Frequently Asked Questions


I am interested in your school. How do I obtain more information?

Finding out more about Arts High School starts right here, by browsing the pages located under the Admissions tab on our website. 


When can I submit my application for the 2020-21 school year?

To apply for acceptance to Arts High School, you must sign up and attend an audition, AND you must fill out the Newark Board of Education High School Application.  Arts High School Admissions Auditions were held in January, and the NBOE HS Application window opened on December 7, 2019 and closes on February 14, 2020.  

Please note:  You must provide proof of Newark residency to apply.


How are prospective students matched to Arts High School?

The Newark Board of Education uses a combination of Arts High School’s audition rankings, and each student’s family’s school preference rankings (located on the application) to match students to schools.

While a strong audition is important, where you rank Arts High School on your application is just as important.  Even if we rank you as a #1 pick, if you have ranked another school higher, you will be matched to that other school first.  The only way to maximize your chances of being matched to Arts High School is to rank us as your top choice.


When are the auditions?

Auditions for school year 2020-2021 have passed, but auditions for school year 2021-2022 will be held in January 2021. (Check back in September for specific dates.)

There will be call-back auditions for Dance, Drama, and Vocal Music only, following the initial audition dates .


Can I just show up for an audition?

You can just show up, but we strongly recommend signing up beforehand to reserve your spot.  Priority Sign-ups will be opened on November 1, 2020, and will close January 1, 2021.

After January 1st, applicants will be considered Walk-Ins.  Walk-ins should arrive between 9 and 11 am on either audition date, and will be assigned the next available audition slot.

Signing up in advance or walking in does not change how your audition will be scored, in any way.  Priority sign-up is simply a convenience for you to know in advance exactly when your audition will take place.


Who can audition?

Arts High School is a magnet school serving residents of Newark, NJ.  Only students entering 9th and 10th grades can audition for placement.  

  • 11th and 12th graders cannot be considered, unless they are transferring into the district from an equivalent visual and performing arts high school program.


We are planning a move to Newark. Can I still audition?

Absolutely.  However, you must provide proof of Newark residence before you can begin attending Arts High School.


Is there an Open House or Tour that I can attend to get more information?

Absolutely. Please visit the Audition Workshops and Tours page here on our website.


What if I can’t make it to a tour? Can I still audition?

Yes, you can still audition. School tours, information sessions, or audition workshops are not required.  


Can a student audition for more than one arts department?

Yes, students may audition for up to (2) two different departments.  However, if successful in both auditions, the student can only be admitted into one department, which will be determined by the higher audition score.


Do I have to prepare for my audition or portfolio review?

ABSOLUTELY YES!  Entrance to Arts High School  is extremely competitive!  Review the audition/portfolio criteria as soon as possible. Be prepared to show the Adjudication Board your best and most complete work.  There are audition workshops offered to help students prepare.


Do I need good grades to get into Arts High School?

Arts High School does not use any academic criteria as a basis for admissions.  Only a successful audition/ portfolio review AND school assignment through Newark Board of Education will be used for admissions to Arts High School.

HOWEVER, although our students are not initially accepted on the basis of their academic records, there is a rigorous general education program in place here at Arts, which students must maintain, in addition to their major.

For appropriate students, the academic program includes many honors and AP courses, and we find our students to be quite competitive with students of similar age in Newark, in NJ, and on the national level.


Do I have to take the Newark Board of Education Magnet School Placement Test?

Like all other magnet school applicants, auditioners for Arts High School must take the NBOE Magnet School Placement Test.  However, the primary criteria for admission to Arts High School remains the audition.

All current NBOE 8th graders will take the test in school on February 21, 2020.  Non-NBOE students wishing to apply to Arts High School, or any other magnet school, must take the test on February 22, 2020 at 8:30 am at Science Park High School.


How do I prepare for my audition/portfolio review?

You will find a detailed breakdown of the criteria required for auditions/portfolio review under each department heading on the Audition Requirements tab.  You can also sign up for an Audition Workshop


How are the auditions judged?

Each applicant is adjudicated by Arts High School faculty and industry professionals, based on each department’s specific needs and requirements.  The applicants with the highest overall audition scores, who have met all other application requirements, will be considered for admission.

Again, please remember, school placement is partially contingent upon a completed Newark Board of Education High School Application.


WHERE are the auditions?

Auditions will be held at Arts High School.

Arts High School is located at 550 Martin Luther King, Jr, Blvd. in Newark, between St. Benedict’s Prep and Whigham’s Funeral Home.  


How many openings are available for new students?

Arts High School has a total enrollment of approximately 600 students. This year Arts High School expects to have spaces for approximately 190 incoming students. Spaces become available through graduation, attrition, and departmental need.


My child has an IEP or a 504. If my child is accepted, will Arts High School be able to provide services?

Arts High School will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities, on the basis of that disability, in its services, programs, or activities, in accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  

That being said, there are accommodations we are not staffed, or set-up, to provide in-house. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


Are Arts High School students required to wear uniforms?

Yes. Like all NBOE students, Arts High School students must adhere to a uniform policy.