Just a few comments from an old alum. The school is not for everyone (kids or parents) but it is a decent school. Be prepared to suffer through the trials that your kid will experience such as extreme competition, immediate shock to self-esteem within the first year, constant schedule juggling, prima donna micro-manager instructors, constant practicing, summer school, senior recital prep, some level of outside-of-the-class isolation, obvious cliques, and some level of apathy from the school when it comes to college. The school expects that if your son or daughter is going there, the child should have a higher level of maturity when it comes to determining the college to attend, major, etc. HSPVA is mainly focused on the here and now as a college prepatory program for the arts. So, there is sort of a take no prisoners attitude there. If your kid doesn't cut it in the first year academically/ arts, they are out. Thats it. The best thing a kid will get coming out of there is mental toughness and learning to stay focused on achieving set goals in the face of schedule constraints and adversity. Overall, it is a good school but it is not a cakewalk.
Couldn't have been a better choice for our son. Great sense of community, challenging academics, sense of equality, originality, creativity, freedom to express oneself in many mediums, great teachers and over 95 % go on to college.
This is a great school. My daughter is in dance. Each art area is amazing. Acadmics are very strong and the teachers are wonderful. I am delighted my daughter had the opportunity to attend and will graduate from this school in 2013. Not for the weak hearted, you have to work hard, stick to it and earn respect in your art area. This school has encouraged my daughter to be a wonderful dancer and to take the most academically challenging classes. Excellent balance between art and academics.
PVA set me up for success. It gained me acceptance into my dream school, where I felt prepared and ahead of the game. When I graduated with my master's degree in art education, I taught there. Teaching there wasn't for me, but it lead me to find my dream job. Whenever I think about where I am in life, which is exactly where I want to be, I think about HSPVA. It truly is a family, and I am thankful to be a part of it.
This is a great school for balance. It has both great academics and fantastic art areas.
Each department (music, art, dance, writing, drama) have its own system, but academics are same for all departments and are solid. The school stresses self discipline -- both for the students' classwork and art.
My child attends HSPVA for dance. The academics have been ok and the art area atrocious. We all know the evaluation of dance is subjective but one has to seriously question a department which finds 0% growth in a student whom outside organizations consistently give high marks. The dept. is more concerned with producing PVA-bots than well- trained dancers. The teachers tear down students self-esteem by telling them they are fat, are not cut out for dance, their choreography is horrible, have not shown improvement and by threatening to kick them out. Dance classes are like an episode Beverly Hills 90210 where groups of students have one set of rules and expectations and others another. I haven t yet figured out how students succeed in the dance department but I know it s not by dancing well. You d do better at Carver or the Houston Ballet.
The atmosphere is so nurturing for the talented kids who are fortunate enough to attend. The academics are pre-college and the arts training is stellar. HSPVA is simply outstanding on so many levels
HSPVA is not only a professional arts school but an advanced academic school. Students are taught the business of the arts and prepares them for college by teaching them time management. HSPVA is more than a school, it's a family!
This is a blessing to the comunity...a center for nurturing all the best and the brightest, the most creative and positive young minds we have!
My eldest son attended HSPVA. The attitudes of the faculty were so empowering that his self image was boosted immensely. I am very grateful for the education he received there.
I used to attend HSPVA. It wasn't the school for me, but it was a fantastic school for the arts. I was in the visual section, and we spent half of our day with fantastic art teachers, great contacts, and we received a great art education. However, I agree with some of the other reviews that core academics could deal with a great amount of improvement. I had a number of teachers who just wanted to talk about their personal philosophy rather than the subject. There really needs to be some sort of physical education program implemented. The students are all very friendly, and it's a great atmosphere.
I am currently a 10th grader at hspva. The school has great people, excellent art areas, and a fantastic music department but the academic program is very poor. What this school maybe need in the future is a more organized staff. Also there should be a gym or physical education period to help keep all the students in shape but should count as a class.
There was a very high percentage of students who enrolled in summer school for failing Academics such as Algebra and IPC. Very low emphasis is placed on a child's overall Academics. Counselors and Office Personnel volunteer more time working on projects related to other activities and departments, rather than the overall child's best interest. Academic guidance for a child at this school is very poor and handled in an uncaring, and sometimes unprofessional manner. Many parents were expressing these same concerns throughout the year and this school needs to be investigated further by HISD Administration. Parents took students out for these reasons and I believe it hurts these children who are exceptionally gifted. Children also needs health and physical education. This school provided no summer school so children had to go elsewhere and pay $150.00 for each class. **No funding from HSPVA was transferred to the outside referring schools.
Great education in the performing arts. Maybe the second or third best in the country
I tried to find every reason NOT to send my kid to HSPVA. I was unable to find a reason not to send him - he graduated last week. The school is what it is because the teachers are amazing and the students are incredibly motivated to pass to stay eligible for their art area activites. Test scores are through the roof, the teachers LIKE artistic students, and the students encourage and support each other. We live 25 miles away; my kid rode Metro for 3 full years, and it was worth EVERY hassle and EVERY inconvenience.
I went to this school as a ballet student. The training was good but I still needed to suplement it with classes at Houston Ballet.
I attended this school as a vocal student. I feel that I am so well rounded and well trained because of the excellent education I received at this school. I am now a sophomore vocal performance major at the University of Houston and my success there is no doubt attributed to my excellent training at HSPVA. Not only are they serious about educating children in the fine arts, they are also equally serious about academics, requiring the students to maintain C averages to remain in the school. HSPVA students have some of the highest test scores in the state, and the music department has been awarded a Grammy award two years in a row for excellence. I consider it a wonderful experience, and I can't imagine a better school to attend. Its great!
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