a million you will pay for diploma here.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 4, 2013

This is my daughter's first year at the academy. However, she has attended the children's program in the summer prior to high school. She states, "this school is awesome". She is a IA major, however, she has the opportunity to switch next year to theatre. This school is giving my daughter a well rounded academic experience. She is focused on her academics just as much as her art classes. The teachers and the staff are incredibly warm and supportive! I would encourage any student majoring in the arts, to look into this school! We applied and toured several private schools in and around the Los Angeles area. Idyllwild Arts hands down!!!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 21, 2012

I attended Idyllwild arts for my junior and senior years as a Creative Writer and graduated in 2011. I have to say that those were the best two years of my life. I had a lot of amazing artistic opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise. They encourage exploration between arts, so as a writer I was able to take a painting class in the VA department and a screenwriting class in the film department. I disagree with the one-star reviewer. Yes, they will kick you out if you fail all your academic classes; but the focus is definitely on arts, not academics. Many of the academic classes don't even assign homework because they know we are focusing on arts. If you have a performance coming up, most teachers will cut you some slack. Also, a lot of the academic classes integrate art into their curriculum so to make otherwise uninteresting subjects enjoyable. To get your diploma you still need to fulfill California graduation requirements, so of course academic classes are important in that respect. They want to raise well-rounded artists, and teach you not just how to excel at your art but how to survive as an artist in a freelance and business oriented world. I love IAA!
—Submitted by a student

Posted April 22, 2012

Our son is a day student in the Creative Writing program and we couldn t be happier. IAA is a challenging school basically two schools in one (academic and art) and will prepare any motivated kid for college. The curriculum is truly helping him develop his critical thinking skills and passion for learning. The creative writing department is great. The kids learn in small classes, share and critique each others' work, read for the school at large, and every year six professional writers stay for a week and conduct workshops. The other departments use the same strategy of hiring experienced faculty and then having working professionals work with the students. We attend shows from all of the departments and it is one of the reasons we don t miss the culture of the big city the caliber of the students work amazes us. Additionally, Idyllwild is a beautiful, friendly community, sitting in a picturesque valley. Ultimately I think the best way to decide if the school is right for you or your child, is to visit. No school is a perfect fit for every student. But if your child is serious about an art form (or two!), it would be worth your while to check out the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 31, 2012

I am currently a theatre major and attending my first year at Idyllwild Arts. One of my biggest worries about attending an arts school was lack of focus on academics. However, I could not be happier with the education I am attaining from Idyllwild Arts. The difference in learning from the past schools I have attended is the focus on concepts. Instead of memorizing dates or formulas, the curriculum concentrates on understanding and comparison. Another surprising quality of Idyllwild is the supportive community. I was concerned on the level of competition present among the students of the same art form. When I arrived at Idyllwild Arts, none of my colleagues were interested in my vocal range or the monologue I was planning to use for my first audition. Members of the Idyllwild Arts were genuinely friendly, helpful, and very welcoming to all the new additions to the community. As for my art form, I have never been more challenged. Not only am I learning information about myself as an actress, but also I have learned so much about my self as a person. Idyllwild is sincerely an environment for positive self-growth.
—Submitted by a student

Posted March 28, 2012

For students fortunate enough to attend such a special school it allows an opportunity to focus on a passion and provide a very unique high school experience in an extraordinary beautiful and inspiring environment. Finding the balance between academics and the art curriculum can be a challenge and if a student wishes to excel in both areas it requires a real commitment and strong dedication. However, we feel the school can provide a solid foundation for top colleges (or conservatories or art schools etc.) and hopefully professional opportunities. No situation is a perfect fit for every student and there are many things to consider in such a decision. However, this can be a magical school for fortunate students who wish to take full advantage of what it has to offer.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 21, 2011

This school is not perfect by far, but for what it is compared to most alternative private and public art schools, it is exceptional in its preparation for a young artist who has their sights set on a professional career. This school is one that stays very true to the idea of "getting as much out as one puts in". If a young artist comes to this school with the drive and talent to push themselves constantly while they're there then they will excel by leaps and bounds. However, without the drive and simply the talent the student will find themselves in a situation that can be boring, irritating, and unrewarding. As far as academics go most teachers are very willing to work with a student with the idea that they are at the school with a passion that outranks excelling academically. As long as there is at least an attempt to get work done on the students part the teachers usually find a way to work around the students schedule to help them complete all of their work, and therefore keep a passable grade. Overall this school has an arts education that gives a myriad of rewards to those who immerse themselves in the environment, and strive day in and day out to perfect their art.
—Submitted by a student

Posted December 15, 2011

The school has an administration that is in need of change. A lot of unfair rules and brutal faculty members have high ranks at the school. The school is more focused on academic perfection rather than artistic learning. The school will cleanse its self of talented art students because of academic performance that does not meet the school's ridiculous standards. A lot of students who go to Idyllwild do not plan on going into arts when they graduate, and the parents of these students donate to the school to turn it into a collage prep school that is interested in gearing students to be buisness people. Do not go to this school looking for the next great artist. You will not find such a student at Idyllwild.
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 28, 2011

Idyllwild Arts is light years above anything else in the Inland Empire and possibly beyond anything else in Southern California for high school education in the arts. Its faculty are active artists, musicians, writers and thespians and all contribute from their own modest salaries toward student scholarships. I've been attending Idyllwild Arts performances in dance, music, poetry and theater for over 10 years and I can say they're better than most college level and many professional performances I've seen. The school attracts well-educated faculty and the kids learn not only how to polish their skills but also how to market their talents. Parents who can't afford to send their aspiring artists to boarding school should consider enrolling them in Idyllwild Arts Summer Programs. Last summer's teen performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream was fabulous for a youth production put together in a few weeks! The kids learned how to expand a limited stage, make visually gripping costumes with limited materials and play to the crowd. The teen silliness that erupted occasionally made the performance endearing and revived memories of my own liberal arts education.

Posted December 8, 2010

I was an international student at Idyllwild Arts for three years. Not only was my experience there wonderful, but I received an amazing education as well.

Posted March 17, 2008

I graduated from IAA recently, and I was very pleased with the education I received from there. The arts and academics are well balanced, and the dorm life is very supportive.
—Submitted by a student

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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 52% 26%
Hispanic 7% 52%
Black 1% 6%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 1%
Two or more races 0% 3%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
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  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Dr. Douglas Ashcraft
  • Coed
  • Nonsectarian
  • ABS
  • NAIS


Specialized programs for specific types of special education students
  • Specific learning disabilities


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
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52500 Temecula Drive
Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549
Phone: (951) 659-2171


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