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.
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.