PLEASE READ "The Audition Process: Step by Step" FIRST to better understand the FAQS!
The auditions for 2018-19 lotteries have concluded. Please see the message on Audition Dates/Deadlines about late auditions.
FAQs below generally refer to auditions during the lottery periods. If you are interested in the 2019-20 school year, please visit this website in September.
Q. How do I get my child an audition at NWSA?
A. Complete the steps to the left, outlined in The Audition Process, Step by Step. If you are new or returning to CMS Schools this will involve an extra step of enrolling with CMS Student Placement.
Q. I am new to CMS (or my child is not in a CMS school now) what do I need to do?
A. Visit the CMS Student Placement site to see how to future-enroll your child in CMS schools. If your child was previously in CMS, but is now in a charter school, etc...you must complete this process, even if you have an ID number. A CMS ID number is required before we can schedule an audition, OR we will also accept a stamped receipt from the CMS Student Placement office as proof of enrollment. If you submit the receipt, once the number is issued it will be your responsibility to get the CMS ID number to the Audition Coordinator before the lottery runs.
Q. What are my child’s chances of passing the audition?
A. Every student is different so it is impossible to answer that question. One way to determine if your child is capable of passing is to show them the audition requirements. If they are comfortable doing what is listed and are familiar with the terminology and what is required, it is an indicator that they could have a successful audition. You can also ask a teacher who is familiar with your child in that arts area and perhaps they can give you their opinion. Preparation and the ability to follow instructions is also very important factor for successful auditions, as students at our school need to do that every day.
Teachers use a rubric to grade each audition. Key elements of the assessments are posted within the audition requirements.
Q. My child did not pass their audition. Can you give me feedback?
A. Due to the high volume of auditions we will not provide feedback to parents. Sometimes parents will ask us what their child did "wrong." It is often a lack a preparation or following instructions, sometimes the child may have had a bad day or made mistakes, but sometimes it is just that their child is not performing at a level where we could confidently say they would be successful at our school.
Q. How does the Magnet Lottery work for NWSA?
A. Students must pass an audition in order to be eligible to be placed at NWSA. The parent must enter the child in the CMS School Options Lottery on-line through Student Placement AND an audition must be passed before the lottery runs. You can fill out the lottery application prior to the audition, but understand that you may need to revise your lottery application if the audition is not passed. Students will not be considered in the lottery unless they have passed an audition in the arts area they choose on their lottery application.
There are several lotteries. See the Student Placement website for lottery details, as well as Key lottery dates. Questions about the actual lottery and how it works should be directed to Student Placement or the Magnet Office.
Q. Which grades will have the most open seats?
A. The 6th grade always has the most open seats, as we fill the entire grade. Our 8th graders must audition to enter High School and some students choose not to re-audition and return to their home schools or try other magnet schools for 9th grade. For the other grades, spaces in that grade may open up when students leave or move out of the area.
Q. Will you accept transfers once the year has started, or mid year?
A. Due to the unique nature of our classes, and the fact that most grades are full, we generally do not accept students once the year is underway, unless it is the first 20 days of school and the student is on our wait list.
Q. What are your school hours and how will my child get to the school?
A. NWSA has county-wide transportation. All families are eligible for a "common neighborhood bus stop." Some areas will also have a "shuttle stop," as an option, which may be further from the home but could greatly shorten the overall bus ride (families who choose this option would be responsible for getting their child to the shuttle.) . Our school starts at 9:15 am and dismisses at 4:15 pm. Students who carpool should not be dropped off before 8:45 or picked up after 4:30, unless there is an after school rehearsal, etc....
Transportation is not automatic. Once placed at the school you will need to "opt in" for transportation for the following year through the CMS Transportation. Otherwise, they have no idea your child needs a bus or shuttle assignment.
Here is an interesting map to show where our students live:
Q. What kind of classes are taught at NWSA?
A. We use the same curriculum for core classes as other CMS schools (yes, you still have to take Math, English, Science and Social Studies!) We have standard, honors and AP classes. Of course, our electives are mostly arts classes.
We are proud of our academics, and our scores are on the rise! We had a 100 percent graduation rate in 2016, and rates of 96 and 97 percent the years before. While we will have a handful of students who go straight to some sort of professional career, most of our students attend college after graduation. We have former students attending
all sorts of Arts/Performing Arts schools and conservatories, community colleges, as well as traditional 4 year colleges, including prestigious schools such as Duke, Harvard, University of Southern California, and UNC Chapel Hill.
Q: My child has been placed at NWSA in the lottery. What's next?
A. Class registration event dates will be posted on the NWSA CMS website. It's a little tricky contacting families during this time because our system hasn't rolled over to reflect our new enrollment. We try to email new families as well, but it isn't a perfect process. So please do check our website.
Q. What if my child is placed on the wait pool/wait list for NWSA in the CMS Magnet School Lottery?
A. We do call people from our wait lists at the end of the school year and over the summer, as we learn who will not be returning. We may also call during the first 20 days of school when students are more likely to leave our school, usually due to transportation issues. If you have any questions re. the lottery and wait list, please contact Student Placement, as they are much more knowledgeable about how the lottery works.
Q. What if my child is placed at NWSA in the lottery and we change our mind or move?
A. Since every family's situation is different, we would suggest you call CMS Student Placement for guidance about your next step. Out of courtesy to prospective students who do want to attend, we kindly ask you take care of this and withdraw or request a reassignment for your child as soon as your decision is final.
Q. Once my child is in, do they get to stay at NWSA?
A. Students must be passing their Arts major class(es) in order to stay at NWSA. Students must have a C average in academic classes in order to perform at NWSA and participate in field trips, etc... Attending a Magnet school is a privilege, and the Magnet Compact can be revoked (and the student can be sent back to their home school) if the student does not pass their arts major classes.
Also, Middle School students MUST pass an audition in 8th grade in order to stay at NWSA for High School. There is not a guarantee that a student will pass their 8th grade audition. Students from inside and outside of NWSA have to pass the same audition. The audition is purely based on the portfolio review or audition score, and class grades/performance plays no role in whether or not the student passes. Current Middle School students at NWSA are advised to focus on improving their skills and getting feedback from teachers in middle school in order to pass the more challenging high school audition. Even new 8th grade students who just passed an audition for admittance will still have to audition for 9th grade.
Q. Any tips?
A. Click here for some common sense "tips" for auditions!