WEST COVINA, CA – West Covina Unified will establish the next premier performing arts academy in Southern California, empowering students to delve into their creative potential, gain insight from industry professionals and prepare for a future in the arts.

The West Covina High School Performing Arts Academy will welcome its first freshman cohort – capped at 50 students – in fall 2020, providing an exclusive fine arts education in a free, public school setting.

Highly motivated students with a passion for the arts – in fields such as instrumental or vocal music, theater, dance and theater tech – will receive valuable industry insight from teaching artists, gain internships and prepare for advanced educational and career opportunities at the Academy.

“The fine arts are a highly valued component of West Covina Unified’s educational offerings, and we are thrilled to expand them into an academy of their own,” WCUSD Superintendent Dr. Charles D. Hinman said. “Students will be able to develop their artistry under the direction of our outstanding educators and gain a competitive edge, all within their normal school day.”

Designed as a “school within a school,” the Academy will ensure that as students hone their craft, they also receive all of the benefits of a traditional high school – including clubs, athletics and a rigorous academic program.

College-preparatory and general education courses are embedded in the Academy’s curriculum, providing performance-focused Advanced Placement classes that can yield college credit and ensuring all students fulfill graduation and college admission requirements.

Many arts academies encourage students to study a concentration of their choosing. At the WCHS Performing Arts Academy, students not only select courses based on their artistic interests, but also benefit from an all-encompassing curriculum that requires the study of each fine arts subject.

Students will be able to make meaningful connections to their art – and to other artists – through the Academy’s field trip and networking opportunities.

In their senior year, Academy students who excel in their program will trek to New York, observing professional artists at work, immersing themselves in the creative culture and exploring some of the nation’s top arts colleges and universities.

The Academy’s distinct educational program will culminate with a capstone jury experience – showcasing students’ knowledge, skills and experience in the arts – that may be used in college applications and auditions.

Starting in fall 2021, the Academy will be supported by a $32.6 million Performing Arts Center, a robust 650-seat complex featuring a dance studio, a black box theater and dedicated spaces for performing arts classes. Additional practice space will be available in a state-of-the-art instrumental music building, also to be completed in fall 2021.

Incoming freshmen from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties are eligible to apply to the WCHS Performing Arts Academy. The District is now accepting applications; students can begin the application process online.

For more information, contact Tyler Wigglesworth at wchspaa@wcusd.net.


WCUSD_ARTS_ACADEMY: Students passionate about the performing arts will have the opportunity to hone their craft at West Covina High School’s new Performing Arts Academy, launching in fall 2020. The Academy will be supported by a new 650-seat Performing Arts Center.