The application process allows school administrators to evaluate prospective students’ academic record and interest and commitment to the arts. Students who live within the school district’s boundaries are given priority for admission. At the high school level, VSAA may accept students from other districts after all VPS students have been accepted and if space is available.
The first component of the on-site application process is the art form workshop. When you apply online, you will be prompted to sign up for one art form workshop (choices include visual art, music, film [MIA], dance, creative writing [literary arts] or theatre). VSAA art form teachers lead all workshops. Wear comfortable clothing, but you don’t need to prepare or bring anything—just your creativity.
The second component of the on-site application process is the interview. Two VSAA teachers will interview you. This is an opportunity for us to get to know more about you and why you are interested in VSAA.
The last component of the on-site application process is a writing prompt. You will have time to write to a prompt and turn it in at the end of this session.
Profile of a successful VSAA student
In this school, we learn the value of individual commitment and respect for uniqueness because we live and learn every day with people who are inventive, receptive to new ideas, responsible and committed to the arts.
Students experience a variety of art forms and must be willing to try new things.
Failure is essential to the artistic process. Persistence is required.
Students learn to appreciate others’ work and give and accept feedback with grace.
VSAA students look beyond the status quo and ignite their imaginations. They explore different ideas and take risks.
VSAA makes every effort to maintain the student population of the school. If space becomes available at any grade level during the course of the school year, the waiting list will be reviewed. Invitations to VSAA will be extended on a space-available basis.
There is a waiting list at each grade level based upon the number of applicants and the availability that VSAA can offer. Applicants will stay on the waiting list for one year, after which they need to submit a new application for the next school year.
We always have a large number of applicants at every grade level. In recent years, we accepted approximately 100 students of the 350 who showed interest at the sixth-grade level. In grades 7-12 there are fewer applicants, but less availability as a majority of VSAA students stay for all seven years.
Applicants need to be diligent in getting all components of the application in by the deadline. Please see our calendar for important dates. Applicants must attend their assigned interview and workshop activities.
Students will have the opportunity to experience each art form (visual art, dance, literary arts, theatre, moving image arts and music) at an introductory level and advance in subsequent years to a higher level.
The foundation for acceptance is not based on talent, but on willingness to explore all art forms that VSAA offers each student. Previous art experiences are just as valued as current arts experiences.
Once applicants have applied and been accepted, they do not have to reapply in the following years. If a student does not get accepted on the first try, they are encouraged to reapply the following school year.
High School applicants who live outside the Vancouver Public Schools boundary are invited to apply. However, preference will be given to students residing within our school district’s geographic boundary.
If the entire list of in-district applicants has been exhausted, students from out of district would be considered for placement. Students residing outside of Washington state are ineligible to apply.
“You can go in thinking, I’m a painter, I’m a dancer, I’m a string player, but then take all the classes and find something completely different that you love. You have all these chances to explore and express yourself.”