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Orange County
High School of the Arts


    The Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) is a 7th–12th grade public charter school located in downtown Santa Ana, Orange County, California. The school caters to middle and high school students with talents in the performing, visual, and literary arts.

    The educational program prepares students for acceptance at higher education institutions or employ- ment in the professional arts industry. Both the academic and arts programs are very highly regarded in  state and national educational and professional communities.

History
    The Orange County High School of the Arts was established in 1987 and later reorganized as a public charter school on April 20, 2000. During that time the school moved from its primary facility at Los Alamitos High School to the Santa Ana Unified School District. OCHSA is a tuition-free, donation- dependent public charter school governed by a board of trustees representing parents, the community, educators and the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Academics

    Based on the belief that creative artistry is fueled by intellectual insight, the Orange County High School of the Arts provides a rigorous college preparatory academic program that produces high achieving, motivated scholars. 

    The Orange County High School of the Arts academic program goal is to produce high achieving and motivated scholars. OCHSA's students attend standard academic courses under a block schedule system with three academic classes per day alternating each day for a total of six classes.

    Honors classes are Advanced Placement classes are offered. OCHSA also has a selection of electives including: Acting, Ceramics, Improvisation, Graphic Design, Zoology, Vocal Ensemble, Art and Soul, Journalism, and Photography.

    The Orange County High School of the Arts also provides a positive, nurturing environment to support aspiring young artists to refine their skills and flourish in one of pre-professional arts conservatories. The school's dual arts and academic programs produce creative students capable of thinking “outside the box” in real world and scholastic endeavors.

    Pre-professional arts conservatories include the following program areas of study that help students to be successful in today's challenging and competitive marketplace and ensure their acceptance into higher education:
  1. Classical & Contemporary Dance
  2. Classical Voice
  3. Commercial Dance
  4. Creative Writing
  5. Film & Television
  6. Instrumental Music
  7. Integrated Arts
  8. International Dance
  9. Music &  theater
  10. Opera & Choral
  11. Production & Design
  12. Visual Arts.
Admission Criteria
     Acceptance to the Orange County High School of the Arts is based on a review of the student's application, academic records, and an audition. Students with a passionate interest in the arts are encouraged to apply.

    Prospective students applying to the Orange County High School of the Arts must submit an application and their most recent (semester or trimester) report card confirming no “F” grades and a minimum academic Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or better.

   The academic GPA is based on grades from a minimum of 20 "academic" credits from the following core academic subjects:

  1. English
  2. Math
  3. Science
  4. Social Science/History
  5. World Language
    Students who do not meet the above criteria are NOT eligible to apply for admission to the Orange County High School of the Arts. If an application is accepted, the final admission status will be contingent upon the final semester/trimester report card for the current school year confirming no "F" grades and an academic GPA. of 2.0 or better in the core subjects.

   Only applicants who receive academic approval will be notified regarding an opportunity to <>audition as part of the final phase of the process for acceptance. 

The Application Process
  • Preview - Prospective students and parents are encouraged to learn more about the school by doing any of the following:
    • Conduct research on OCHSA
    • Attend a Preview Day scheduled in November and January.
  • Submit Admission Application - Dec. through mid-Feb.:
    • Prepare and submit an admission application. Applications are available online at the end of November or the beginning of December.
    • The hard-copy of the application must be received by Wed., Feb. 16, 2011 to guarantee an audition in the arts conservatory/conservatories of choice. All student applications received after this date will be placed on a waiting list and auditions will only be scheduled if space becomes available. The Admissions Office will not be able to confirm enrollment openings.
    • Admission applications are accepted for a minimum of one and a maximum of three conservatories.
    • Applicants must submit their most recent final grade report confirming no “F” grades and an academic GPA of 2.0 or higher as clarified in “Admission Criteria”.
    • Applications can be dropped off at the school reception desk or mailed to the following address:
OCHSA Office of Admissions
1010 N. Main St. Room 101
Santa Ana, CA 92701-3602
Phone: (714) 560-0900
Fax:     (714) 664-0463
  
  • Academic Review- Dec. through mid-Feb.:
    • Applicants who do not posses the minimum academic requirements for admission, or who have incomplete admission applications, will be notified and encouraged to reapply for admission in another school year.
    • Applicants who meet OCHSA's academic requirements for admissions, and whose applications have all the required parts and required supporting documents, are approved for auditions.
  • Auditions Scheduled - Jan. through mid-Mar.:
    • Applicants who have meet OCHSA's academic requirements for admissions are contacted via email with instructions on how to schedule their audition(s).
    • All auditions will be conducted between January and mid-March.
    • Once an audition is scheduled, there can be no changes to the scheduled date/time. 
  • Admission Decision Notifications - April:
    • All auditioned applicants are notified via US Mail of approval/decline during the 1st week of April.
  • Pre-Enrollment Meetings (Mandatory) - mid April (held back-to-back on the same day)
    • First meeting for ALL parents and students to complete the required course selection paperwork. At the end of this meeting ALL 7th and 8th grade students will take a math placement test.
    • Second meeting is a “Parent Orientation” meeting for Parents of all accepted students.
  • Online Registration - July
    • Parents who have completed all Pre-Enrollment requirements can now complete On-line registration.
    • This allows parents to update their biographical information, pay any registration related fees, such as lockers, parking permits, yearbooks, transportation, etc., to sign up for OCHSA programs, and to join, or rejoin, ENCORE! or Parent Support Organization (PSO).
    • Schedule an on-site appointment for a day/time in mid August for parents/students to pick up class schedules and textbooks.
  • Final On Campus Registration - mid-August
    • On your scheduled date/time Parents and Students pick up;
      • class schedules
      • textbooks
      • take School ID photos.
  • First Day of School - mid-August:
    • Academic Classes begin in mid August
    • Conservatory Classes begin - The following week is the start of Academic classes.
    Each year approximately 4000 applications are typically received to fill less than 700 open slots. Due to the high number of student applicants from throughout the United States, at this time we are not currently accepting applications from International students. 

Tuition-free

     The school is a tuition-free, donation dependent, residential commuter public charter school. The school does not arrange or provide housing facilities. No student is admitted or denied based on financial capacity. It currently serves more than 1,550 students in grades 7-12 who commute from more than 100 cities throughout Southern California.    

     Many students usually schedule their arts conservatory classes after school. In addition they still need to find time to finish their core course work assignments. The school's extended hours present a challenge to many students who find they have little personal free time during the week because of the school load, practicing their arts studies, doing homework, and traveling long distances between home and school.

     Fees are charged for arts conservatory class activities that occur before and after the regularly scheduled school hours.  The school must raise more than $5 million each year — approximately $3,200 per student — to continue offering a comprehensive arts program. Nearly 25% of the schools 1,550 students request financial assistance to help fund their arts conservatory program.

    Parents of all students must agree to provide specific volunteer services to support the school arts conservatory classes activities and fund raising efforts for adding and enhancing classroom, rehearsal, and peforming facilities.
The OCHSA Foundation
    The Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation governed by a volunteer board comprised of prominent business and cultural leaders in the community.

    Under the direction and and leadership of the OCHSA Foundation Board of Directors, fund-raising goals have been established designed to manage long-term strategic planning, implement a capital reserve, institute public relations and marketing campaigns, and provide oversight of funding criteria. Foundation members pay annual dues, serve on fundraising committees, attend the school's activities, and act as ambassador representatives to the community.

School Campus
     OCHSA has a very diverse student body at its two campus sites. Symphony Hall is a theater, which holds most of the school's medium to larger performances and was originally a historic Church of Christian Science before being converted to a theater. The hall contains a theater, a side rehearsal room, separate practice rooms for instrumental musicians, a basement and library for the creative writers, a front of house audio booth, and a balcony overlooking the auditorium for the Production and Design students. The balcony houses an electronically controlled lighting booth with multiple spotlights.

   A single-story "technology building" houses the bulk of the Film and Television department and computer graphics portion of the Visual Arts department, plus a few administrative offices. There are two fully-equipped studios - one primarily for live television production and the other for film work. There also is a computer lab and a number of individual video editing rooms. The campus' daily student-run news television program Art Attack Live is produced and broadcast from the school television studio and control room facilities.

    Situated between the main campus and the technology building is a five-story ceramic tower covered in tiles called the "totem pole". It serves as a gathering place for students during break times, as well as a loading and unloading zone.

    The "Annex" consists of two white windowless buildings that houses many dance and vocal rooms, plus the Production and Design workshop where OCHSA's production sets are constructed and painted. Since the 2010- 2011 school year, the annex has been home to the majority of the 7th and 8th graders attending OCHSA.

Food Services
    The school' cafeteria, the Center Stage Bistro) menu posts its "Daily Special" and ala cart menu, are posted at  www.ocsarts.net/LunchMenu.

    The Center Stage Bistro is open during Block 7 before conservatory.  Additionally, many conservatories provide snacks for students before rehearsals.  Check with your conservatory director.

    Students may also bring their own snacks and lunch. Most students find there isn't time in their schedule to go all campus for lunch or before their conservatory sessions begin.

Campus Parking
   OCHSA requires an On Campus Parking Student Parking Permit each year for all students who drive a car to school.  Permits can be obtained during the annual online registration process.

References:
   Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Prioritize an Athletes Education
PDF  Education & Athletes
Home Schooling in California
Orange County High School of the Arts
Tutoring - Information Transfer
Athlete Dormitory Facilities
Nurturing A Figure Skater

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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