Looking at it from a very objective point of view, LACHSA is a school that is in development. The school itself likes to be liberal and accepting of which it is, but some of its ideas are half-accomplished or are not executed properly. Subtle things, such as not allowing the kids to use the elevators or the exits are not good security measures since they use them anyways because the hallways are so crowded and though new and better teachers have come, some teachers that do not match up to proper standards cannot be rid of because of their seniority. Of course, some ideas are well executed, with many of the teachers having an artistic or interesting background and able to support and socialize with the students. The art classes are generally well-liked by the students and does give an experience that most high schools do not have the capability of doing. With its idealogy and motivation, LACHSA, with improvement, can reach new heights.
My daughter loves her new building. She says she finally found her peers. So far the teachers are great. The music department is challenging her. Looking forward to the year.
My son is exhilarated every morning when he wakes up to go to LACHSA. He loves the teachers, he loves his classes and most of all he is so excited with the theater arts classes and thankful for the opportunity to go to high school with other kids that love acting!
My son completed his first semester at LACHSA and loves it. He struggles academically (especially with the arts load) but his teachers are very supportive and give him every opportunity to succeed. I have found them all to be very caring. I am sure that the AP classes are more challenging if your student can handle them along with their arts. LACHSA is not about performances or being a star. If that is a priority then another place may suit them better, i.e. Hollywood High. LACHSA is about learning the fundamentals and different aspects of an art field that would not likely be taught in high school, i.e. different acting, singing, painting, dance styles or techniques; music theory, sight reading. The students are being prepared so they have the background to truly become an artist in a socially accepting diverse environment. We have donated $ and gone to the various fundraisers but I have never felt any pressure to give anything more than I wanted to give. I doubt that I could ever give enough $ to equal the opportunity my son is receiving at LACHSA. Review the course offering on their site to get a better feel as to what LACHSA is about before you decide to apply.
My son has been at LACHSA for the past 3 years and loves it. Although he is doing poorly academically, it is his fault, no one else's. The staff and administration have been nothing but fantastic and have bent over backwards to keep this kid on track. Thank God he has his music - at least he is developing his work ethic somehow. I know the school asks for money - what school wouldn't when their budget is routinely slashed on a regular basis? Who should pay for this premiere education if not the parents?? Supporting the school financially, even if it's $1.00/month is appreciated and the least one can do for a school that gives so much.
Very poor school. The arts are fine, but every time you turn around, you are being asked for money. That is hard because they make you feel guilty if you don't have much money--like you don't deserve to be there, like you are unworthy. Lots of favoritism within the "arts" programs, your student may get a single line in a production, but you are constantly reminded how "lucky" you are to be there. Mornings are academic classes, and there are only a handful of part-time teachers who are not very good at all. Arts are always on the chopping block, and already have been cut on Fridays. You have to decide what is important. I could have the best actor who can only get a job at Burger King? All you ever hear about as a parent is "fundraising, give money, donate", and the students are too preoccupied with fund-raising day and night, even expected to give money themselves. It is presented as "being dedicated". School appears good on the surface, but it doesn't have much over the long-run, except for the "favorites". A small group of parents are vocal supporters, they get the benefits for their kids and the rest are left behind. Not a good place if you have high standards.
My younger son is a senior this year at LACHSA. We are so thankful for the incredible training, mentoring and support from the faculty and administrative staff. The caring, nurturing environment has allowed my child to grow as a budding artist. This school has provided him an invaluable foundation from which he can confidently spring onto his next journey. I wish we had found this school earlier!
LACHSA is amazing! The talent and dedication required of the kids to get into this school means that an incredible caliber of student attends here. The Arts teachers are phenomenal mentors and guides for our students. We could not be happier with LACHSA! We LOVE it!
This school has provided my son the most amazing high school experience. It has been life-changing for him - with incredible arts teachers and some terrific academic teachers. He has made some fantastic friendships and been exposed to a level of professionalism that is great training. I know this seems like a lot of superlatives but it's true and as he is a senior this year I am extra appreciative for everything he has learned and experienced here.
My youngest son is a Senior this year at LACHSA and it's the most amazing high school experience I've had as a parent. He is thriving, he is creative, he loves school and he has the most wonderful friends, who are all passionate about their art and each other. He has academic classes in the morning, then lunch and then his afternoon is rich with a variety of Theatre Classes. And he is in one of six different creative disciplines. I'm so thankful to be in such a unique and creative community and that my son is getting an incredible education, both in his academics and in his creative gifts.
Whining entitled parents, stop blaming LACHSA for your child s difficulties. 100 s are turned away every year. If this isn t the school for your child, please go somewhere else. It s the best thing that has ever happened us. I m a current parent & alumnus parent. My children received CONSISTENTLY a supurb education. OF COURSE they ask for money. Every school fundraises. LACHSA is donation dependent but it IS NOT MANDATORY. My graduate is now at a Tier 1 school because of LACHSA. My other student is working harder than ever at what she loves. We have found LACHSA teachers engaged with students and with their subject matters. Morning office hours, frequent progress reports. Hands on administration. Dedicated counselors. It is a terrific place to be. I am offended by parents who abdicate their responsibilities and use their influence to undermine the school instead of using their energies to get help for their student. The school is doing its job. It s doing a GREAT job. An excellent job. Ask the kids. Ask other parents. We love LACHSA and are grateful for every single thing they do to help our children.
I've been going to LACHSA for two years now and have loved every minute of it.My whole life I had been in under-funded, inner-city LAUSD schools, so coming to LACHSA from places where all the arts programs had been cut was a big step. At my old school, the school had about 4,000 people in it and class sizes of about 50, whereas here there are only 620 kids and the biggest class I have is 30, so it's a lot easier to get help from your teachers. Anywho, almost as soon as I started my visual arts classes, I realized that I had found my tribe. Unlike my old schools, where there had been one or two other artsy fartsy people like me, LACHSA offered an entire department (and then some) of them. Having like-minded people in all your classes is fantastic and is definitely worth the hour and a half one-way commute every day. For the most part, your teachers understand you and where you're coming from because they're artists too (even some of the academic teachers). The only downside is that the administration is friendly but a bit disorganized at times, and I don't get much sleep.It's a lot of work, commitment, and the occasional all-nighter, but it's ALL WORTH IT. Also, there's a food court
My daughter attends LACHSA after being at excellent schools previously. LACHSA is a lot of style over substance. Public school for academics, some of the worst teachers we've ever seen. Head of English department has PhD in music, not English, for example. Poor teaching. Homework favors kids who live closer and parents who pay for their own outside classes. Arts teachers have some of the students for their own, private lessons outside of school, so favoritism in "casting". It is promoted as a school for arts, but if you are a big donor, you will get special treatment. Like previous entry, we lost so much going here that we can no longer transfer out, or have to repeat grade. If we could dot it over, we would not be at this school. I like the "get out your checkbooks" comment, that is so TRUE!. And to say that parents should PAY: well if this was a PRIVATE school, I would agree. We cannot afford to see our own daughter's performances. The graduation alone was $60 per ticket: for our family of 6, that was $360, PLUS parking+wardroe, and they were providing entertainment for the graduation class. We simply could not attend our own child's perf. No, big mistake.
In response to the negative comment posted "get out your checkbooks": Yes, supporting the performances can get expensive but unfortunately the educational system statewide is experiencing major budget cuts with the arts being one of the first programs to suffer. I am a parent without "means" like some but what I lack in ability to contribute in funds I try to make up by volunteering my time, providing food for events and just being involved. Students are treated fairly - there are shows for each major that involve ALL students - additional shows are presented that require students to audition and those are cast based on the directors vision much like what it will be like in the real world, if students decide to continue with their craft. Sometimes students who enter into this type of program don't "fit in" for a million reasons - the rigorous schedule being one. It is not for everyone. I have had one child graduate and another getting ready to start this year and I am excited for his journey. The administration is dedicated to the students and the teachers nothing short of amazing! I am so grateful that both my boys have had the opportunity to attend LACHSA!
Get your checkbooks ready. Don't expect to see your children's performances without coughing up money to BUY tickets. Performances like: Marriage of Figaro, Hairspray, Concerts, everything costs a fortune. Parents are "requested" to donate a minimum of $1200 by the arts foundation, so it appears that not everything is truly equal. There is a parent's council to plan social events anda few parents can attend some meetings at school, but don't have any real power to make change. If you are used to having local control with significant parent input, this is not the place. You are reminded that if you don't like it, you can leave. They can brag about their programs, but they only recruit the top artists, actors, dancers, etc They don't encourage you to stay if you don't "fit in". Kind of the opposite of what we thought 2 years ago when we started, we thought the first year was not usual, but it is normal. For an arts school, we thought it would be more fair treatment. Teacheres do have "favorites" so auditions seem to be for "show" only. Big donors get better treatment.
My daughter is a freshman in visual arts at LACHSA, and so far it has exceeded her expectations and the expectations of me and my husband in the areas of academics and art instruction. While I had heard that the art instruction was top notch, I was concerned that the academics would not be. My daughter came from the only highly gifted magnet middle school in LAUSD so we were prepared for her to not be as challenged with the academics at LACHSA. We were wrong. The academic instruction is also top notch. She is in honors Algebra II and English and is challenged and thriving in all her classes at LACHSA. It is a very rigorous schedule academically and artistically, and it took us all a while to adjust to all the homework and the late nights spent on projects and artwork, but she wouldn't trade it for the world. I have never seen a kid so happy in high school. It is not for everyone, but if your child is serious about making their mark in the world through their artistic expression and their academic achievement, LACHSA could be the perfect place for them. Yes, it is a big commitment to travel to Cal State L.A. everyday, but we also view it as a great honor to attend LACHSA!
after reading the last review, I felt compelled to write my own. First, there is no "booster club" at LACHSA, there is a parent council that is open to all parents to attend. Meetings are sent out via email, on the school calendar with reminders sent on twitter, the monthy school calendar, as well as multiple parent led facebook and yahoo groups. I will not denote anyone else however the school has a policy that teachers respond within 48 hours and if they do not the Principal is very quick to rectify the situation. LACHSA is on the campus of CAL State LA , no secret or shock that there are college students. Much like any school performances have costs, as the school also pays for facility rentals and outside staff for lighting ,sound,etc. I have yet to encounter an event that cost more than 25-30 as the top price, and there are numerous free events as well, ie the Visual Arts exhibit this week. LACHSA is a great place! It isnt a good fit for everyone and since this is an opt-in school, if it does not work for you or your child you can opt out. LACHSA is an excellent place and you will definitely get out what you put in!
Any school will have parents who love it and parents who dislike it, and that perspective is likely to be influenced by expectations about what one considers "education." As a parent who is questioning nearly all aspects of "traditional" education, I appreciate that LACHSA is willing to experiment with high school level conservatory style education. Having homeschooled at points of my child's educational career, I do not consider school the only place my child is receiving her education and therefore have different expectations about what constitutes school. Most importantly, my daughter is happy being among "her kind" at LACHSA -- artists and creative souls, and her confidence has grown appropriately. This influences her experience in her academic classes and therefore our home life. Further, her arts classes now happen during the school day, not during evening and weekends as previously. This is also a wonderful enhancement to our family life. I find the administration impressive.
My son is a freshman theatre student and every day we thank our lucky stars that he was accepted at LACHSA. "I am with people like me, " he said after the first day. He moved from an extremely high pressured academically rigorous school that just made him feel inept, to LACHSA where he is appreciated for his imagination and creativity. This is the way he needs to learn, and what a fun way to go through school! The arts are integrated into the curriculum, they are reading 'Animal Farm' 'in English and staging it in Acting. There is complete transparency in the administration, teachers and staff very accessible, all the grades and assignments are online so nothing slips through the cracks and I can stay on top of my son's academics. He is loving every minute of LACHSA and we are all the better for it. I am so impressed with the talent at the school, not to mention the diversity. What a relief to be done with LAUSD and all of its' woes!
I'm writing mostly in response to the previous review. It's true the theater department head is the weakest link in all the art departments. My child was in both the music and theater department, and where the music department is a focused, fair, well-run department, the theater head is impulsive and often unfair. Having said that though, there are some amazing teachers in the theater department who do a fine job despite the poor leadership of their department head. My child had an outstanding time at LACHSA, and I must disagree that kids do not get into good colleges - he and his friends are attending RiSDY, Tufts, Bennington, Bard, Sarah Lawrence, UCs, and other fine colleges. There are a couple of bumps academically, but also there are some great teachers. My child, despite the arduous rehearsals, and an outside commitment to another arts venue, made time to study and to enjoy a rich social life. The kids from LACHSA hung out and made films, music, art, and wrote plays in their spare time. My older child who attended a highly academic gifted magnet said, after attending the LACHSA graduation, that he had never seen a group of students be so supportive of one another.
I would never recommend this school, especially for the theatre department. It is run very poorly by an awful department head. If you want to send your child to a school where she will get fair opportunities to perform and you feel that he/she has special talents, send him/her to your homeschool where they can stand out. However, if you are willing to live through the horrible commute, poor academics (besides french), and unfair treatment within arts and grades, you should know that LACHSA has a few incredible teachers in the theatre department that even though the department head wants to get rid of them, I would have left the school. But I stuck it out for those teachers that I actually learned from (something that is rare at this school)
I am a 2011 visual and film student alumni and I loved the experience. The people and collaboration was very welcoming and you never felt alone. People love to do art and its just CRAZY. In one corner you see singers and another you see dancers and painters and actors and so on. Also the fact is the more you get to know people other than just your own department, you can collaborate different arts together to create beautiful pieces. There are fun and memorable moments at LACHSA but there is alot of work to be done. So dont slack off. Be your best and dont be afraid to explore. Make a lot of friends. The school is very supportive and will help you reach your hearts desire. All it takes is for you to believe and fight for what you want.
I attended this school from 2006-2010 and I absolutely loved my time there. I learned plenty in both the arts and academics, and both challenged me immensely. Although this is a great performing arts school, there are some very rigorous academic classes if the student chooses to take them. Of course, the arts are simply amazing as well. The experienced teachers work hard to prepare the students for the challenging world of performing arts. Another incredible aspect of the school is the way the students treat each other. Basically all of the students respect each other's differences and are very accepting and open. There are no "cliques" or "popular" kids; everyone is respected and valued. Being on a college campus, a lot of responsibility is placed on the students as there are no proctors to constantly monitor the students. Students are given a lot of freedom and most use their freedom wisely. Like with any school, there are some organizational problems, but not to the point where it is not worth it to attend. In fact, some students travel 4 hours a day to attend this school. I only traveled 1 hour, but it was worth it as it prepared me for college, performing, and life in general!
what alot of people don't realize is that students who are drawn to LACHSA such as myself, are drawn to it because of the arts. I could get striaght A's and never try, but that isn't my passion. My passion is the arts, and honestly that is what i want to do for the rest of my life. those other classes are jsut tools i use to be able to go further in the arts. You have to understand that even if the academics weren't good the student has made a chose to work harder for the grades, so they can do what they love, simply because there is no where else that i have the money or access to that will give me this kind of training in the arts. I have a chance to go on to a great college for the arts, with a full ride. YES, it will be extremely hard to stay motivated,, and YES you will made many sacrifices! However, the point is this school isn't for those who just like the arts, and think it would be cool to go to school at a college. This is a school for those who live for the arts and might not have a chance at a decent furture without this school! So, don't go bashing this school jsut because your kid doesn't have the heart for it, or the wokr ethic. IT"S NOT EASY!!!!!
Our son is a freshman music student at LACHSA. He loves the school, and we are thrilled with the education that he is receiving. He simply could not receive the same caliber of music education at the high school he would have attended in our local school district. We are pleased with the academics. Their '09 API score is 844. His Honors English class and French class are top-notch; he is receiving more demanding work in these courses, I am convinced, than he would have received in the same courses at our local high-performing home school. Dan Castro's leadership in the music department is superior, and since George Simpson has taken over as principal, the disorganization of years' past seems to be resolving itself. The bottom line is this: if you are willing to allow your child to commute to pursue their passion, LACHSA is a fabulous choice.
LACHSA's API has gone up to 844! Scholars + Talent. If you wonder about the level of academic excellence at this school you should look at facts not gossip. You can't fudge things like the AP tests or the PSAT's, SAT's or ACT's. LACHSA kids routinely not only pass but excel at all of these standard tests . Ask to see 2099 AP test results. LACHSA has recent alums in highly respected national schools: NYU, BU, Emerson, Wesleyan, Syracues, Ithaca, SUNY purchase, CMU, All the UC's, Notre Dame, Columbia, USC, New School with a 95% matriculation rate! Not to mention our students at Berklee, Otis, Parsons, Julliard, San Francisco Conservatory. LACHSA has just engaged a brand new academic dean, Harvard schooled and trainied at a well known High School for the Arts on the East Coast. LACHSA may be 'Arts' best kept secret, but not for long!!
My son ( who is a Theatre major with an emphasis on film) is just about to graduate from LACHSA. He & many of his senior classmates have been admitted to some of the most rigorous & prestigious colleges in the country: Art Center College of Design film & visual arts departments, NYU Theatre & academic programs, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cal Arts, Julliard, Cooper Union, Carnegie Mellon---the list goes on and on. It is such a shame that a few disgruntled and unhappy parents have chosen to trash LACHSA on this website. Altho not perfect in the academic arena, this school offers an amazing arts ed experience for passionate and committed young people. We are honored to have been part of the school community and would highly recommend LACHSA to potential students!
When we told people our child was applying to LACSHA for dance we heard many warnings. We are glad we did not listen. I would agree that the school has undergone tranisition. I can only speak to the experience this year. The new principle is insipiring, the students and the staff are impacted be his vision for the school. The student body is unlike any other high school; supportive, kind and creative. The faculty is mixed. Some of the teachers are amazing, some a new career. This is not dissimilar to every highschool (this is the 3rd child in a high school). The faculty of the dance department is exellent. The director brings great knowledge and expereince to the Dance Department. It is an Arts Highshool not a College Prep-it is not for everyone, it is brilliant for those who place instruction in the arts as high as math and english!
As a new parent, my impression of this school is: the students are very nice; the teachers are very nice; but the administration office does have some attitude. They want to show you that they are in charge.
This could have been the dream school for many talented kids from all over LA county, but the politics of LACOE (LA County Office of Education) got the best of it. In 4 years of high school my child went trhough 3 different principals. The best interest of the students is the last on LACOE's priority list. Some academic teachers are not fit to teach and many inflate the scores so the scool looks good. The feedback from the colleges is that LACHSA incoming students sturggle in their academics. There are better alternatives to this school (CHAMPS in the Valley and soon the new Arts High in Down Town LA). I would send my other child there.
Arts departments soar as much because of the talented kids as for the level of instruction. Other private schools are putting on performances that come close or are superior to those of LACHSA. The teachers are not innovative and often are acting out their own failures. As for academics: half the teachers are unfit to teach. The lack of oversight and accountability allows pure teaching to continue unchecked. While the test scores for the school look impressive, that is because of the high level achievers at the school. The students could perform much better if they were guided, inspired and challenged. I would NOT send another child to this school.
Most negative parent reviews come from a 'white flight ' area of the county. These parents are the minority in Los Angeles county. Most students catch up to those from more affluent areas where dance, music, theatre lessons are easily affordable. Inter-city schools do not provide art classes and the academics suffer. Yet , see any 11th and 12th grade performance in Dance , Music and Theatre , and one will be hard pressed to find any single student that does not shine.
My daughter is a visual artist. She is getting an amazing arts education. However, the academics at this school are severely lacking
Great Music, Visual Arts & TV Film Dept. Dance is in disarray. The heart & soul of the dept. are gone! Theatre - too many curriculum changes every year, create unstable environment. Too many safety problems.
5 principals in 8 years caused a steady decline in school quality and quality of education especially in Theatre & Dance. Lack of communication from school to parents. Suspending the parent organization and preventing it from helping the school, after raising & donating over $500.000 in the last 4 years. Major safety problems
LACHSA is the best high school in all of Los Angeles and maybe all of California for visual and performing artist. The opportunities that they are given are unrivaled. If your child has a passion for the arts, LACHSA is the best place for them to be.
My son is a freshman at Lachsa and likes school for the first time since second grade! He must arise at 5:15 to attend this distant school, yet every minute is worth it. He has improved in every area of his life-academics, arts, and social aspects. Both the teachers and the students are wonderful and deserve lots of praise for hard work and dedication. Additionally, he has gotten better services for his IEP than at any other school thus far. This school is a gem.
I am actually a student at lachsa. I just started this fall and let me just say this school is absolutely amazing! For anyone contemplating going here take my advice and go! You will have the best high school experience of your life! I promise.
We're new to the school and after attending back to school night and several counselor/teacher conferences, we're very impressed with the quality of the academic faculty. They're committed to the process, the passion and the joy and real learning and have given much thought to how that all integrates with the arts education of the school. It's a real pleasure to be at a school where all the students worked to be there and actually look forward to going.
My daughter has been accepted to LACHSA, she will be in the 9th grade this fall. So far, I am please with the staff, the level of support for answering questions and help with completion of paperwork. There is a lot of parent involvement. They even have two orientations (potluck and pool party) to help the students get familiar with students already attending the school. I know the school is far, but if our children are committed to progressing in a particular art area, why wouldn't we make a small sacrifice to take them. Of course it will be a struggle, but for my child I am will to take that challenge. I look forward to a great year at LACHSA and will report more information once the school year begins.
I just graduated from LACHSA, and let me just say that it is, by far, the best Arts high school money can't buy! If you are interested in this school, call them and ask for their info. They are very helpful people who are more than willing to...help! LACHSA taught me about life and art, and I will never be the same. And, to the person who gave this school three stars, sure, LACHSA's a bit unorganized. But what school isn't? The days are long for a reason! We have acedemics in the morning and arts in the afternoon, and we have to balance the two. To get into this school, all you need is potential, drive, and talent, and you'll go all the way! -Jake Skelly
LACHSA is a wonderful school filled with creative and talented students. Though the administration is a bit unorganized and communication between the arts teachers and academic teachers isn't great, the high school still gives students a great program.
I am not a parent, however I auditioned and got into LA County High School for the Arts. I would not suggest going there. LACHSA does have good academics and good arts, but most of it is talk. First of all, there audition process is very strange. I have been doing theater almost all my life and I didnt even get accepted at first, I got accepted from the waitinglist. However, a couple of people have never done theater before and got in. It is also very unorganized. I got three regection letters, all the same, each telling me the same thing and there isn't a waitinglist. Also, the day is extremly long, from 8-4, and it is very far away from most people, on the Cal State LA campus.If you live in LA, I would suggest Hamilton Music Academy.
Excellent instruction in the theater arts program. Many performance opportunities throughout the year. High parent involvement.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
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.
To start a new list, click OK. Otherwise click Cancel.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of L.A. County High School for the Arts on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for L.A. County High School for the Arts, including performance data and recently posted user reviews.