A3 Parking Lot!
Questions that needed more information from Info Night.
How many different types of arts does A3 have?
We have afternoon classes in Visual Arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, design) Media Arts (photography, animation, video, etc. . .), Dance, Theatre, Music (instrumental, composition, and vocal), Writing (creative, college now, and writing for change). As well, we have and support work in the Liberal Arts, Health Occupations, Computer Science (technology and engineering), and the sciences. -answered by Mike
What kind of different dance classes are there at A3?
Dance offers a deep variety of dance styles that rotate over a multi-year schedule, so students could literally take dance every semester for two years and never repeat the same style. Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Musical Theatre, African, Modern, Contemporary, Step Dance are just some of the styles that are offered. As well, there are more core dance classes that focus on the discipline and art of dance, including dance improvisation, movement for all, and the A3 Dance Company. -answered by Mike and Laura
Can parents visit the school while it’s in session?
Depends. Days can be pretty energetic so we try to schedule visits to best serve what the visitor wants to see/experience. Parents, of course, have a different interaction level than students so we try to schedule opportunities for them that best fits their goals. For example, if it’s about experiencing the rigor of the learning, the best time to visit/witness that is panels or confluence. If it’s about seeing the level of artistic rigor and opportunity, the featured performances/demonstrations might be better. However, if it’s just the day to day interactions of students in class, then coming to a morning Humanities/Inquires class would be a good opportunity. Please see Wilson for more information. -answered by Mike
What colleges have A3 students been admitted to/going to?
Recently, we’ve had students admitted to Reed and Evergreen colleges. As well, if memory serves, there have been a few others who have stretched their wings to schools in the mid-west (though I can’t remember which ones. . .). A few students have gone to art institutes in Portland and the Bay Area. Most of our graduates qualify for UO’s generous scholarships for high-achieving students so they frequently choose “The Ducks.” We also have a large A3 contingent at Portland State University; a school famous for an integrated block of liberal arts courses very similar to A3’s Humanities/Inquiries blocks. -answered by Mike.
How many A3 graduates go to college? What’s the persistence rate?
Typically, 85 to 90% of A3 students have applied or been accepted to either a two year or a four year college/university at graduation. However, the state report card notes that 16 months later consistently around 45-50% are still enrolled (about the same number as South Eugene High School). We’re not exactly sure how this data’s being captured and what it’s reporting – we’re looking into that, cause our graduates tend to report a higher persistence rate. However, what does concern us is not how well we are preparing our students for the academic rigors of college (because our graduates regularly tell us that they are very well prepared for their post-secondary studies – in fact, many are grateful for the skills they’ve learned in communication, collaboration, and self-direction). What’s concerning, is how valid is the preparation we provide (and, really all high schools) for the day-to-day survival in college, especially for our students of color and from poverty. -answered by Mike.
What do A3 students typically study in college?
Folks often think that A3 students go into the arts, but that’s not really true. Though we have had a few pursue greater arts education and opportunities after high school, most go into traditional majors. Recent graduates are teachers, school counselors, nurses, even managers for Disneyland! When we first opened, our anecdotal tracking of our first graduating classes showed that over 80% of those who went to college had graduated in 5 years. That perseverance rate has dropped a bit recently and we’re not entirely sure why. The State Report Card shows that we’re at a 45% rate, which is alarming, yet our own anecdotal tracking of students and their families would show that the rate is much higher. With more recent graduates requesting transcripts and applying for college, we hope this trend will bounce back up in the coming years. -answered by Mike.
Mixed grade level classes?
Yes, for all four years, except for morning Inquiries/Humanities; those are mixed by 9th/10th and 11th/12th. Some arts classes and opportunities require pre-requisites that are typically only achievable by older students. -answered by Mike.
Yes. We use them as resources, but rarely issue class sets. -answered by Mike.
No lockers. Cubbies! -answered by Mike.
When can students take LCC/UO classes?
The colleges typically want students to be at least 16 if they are unaccompanied on campus. Thus, we usually offer these opportunities to juniors and seniors. -answered by Mike.
List of electives
As the classes change so frequently, we don’t keep regularly updated lists on line. Some classes we’ll offer only once for a very specific project. However, there are currently 6 sections of Visual Arts, 8 sections of media, 7 sections of music, 6 sections of theatre, 4 sections of creative writing, plus multiple sections of college now writing and art history. Further, there are electives in microbiology, computer science, and technology, to name just a few. -answered by Mike.
Not scheduled classes, but lots of opportunities to prepare and study food in regular classes, especially J Term. -answered by Mike.
We make it a point NOT to assign homework as “additional practice” or as a compliance indicator. Rather, if students have homework (and most will from time to time), the work is in support of a project or group goal. Some classes, like math, require additional practice and we’ll ask students to take some of that on to get better. Homework is not “graded” per se, but rather becomes part of the measured opportunities that students have to constantly show/demonstrate their learning. -answered by Mike.
Why the longer days?
This was a foundational idea for A3. We’ve always had longer days for reasons that seemed valid to us by looking at the “mentor” schools who first inspired us: the Tacoma School of the Arts and the Boston Arts Academy, our favorite two – there were others as well. These schools all advocate a longer day to allow students to actively dig in to their work, complete tasks and not drag so much of school home with them. Further, as school is a bit of a training ground for an eventual career, few jobs work less than an eight hour day. Longer days don’t always count for longer intensity, but we would say that there is greater focus and opportunity. -answered by Mike.