Founded in 1985, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) is an award-winning, tuition-free public high school for grades 9-12. LACHSA offers a specialized program combining college-preparatory academic instruction and conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts. Located on the California State University, Los Angeles campus, LACHSA is operated by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and is recognized as one of the premier arts high schools in the nation.
LACHSA has received significant national focus, with numerous awards and accolades attained by both the school and its individual students. In 2017, LACHSA was ranked as the number one public arts high school in the United States by school rating site niche.com. LACHSA has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the California Distinguished School for Academic Excellence, Golden Bell Award, Grammy Signature School, Bravo Award for excellence in arts education and the Exemplary School Designation by the Arts Schools Network. LACHSA is also routinely identified as one of “America’s Best High Schools” by Newsweek Magazine and one of LA’s best high schools by Los Angeles Magazine.
The school serves 600 culturally and socioeconomically diverse teens from more than 80 school districts in the county. Prospective students must meet minimum academic, attendance and behavioral standards, and must audition for acceptance into one of five departments: Cinematic Arts, Dance, Music (vocal and instrumental), Theatre, or Visual Arts. Each department selects its own students through a juried audition or portfolio review process
LACHSA is a model small learning community fully integrated within the campus of CSULA, offering students a direct connection to higher education. More than 95% of graduates matriculate to college and many are recruited with scholarships to the world’s finest institutions.
Outcomes – Student Achievement
Through the rigor of our conservatory-style arts program, LACHSA students have achieved high praise and recognition in competitions and awards both locally and across the country. Below are only a handful of distinctions that our students earned through their art and academics.
YoungArts is a national competition aimed to select the nation’s most promising young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts. The winners of YoungArts represent the top 10 percent of applications across the country. Since 2013, LACHSA has had 29 Finalists, 59 Honorable Mention winners, and 60 Merit Award winners succeed in the program.
From 2013 to 2018, 7 Presidential Scholars have come from LACHSA. Each year, only 20 students from across the country are selected to receive a Presidential Scholar designation in the arts, beating out nearly 3 million candidates every year. These students are selected through a series of adjudicated auditions and panels, culminating in this prestigious distinction.
In 2015, LACHSA students were amongst a select few to perform at the White House in two separate televised specials, Jazz at the Whitehouse and Broadway at the White House.
In 2018 6 LACHSA students were recognized by the National Merit Scholarship for their excellent scores on the PSATs. These students were placed among the top 50,000 scorers out of 1.6 million students nationwide.
Aside from these national competitions, LACHSA competes and continues to succeed in local competitions and festivals throughout the state. LACHSA has received the highest recognition- the sweepstakes trophy- in the Ohlone High School Theatre Festival for three years in a row. LACHSA continues to win the sweepstakes trophy at the Drama Teachers’ Association of Southern California Theatre Festival, as well as numerous 1st and 2nd place wins. In our hometown, the Music Center of Los Angeles hosts the Spotlight Awards, of which 2 finalists and 28 semifinalists since 2013 came from LACHSA.
LACHSA continues to be a driving force in the arts education committee. In October of 2018, the school will open its doors to members of the Arts School Network, a national association of arts schools around the United States, during the annual ASN Conference which will be held in Orange County. During this event, LACHSA students will showcase their work to an audience of arts school administrators from across the country.
LACHSA students’ academic and artistic accomplishments have opened numerous opportunities for continued achievement beyond graduation. In 2018, LACHSA students were accepted into nearly 200 different colleges and universities throughout the United States, including UCLA, Yale, UC Berkeley, Harvard, and Julliard. 62.3% of the 2018 graduating class will attend a college or university, while 28.5% will attend a conservatory. Over $7,551,000 in scholarships were awarded to the class as a whole.