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    Performing Arts Academy

    Information for Applicants

    The Performing Arts Academy is a four-year comprehensive public high school administered by the Ocean County Vocational Technical School district. Our program opened its doors in September 2001 for students entering the ninth grade. The Performing Arts Academy is designed to provide performing arts curricula focused in dance, vocal music, acting, and audio engineering, along with a four-year rigorous academic program. At the Performing Arts Academy, students are exposed to a college preparatory program. Additionally, they have the opportunity to register in Ocean County College embedded classes for dual credit, opening up the opportunity to earn a dual degree.

    The Performing Arts Academy is located at Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s Performing Arts Center, located on the Ocean County College Campus in Toms River near the Grunin Art Center.

    The mission of the Performing Arts Academy of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School district is to provide a rigorous curriculum for creatively gifted and academically driven high school students. Our challenging coursework empowers graduates with the experience, knowledge, and 21st Century skills necessary to succeed in the academia and arts industry. Our students will develop critical thinking skills to propel them into the global landscape of interconnectivity. The Performing Arts Academy exists to provide a unique, nurturing and challenging learning environment for students gifted in the performing arts.

    Students are selected through a competitive application process. For admission, students are assessed using the applicant’s current academic transcript, as well as their performance on admissions exam and an audition/interview. Students typically enter the Performing Arts Academy at the 9th grade level; however, openings for students presently enrolled in 9th grade may be available and will be determined annually. Applicants must reside in Ocean County to be eligible for admission. All school districts in Ocean County are eligible to participate in sending applications to the program.

    To be eligible for admission, the student should be enrolled in and successfully complete an eighth grade program that includes: English, math, science, social studies and physical education. It is recommended that students also be involved in performing arts activities. Students applying as high school transfers will have current transcripts evaluated.

    The courses that the students will take in the ninth grade are:

    Performing Arts I / DANC130**, THTR193**, MUSC101** or MUSC 194**
    English I*
    Algebra I* or Geometry* or Elementary Functional Analysis (EFA)*
    Biology* (5 credits)
    World Civilization or World Civilization/HIST 173** (5 credits)
    Health & Physical Education (5 credits)
    Spanish I or SPAN151** (5 credits)
    STSC150** Student Success Seminar (5 credits)
    Integrated Office Software** (2 credits)

    * Indicates course may be taken as college prep or honors level ** Embedded course/Ocean County College Credits ***Ocean County College course credits vary by major

    View Grade 9-12 Full Course of Studies


    The student’s resident district will be responsible for transporting the student to the Performing Arts Academy.


    The school day runs from 7:30AM until 1:53 PM. Classes are offered in a block scheduling format which allows for maximum participation in the learning process. Students enroll in four years of academic college preparatory coursework as well as training by professionals in the art of performance. The course of study meets and exceeds the New Jersey Core Content Curriculum standards. Performing Arts students are offered the skills necessary to develop and manage a career in the arts industry. Students are provided with the opportunity to perform and record in a professional recording studio. Trips are taken to see professional performances. Guest artists are invited to the school to perform and train our students.

    Acting training provides, but is not limited to: acting technique, musical theatre, dialect coaching, improvisation, scene study, and voice production. Dance training provides, but is not limited to: ballet, modern, jazz technique, choreography, fitness and nutrition. Vocal music training provides, but is not limited to: vocal technique and physiology, vocal styles, and music theory. Audio Engineering training includes, but is not limited to: microphone technology, live sound, Pro Tools industry-standard software, and hands-on studio performance. Performance skills are integrated into the academic program. Internship coursework is required senior year.


    Technology is integrated into performance and academic areas.
    Embedded Ocean County College coursework is available at all grade levels. Students can earn most credits needed for an Associate’s Degree.

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