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.
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