Pablo Picasso, who revolutionized twentieth-century art, once said this about his work:

What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes if he’s a painter. . . ? On the contrary, he’s at the same time a political being, constantly alive to heartrending, fiery, or happy events, to which he responds in every way.

At Idyllwild, we agree that the artist citizen is well-informed about the world. We offer rich comprehensive academic programs because we think the best education happens when imagination is valued, creativity is recognized as a path to open-minded thinking and critical analysis, and deep, thoughtful, rigorous learning occurs.

Idyllwild Arts students grow to understand that creative passion enriches our lives wherever we live them: in dialogue with fellow artists, with a patient, in the courtroom, in government service—even in the deceptively simple interaction with one’s own children.

More specifically, the Academy’s graduation requirements prepare students for any institution of higher learning of their choice. Honors levels are offered in all subjects in order to offer a competitive college preparatory curriculum and to challenge students to push beyond minimal academic expectations.

Typical Course Loads for Grade Levels:

The ESL Department, offers a comprehensive ESL curriculum that ranges from beginning foundational course to advanced level courses.
The goal of the ESL department is to fully prepare students for mainstream courses and higher education beyond the high school. For more information about ESL courses, please direct your questions to ESL Department Chair, Leah Bosworth (

Freshman Course Load:

  • English 9
  • World Language (French or Spanish–students are placed according to their level at their previous school )
  • World Cultures
  • Math (students are placed according to their level at their previous school)
  • Movement and Wellness (PE)–Life Skills once a week

Sophomore Course Load:

  • English 10 (Honors offered)
  • World Language (French or Spanish–students are placed according to their level at their previous school)
  • Modern World History (Honors offered)
  • Biology
  • Math (students are placed according to their level at their previous school)
  • Movement and Wellness (PE)–Life Skills once a week

Junior Course Load:

  • English 11 (Honors offered)
  • U.S. History (Honors offered)
  • World Language (It is recommended that students continue in French or Spanish beyond Level II)
  • Math (Students are encouraged to continue beyond Algebra II)
  • Chemistry (Honors offered) or Physics (Honors offered)
  • Life Skills (once a week) to prepare for college

Senior Course Load

(four academic courses recommended in senior year)

  • English Elective (one per semester)
  • U.S. Government and Economics (one semester)/Social Science (one semester)
  • Science (students encouraged to take a third year of a lab science: Advanced Biology, Chemistry, or Physics
  • Students are encouraged to continue in Math–Pre-Calculus (Honors), Calculus I or II (Honors), or Statistics
  • Life Skills (once a week) working on college applications

Course Enrollment

Each spring returning students register for academic classes for the next academic year. Sequential courses and Honors courses are recommended by the students’ current teachers and additional elective courses are chosen by students to complete their programs. Current parents or students may contact the Academy during the summer if there is a need to change course selections.

New students should read the curriculum guide carefully and complete the Pre-registration Form. New students may be given placement tests in math and foreign language during student orientation to determine placement in required or sequential courses.

During his or her admission process, every international student is given an English-skills assessment supervised by the Chair of our English as a Second Language Department. The assessment, which takes place on Skype or during the student’s campus visit, ensures correct placement in Beginning ESL, Intermediate ESL, Advanced ESL, or mainstream courses.

Graduation Requirements

Because the Academy teaches grades nine through twelve and some post-graduates, individual programs ranging from one to four years in length may be created. A student’s course of study consists of the arts classes needed for his or her chosen discipline and also the following graduation requirements, which satisfy the University of California’s admission requirements.

English: Four years

History/Social Studies: Three years (World History, U.S. History, Government and Economics/Social Science)

Foreign Language: Two years (consecutive years in the same language)

Mathematics: Three years (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)

Science: Two years (Biology and either Chemistry or Physics)

Physical Education: Two years

All academic courses are full-year (two-semester) courses counting for .5 credit per semester, unless otherwise specified.

Another admission requirement of the University of California is one year of Visual and Performing Arts. An Idyllwild student’s course of study in his or her chosen arts discipline will greatly exceed this UC requirement.


Sophomores and juniors are required to take the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test) in October and juniors the SAT I (Scholastic Assessment Test) in May. Seniors take the SAT I in October and are encouraged to take the SAT II (previously known as Achievement Tests) in December.

All International students whose native language is not English are also required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) in both their junior and senior years.

ACTs are available and are offered several times throughout the fall, as noted on the school calendar.

Students interested in taking Advanced Placement exams may register for the tests offered in May.

A Typical Day

The Academy operates on a 16-week semester. Although most academic courses are year-long, individual departments do offer semester elective courses. The daily schedule consists of morning academic classes and afternoon arts classes.

A typical day begins with breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., followed by academics until 1:15 p.m., then lunch followed by arts classes until 6:45 p.m. Dinner from 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. may be followed by rehearsals or performances from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. All students are expected to be in the dorms by dorm curfew and their lights turned off for the evening.

Making Discoveries and Solving Problems

Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Science and Mathematics teachers collaborate with faculty from the Academy’s other arts and academics departments on a curriculum that provides an authentic twenty-first-century education. Their Environmental Studies, Introduction to Computer Game Design, and S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) courses are three examples of their determination to teach science and math as creative means of making discoveries and solving problems, including our most pressing global problems.

Idyllwild Arts graduates often go on to careers that require direct application of the scientific and mathematical skills developed at the Academy. Others find that innovative collaboration between the Academy’s science and math teachers and its arts faculty helps them acquire the skills and confidence to succeed in any field, including those that don’t quite seem to be either scientific or artistic!

The most curious and ambitious students can take Science and Math Honors courses, but all Idyllwild Arts Science and Math courses are approved for acceptance by the University of California.

Math Faculty
Math/Science Chair and Math/Science Faculty
Math and Science Faculty / Dorm Parent
Math Faculty
Science Faculty / Lower Wayne Dorm Head

Educating the Citizen-Artist

The Humanities classroom provides the groundwork for an education of the citizen-artist, a person who expands the diversity of civic discourse, re-imagines the creative arts, and succeeds in any profession in the 21st century. To this end, humanities faculty support students as they cultivate the primary skills of communication, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and community-engagement. Corresponding to this skill development, students also engage content and process personal choices in relation to the grade-level values of empathy, respect, responsibility, and integrity. Thus, the department prepares students to engage thoughtfully in the global marketplace, the public square, and the interdependent creative work-space of the 21st century.

9th Grade History/English: Empathy

To encourage understanding of oneself and others; to foster an appreciation of unique identities; and to develop the capacity to imagine one’s own experiences within a complex world.

10th Grade History/English: ​Respect

To perceive distinct political, economic, religious, and aesthetic viewpoints; to critically question ideas in order to better understand these viewpoints; and to navigate qualitative differences between viewpoints over time.

11th Grade History/English: ​Responsibility

To inspire a commitment to a cause and other people; to engage critically the gravity of consequences; and to nurture a mindful independence within a diverse community.

12th Grade History/English: ​Integrity

To recognize an accumulated body of knowledge and creative expertise of one’s own and of others; to measure the contemporary value of one’s work in a complex world; and to present one’s distinct interpretations of their work in the world to a public audience.

Humanities Faculty / Dorm Parent
Humanities Faculty / MacNeal Dorm Head
Humanities Faculty
Humanities Faculty
Humanities Chair

Idyllwild Arts Academy’s outstanding level of ESL support, offered by the Accelerated English Program (AEP), enables students whose first language is not English to meet the academic requirements for graduation, as outlined by the Student-Parent Handbook and prescribed by the University of California Admissions Standards. Our ESL/AEP teachers offer multiple levels of instruction. Its rigorous and supportive model, in an immersive environment, develops proficiency in oral and written English.

New international students must take our own comprehensive English-skills test (usually given during a Skype interview) to determine their appropriate starting levels in English. During the first week of class, teachers observe and evaluate each student to make sure this starting level is correct. Teachers then monitor each student’s progress with a broad range of continuous-assessment tools and an end-of-semester level check. Progress to the next level of English instruction is determined by the student’s arts and academic teachers’ recommendations, as well as by class performance.

Leah Bosworth

Chair of AEP
Co-Director, ESL & Arts Summer Intensive

Leah Bosworth has worked as an ESL Instructor and Dorm Parent at Idyllwild Arts Academy since 2012. She is currently the Chair of the ESL Department. In addition to her current position, Leah has taught in Northern Cyprus, Morocco, the UK, and Turkey. Leah has a BSc. from Plymouth University, UK, and holds a ‘Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages’ as well as a ‘Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults’. Her academic interests include course design, writing support, and promoting autonomous learners. Leah is the co-editor and co-author of the publication ‘A Practical Guide to English Language Curriculum Development in an Academic Context: Creating, Vitalizing, and Evaluating’, published by Black Swan in 2013. She has also presented papers at various conferences around the world, including Turkey, the UK, Northern Cyprus, Oman, and most recently Austin, Texas.

Harry Trantham

AEP Faculty
Co-Director, ESL & Arts Summer Intensive

Harry Trantham began his teaching career 24 years ago in Linz, Austria. Since that time, he has taught in New York City, Philadelphia, South Carolina, and California. He has a B.A. in German Literature and International Studies from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the City College of New York. He is currently a member of the ESL Department during the academic year. He will be teaching Beginning and Intermediate Literature and leading some Explore classes and trips summer. In his free time, he loves to hike, travel, and cook.

Maygen Sandrini

AEP Faculty

Maygen Sandrini has been part of the AEP Department since 2013. She is a longtime resident of Idyllwild who grew up watching students perform at Idyllwild Arts Academy never imagining she would one day teach at that school. Before coming to IAA, she tried an assortment of jobs and studied many things including literature, music composition and classical vocal performance at both UC Santa Cruz and The University of Redlands before realizing her true love is teaching. Along with a dual bachelors degree in music and literature, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside.

Kirsten Miller

AEP Faculty

(Suitable for ages 13-17: Beginner & Intermediate level students)
June 21 – July 2 and/or July 26 – August 6

Want to improve your English skills in an interactive, comprehensive, accelerated, and supportive individualized summer program? ‘Jump Start your English’ helps you develop the core language skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in order to achieve academic success. By the end of the 2 or 4-week course, you will be more confident in your English language abilities and have friendships that go beyond your home town.

Example schedule:

Monday – Friday (times are PST)
5.00am – 5.30am: individual/small group tutorials
6.00am – 7.00am: live zoom lesson
(plus assignments of approximately one hour per day)




June 21 – July 2 and/or July 26 – August 6


2 Weeks: $1,000
4 Weeks: $2,000

Registration opens NOW

Please contact Leah Bosworth or Harry Trantham with questions: or

What sets our program apart?

With a combined experience of almost fifty years of teaching English, we know that language acquisition is most successful when learners gain confidence in themselves and have fun in the process. The key to such success is getting students to think critically and engage artistically with a variety of stress-free platforms that foster community, allowing you, the English Language Learner, to get one step closer to fluency.

Leah Bosworth

Chair of AEP
Co-Director, ESL & Arts Summer Intensive

Leah Bosworth has worked as an ESL Instructor and Dorm Parent at Idyllwild Arts Academy since 2012. She is currently the Chair of the Accelerated English Program (EAP). In addition to her current position, Leah has taught in Northern Cyprus, Morocco, the UK, and Turkey. Leah has a BSc. from Plymouth University, UK, and holds a ‘Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’ as well as a ‘Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults’ from Cambridge. Her academic interests include curriculum design, collaborative learning, and learner autonomy development. Leah is the co-editor and co-author of the publication ‘A Practical Guide to English Language Curriculum Development in an Academic Context: Creating, Vitalizing, and Evaluating’, published by Black Swan in 2013. She has also presented papers at various conferences around the world, including Turkey, the UK, Northern Cyprus, Oman, and Texas, USA.

Harry Trantham

AEP Faculty
Co-Director, ESL & Arts Summer Intensive

Harry Trantham began his teaching career 27 years ago in Linz, Austria on a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. Since that time, he has taught in New York City, Philadelphia, South Carolina, and California. He has a B.A. in German Literature and International Studies from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from the City College of New York. Harry served as a founding member and ESL Department Chair of the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) in New York City in 2006 and a charter member of a renaissance school in Philadelphia in 2010. He is currently a full-time faculty member of the Accelerated English Program (AEP ). He has been at Idyllwild Arts Academy since 2016.

Session 1 – June 21 to July 2, 2021
Session 2 – August 9 to 13, 2021

Stay — and thrive — with Idyllwild Arts Academy this summer!

These two- and one-week online programs will combine three key aspects of the Idyllwild Arts education: maintaining and building on the essential high school skills of reading, writing, and self-expression; a hands-on exploration of the creative arts with working professional artists; and an introduction to the boarding school community where friendships with other creative students from around the world are formed and last a lifetime.

Discover and strengthen your creative and critical voices so that you can distinguish yourself in any academic or professional environment. Explore a variety of arts disciplines that speak to your unique voice in ways that add depth and perspective to your artistic stories. Find and renew friendships that will support your academic, artistic, and social pursuits at Idyllwild Arts Academy and beyond. Work in an online team with experienced and enthusiastic teachers to improve your confidence and nurture your creative spirit.

This Two-Week Online Workshop Will Help You To:

Stay on top of your academic skills:

  • Strengthen reading skills by subject areas in English, History, Science, Current Events, and Contemporary Arts. 
  • Strengthen writing skills , including personal narratives, writing mechanics, paragraph development, thesis statements, and persuasive essay writing. 
  • Get the most out of independent and collaborative learning opportunities, which are the foundations for success at Idyllwild Arts Academy, in college, and in the arts professions. We will practice time management methods to help you prioritize your passions and interests, balance expectations, and promote self-discovery and reflection. We will help you meet the challenges of both online and in-person classroom environments.
  • Promote seamless transition to the regular Idyllwild Arts Academy year, working with teachers, professional artists, and student life coordinators, who work together to support your passions, creativity, and health.
  • Develop reflective self-care and mindfulness practices to encourage good habits for academic, artistic, and personal growth before the Academy year begins. 
  • Take virtual tours with experts in their fields of study from around the United States.

Stay in tune with your artistic ambitions:

  • Use your reading and writing skills to engage with contemporary arts and media culture.
  • Explore timely topics with guest artist forums facilitated by Academy faculty, department chairs, and other guests.
  • Discover and strengthen your voice and your perspective on the world in this time of uncertainty and anxiety. Consider how you will reflect and record your experiences as a young person, an artist, a citizen, and a human being during these times.
  • Learn more about new and dynamic changes in contemporary arts practices and professions.

Stay in touch with your creative community:

  • Foster relationships with teachers and peer ambassadors who can provide social support during the program and beyond.
  • Culminate our session with digital projects to develop skills and coping strategies, join new digital communities, and renew your artistic passions. This online camp experience will help you think about and plan for tomorrow.




Session 1 – June 21 to July 2, 2021
Session 2 – August 9 to 13, 2021


Free to incoming Idyllwild Arts Academy Students – compliments of Idyllwild Arts

How to Register:

To register, contact Admission at

What sets our program apart?

When students “stay” with Idyllwild Arts for Summer 2021, they will engage with teachers who comfortably navigate the space between the arts and the skills crucial to high school success. You will get one-on-one mentoring with experts in College Writing, Contemporary History, World Literatures, and have time to engage and interact with IAA arts faculty. You will have access to an online community of artists, students, and professionals who are acutely sensitive to the complexities of education, art, and adolescence in today’s world.

4 weeks – June 21 to July 2
6 weeks – June 21 to July 30

Want to improve your math skills in a supportive, individualized summer program? The Idyllwild Arts “mathLAB” helps you supplement your math and problem-solving skills and advance to the next level. Whether you need help with foundational skills to succeed in Algebra 1, or want to move through our core curriculum at your own pace, mathLAB can help. Working individually and in small groups, mathLAB students will progress at their own pace, guided by teachers who are committed to tailoring education to individual student needs.

mathLAB is a great choice for students who want: 

  • A more flexible fall schedule to free up time.
  • A scalable summer program. Students can learn the material at a light pace (minimum two Zoom meetings per week and measurable progress on the material), or choose to devote more time and cover more content. 
  • To get comfortable with the online Knowre Math platform used during the Academy year. 
  •  To ease the transition to the Academy year.
  • To improve time management and study habits. 
  • To foster relationships with Academy teachers, enabling them to identify areas needing support and inform math placement for the Academy year.
  • To learn in a low stakes/low pressure environment with consistent support.
  • An environment that reduces math anxiety based on fear of not keeping up with the class.




4 weeks – June 21 to July 2
6 weeks – June 21 to July 30


$1,500 for 4 weeks
$2,250 for 6 weeks

How to Register:

To register, contact Admission at

Questions: Please contact Reina Meek or Braden Diotte with questions: or

What sets our program apart?

This is a unique program for students who want to advance, enrich, or fortify their math skills. Our teachers are content area specialists who believe in the power of individualized education. We want students to have the freedom to move through new material at a pace best suited to their own learning needs. We love to learn and we want our students to love to learn with us.

Summer mathLAB 2021 is available for incoming and current students of Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2.

Reina Meek

Math/Science Chair
and Math/Science Faculty

Reina Meek received a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies, Hydrology and Water Resources focus, with a minor in Natural Resource Management from the University of California at Berkeley. She completed an M.A. in Education and Curriculum Design while teaching in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia. After graduation from Berkeley, Reina worked as an Environmental Consultant, and as a Field Biology technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Reina holds Secondary Single Subject certifications in Biological Science, Chemistry and Mathematics. She has taught Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies and Calculus, among others, over her 16 year teaching career. Currently, Reina chairs both the Math and Science departments at Idyllwild Arts Academy. Her professional development includes a summer internship with J.Craig Venter in La Jolla California, where she participated in biotech research for pollution mitigation. Reina was raised in Southern California, and has hiked and camped extensively in the San Jacinto Mountains, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Olympic Peninsula. She remains an avid backpacker, but also enjoys snowboarding, dance, gardening and costuming.

Braden Diotte

Math & Music Faculty

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Braden Diotte is a native Californian, born in 1975.

As a composer, his works include:
Dementia Tranquille (2016; for Faust and ensemble)
Extraordinary Angels (2015; for ensemble)
General Manifest (2013; for harmonica, percussion & field recordings)
Saturnine (2010; for video & amplification)

As a multi-instrumentalist, he has toured as a member of the legendary German krautrock band Faust, the progressive pop band Pinback, the psychrock band Tarantula Hawk, has collaborated with members of avant-metal band Neurosis and experimental punk band The Locust, has performed in large ensemble presentations of Glenn Branca’s Symphony No.13: Hallucination City and Luciano Chessa’s Orchestra of Future Noise Intoners, and has produced albums for one-man industrial doom act Author & Punisher, as well as the international contemporary noise ensemble EXO//ENDO.

He earned his MFA in Experimental Sound Practices from the California Institute of the Arts, holds degrees in Computer Music, Cognitive Science, and Electronic Technology, and is a music department faculty member at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California.

Visit for audible material.

Many curricula changes and classroom changes are happening for the 2017-2018 school year!

The Modern Language Department offers five levels of study in Spanish and French. We are hoping to offer a basic conversational Chinese (Mandarin) in the spring, and only as an elective credit. Students who already have met their basic foreign language requirements are eligible to take such class.

Basic Requirements:

For the student who is interested in fulfilling his/her high school foreign language credits for graduation, and reach beginning proficiency, students need to take Level 1 and Level 2 (one year each) of either Spanish or French. Two years total requirement in the same language are needed per California State Law.

Further Study:

For those students who want to further and deepen their foreign language skills and reach intermediate to advanced proficiency, the following courses are offered in both Spanish and French languages:

Honors Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5 with AP support per individual student request

In levels 3, 4, and 5 we encourage interdisciplinary collaboration across departments to augment the basic foreign language curriculum. Departmental collaborations have occurred with the Visual Arts, Art History and Theater Arts Departments. More collaboration with the Music and Dance departments will occur within the year.

The Modern Language Department is enacting 21st century teaching strategies:

The Department underscores the four basic skills needed in the learning of a foreign language. Using Blended Model pedagogy, the classroom will be divided into structural pods with collaborative centers to facilitate writing, reading, listening and conversational skills. The focus will be on TPRS (storytelling –oral performance), exposure to cultural expressions of the francophone and Hispanic world, and listening comprehension audio/visual programs. Weekly participation during dinner time on Mondays with “Platicas” (in Spanish) and Tuesdays with “Cercle de Français” (in French) open to any student, staff and community member is encouraged. Students will be in charge of presenting any type of news in the target language. We are also sponsoring trips to France and Spain during Spring Breaks. Our mission is to encourage students to develop habits of mind that will foster personal transformation, spark critical thinking, and embrace an awareness of social justice with compassion and understanding in the world.

World Languages Faculty

The January “Intermester” program is inserted between the semesters, replacing the first week of the second semester and allowing time for the exploration of subjects and projects that can’t be worked into our semesters. Our teachers create curriculum around topics that interest them and that let students step outside their arts major or their standard academic program. A writer might take hip-hop, a musician might take beginning drawing, a film-maker might act on the stage, and so on. These things take place during our normal academic morning time, while the afternoons are time for specialized arts training within a major through guest masterclasses and special projects. So Intermester gives our already creative students a chance to stretch themselves even further.

For any challenge a student may experience at Idyllwild Arts, we have a staff or faculty member ready to help.


The role of the advisor is to provide support and guidance in all areas of boarding school life; review grade reports and check on classroom progress as needed; communicate with the advisees and their families regarding class work and review progress within the major. Advisors meet with their advisees at least once a week.

Resource Center

The Resource Center is staffed by a full-time faculty member who provides individual and small group tutoring for students needing extra support in their academic courses. A student may be assigned to the Resource Center on a regular basis by the Dean of Academics or may drop in on occasion for extra help.

Faculty Office Hours

Each academic faculty member holds regularly scheduled office hours Monday through Thursday during the X-block from 10:55-11:35 a.m. Students are encouraged to seek assistance from their teachers as needed. Attendance may be mandated for any student who is struggling or needs extra help to make up missing work.

SAT Review

A few weeks before the spring administration of the SATs, all juniors have the opportunity to attend a seminar dealing with the upcoming College Board examinations. The review courses familiarize students with the exam format and content. There is no SAT prep before the fall test date. Due to IAA’s late school start students who feel they require more preparation are recommended to attend summer SAT prep courses. Students may also use the SAT preparation computer program in the Computer Lab.

College Counseling

The College Counselors works directly with each senior and his/her parents. In conjunction with the faculty, they facilitate the college admission process by providing guidance in choosing appropriate colleges and/or conservatories. They also aid in obtaining and completing application materials. In addition, the arts faculty provide direction in the students’ preparation of auditions and portfolios.


The 9,700 square-foot Krone Library is the school’s research facility, housing a computer center, an extensive music library and listening room, and special collections in art, dance and theatre. In addition, there are many books written especially for ESL students. The library subscribes to foreign newspapers upon request. There is a listening lab with a collection of records, discs, and tapes for students’ daily use, and faculty and students have access to eight file cabinets of music. Also, photocopiers are located in the library for both faculty and student use.

The librarian and her assistants staff the library from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday with somewhat reduced hours on the weekends.

If students need additional research material, they may use the library’s interlibrary loan service to borrow materials from California libraries that are members of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) California Resource Sharing Network (XPRS).

Practice Rooms & Studios

Practice rooms and studios are available for student use.

National Honor Society

Idyllwild Arts Academy is pleased be affiliated with the prestigious National Honors Society. This is an exciting opportunity for current and prospective students to showcase their achievements in the areas of scholarship, leadership, community service, and character development. Induction ceremonies take place at the beginning of each semester.

Idyllwild Arts Chapter Adviser: Kim Henderson

Faculty Council: Karin Obermeier, Bonnie Carpenter, Maygen Sandrini, Merria Iaccino

Idyllwild Arts students interested in becoming members of NHS should read the NHS Membership Criteria below, then complete the activity and character evaluations and submit all materials by the deadline for consideration.

NHS Membership Criteria
NHS Activity Form
Character Evaluations

At the end of each semester, the faculty recognizes significant scholastic achievement among the students by publishing Scholar Distinction and Honor Roll lists. These lists are designed to identify, praise and encourage those students who have worked diligently and distinguished themselves with noteworthy scholastic records.

Students are named to the Scholar Distinction list for outstanding scholastic performance. To qualify, students must attain a grade point average of at least 3.7 (on a 4.0 scale) with no grades below B- in all their courses, both arts and academics. Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, the Scholar Distinction list was known as the Deans’ List.

Students are named to the Honor Roll for excellent scholastic performance. To qualify, students must attain a grade point average of at least 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale) with no more than one grade below B- in any course and no grades below C- in all their courses, both arts and academics.

In keeping with the mission of Idyllwild Arts Academy, the College Counseling office helps students discover their aspirations as artists, scholars, and individuals.

Our students are creative in their educational pursuits, and we value that approach in the search for a college, conservatory, or university. The college application process is a means of self discovery that begins long before filling out an application; from day one, we encourage students to reflect on their strengths, interests, talents, and personalities while exploring the options for their future.

The College Counselors meet frequently with students in a variety of forums. Individual meetings with a counselor are essential; additionally, students attend group meetings, seminars, presentations, and workshops that offer support during the college application process. Within their arts major, students also take a Senior Seminar, which provides instruction and feedback for portfolios and auditions. Faculty members help students to coordinate and plan audition tapes, travel, and schedules. Each year, our Theatre department seniors travel with faculty to the Chicago Unified Auditions; the Visual Arts and InterArts departments travel to Portfolio Days; and students in all departments regularly attend competitions, lectures, and showcases that present them with opportunities at the next level.

While many are singularly focused on the results of the college application process, we emphasize the importance of the process. We begin our program during freshman year, introducing students to the notion of self-awareness and self-advocacy. Ninth grade students should begin thinking about what they want and need from their education. In the sophomore year, students explore new opportunities to add depth to their educational experience. By the time students reach their junior year, we expect them to research schools, prepare for standardized testing, and challenge themselves in their studies.

As seniors prepare their college applications, we work with them in a supportive, caring, realistic manner. Our team includes our outstanding faculty, whose knowledge of particular programs and instructors can provide invaluable insight. Most importantly, we guide students as they make their first step into adulthood; as a culmination of their positive personal growth, seniors should articulate who they are and what they stand for. This awareness will serve our students well as they commence their postsecondary education. When it’s time to leave the mountain, Idyllwild Arts graduates offer colleges and the world their unique perspective and individuality.

College Counselor
Director of College Counseling

IAA offers the SAT and PSAT on campus. Our test-center coordinator, Andrew Moss, works with all aspects of testing. Please address your standardized testing questions to him at

IA Students will attend colleges listed in bold.
Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number accepted.

Over 7.1 million dollars in self reported scholarships
118 Colleges, Universities, and Conservatories accepting IAA seniors
88 graduating seniors

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy

Arizona State University

Art Center College of Design (3)

Arts University Bournemouth

Azusa Pacific University

Ball State University

Bard College (3)

Belmont University (4)

Bennington College (2)

Berklee College of Music (7)

Biola University (2)

Boston Conservatory (2)

Boston University (2)

Brandeis University

California Baptist University

California College of the Arts (3)

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) (3)

California Lutheran University

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Northridge

Clark University 

Cleveland Institute of Music (2)

Columbia College Chicago

Columbus State University

College of Advertising & Design, Brussels

Cornell University

Creighton University

DePaul University

DeSales University

Drake University

Drexel University

Duke Kunshan University

Eastman College of Music (4)

Emerson College (7)

Fashion Institute of Technology

Florida State University

Fordham University (2)

Hollins University

Iowa State University

Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music

Ithaca College

Laguna College of Art and Design

LIM College

Long Island University, Post

Loyola Marymount University

Lynn University (2)

Macalester College

Manhattan School of Music (4)

Maryland Institute College of Art (7)

Marymount Manhattan College (2)

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2)

Moorpark College

Muhlenberg College

Nazareth College

New England Conservatory (4)

The New School (13)

New York Film Academy

New York University, Abu Dhabi

New York University, Tisch School (3)

Northeastern University

North Idaho College

Oberlin College and Conservatory (4)

Otis College of Art and Design (2)

Pace University (4)

Pacific Northwest College of Art

Peabody Institute (3)

Pratt Institute (7)

Purchase College, SUNY (3)

Rambert Company School

Rhode Island School of Design (4)

Royal College of Music

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts

San Diego State

San Francisco Conservatory of Music (5)

San Francisco State

Santa Monica College (3)

Savannah College of Art and Design (3)

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (9)

School of Visual Art (7)

Sierra Nevada College

Shasta College

Skidmore College

SUNY Buffalo

Syracuse University (4)

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

University of Applied Sciences Europe, Berlin

University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins (3)

University of the Arts, London: London College of Fashion (3)

University of Auckland

University of Brighton

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Irvine (2)

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, San Diego (4)

University of California, Santa Barbara (3)

University of California, Santa Cruz

University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (5)

University of Denver (2)

University of Illinois, Chicago

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of Miami, Frost School of Music (2)

University of the Nations

University of the Pacific

University of Redlands

University of Rochester

University of Southern California (4)

University of Southampton

University of Utah

University of the West of England, Bristol

Vancouver Film School

Vanguard University

Washington State University

Webster University


Students attending their top choice school: 20 (23%)

Degrees IAA Students plan to Pursue:
BFA: 25 (28%)
B.Mus: 19 (22%)
BA: 26 (30%)
BS: 2 (2%)
Students studying an academic area: 5 (6%)

Type of Institution:
Art School: 21 (24%)
Conservatory: 16 (18%)
University: 23 (26%)
Liberal Arts College: 4 (5%)
Community College: 7 (8%)
Gap Year: 4 (5%)
Pursuing work: 2 (2%)
International University (U.K., Belgium, Netherlands, New Zealand): 12 (14%)
Attending four year institutions: 60 (68%)

Most Popular Institutions:
Berklee College of Music: 7
Emerson College: 7
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA): 7
The New School: 13
Pratt Institute: 7
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC): 9
School of Visual Arts (SVA): 7
University of the Arts London (UAL): 6

Edline ( is our web-based grade reporting system which links to Easy Grade Pro, the electronic grade book that teachers use for course grading and attendance. All students and parents receive log-in codes and have access to the student’s Edline account. Grades, comments, and attendance are posted regularly and uploaded in real time and can be accessed 24 hours a day. Also, both parent and student email addresses should be linked to this account so that teachers can email directly through Edline with important updates. The Edline account is valid and active throughout the student’s years of attendance at Idyllwild Arts Academy and does not need to be reactivated each year. Log in passwords also do not change from year to year.

Due to the accessibility of grade information throughout the school year on Edline, we do not mail grade reports home except at the end of the spring semester. It is therefore expected that all students and parents regularly check Edline to monitor progress. If parents have questions about grades in Edline, we encourage parents to first discuss with the student and then directly contact the teacher and/or the advisor if you have questions.

Please contact Elaine Huddleston, the Registrar, if you lose/forget your login password or have questions regarding how to use Edline.

Transcripts are generated upon request for students applying to post-secondary schools, summer programs, and other schools requiring grade and enrollment documentation. Please email Elaine Huddleston, Registrar, to request a transcript. Please provide a full address and to whose attention the transcript should be sent.