Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts – Newsweek – 39/100
Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts was founded in 1989 as the premier arts high school in the School District of Palm Beach County, the nation’s eleventh largest school district, serving a county geographically larger than Rhode Island or Delaware.
501 S Sapodilla Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, United States
Originally known as the Palm Beach County School of the Arts and located on the northern shore of Lake Mangonia, the name of the school changed in 1997 when local arts philanthropist Alexander W. Dreyfoos, founder of Photo Electronics Corporation, made the single largest private contribution to a public school in Florida. This generous contribution coincided with the school’s much-anticipated move to the newly renovated, historic Central Schools campus in downtown West Palm Beach.
The school’s location in downtown West Palm Beach places it in the heart of Palm Beach County’s cultural landscape. Just across Iris Street is the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, and within a few blocks are the Norton Museum of Art, the Armory Art Center, Palm Beach Dramaworks, the Cuillo Center for the Arts, and the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden. Opportunities are bountiful for students to participate in the local cultural community.
Admission to the school is based upon a highly competitive audition process that is open to all Palm Beach County students entering grades nine through twelve. There are nine unique arts conservatories for which students may audition: communication arts, dance, digital media, music – band, music – piano, music – strings, music – vocal, theatre, and visual arts. Students are admitted into one area, enrolling in at least two arts area courses each school year. Dreyfoos students often possess interests beyond their designated art area; enrollment in additional arts courses in another area of study is sometimes permitted in the junior or senior years.
Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (DSOA) is a public high school located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Formerly named the Palm Beach County School of the Arts (also known as School of the Arts or SOA), the school was renamed in recognition of a 1997 donation of $1 million by Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., a West Palm Beach philanthropist.
DSOA is a magnet school, with students coming from across Palm Beach County. Students are accepted through a process of competitive auditions for one of the six art areas. Once accepted, students belong to one of the school’s six art departments: Communication Arts, Dance, Digital Media, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Students are then said to ‘major’ in their art area, taking at least two art area classes per year in addition to other academic and other classes. Dreyfoos has appeared on various nationwide ‘Top High School’ lists since 2005. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
The school’s campus is located in downtown West Palm Beach at 501 South Sapodilla Avenue, adjacent to the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the CityPlace district. Located across Tamarind Avenue is the Tri-Rail train station, on which many students from the southeastern part of the county regularly commute.
DSOA is administrated by the School District of Palm Beach County, which also provides most of its funding. The school receives supplementary funds from the School of the Arts Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.