About Booker T. Washington HSPVABooker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts is part of the Dallas Independent School District and the first secondary school in the distric to be awarded the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award for Exemplary Education from the Department of Education. Since 1976, the school has earned the distinction for Exemplary Arts Education from the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the Top 8 Magnet Schools in the country by the Department of Education, and one of the top 5 schools in the nation by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, among others. Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts is located in downtown Dallas, in the heart of the Dallas Arts District. The largest contiguous Arts District in the United States.BTWHSVPA has consistently earned national recognition in the arts: over 600 awards in dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and creative writing through the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, 25 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, over 267 music DeeBee awards from Downbeat Magazine (the largest number of any school, including colleges and universities in North America), playwriting awards, and many others. The school’s dual emphasis on arts and academics consistently produces a stellar graduates such as Grammy Awards winners Norah Jones, Roy Hargrove, and Erykah Badu, television actress Elizabeth Mitchell, visual artist Christian Schumann, muralist, Chris Arnold, Broadway actress/dancer, Dylis Croman, American Ballet Theater Dancer, Daniel Keene, and Theater Residency Artist, Gesel Mason.The mission statement states “As Dallas' revolutionary high school for 21 century scholar artists, we provide intensive, integrated training to build a bridge to the post-secondary and professional world”. Arts Magnet prepares students to attend college, conservatory or to enter the professional field.
The dynamic and constantly evolving curriculum prepares students to explore an artistic career. A rigorous academic program offers all courses required for the State of Texas graduation plans. In addition to a host of honors and advanced placement courses in both the academics and the arts, the O’Donnell Foundation provides teachers with training in the Advanced Placement Program. Several teachers have been awarded the Surdna Grant which provides for professional enrichment. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts named BTWHSPVA as one of five Distinguished Schools in the Arts.
- Texas Medal of the Arts in Arts Education Honoree 2015
- Recognized nationally as a prototype for successful arts magnet high schools
- Curriculum integrates the arts and academics
- Students select an arts conservatory to major in: dance, music, visual arts, or theater
- A complete academic program is offered including 20+ AP classes
- Grades 9 through 12; students must audition and interview to be admitted
- 100% graduate; 98% go on to higher education
- Over $60 million in college scholarships awarded to 217 graduates in 2017
- National Blue Ribbon Award for Exemplary Education by the U.S. Dept of Education
The students’ achievement comes as no surprise to those familiar with the instructional staff and the administration. With an approximate ratio of 1 faculty member to every 12 students in specialized areas, the efforts of 61 full-time teachers and 14 part-time/consultant teachers are augmented by master classes from visiting professionals in every discipline throughout the year. Approximately 88% of the faculty has more than ten years of teaching experience, and more than 83% have advanced degrees. The distinguished faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, a Christa McAuliffe Fellow, a National Tandy Technology Scholar, a TI STEM Grant teacher, National Board certified teachers and several Surdna Fellows.
In 2008, a brand new $65 million state-of-the-art facility designed by nationally-recognized architect, Brad Cleopfil, was completed. The main building, incorporated as an historical landmark, has been preserved.
BTWHSPVA is currently developing a strategic plan to stay at the forefront of how to teach for tomorrow's leaders and creative thinkers.