One of Dallas’s Top Academies for The Performing Arts has Joined with DFW’s Highest-Performing Online Public School to Expand Education Opportunities for Academy Students
November 2017 - Dallas, TX -- Back in the day, young people who aspired to careers in the performing arts were limited to evening-and-weekend training schedules and lots of shuffle back-and-forth between school and the studio.
The result was a lifestyle that was crowded with lots of time in the car and late nights spent doing homework, but little time for rest, friends and family.
Today, however, serious students of the performing arts have a more balanced option with programs like the conservatory at the Dallas Academy of Music & Performing Arts, an audition-only program that now allows students to train during the day and attend school while they’re at the studio.
“Our core academy offers dozens of classes in music, acting, dance and more for students of all ages who want to develop their artistic abilities to their full potential,” says Lisa Jenkins, DAMPA’s CEO and Creative Director. “The conservatory program takes training to the next level, providing intense instruction that prepares students for acceptance into top-tier university programs, scholarships, and professional contracts. Many of our students have gone on to impressive careers in the performing arts, as well as high achievement in national and international performing arts competitions.
In order to reduce the complications and limitations associated with attending traditional bricks-and-mortar school while trying to find enough time to train, work and travel, Ms. Jenkins began to consider the notion of providing a schooling option right on site for DAMPA students.
"We wanted to find a virtual school option that allowed our students to attend school from any location at any time, but we also wanted an option that provided a curriculum rigorous enough for college-bound students,” Ms. Jenkins says. “Our students tend to be high-achieving in all aspects of their lives, so we knew that our parents wouldn’t be satisfied with any option that was watered-down or less than challenging.”
Enter iUniversity Prep…
After careful research, DAMPA elected to partner with iUniversity Prep, a virtual academy that’s part of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD [but open to any eligible student in the state of Texas].
“As we evaluated our options, we quickly realized that iUniversity Prep was the best choice,” Ms. Jenkins says. “Not only is it a Texas Education Agency-accredited school that’s home for many students who work in the performing arts, it’s also a school that has a proven track record of academic performance and excelling in state accountability, as well as graduation of students who go on to earn admission and scholarships into some of the best colleges in the world.”
How it works: DAMPA’s new academic program will be offered to students ages 10-17 [fifth through 12th grades] between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., weekdays, in a designated area at the studio.
A DAMPA staff member will be available during that time to supervise and provide support for students while they “attend” virtual classes or complete homework assignments. Once they’re through for the day, they can simply walk a few feet to a DAMPA studio to attend class or rehearsal.
“Students can also work on their own in the early mornings, evenings, weekends, or while they’re on the road,” Ms. Jenkins explains. “If they need to attend an audition or they know they have a busy week coming up, they can work ahead. Between the flexible schedule and the elimination of travel time to and from school, we estimate that students can reduce their school-and-training schedule from an average 12-hour-day to an eight-hour-day in some cases.”
Dr. Kaye Rogers, Director of Virtual Learning for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD says that programs like DAMPA’s can benefit students in all aspects of their life. “iUniversity Prep was designed to meet the needs of self-motivated students who want or need a flexible school schedule,” she explains. “When it’s incorporated into a program like DAMPA, we’ve noticed that students tend to achieve better outcomes in their training and their academics, while also achieving a healthier work-life balance. We’re delighted to welcome DAMPA students to our iUniversity Prep family."