Santa Ana 92701 Features Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA), #6 Rated Public High School In Orange County

API = 872
Orange County High School of the Arts OCHSA (Santa Ana, CA 92701) is located in the heart of downtown Santa Ana since 2000 and attracts more than 1,300 students in grades seven through 12. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain enrolled.
The school currently serves a culturally diverse student body of more than 1,350 students from 92 cities throughout Southern California in grades 7-12. The academic faculty is fully credentialed, and the majority of the 200 arts and academic teachers hold advanced degrees. They are dedicated and supportive professionals who help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in higher education, or a profession in the arts. Guest artists and industry leaders also share their expertise and creativity with students through lectures, presentations, and hands-on training.
The Orange County High School of the Arts provides a rigorous college preparatory academic program aligned to the California State Standards. Students attend approximately five hours of academic classes in addition to three hours of daily arts instruction. Students maintain a school-wide Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.16, with the senior class averaging a 3.47 GPA. More than 33 percent of the junior and senior classes earn a 4.0 GPA or higher. The school also offers twelve advanced placement classes.

Offering one of the most demanding and intensive academic programs in Southern California, the school has been ranked in the top ten percent of high schools in the State of California, and is one of the top five highest ranking high school academic programs in Orange County, based on an Academic Performance Index (API) test score of 868. In 2005, the Orange County High School of the Arts was the only school in Orange County with 100% of its students to pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).

Some 92 percent of graduating seniors from OCHSA move on to four-year colleges. The school achieved an 856 API score and a 1661 average on the SAT.

Opacic founded the school in 1987 with 125 students on the campus of Los Alamitos High School. It moved to Santa Ana with 400 students in 2000 and became a charter school within the Santa Ana Unified School District. Enrollment has since more than tripled.

The school offers 11 specific arts conservatories, including dance, creative writing, film, opera, instrumental music and visual arts.

Students pay no tuition, relying on donations from a private foundation. That, along with the school’s reputation for nurturing the creative spirit, has helped attract students from 92 cities across four counties.

English and literature teacher Pam Smith understands that students come to the school for the arts. Teachers are willing to work around performance schedules, but that doesn’t mean they go easy on academics.

(Excerpts from OC Register)