ACADEMIC PROGRAM OVERVIEW
The courses offered at SPA focus on teaching more than the basic principles of a particular art form. Our students learn a variety of skills for adulthood such as time management, self motivation, responsibility, oral communication skills, creative problem solving, cooperation, confidence, skills in analysis/investigation and perseverance.
We hold SPA students to high academic standards, requiring all students to maintain their academic performance while they participate in shows, conservatories and extra curricular activities. In fact, our graduating class of 2015 had an average GPA of 3.4 and collectively our 42 graduates generated over 2.1 million dollars in scholarship offers.
Our charter enjoys a unique relationship with the Salt Lake City School District and close association with Highland High School where SPA students are able take the majority of their CORE academic classes. Because of this relationship SPA students are able to attend classes both at SPA and Highland High school, where our students have access to a wealth of traditional academic, athletic, and enrichment opportunities, including, but not limited to:
Twenty-one AP courses allowing students a chance to earn college credit when they pass the AP exams. Highland ranks in the top ten schools in Utah with over 600 AP exams taken each year.
Forty Eight Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways, offered to prepare students for the transition to the professional community. Courses include: welding, auto mechanics, wood shop (both Campuses), drafting, biotech, television broadcasting, early childhood care center, pre-school and day care internship, ProStart culinary, interior design, and fashion (HHS), in addition to the Costume Design, Digital Media, Advanced Digital Photography, and Film Making courses taught at SPA.
Honors Classes are offered in math, language arts, geography, world languages, science, and history.
Credit Recovery Classes, that allow students to make up credits in order to fulfill all graduation requirements.
Free After School Tutoring in a variety of subjects at both campuses.
Free Summer School is offered through Highland enrollment.
A variety of Athletic opportunities. Highland High has 19 different athletic teams and traditionally competes at the highest level winning many state titles. Our partnership with Highland gives SPA students the opportunity to participate on these athletic teams.
Student Clubs: Both Highland High and Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts offers a variety of student clubs including that help students feel included and learn time management skills for college success.
Students who choose to attend SPA are offered a unique opportunity receive some of Utah’s best performing arts instruction, from qualified and gifted teachers. Equally, our charter allows students to live the “high school experience.” By attending our school students get the best of both worlds academically and creatively.
SLSPA meets or exceeds the Utah CORE standards in all of our classes. Utah's CORE Standards can be found here: http://www.uen.org/core/finearts/7-12.shtml
ILP English/Social Studies Teacher
Second Year Professor
Special Education Teacher
Ashley is the department head for the Individualized Learning Program (ILP). Her areas of expertise include English Language Arts and the social sciences. She graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education. Since then, she has taken courses in special education, English Language Arts, and the social sciences from various local institutions.
Mark Turley is the Math Instructor for the Individualized Learning Program (ILP) just instituted this year at Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts. He received a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from Brigham Young University. He then worked for the Navy at an R&D lab in San Diego for 20 years. He also spent two years serving in the Pentagon as a Science Advisor. After retiring, Mark and his family moved to Utah in 2006. Mark eventually went back to school and attended the University of Utah, studying math and education. He worked for two years as a math tutor at SLSPA and he is enjoying his new position with the school.
CTE Apparel Design Teacher
Karen Standing graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelors degree in special education. She then spent the next 20 years raising her family. She went back to the University of Utah where she earned an M.Ed. She is a mother of 4 amazing children and grandmother to 9 perfect grandchildren. She enjoys sewing, traveling, and fishing. She came out of retirement to teach Sp. Ed here at SPA and is enjoying it every day.
Charrisse is an amazing professional costumer and seamstress. She is highly sought after for her awesome costuming skills from schools to professional theaters and all points in between. She brings years of experience in the field and a passion and energy that is palpable and intoxicating. Ask any of her students in her third year entrepreneurship course and they will tell you just how awesome it is.
Gaye's degree is in Youth Agency Administration from Brigham Young University. She's worked as a Training Specialist and a Program Development Director for the Girl Scouts for several years and as a Paraprofessional for the past 9 years at Idaho Arts Charter School, APA, Canyons School District as well as here at SPA.
Gaye currently works with the ILP and Supervised Studies Programs here at SPA and teaches a Drama Class at Nibley Park School.
Committed to a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
Willow Amendola has 20+ years experience as a counselor in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah supporting a diversity of individuals from infancy through adulthood. She has worked in developmental preschools, supported independent living facilities with adolescents and adults with disabilities, residential treatment facilities with at-risk and disadvantaged youth and in both private and public educational settings.
Iris Gonzales, CSW is our new school therapist at SPA. She is passionate about supporting and encouraging others to achieve their goals and overcome life’s obstacles. She loves enhancing the positive strengths and values in everyone through different modalities using evidence-based approach.
She is a graduate of the University of Utah where she earned her degree in Master of Social Work. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and working towards getting fully certified. She also holds a Crisis Worker Certification through the State of Utah. Iris has worked at the Utah State Prison, UNI Crisis and is currently with Odyssey House of Utah.
She values good self-care; from spending quiet time alone, watching movies, spending time with family and friends. Although, more than likely, you will find her at a softball field enjoying the fresh air and watching her twin girls play competitive softball.
Lexi is our vibrant and cheery Assistant to the Counseling department. She also serves as an assistant registrar to help out with just about anything that needs to be done on the back end in the administration of a school. She also has a winning personality that greets our students in the counseling center. She has been a tremendous addition to the SLSPA family!
Begin Your Student's Path at SPA
2291 S. 2000 E.
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Registration at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts is easy, we are here to help walk you through it. The very first step is to fill out the registration form so that we have enough information to be able to serve you. You can do so by clicking the above link.
Applications for admission need to be received prior to registration. New student and late registration is ongoing. Please contact Linda Gunderson for more information.