The Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts (SPA) is a public charter high school for students who are passionate about the performing arts – Music, Dance, and Theatre. The school opened in Fall 2006 and was located on the campus of Highland High School. Having outgrown the wing of Highland they were occupying, they were moved to the former Rosslyn Heights Elementary where they retrofitted the entire school into a fabulous space for the performing arts.
SPA students currently attend their academic core classes at Highland High School and their performing arts-related classes at the SPA campus which is just three blocks from Highland High. Students are busses back and forth each period from one school to another to accommodate all 300+ individual schedules.
To attend SPA, there are no tryouts, no auditions, and no tuition! The final student body is selected through open enrollment and lottery. Please explore our website for more information about our exciting school.
Frequently Asked Questions
What grades does SPA serve?
Is there a lottery?
Not at this time. A lottery may be required in the future as our student body grows. We are currently open for enrollment throughout the school year with no specifications on limits per grade level.
Are students required to pay tuition to attend SPA?
No! SPA is a Charter school sponsored by Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD), operating as a PUBLIC school, allowing all students to attend without tuition. Only normal high school and typical course fees apply.
What is a charter school?
A Charter School is a non-traditional public school founded by community members, usually parents, but primarily funded through state and federal public school resources that have a unique mission or focus. Although SPA is a Public Charter School sponsored by the Salt Lake City School District, SPA is not governed by Salt Lake City School District, it has its own Board of Trustees.
How do SPA’s classes and instruction differ from a regular high school?
Students are in smaller classes at SPA which provide more one-on-one instruction time for each student. The curriculum is rigorous and expectations of student performance in both academics and the performing arts are high. Teachers are highly qualified professionals in their respected fields with a strong desire to pass on the love of concentrated hard work and excellence. Instruction received by students provides them with the education needed to either go straight into the performing arts industry or secure placement at highly reputable colleges and universities. Most of the teachers and staff at SPA, in addition to being highly qualified teachers, are current or former working/performing professionals in their respective fields and frequently bring in other reputable professionals to provide workshops and "masters classes" to enhance the learning opportunities for their students.
Does a prospective student need to live within the boundaries of the Salt Lake School District?
No. SPA accepts students from all over Utah. Currently, we have students coming from as far as Weber, Summit, Tooele, and Utah Counties.
Where is SPA located?
The SPA Campus is located at 2291 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City, Utah- a mere 3 minutes via the SPA shuttle from Highland High School. Highland High School is located at 2166 South 1700 East, Salt Lake City, Utah. Students are transported to and from the two schools. The SPA bell rings approximately two minutes early in order to accommodate travel time.
Do students have to attend classes at SPA and Highland High School?
Yes. Core academic classes (English, Math, Science, etc.) are taught at Highland and performing arts classes take place at SPA.
Can they attend other schools besides Highland for their core classes?
No. And yes. Graduation credit is accepted from several accredited and/or online sources and Highland High School. Please talk to our Counselor for more information.
Do students need to maintain a certain GPA to be in the school?
SPA strives for academic as well as performing arts excellence. Student grades are regularly monitored and, when needed, assistance is provided. Students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative SPA/HHS G.P.A. or higher and have excellent school attendance at SPA/HHS in order to participate in school productions and extracurricular activities.
How do I enroll?
SPA has open enrollment at this time. Please see our "Prospective Students" tab for more information, as well as to and print the necessary forms for enrollment to secure your place for this coming year. Follow this link to complete the Initial Application.
Does SPA provide bus transportation for all of its students?
Due to the great distances that SPA students sometimes travel, SPA does not provide direct transportation to and from students' homes. However, we do provide bus/shuttle transportation to and from Highland High School where students within the Highland High School boundaries can ride the SLCSD school busses. We also provide shuttle connector service before and after school to and from the TRAX and FrontRunner stations at 2100 S and downtown respectively each day. UTA bus routes stop at both Highland High School and 2000 E (each within 2-3 blocks of SPA). Additionally, many students and parents carpool from some outlying areas or drive themselves to school. UTA currently does not offer a discounted transportation pass for SPA students at this time, but that may be a possibility in the future.
Can I know the qualifications of my student's teacher?
Yes, parents have the right to request and receive the qualifications of each of their student's teachers. To find out about the teacher's qualifications, the parent can look at the bio section of the website or contact the school's principal at 801-466-6700.