This is an excellent school for students who are interested in the arts AND a rigorous academic curriculum, with 16 AP courses offered. There are plenty of art classes and the academic teachers are wonderful, this is our son's fourth year at the school and all his teachers have been great. The lack of team sports is a plus, there is a great collaborative, non-competitive spirit among the students, who are kind and welcoming and just great kids.
The school is so lucky to have a new Principal. Kim Bruno is charismatic, smart and represents the school well.
My daughter attends this school; she is a freshman in the Theater Academy and seems to be struggling a bit with the extremely high demands from some of the teachers and some disorganization from the school. The high turnover in Principals affects these kids one way or another and most likely the Teachers as well. The fact that these kids do not have any formal sports is very discouraging; they are missing out on the exercise benefit, HS games, and being able to cheer on their friends which is a huge factor in a teen's life. It is a great school and a lot of money was invested in bringing this school to the community, but I think the administration needs to be a little more open to these kids needs at this point in their lives and incorporate sports to their school. I know the majority of these kids are here because this is a career path for them, but they are missing out in the sports camaraderie which should be in every HS teen's life.
This school is a grate school you get to have fun and learn new things every day will meeting new people in the same time.
My freshman year here was just great. At first, I was a bit skeptical about this school because I felt I had to fit in but I later realized you can be yourself at this school without being judged so harshly like other schools. Many people accept you as you are. The upperclassmen were really welcoming at times so I didn't feel so uncomfortable, which was a plus. The teachers I had were great! I felt like they actually cared to have a relationship with their students to help them grow academically and personally.
My School is an amazing experience if you are talented whether it's music, art, dance or theater. Great school!
My stars speak for me, but in the event that this does not suffice, I am more than welcome to provide a more detailed review: The school is COMPLETELY safe! In all my four years of attending this school I have never felt threatened by neither outside nor inside forces. The school and its faculty promote a nurturing, yet challenging atmosphere filled with interdisciplinary interaction. The kids aren't bad either. True, there are some that exude apathy for their school work and craft, but this is a prevalent characteristic everywhere. But if your child is motivated to learn and succeed, then he/she will naturally gravitate to the hard workers and the true artists. The students work very closely with the teachers, forging immensely strong bonds; if you are willing to stay active as a parent, you will surely become easily acquainted with the teachers as well. I still know a lot of fellow graduates who have stayed in close touch with our teachers; we love and respect them. This institution has sent students to ivy league schools, as well as premiere performing arts schools, a testament of its ability to cultivate intelligent artists. As artisans, we are taught to make change.
I'm now an alumni at vapa, and I've been in that amazing school since it first opened. I'm happy to be pat of this school and its students and faculty. Students get along very well at vapa, and are quite helpful to each other or to anyone for that matter. 0 fights and 0 vandalisim inside and near the school. this school is full of diversity of characteristics,culture,and people, but we all put them either to good use or put them aside. Although VAPA can be a crazy school when its school year, its a "controlled chaos" type of crazy and both students ,teacher and parents help each other to have an acomplish year. as a musician to that school i was happy on what my 4 years of singing with the groups at vapa. Showing other school what we got and getting awards,partnerships, and prizes(if we get lucky) on our music tours. i guess te principal change and staff changes can decrease and have a permanent faculty.and all the miscommunication between teachers,office satff,students, and parents. but i guess its all part of the experience for this school. i had a good 4 years, but had to pay lot of trips because we dont get help from the district....
My son found an educational home at VAPA when he transferred there last year. He went from a school where his talent and unique personality were the focus of bullying (by teachers as well as other students!) to a place where he is accepted, celebrated, befriended and truly encouraged to work to hone his craft (percussion) achieve his dreams.
I am a senior at this school, and I have been here since its opening (9/9/2009). I came to this school completely untrained in visual art. Before, I was the "kind of interested in art because it looks cool and fun, but I'm not really good at it" student. Today, I can confidently tell any student, parent, administrator, or PERSON that this school shaped who I am today, in both character and lifestyle. My teachers are some of the most hard-working, dedicated, and passionate teachers I've ever had the privilege of working with, academically AND artistically. (Even our school librarian and janitors are awesome!) This is a community unlike any other school I've been to (3 elementary , 1 middle); here, you earn what you work for, and we accept and tolerate each other in a respectful manner. I entered this school (honestly) lacking artistic skill, and generally I was just another kid who didn't know what to do with my life--I didn't have a "passion" for anything, and I went to school living day-by-day. Now I look forward to school everyday, and I wish I had more time here (even though I am SO ready for college!!!). If I ever had a kid interested (or not) in the arts, I'd send them HERE!
"This school is the best I've ever been to," says my daughter. My daughter is a Junior now, and she says the teachers are understanding, respectful, and just great. She also says that this is the reason why she wakes up every morning. The students are really nice towards each other, and this school is very civilized.
This is our first year at this school, having moved to the area from out of state. After careful consideration of several performing arts schools, we chose this school for several reasons, including commitment to academics and the fact that students don't have to audition to get in. Even though, my son could have been accepted at an school that required audition, the no-audition policy opens the school to all types of students, not just those who had the money for training prior to high school and, thus, gives a more authentic public-school experience. I have been impressed with the academics and the encouragement that my son gets to develop both academically and artistically. In the first semester he has been here, he has thrived and developed as a dancer, student and person. The teaching staff is passionate about teaching and treats the students with respect. There are very few of the problems of other high schools because students are encouraged to be themselves and be accepting of each other. I would recommend this school to anyone who desires to pursue a visual or performing art as a future endeavor, specially if the parents don't want to sacrifice academics in the process.
I have two students at this school who have been there since the start. They are in different academies and both notice a decline in the focus on the arts, with a more prevalent militant atmosphere. The principal and administration are mostly self-serving and don't seem to have the best interest of the students in mind at all. They discourage parental involvement and communication is a real problem. The academics are weak. There are some extremely incompetent teachers who should be fired. However, there are some very capable and effective teachers who enhance the learning experience. There is too much turmoil and confusion and very little support. The architecture is lovely, but is an empty shell with very few supplies to really accomplish anything in the arts. The partnership with the arts in LA is weak and discouraged by the administration. Creative expression is not encouraged and there is a pervasive attitude that learning can only occur within a classroom setting; so assemblies and field trips are discouraged. This school is not even close to reaching its full potential!
Im very proud of my daugher shes been there since 9th grade and she promised to behave and have good grades. And she has this is a wonderful school and I thank all teachers and staff for caring for our children!!!!
My son goes to this school and all I can say is that it's the best school he's ever been to. He used to get Fs and Ds and I was really worried about his future but, after attending this school he managed to surprise me by getting a 4.0 GPA. He's really turned his life around and it's because of the excellent principal, staff, and students that helped him. Thank you VAPA!
I really don't understand parents who gripe and moan about their precious babies having to go through a 'first come, first served' registration (it's not a lottery), for students living outside the school's boundary. That is the same process for every LAUSD neighborhood school, regardless of its focus, except for magnet campuses. And VAPA is, first and foremost, a neighborhood high school. Do they begrudge the neighborhood such an opportunity? And what a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and to LAUSD this is. There is a very caring, conscientious faculty and staff who, while they do live the Arts, never take their eye off of the core education being offered. It's only year 2, so there have been some growing pains, but overall I'm pleased with the Academic, as well as the Arts education that my daughter is receiving. Far from a 'fail,' I would classify VAPA as a huge LAUSD success in the making.
Exceptional arts education and academic approach that is rigorous and incorporates the arts into its curriculum. The teachers in the arts and academic areas that my son has had in this his first year have been outstanding. This is the first time my son has ever done well in math and science. Both of these classes are rigorous high school classes but he is flying along and bright eyed and learning so much. I have never seen a school with more teachers who are so passionate about teaching and warm and caring of their students. There is also an amazing cameraderie amongst these young student artists which makes for an amazing high school experience. All across the different arts academies friendships are made and collaborations are formed. Never have we felt so at home and connected to a school.
As a Theater-Major sophomore of this school, this vibrant community of learners and teachers has helped me grow as a person abundantly. Freshman year I was new to the performing arts, and now I am in love with not only theater, but dance, music and visual arts as well. I went to a supposed "great" school for middle school, but this school has helped me to become the best academic student I can be. If it weren't for this school, I would most likely be reluctant about learning and going to college; now I love it!
I went tosee Peter Pan last August and I was very impressed for the performance. My daughter wants to go there but we don't leave in that area and she will be in the lottery no matter how talent she is. My concern is that there is NOT a requirements other than to live in the area to attend a Visual and performing Arts school, which is very odd because hundreds of talents kids can't the attend it because of the district's rules? This is and Arts school, cost $250.000.000 to build it and talents kids don't have the chance to attend it? Again another LAUSD fail. Very sad.
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