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.
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