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Admissions & Enrollment Questions

  1. Who can attend The Studio School?
    For our first year, the 2019-20 school year, any student entering 9th or 10th grade who qualifies for public education in the state of Minnesota and submits a timely application can attend The Studio School. During our second year (2020-21) 9th-11th grade students will attend, and in our third year (2021-22) 9th-12th grade students will attend. We practice an open admissions process to give all eligible students an opportunity to attend regardless of race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, language proficiency, physical or mental ability, or academic or other achievement. We limit admission only by grade level and class size capacity.
  2. What are your admissions procedures?
    We are currently accepting applications from students who will be in 9th or 10th grade in the Fall of 2019. We have a two-step application process, and if we receive complete applications from more potential 9th and 10th grade students than can be accommodated, students must be selected for acceptance based on a lottery system. Should this be the case, we will announce lottery plans in the summer of 2019. Applicants who do not receive places in the lottery will be placed on a waiting list by grade level in the order they were selected in the lottery.
  3. Are students required to submit a portfolio or samples of artworks to get into The Studio School?
    No. The Studio School does not have a pre-admission portfolio review process. We are a tuition-free, public charter school open to any Minnesota high school student who is serious about developing or practicing skills for expressing themselves creatively while participating in rigorous and expansive liberal arts and service learning programs. After enrollment we expect all students to complete a creative assignment prior to their first day of school that will assist us in placing them in studio classes so we can properly challenge them for growth.
  4. Will students in the school's home district get preference for enrollment?
    No, there is no geographical enrollment preference. The Studio School seeks to provide all interested, creative high school students in the Twin Cities area the opportunity to attend our school. Students who submit timely enrollment materials shall be enrolled unless the number of interested student artists exceeds the capacity of the program, grade level, building, or class. Enrollment is then determined via lottery.
  5. Do I have to take lots of Art or Engineering classes before applying?
    No. You do not need pre-requisite experience in any of our core disciplines to attend The Studio School. Any student who actively chooses our school and genuinely desires to participate fully in our program is welcome to apply!

Curriculum & Course Questions

  1. Will you offer STEM classes?
    Yes. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, and we offer classes that incorporate, integrate and focus on helping students learn skills and ways of thinking in each of these disciplines. However, the STEM initiative is not about teaching these subjects in isolation, but instead, is about the integration of courses, programs and linked learning opportunities using an interdisciplinary approach through exploration, discovery and problem solving. Throughout our program students will integrate STEM learning with our core disciplines and rigorous liberal arts courses to make STE-A-M. Most academic disciplines are deeply intertwined in the real world, so we believe that acquiring skills for weaving a wide range of subjects and knowledge together is essential for student success. ​
  2. Will students need to choose an area of concentration or a major?
    No. Our program is built to foster students' curiosity and build creativity. The 9th and 10th grade studio courses are considered foundational, and students will be exposed to a wide range of expressive and technical media in all of our core disciplines. These courses are designed to help students develop skills they can transfer to any creative endeavor. Students will be encouraged to be experimental and open minded, and to try mixing disciplines, techniques and media, even during their foundational studies. Then, in the 11th and 12th grades, students will have many opportunities to focus in one area, medium or discipline if they want, OR to continue to experiment wildly, OR to follow a path somewhere in between. We believe innovation is born of experimentation!
  3. What is the mission of The Studio School's core disciplines?
    The Studio School was established to provide access to deep, creative learning opportunities for students that are not typically available in traditional high schools. We exist for students who: are curious; learn best by doing; like to make things with their hands; want to take creative risks; like to work hard; are open to discovery; and have a desire to serve communities with their skills. Through our core disciplines we aim to provide opportunities for students to conduct specialized, contemporary, focused creative study.
  4. How will students be placed in Liberal Arts courses like Math?
    After enrollment, students will be required to attend an orientation session and will participate in short placement tests or transcript evaluation for reading, writing and mathematics. The results of this placement test combined with each student's transcript or academic record will help us properly place students in many of their Liberal Arts courses.
  5. How long will the studio classes be each day?
    At least 95 minutes each day will be devoted to studio courses taught by licensed teachers, expert guest teaching artists, and community professionals who utilize the best approaches and practices found in a wide range of schools both in the U.S. and abroad.
  6. Are the Service-Learning and Studio courses be required for graduation?
    Yes. Students will be required to participate fully in one, year-long Service-Learning course and one, year-long Studio course throughout each academic year to graduate from The Studio School. This unique requirement surpasses minimum Minnesota high school graduation requirements, but it is a cornerstone of our program that will offer real-world, life-altering learning experiences and other immeasurable benefits to students that are not offered anywhere else.
  7. If I attend The Studio School through my Senior year, will I meet MN state graduation requirements?
    Yes. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that by enrolling in required courses students will meet all Minnesota graduation requirements to receive a high school diploma. In the arts, math and science credit categories students will likely graduate with more credits than are required by the state, but it is our desire that students receive a solid foundation of learning in these areas in order to successfully participate in and complete class and service-learning projects. We also hope our Studio School specific graduation requirements will encourage students to take advantage of advanced and concurrent enrollment classes to prepare for success in college and careers. For details about MN graduation requirements and Studio School graduation requirements please visit our Curriculum page.
  8. Do you plan to offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses?
    Not at this time. Currently we are exploring options to offer College in the Schools (CIS) concurrent enrollment courses in partnership with the University of Minnesota and other local colleges and universities instead of AP courses. CIS courses are rigorous, college-level classes taught by our teachers and held in our building that afford students opportunities to earn college credit while satisfying high school graduation requirements. These courses fit better in our curriculum, are more affordable for us to offer, and have a much higher transfer and credit acceptance rate with colleges and universities nationwide than AP courses. Therefore we are choosing to invest in providing these opportunities for students first. If there is a course that proves to be of great benefit and interest to our students in the future that is not possible to offer within our CIS and concurrent enrollment framework, we will consider offering select AP classes. For a more thorough comparison between CIS, AP and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, please visit our Resources page (coming soon).

General Questions

  1. What is a charter school?
    In Minnesota, charter schools are tuition free, independent public schools that are open to all students. Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. Charter schools operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools, and are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. Charter schools must also demonstrate a high level of performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability.
  2. Who is the authorizer or sponsor of The Studio School?
    Our authorizer is Novation Education Opportunities (NEO). For more information about NEO please visit their website: ​
  3. What is the difference between charter schools and public schools?
    Charter schools are independent and site-based managed, meaning that the school community directly chooses the people who govern the operation of the school. Charter schools elect their own school boards comprized of teachers, parents and local community members to oversee all aspects of the school’s mission fulfillment, goals, and operations.
  4. Will you have sports teams?
    No. We do not have plans to ever develop sports teams at The Studio School. However, students will be required to complete 2 courses (1 credit) in Health and Wellness, and may opt to take additional, elective credits in this area as their schedule permits. Health and Wellness course options will include Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation for Creativity, Tai-Chi, and many others. If you are interested in playing on a sports team, Minnesota law allows charter school students in schools not providing extra-curricular athletic activities to have access to those activities at non-charter public schools in the charter school's home district (Minneapolis) for a fee by a mutual agreement.
  5. How will students get to school?
    Students who are not transported by car will be able to utilize the Metro Transit System for free to get to school. Students will be given a special, student-rate Go-To card from the school which will allow them to travel throughout the metro area via mass transit free of charge.
  6. How long will the school day be?
    Monday - Thursday classes will begin at 8:00am and end at 3:25pm. On Fridays classes will begin at 8:00am and students will be dismissed at 1:55pm to accommodate faculty and staff meetings, professional development training, and collaborative planning time.
  7. Will you offer extracurricular activities, events and clubs?
    Yes. We know it is important for students to have opportunities to be involved in their school community in diverse ways. We also want to encourage students to explore their common interests together while they attend The Studio School. So we plan to offer a variety of extracurricular activities, but we want to survey students who enroll before determining what will best serve their interests and needs.
  8. Do students pay tuition to attend The Studio School?
    No. We are a public school which means students attend without paying tuition. There may be some fees students are asked to pay associated with personal supplies for use in their studio courses, and travel associated with nationally- or internationally-based service-learning projects. However, these fees will vary depending upon which of courses a student chooses to enroll in.
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