By embracing diversity and providing an innovative curriculum focused on individual artistic abilities, New World School of the Arts (NWSA) has established itself as one of Florida’s premier magnet schools. The performing arts school has made it its mission to empower students to become local, national and international leaders by challenging them with fresh ideas and pushing them to be active members of a global community. Because of all this and more, Magnet Schools of America has recognized NWSA as one of only 18 Nationally Certified Demonstration Magnet Schools.
NWSA, whose mascot is the “Fightin’ Pigeons,” has four principle art departments: dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Prospective students admission is solely determined by their audition or portfolio review and adjudicated based on performance scores. Within these categories, students regularly compete at and produce performances of professional-level quality. The school’s jazz ensemble is nationally renowned, winning the 2016 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival at Lincoln Jazz Center in New York City. The concert choir has sung the national anthem for their local NBA team, the Miami Heat, and with the National Choirs of America at the renowned, Carnegie Hall in New York City. These are just a few examples of the reputation NWSA has garnered in the world of the performing arts due to its competitive spirit and dedication to quality.
With a graduation rate of 100 percent, NWSA also focuses on setting student’s success in both arts conservatories and academic colleges. The school offers Advanced Placement courses in all subject areas, and in their arts classes, sophomores, juniors and seniors can earn dual enrollment credit on the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus. The ambitious coursework provides college level courses in each discipline to students with exposure to college-level thinking across subject areas, from core subjects, where each department has more than 20 faculty members from Miami-Dade College and the University of Florida. And it’s working: approximately 10 percent of NWSA graduates attend an Ivy League university, and the graduating class of 2017 received a total of $36 million in scholarships.
NWSA’s adherence to an innovative curriculum and belief in the value of inclusivity and diversity has produced an enormously successful student body. Eighty-six percent of students who take Advanced Placement tests scored a three out of five or higher, and 79 percent of those students are Black or Latino. NWSA has continued to earn a school grade of an “A” under the Florida State Accountability Plan. Additionally, in 2018, the U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools ranked them 149 of over 28,000 high schools in the county awarding the school Gold Status.
NWSA fosters an environment that challenges students and encourages them to thrive. Yet, the school is more than just an academic institution. It is also a proud and committed member of the community, advancing a school culture that promotes community service, peer mentoring and direct outreach with middle and elementary school students. One of NWSA’s top priorities is to ensure that its students are not only prepared to continue their academic careers but are ready to become active members of society who make the world a better place.
Many NWSA alumni have gone on to do just that. NWSA boasts a long list of prominently recognized alumni including Hollywood actors, writers and producers, Broadway musicians, as well as celebrated dancers and choreographers.
After graduating from NWSA in 1999, Tarell Alvin McCraney went on to become a world-renowned playwright and Academy Award winning co-writer of the highly acclaimed film Moonlight. Alex Lacamoire, the Grammy Award and Tony Award-winning orchestrator of hit plays such as In the Heights and Hamilton is a 1992 graduate. Robert Battle, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey Company; Randall Emmitt former theater student and film producer; Hernan Bas contemporary painter and photographer, and countless other successful NWSA graduates continue to share their talents and receive accolades across the U.S.
All told, New World School of the Arts, with its high academic performance and standards of excellence within the performing arts world, continues to distinguish itself as a premier institution of learning. It is a shining example of what a magnet school can offer to Florida’s – and the nation’s – students.