This is truly a great school. All students are involved in some type of arts (visual, theater, music, dance,stagecraft, creative writing) major. They have an excellent oportunity to develop as artists because the school provides a minimum of 90 min. every day for arts classes. Students' arts majors structure a major part of their lives. They make friends in their own dicipline as well as others, when collaborating on projects such as the school musical. There are performances year round, so it's always "showtime". The academic classes go very well because the kids are happy since they have an outlet for expressing their creativity. Finally the teachers and administrators are first-rate. This is a school that would do well, without being forced to "be accountable". The school is great because the staff loves their jobs and believe wholeheartedly in what they are doing!
As a graduate I consider myself truly blessed to have attended this institution. It opened my mind to so many different people and ideas. It really broke the mold in terms of what a "normal" highschool should be. No cliques - everyone was too weird to exclude anybody. I can name every single one of the people I graduated with and tell something about them. Creativity - Many of my teachers were also artists and many of my assignments reflected that. Maturity - I feel that my world view is far beyond my years Talent - I met some of the most gifted & inspiring people There were downsides. Given the professional climate of the school, we were relegated to our majors almost exclusively. As a 5 year theatre major I never once worked with film majors. The counseling department was definitely lacking in providing college options outside our majors. There is definitely a lack of diversity, as a black male I never felt excluded, but not always accepted. I didn't receive a normal high school experience and wouldnt have it any other way
As a graduate of DSA, I can confidently say that this school was the best thing to ever happen to me. It made me who I am today, and introduced me to the most intelligent, passionate, and talented individuals I have ever met. My gratitude for what this school has done for me, both academically and artistically, is unbounded. I recommend it in the highest esteem possible for a high school/middle school. It will shape who you are and introduce you to your soulmates.
This is our daughter's 5th year at DSA. Her experience has been mixed with many highs and lows. While the arts majors provide a conservatory-like environment, it comes with a cost. There is so much pressure to perform and be the best that we fear our daughter will be burned out before she graduates from high school. Our daughter routinely has upwards of two hours of homework per night in her major in addition to academic homework. Add in rehearsals and mandatory attendance at performances, and there is little to no time for our daughter to do anything else. Test scores are high due to the fact that the vast majority of the students at the school are naturally advanced, evidenced by the fact that all students are enrolled in honors courses as a default and must opt out in order to take the standard course (which is somehow considered sub-par). During times when our daughter needed extra help, it was like pulling teeth to get it and she was made to feel that something must be wrong with her. While I love the premise behind the school, there are definitely areas for improvement to ensure balance and health for students.
This is my daughter's first year at DSA. We were a little tentaive since she came from an amazing parochial school that had high academics. We have been pleasantly surprised. She is allowed to focus on her love of dance and take honors math and honors science classes. Instead of recess and PE she can dance and get her academics in. The biggest differences I've seen is that the academic instructors also support the arts, students can be individuals and accepted, the school is clean, the students and faculty are polite and respectful of one another, there is no bullying, homework assignments seem to be coordinated by instructors so there is never an overwhelming amount on a particular night and there is no "busy work" assignments given, and finally there is always a feeling of excitement in the air. We drive over an hour and a half each way for her to attend and she loves it!! What else could you ask for?
I attend D.S.S.T, we have a 100% graduation and college acceptence rate. Schools like Harvard,Stanford, and DU
My daughter will not start at DSA until the start of next year and I might possibly have a different opinion then, but here is the research I have done. When you go to the Colorado Department of Education Website and look at the CSAP comparisons, you will see that DSA is really second to no other public school in the district. They even beat out science and technology on most scores. At the acceptance meeting we went to in the spring they talked extensively about how they plan on meeting the state eduction budget cuts. All of their next years budget is going to faculty and they guaranteed that no class size will exceed 28. Coming from Jeffco where my daughter's next year class size is looking closer to 40, I am thrilled. We are going to have to pay higher fees for materials, but personally I would rather do that, then have staff reductions. The principal was very adament that BOTH accedemic and artistic GPA had to be maintained, or your child would be asked to not return the following year. Again, I am thrilled. Most students are expected to be in the honors programs and high expectations in all areas are standard. This school far exceeds any area public school I have seen
In the first few years, we were ecstatic about the possibilities for our very creative, gifted & talented / exceptionally intelligent & caring young guy at DSA. 7 yrs later-not so sure. The teachers range from incredible to absolutely terrible, with incredible in the serious minority. Since we started at DSA, it's slipped down on the CSAP rankings, even though they relentlessly teach to the test. I wouldn't rank academics as excellent, but merely sufficient. Our kid has suffered academically due to the way things are there. I put the blame on some rotten apple teachers as well as a couple of terrible principals (the current is an upgrade). Arts Majors: where the problem lies. with so much demand placed on the students that their academics suffer. Academia & arts depts don't coordinate well. We're always fighting for excused absences & makeup work due to the rampant disorganization. The different arts DO NOT cross-pollinate AT ALL. If you're in vocal, then you're in vocal. If you're in theater, then, you're there ONLY. It seems there's a cabal of over-excited parents who wish to live vicariously through their children. The same could be said of some of the arts teachers also.
When my son was accepted at Denver School of the Arts my biggest concern was that the academics may not be the best. I was happily mistaken. DSA consistently rates Excellent or High in the standardized state tests and they have a 99% graduation rate. More schools should incorporate arts and academics. This combination produces well rounded, intellegent, cultured and interesting young people.
Great school for the arts, by Denver standards. But, if your child is academically advanced, consider a private alternative for arts training and a better HS>
Can't say enough good things about DSA. My childs first year there has been the best possible educational exeprience I could have hoped for.
This school is wonderful for kids who really want to focus on their artistic interests while going to a high quality academic school!
DSA is a school for students who are interested in all forms of the arts (visual, musical, vocal, theatre, writing, etc). The school strongly encourages creativity, yet also has high standards for regular curriculum.
Combines good academics with actual art instruction. Hard to find anywhere these days.
A creative learning environment, where diversity is celebrated, and the human spirit of art is encouraged!
My two kids, in different majors both enjoy going every day - the staff is incredibly devoted, and push the kids to succeed. With the new principal, I hope for even better in the years to come
It is a school that has high standards, helps students to meet them, and allows students to become who they were meant to be.
the kids & parents are sooo motivated - and success is assumed by everybody
DSA is amazing - I love to be there and absorb the positive energy that emanates from that place. Everyone wants to be there, which makes such a difference! My kids are very happy at DSA, and never complain about getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get there on time from Littleton every day. You can truly be yourself at DSA, and be supported and not bullied.
The academics and the arts are rigerous and almost all the teachers at the school have a arts history. Denver school of the arts offers advanced classes to any one who needs them. the school also welcomes all students of any race, sex, and religion. the school is clean and well taken care of as well as offers a varity of after school clubs/activites. Denver School of the arts is a wonderful school with great test scores and is the best school in america!
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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.
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