Two students being interviews as film students film and direct them


Frequently Asked Questions

What programs does LIHSA offer?

Students choose one of seven approved New York State approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways: Performing Arts, Audio Production, Visual Media Arts, Production Managerial Arts, Computer Game Design, 3D Animation, and Multimedia Film & TV. The LIHSA model is based on a two-year sequence of study.  Students can attend longer and/or at any point in their high school years. Students will work towards 54+ hours of Work Based Learning instruction with an industry professional that prepares students to earn their CTE endorsement from New York State.

When can my child drive to LIHSA?

Only Students with a New York State Drivers License may drive to and park on the LIHSA campus as per Nassau BOCES policy.
Students with a junior drivers license may not drive to school.
Students are never permitted to drive to LIHSA and park in the neighborhood.
Students who do not have a valid NYS license must take the bus or be driven to school.
If you wish to apply for a student parking permit or to be a driver passenger please follow the links to the appropriate form.

How is the school day set up?

Students come to LIHSA for artistic career preparation from either 8:00-10:30 or 12:00-2:30 daily. The LIHSA experience is a half-day fully immersive artistic endeavor—students complete their remaining academic requirements at their district, or private high school.

The morning and afternoon sessions mirror each other—there is no advantage to attending one over the other.

What do I do if my district will not allow me to attend LIHSA?

The requirements mandating public school districts to make CTE instruction available to all New York State students are specified in both New York State legislation and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Read more

In addition, NYSED states that “all public-school districts shall offer students the opportunity to complete a three-or five-unit sequence in each of the following areas: career and technical education and the arts.” More information

When was LIHSA established?

Since its inception in 1973, Long Island High School for the Arts (LIHSA), formerly known as the Cultural Arts Center, has sought to prepare students for careers in the arts. We are proud to celebrate our 50th year this year!

Is LIHSA open to students in both public and private schools?

Yes, but even if a student is attending a private school, they must gain their home school district’s permission in order to attend. Under Section 3602-c of Education Law, “students in nonpublic schools may also enroll in public school programs in three categories: occupational [CTE], gifted, and handicapped education. Dual enrollment does not in any way jeopardize the student’s enrollment in the nonpublic school nor does it involve the student’s registration in a public school. Through a request for participation in a dual enrollment program, a student is considered enrolled in the public school, but no formal registration in the public school is required. In order to arrange for participation in an education program, the parents of a nonpublic school student must file a written request with the board of education of the district in which the pupil resides. June 1 is the deadline for these requests.” Further information

Can I pay for my child to attend the school, if the district will not send?

LIHSA only accepts tuition money from public school districts. Please speak with your school district to learn more about your district’s protocol for applying to LIHSA.

Do you offer weekend or evening classes to the public?

LIHSA does not. However, we do operate a summer program in partnership with Hofstra University.  During the school year, LIHSA will offer various free master classes for students from all districts.

What grade can my child start attending the program at LIHSA?

LIHSA is open to students in any high school grade. However, most students attend in 11th and 12th grade. It is at your school district’s discretion to determine what are the best years for attendance, given academic requirements and other priorities.

Who provides the transportation?

Transportation is provided by a student’s local school district. In addition, LIHSA has ample parking for students who meet the requirements and have permission from their home high school and parents, to drive themselves.

What are the differences between the in-district arts programs and LIHSA?

  1. LIHSA is an approved Career and Technical Education program. Under New York State’s “4+1” pathway assessment option, students must take and pass four required Regents Exams and complete a comparably rigorous pathway to meet the fifth assessment requirement for graduation. Students can now do this with completion of the Career and Technical Education-approved exam and the core sequence of classes at LIHSA. Students will also be eligible for a Technical Endorsement on their diploma if they meet the requirements for either a local diploma, a Regents diploma or a Regents diploma with advanced designation AND successfully completes the approved CTE program including the 3-part technical assessment. LIHSA also offers Physical Education needed for NYS graduation. In addition, students enrolled in LIHSA will also complete Work Based Learning (WBL) hours thru their participation in classes. WBL at LIHSA is most often aligned with world renown arts organizations who provide artistic residencies that provide opportunities for students to work side by side with an artist in a selected art form.
  2. The environment. LIHSA gives young emerging artists the opportunity to explore and refine their talents in a one-of-a-kind, master-apprentice, arts-centered community. Being on a campus with peers with similar aspirations allows students to focus on their art. Gaining valuable insights and diverse perspectives, not only from their teachers but also from world-renowned guest artists and organizations, inspires students and helps them form their own artistic voice or identity. During a recent visit to LIHSA music icon Billy Joel spoke of the benefits of an arts school experience, “I didn’t go to a school like this. It would have been really helpful to know there are other people who wanted to do this similar kind of thing and who are trying to learn all the skills necessary to do this.” LIHSA’s resources of alumni and professional arts organizations is broad and savvy about the professional art world. Through projects, artistic residencies, field trips, participation in exhibitions and events, students have regular engagement with working professionals. The creative journey is personal, but also shared, and the interactions that students have with staff and each other feed their learning.
  3. The facilities. LIHSA’s facilities are specially designed to support the school’s mission of educating the next generation of the creative workforce. Our 38,000 square feet across three buildings are filled with professional workspaces and facilities. We have three dance studios on campus, a larger theatre that holds 350 audience members with lighting and sound equipment, two smaller black box theatres, an audio-recording studio, numerous classroom spaces, practice rooms, art studios, dark room, digital music space and a carpentry shop for scenic design.
  4. Specialized College Guidance. Creating a post-graduation plan can be an intense experience but the additional requirements of applying to fine and performing arts colleges, conservatories, and post-secondary programs can be even more challenging to navigate without the right support system in place. At LIHSA, we ensure our students are supported every step of the way with staff, resources, and experiences that best align with the skills, interests, and post-secondary goals of our students. Our students have access to a counselor experienced in assisting students applying to arts focused college programs, an annual arts-based college fair and workshops.
  5. Our curriculum. LIHSA’s refreshed curriculum is informed by extensive research done with colleges and universities, with exceptional programs in the arts, to get a sense of which programs were trending and which were waning to ensure that the coursework we were reimagining would prepare students for postsecondary study. In addition, a grouping of industry experts met regularly to examine the data collected, discuss potential curricular changes, review assessments, imagine how artistic residencies could function, scrutinize schedules and set the course for LIHSA to apply to become a CTE endorsed program. LIHSA’s new courses are designed to provide graduates with the attributes and skills to innovate and create opportunity; to work within and beyond the areas of their specialty; and to bring the values of their creative practice to bear on the world in diverse and unexpected ways.

Does LIHSA have an after-school program?

We want our students to participate in the after school life available in their home schools.  As such, we do not offer an after school program. LIHSA does however, offer a rich tapestry of co-curricular offerings including: Student Council, Yearbook, The International Thespian Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, National Honor Society for Dance Arts. LIHSA students also participate in NYSMMA.

The arts are a nice hobby, but can you get a job doing this?

The creative industries are thriving, and nowhere is that more true than in the greater New York City area. New York State and California have the largest number of jobs in the creative economy–industries that trade creative assets in the form of intellectual property – the medium through which creativity is transformed into something of economic value. According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State’s arts and cultural industries generates $114 billion to the state’s economy and employs 462,584 people. These figures reflect New York’s value on creativity as a pillar of both identity and economy and the state’s role as home to award winning films; world-class theatre, museums, music and dance and hundreds of thousands of artists. Long Term Occupational Projections for New York State were reviewed for over 15 titles within the creative industries and all show signs of growth. The arts are more than a hobby. You can make a living doing what you love. LIHSA can you help you do that.

Attendance and LIHSA

Coming to LIHSA often means that you will be working as a member of an ensemble. It is imperative that students come to school regularly, and we examine attendance patterns as part of our application process. As part of every student’s pre-professional training at LIHSA, there are opportunities to perform and exhibit. The School offers both “in-house” presentations that provide experience for students, and “public” exhibitions. Many courses will have mandatory associated culminating events. Students must be present in class at least 60% of the time to earn credit in that course.

Can I visit LIHSA?

Yes! We offer a number of Admissions events throughout the academic year. Learn more about Visiting Us, or view all Admissions Events.

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