Students enrolled 314
School leader Michael Mitchell

Contact this school

32101 Caroline Street
Fraser, MI 48026

School website
(586) 294-0391
(586) 294-0617
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Arts Academy in the Woods address.

4 stars
Based on 67 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

November 08, 2014
I am an AAW alumnae, and I am so thankful for my experiences at AAW! It is an amazing place with great students, teachers, and staff that value education and the arts.

- submitted by a student
October 06, 2014
My daughter loves to go to school! She likes her teachers, she is enjoying the freedom to be herself and not be judged. Having visual arts classes each day is wonderful for her. I find all teachers very engaged and supportive. We are very happy at Arts Academy in the Woods.

- submitted by a parent
October 05, 2014
This is my second year here at AAW, and it's amazing! Most kids dread school; they hate the students and they hate their teachers. But I can honestly say that AAW makes school fun! Yes, you read this correctly. A high schooler just said school was fun. It is! First, the students are more than nice. When I first came here, I made a bunch of friends; even senior friends. Nobody at AAW judges me for the way I look. Bullying is so rare at AAW... (you can't stop bullying 100% unfortunetly) but I strongly believe that if you've been bullied in the past, you won't have any problems here. In fact, this school will help you gain friends. This school is also fun because the nice teachers help you and you won't be afraid to ask for help. Not to mention, the classes are very small so the teacher can have more time with you. More help = less homework! But unfortunately, the homework is not fun, (LOL) One more great thing about AAW is the classes. 2D Art, 3D Art, Piano, Guitar, Jazz Band, Dance, Theater, Choir, etc. There's so much this school offers! And the school actually TEACHES YOU STUFF YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW! It's like a free lesson with your friends! All in all, just go to this school!

- submitted by a student
September 13, 2014
My daughter absolutely loves AAW! I'm very happy with the staff and students. I'm so glad she has finally found a school where she feels she "fits" .

- submitted by a parent
August 27, 2014
It offends me that people judge the "looks" of the building and not what's inside !!! This is my daughters second year at AAW & the staff, principal & the kids are magnificent !! It is NOT a schools job to find your kid financial aid, that's YOUR job as a parent. As far as career interests & guidance, I've discussed this with my daughters counselor extensively, and Mr. Belcher has been nothing but helpful !! The school itself could use a few updates, but when there are less then 400 kids there, they probably don't get a whole lot of money for updating the building , their focus is on the kids is what's important to me as a parent ! At public schools in the area the student to teacher ratio is 45 or 50 to 1, at AAW, it's more like 25 to 1, and I'll take more hands on education ANY day. AAW helped my child to flourish, become confident, & reach for her dreams ! She has blossomed into a lovely young lady thanks to AAW & their unique approach to teaching !!! Great job everyone !!!

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2013
I went on a tour of the school and I was very impressed on what they had to offer. I liked everything about the school. I think I will be sending my child there next year. If you like arts and music this is the school to go to :)

- submitted by a community member
April 10, 2012
This is not a school that prepares you for careers or college. There are no advanced programs, they don't talk about or prepare you with the things you need to go on to university or a career in the fine arts. I was very disappointed and didn't understand the extent of the damage of not attending a quality high school until it was too late! The principal is very inexperienced and doesn't have a developed sense of the diverse needs of children this age.They do not honor or respect parent views (even when the parent is an educator).I would NOT Recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2011
AAW is the top ranked school in Macomb County, according to this Free Press story. Great news! There's so much more to a school than test scores, but it's nice when the state's evaluations confirm what the community knows - this school rocks!

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2011
No advanced classes and very little structure. Parents recieve very little help when trying to help their students find colleges and financial aid. Security is poor and building is rather run down and a eyesore in the community.

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2010
I wish I knew how to correct the incorrect information on this site! AAW is not a D- school, it's a B school, the highest rating of any public school nearby. The school has made adequate yearly progress and the academics are strong. Our enrollment is up this year and the school spirit is strong!

- submitted by a parent
June 10, 2010
I just finished my freshman year in college as a former AAW student I did meet alot of wonderful people in school, however I was not at all prepared for College and have to take many classes over just because I did not get the basics taught to me at AAW

- submitted by a student
May 24, 2010
What can I say, my child has done very, very well her first year at AAW. The parent involvement is awesome at this school. My daughter has really gotten her drive both artisically and academically from this school. Teachers and Admin are very accessible to parents when/if there are concerns.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2010
My daughter is a junior at AAW and her experience at this school has been outstanding. The instructors work closely with their students, reaching to support their individual needs and interests. There is enough freedom for creativity to bloom and enough sturcture to brings those ideas to fruition! Louisa Spina-Liburdi

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2010
I can't say enough great things about AAW. My daughter just completed her first year here, (sophmore), and fell right into the niche she's been looking for for so long. The diversity, the staff, and most of all so many art departments guarantee to bring out creativity and passion in every student! All students (and the staff) not only experience learning but learn experience as well!

- submitted by a parent
April 22, 2010
Lack of honor classes, and lack of instrumental music and drama are the major areas of concern as a parent. The safety of this school is another area that needs improvement. A clear concise policy needs to be adhered and established. Nice kids at the school however they deserve more challenging academics.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2010
I am a parent of a Junior who's child will attend another school next year for many concerns about AAW. The safety issue and lack of plans in place to deal with issues that have occured this year and the lack of staff and arts with instrumental and theatre gone as well as a solid guitar program in place the school lacks direction and the adminstration to support it. Academics are not stressed and a guidance support staff is not helpful nor do they return calls.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 14, 2009
This is a great school and the teachers are wonderful. More parents need to look into this school for their kids it is unique and the greatest thing is that you don't just have to show up and no kids are left behind and the mentality is not to just pass students onto the next grade and where it's not all about the funding..... Check it out!!

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2009
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- submitted by a student
September 02, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
August 09, 2009
I'm going to try to be as honest and unbiased as I can in this review, but as much as I enjoyed my time spent at AAW I don't think the academics were very up to speed. I can't speak personally about all the art programs, but the 2D and 3D departments weren't very strong when I attended. It's my understanding that if you are interested in dance or guitar it's a great school, but the visual art is weak. I also feel as though there weren't enough electives and extra-curricular activities. I will say though, I can't imagine a better creative writing program and I hope in the future students can use it as a major. Also the students are generally easy to get along with and very accepting. It's guaranteed you can feel comfortable and find friends there.

- submitted by a student
July 17, 2009
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- submitted by a student
May 19, 2009
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- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2009
I graduated from AAW in 2008, AAW was and still is an excellent school for any kid to express themselves. i have learned so much in the Arts as well as in academics. I'm now at Wayne State majoring in Psychology and minoring in Photo Journalism.

- submitted by a student
May 19, 2009
Arts Academy is a wonderful school. The classes are fun and the teachers are great. While you succeed in academic work you also strive in a performing art - just for you! Teachers work well with one on one and are there because they love the students, not because its a job.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 19, 2009
I was a part of AAW's first graduating class back in 2005. I found my experience to be very rewarding and felt prepared to enter the big wide world of college. But AAW isn't for everyone. You will only get what you want out of the experience. No one is going to hold your hand, only you can make your self successful.

- submitted by a student
May 18, 2009
I'm 1 of the class of 2008 A.A.W. really gave me a boost in life that other high schools couldn't, but that's just me. I loved the time I spent there.

- submitted by a community member
May 18, 2009
Although Arts Academy is still in it's developing stages, the education I received at Arts Academy prepared me well for college. Individual attention from teachers helped develop me into a come confident student. Now, a Junior in college, I am entering my senior year with a 3.78 GPA, something I would have never imagined obtaining when I entered Arts Academy.

- submitted by a community member
May 18, 2009
I am an Alumni of this school (05) and I can honestly say it changed my life. I can't imagine being the same person I am without having attended this amazing school. It opened my eyes to diversity and acceptance. Besides that, I was able to do what I loved (ballet and acting) in a supportive enviroment. This enviroment offered a variety of performing oppurtunities including (but certainly not limited to) the Degas Art opening at the DIA and September 11th rememberance ceremonies (2002). The small classes allowed me more individual attention which enabled me to excel academically. In turn I was offered great scholarships (theatre and academic) for college. I just graduated cum laude from Adrian College with a Degree in Psychology and Theatre, and feel blessed to have attended such a great highschool. Arts Academy taught me to always strive for excellence.

- submitted by a community member
May 18, 2009
I was fortunate enough to be part of the first graduating class at AWW in 2005. I spent all four years of high school there and they were the best years. You could definitely see the staff and faculty were very passionate about what they taught us and the students were very passionate about their art subjects.

- submitted by a community member
May 18, 2009
I'm an alum. As far as high school experiences go, it's second to none.

- submitted by a community member
no rating March 30, 2009
As a parent of an AAW student, I have to agree with the positive comments about the administration, student and programs at the Arts Academy in the Woods. It is refreshing to see teachers that truly care about the students and go out of their way to help them succeed. The principal is fantastic and the support of Mr. Walker in getting the word out about the school is above and beyond. This school has made a positive difference in my child's life by boosting self esteem and a sense of pride in effort. Thank you for being there for us.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2009
I have to respond to the email below where a parent claims our school is unsafe. The parent gives no reason for this claim, and that's because our school has very few problems involving safety or even conflict among the students. Meanwhile, Mr. Walker has come out of retirement to support and work with (and for) the new principal. I don't know what axe that person is grinding, but those statements are not realistic. AAW is a wonderful school.

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2009
I recently attended an event at AAW where they turned their gymnasium into a 'nightclub' featuring a complete dinner served at beautifully set tables and a comedy show performed by the Drama department. The students performed a three act play while the 'Lounge Cats' ( a jazz band) performed between acts. The servers were also drama students all dressed up to look like actors/actresses from Hollywood. Well done to the Drama department!!!! You can not find another type of performance like this at any other high school in Southeastern Michigan!!!

- submitted by a parent
March 22, 2009
This school has helped me grow so much,I love it so much. Everything about this school is amazing.

- submitted by a student
March 19, 2009
the teachers & support staff are truly amazing, the new principal is not! It saddens me greatly watching him destroy what Mr. Walker diligently built. Our first years at AAW were filled with pride. Now I'm concerned with my child's safety on a daily basis not to mention his self esteam.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2009
This school has changed my life. I was isolated and ostracized throughout elementary and middle school, and I needed somewhere else to go. When I found Arts Academy, it was too good to be true. The students are the most accepting and open minded I've ever encountered. Not everyone is an 'artist' but everyone has that creativity in common, the thoughts and feelings of an artistic community. We're teenagers, so there's some cliquing, but at AAW the best thing you can be is yourself. Somehow, someway, you'll find your place, you'll find yourself, really. And you're not kept from doing that, ever. AAW is unique. It's an experience you could never have anywhere else. Joining in on a rousing rendition of the Friends theme song in the hallway at lunch my first week, that's my favorite memory. You couldn't have that anywhere else.

- submitted by a student
March 09, 2009
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- submitted by a student
March 06, 2009
My kid got a 30 on his ACTs after attending four years of Arts Academy! It is the best high school ever!!

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
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- submitted by a teacher
February 12, 2009
I'm currently a student at AAW and have loved every minute of my high school years there! The school is small which makes it easier for students to develop relationships with eachother and their teachers, as well as getting help from them. There are a variety of arts classes and the teachers are all very talented. I love that everyone is able to express themselves here, teachers included, without feeling ostracized. AAW is still developing and growing but with the help of the student body, parents, and our new principal I'm positive it'll go far!

- submitted by a student
January 08, 2009
My daughter, currently, is in 11th grade here and my son graduated last year. I couldn't recommend this school enough. The art teachers are fantastic here and the basic curriculum is wonderful. The staff are more than willing to help where they can. They have done so much for both my children in pushing them in the right directions for their future.

- submitted by a parent
December 01, 2008
My daughter started AAW in January of this year- she had attended a much larger local high school and felt pretty lost within the huge enrollment there. At AAW? - quite a difference for her- the kids there all know one another- on her first day, many kids came up and asked her if she needed any help finding her classes, etc- she was amazed by their kindness. Academically, she is excelling- the classrooms are much smaller, and there is greater emphasis on each student. There are arts assemblies each Friday, where the students showcase their talents- each student has a chance to be acknowledged and appreciated. As a parent, I KNOW we made a great choice for our daughter- she really looks forward to going to school each day!

- submitted by a parent
October 14, 2008
My son has attended AAW for 3 years. This year so far is off to a great start. They have a new principal that has brought alot of fresh new ideas to the school. The parents association along with students worked around the school painting and cleaning up the grounds ouside. There were also several appearances of AAW students supporting the school over the summer and concerts and festivals. There are several activities in the works for this school year. It is a school to be proud of.

- submitted by a parent
October 12, 2008
Teachers are amazing. I've never gotten as many A's as I have at AAW. They really know how to push you in the right direction. I can tell you that Arts Acad really makes me work hard and I love it. The new principle is amazing, I'm happier now knowing that we have a much more structured school. I'm also digging this new lunch program. Cheap and healthy foods. More extracuricular activities. AAW has come a long way since last year

- submitted by a student
August 31, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
August 21, 2008
This is such a great school. I highly recommend it for anyone in the arts industry.

- submitted by a parent
August 19, 2008
My child somewhat enjoyed AAW. As a parent I found that about half of the teachers did not return my phone calls for request for conferences and checks to see how my child was doing. Most prefer email contact but never seem to answer them. My child struggled in math so we sent him to sylvan learning center which helped alot, but the 2 math teachers he had did not seem to be the best and never let you know how things are going unless you hunt them down. When report cards and progress reports came, then you knew, when it's almost to late. How about lets keep contact often.....teachers please learn this and not just do it for your favorite students.

- submitted by a parent
June 02, 2008
My child moderately enjoyed AAW. However, as a parent I found the administration and counseling departments unresponsive, and about half of the teachers did not return my phone calls for request for conferences. Having thoroughly researched the available high schools prior to choosing AAW, I am disappointed with the school and its current administration. Because of this, we are choosing not to return.

- submitted by a parent
February 19, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
January 21, 2008
My son is a second year student at AAW and I am very pleased with his progress. As a parent, if your child is creative in the arts and seems to 'not fit in' with the public or private school environment, I highly recommend AAW. Because it is an Art school, it may seem that more attention is focused on the art than academics but I can assure you that academics are just as important to the AAW administration. A great majority of the faculty is also artistic and creative so the academics have artistic flair which makes it an enjoyable learning experience. If you're also artistic as a parent, you will know how important it is that your child be in an environment that not only supports creativity & the arts but also nurtures it encourages growth in that art. It's a great school and I'm proud to be part.

- submitted by a parent
December 19, 2007
I am a 2nd year student at Arts Academy in the Woods, and I couldn't be more proud. AAW may have it's ups and downs, but it is definitely one of a kind. It took me a great deal of time to appriciate it's diversity. I orginally wanted to leave the school after semester one of freshman year, because I didn't feel I fit in; sophmore year, I now know I wouldn't fit in better anywhere else. The teachers are amazing, and truly care about the well-being of the students. The students that really do care have amazing talent, and will go far thanks to their arts. As far as getting no homework concerns, that doesn't mean that the academics aren't challenging. I get homework almost everyday, but find time to finish it in school. AAW is a wonderful place to be. I wouldn't ask for anything more.

- submitted by a student
December 13, 2007
The longer we are at the school the more we grow to appreciate its diversity and mutual respect the students have for each others talents. It is not that they are all friends but they have grown too appreciate and value what each has to offer like a family. The school has Friday assemblies a couple times a month and that is how the students get to showcase their talents and show their appreciation to each other. I am just so glad I have found this school for my family.

- submitted by a parent
no rating December 09, 2007
I am a proud teacher at AAW. To the parent who posted on 11-29, please talk to your daughter's teachers re:lack of homework. I give homework at least 3 nights per week and this does not include the work required on special projects and study for exams. We also had several advance and Honors classes and the opportunity gifted students to be assigned more challenging work. To the parent who questioned the background and training of our arts staff, I'd ask that you be more specific. As I survey my colleagues I know that many of them were accomplished professionals in their field before they began teaching. (See artsacademy-woods. net). Students under their guidance have won awards and college scholarships in orchestral and vocal music, guitar, 2-D art and dance. We teachers greatly value students who want to achieve academically; please give us specific feedback so that we can improve.

- submitted by a teacher
November 29, 2007
This my daughters first year. Initially she was excited about the experience. She loves the creative aspect. However the schools academics are not challenging. That is a huge dissapointment. I hate to change schools again. However I'm sure she won't return next year.

- submitted by a parent
November 27, 2007
I thought it would be more academically challenging. They don't have AP classes ... and my children don't get homework. But they are happy and engaged and safe. That counts.

- submitted by a parent
October 17, 2007
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- submitted by a student
October 01, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
September 24, 2007
Great school. Should be some kind a fun activities for the kids though, especially for senior year.

- submitted by a parent
June 28, 2007
This school is a wonderful place for students to be themselves. It has great staff and some less than great staff just like any school. What can't be beat is the individual attention the kids get and the exposure to many different cultures. It is a wonderful and safe place to learn.

- submitted by a parent
no rating June 18, 2007
Thank God we found this school! My daughter found her niche and is motivated to be successful. The focus may be on the arts, but she now wants to become a statistician as a result of her math and science classes. She's eager to participate in the Model United Nations program (available to Juniors & Seniors). She is also exited by new collaborative work between the English department and Dance. I love the diversity of the student body and the respect & encouragement the students have for each other. It's a warm & friendly environment.

- submitted by a parent
June 08, 2007
My daughter attends AAW and is fitting in well. The school has worked hard to overcome some difficulty and is still improving. It takes all of the parents, teachers, administrators, and the students to create a great school. AAW has the potential to be that school and is currently above many in academic curriculum. Although it may seem to lack the 'polish' of a more established school, this has no bearing on its foundation which I believe is strong. Since moving into our own building this year some promising changes are in the works. If someone isn't getting what the think they need-maybe we should ask them what they are contributing!! Come take a look for yourself. -second year parent.

- submitted by a parent
March 06, 2007
This school is a joke. Three principals from September to December 2006. We were convinced by a great presentation. None of what was promised is true. The academics are poor, there are only a handful of good teachers, hard working and dedicated. No one has answers. No library. No hot lunch. Why did the children have to audition and take a test? None of the results are taken into consideration when scheduling the students. Disciplinary actions taken arbitrarily and the students know this, there are a host of behavior problems. The good students, hard working ones, ones really good at their craft, are leaving. What's left? Do yourself a favor and don t send your kid there.

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2006
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- submitted by a former student
September 02, 2006
Hello, my daughter started her freshman year at Arts Academy in the Woods in fall 2003. In my opinion, I wish I had never sent her there. It was her decision as well, but there are things concerning that school that I am not proud of. The school is a regular school as well, but it chooses not to exert a strong emphasis on academics, something these students need nowadays. Not many of those students are going to grow up and become professional dancers and musicians. Well, anything is possible, but I strongly doubt it, if you know what I mean. If you have a smart child, such as my daughter, you should be wise enough and think twice about sending him/her there. He/she is probably way too smart for that.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2006
I went to AAW for 2 years I'll tell you right now if you find AAW a good school you must be joking. The doesn't really focus on the academics as much as the arts.

- submitted by a student
May 24, 2006
I am a student at AAW. After hearing so many good things about this school, I decided to try it out. I know wish I hadn't! The school focuses on the arts but most of the art classes are taught by teachers who have no experience with that art. The school features a horrible academic program, thus I've learned absoletly NOTHING my whole year here. I was a complete waste of a year of my life, and I can never get that time back. I wish I never heard of this place. I highly recommend parents to not send their children to AAW. Please, you have been warned.

- submitted by a student
April 28, 2006
I am a student at AAW, and this school has changed my life drastically. It offers more opportunities for most students. If you have an interest, you're encouraged to pursue it. The teachers are supportive and care a great deal about their students. They're truly heroes here. When the state had its budget crisis, our teachers took pay cuts and still stayed at the school with the same amount of hours as before. The students are friendly, helpful, and very accepting of diversity. The arts and academic classes are very strong. I would encourage any artist or someone who has been picked on for being 'weird' to come and tour AAW. You'll be glad you did.

- submitted by a student
February 27, 2006
What a fantastic school! The staff is great (mostly). The kids are exposed to the beauty of the arts and all that comes with it! I thank god every day that we found AAW. My son calls it 'Nirvana' and it is a perfect fit for kids that are so creative and intelligent, and they are recognized for it! Great school!

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2005
Wonderful school! Special education teacher is awsome she gives all of her students lots of one on one. The academics, arts and music at this school are unique and offer the students much to learn and do. The staff really care about their students at Arts Academy. My son is a recent graduate of this school and I would highly recommend Arts Academy in the Woods to future students.

- submitted by a parent
June 04, 2005
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- submitted by a parent
March 12, 2005
Outstanding school/teachers! Small class sizes, challenging college prep courses, lots of attention from dedicated teachers and staff. Experienced new principal 2004-05 has implemented additional policies to promote learning. Academic teachers tend to have an arts interest/background which adds to overall learning environment. Active parent group gives added support to staff and activities. Parents required to volunteer 20 hours per year. Students have performed across the US, and are often the ONLY high school invited to various functions. Instrumental music dept is growing, emphasis on accuracy (chamber music) & quality performances. Visual art (drawing/painting) has a higher caliber student than most area schools. Dance is off the charts! Vocal music will blow you away! Problems with drugs/gangs are substantially fewer than area schools! Kids don't have time to get into trouble because they're so active in their arts! Really nice kids! I would highly recommend this school to any student interested in the arts!

- submitted by a parent
January 16, 2005
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
no rating June 12, 2004
The school has had 3 principals for the 2003-2004 school year. Parents trying to obtain financial information (i.e. past budgets) have not been given that information. The unelected Board has had a large number of 'closed meetings' No African Americans are represented on the Board. Finally, an African-American was appointed interim principal. Despite the preceeding, AAW has many excellent teachers. I hope they stay.

- submitted by a parent
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Arts Academy in the Woods
32101 Caroline Street, Fraser, MI  48026
(586) 294-0391
Last modified Arts Academy in the Woods is a Charter school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 5 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Arts Academy in the Woods Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 73 reviews. Top