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Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Booker T. Washington HSPVA courtyard.jpg
Booker T. Washington HSPVA courtyard
2501 Flora St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Type Secondary
Motto To provide intensive training in the arts and academics.[1]
School district Dallas Independent School District
Principal Daiz’John Crow[1]
Faculty 79[1]
Grades 9-12
Number of students 903[2]
Color(s) Blue and Black[1]          
Mascot Pegasus[1]
Trustee dist.  9[3]
Learning Community   West Secondary, Cynthia Goodsell[4]
Designated 24 April 2006

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a public secondary school located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). Booker T. Washington High School enrolls students in grades 9-12 and is the Dallas Independent School District's arts magnet school (thus, it is often locally referred to simply as Arts Magnet). Many accomplished performers and artists have been educated in the school. Some examples include Ernie Banks, Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, Adario Strange, Valarie Rae Miller, Edie Brickell, Ephraim Owens, Sandra St. Victor, and Roy Hargrove, Scott Westerfeld, and Wendy Calhoun.


 Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

In 1892, Dallas established its first high school for African American pupils. In 1911, the school was enlarged and named the Dallas Colored High School. The school was moved in 1922 to larger quarters, designed by famed Dallas architects Lang & Witchell, and renamed Booker T. Washington High School, after the African-American education pioneer Booker T. Washington. For many years, it was the only Dallas high school that allowed students of color.

In 1939, Wilmer-Hutchins Colored High School of the Wilmer-Hutchins ISD burned down in a fire. Afterwards, African-American WHISD students were sent to DISD high schools for "colored" people such as Washington.[5]

In 1942, teacher Thelma Paige Richardson sued the Dallas School District, demanding equalization of pay based upon tenure and merit; the school district denied that any discrimination was taking place. Richardson, with the help of the NAACP, won the case, increasing general awareness of discrimination in the public school system.

In 1952, it was enlarged yet again, and given the new name and mission as Booker T. Washington Technical High School.

In 1976, the school was repurposed as the Arts Magnet at Booker T. Washington High School, inheriting and expanding the magnet-school arts curriculum that had been in place in the Performing Arts Cluster at Skyline High School since 1970. The Arts Magnet would become a prototype for magnet schools across the country.

In 2008, the building was enlarged a third time. After receiving many grants, the school underwent a $50,000,000 expansion. [2].

The surrounding neighborhood has evolved into the Dallas Arts District and the school building is an official Dallas Landmark.

The mission statement states "To provide intensive training in the arts and academics". Arts Magnet prepares students to attend college, conservatory or to enter the professional field. Since its inception the school has garnered 21 presidential scholars and 194 DeeBee awards sponsored by Downbeat Magazine – a total unmatched by any institution, college or university in the country. The dynamic and constantly evolving curriculum prepares students to explore an artistic career. Rigorous academic program offers all courses required for the State of Texas 3 graduation plans. In addition to a host of honors and advanced placement courses in both the academics and the arts, the O’Donnell Foundation provides teachers with training in the Advanced Placement Program. Several teachers have been awarded the Surdna Grant which provides for professional enrichment. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts named BTWHSPVA as one of the five Distinguished Schools in the Arts.

•Recognized nationally as a prototype for successful arts magnet high schools •Curriculum integrates the arts and academics •Students select an arts cluster to major in: dance, music, visual arts, or theater •A complete academic program is offered including 20 AP classes •Grades 9 through 12; students must audition and interview to be admitted •100% graduate; 98% go on to higher education •Over $60 million in college scholarships awarded to 217 graduates in 2017 •National Blue Ribbon Award for Exemplary Education by the U.S. Dept of Education •The students’ achievement comes as no surprise to those familiar with the instructional staff and the administration. With an approximate ratio of 1 faculty member to every 12 students in specialized areas, the efforts of 61 full-time teachers and 14 part-time/consultant teachers are augmented by master classes from visiting professionals in every discipline throughout the year.

  • The faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, a Christa McAuliffe Fellow, a National Tandy Technology Scholar, a TI STEM Grant teacher, National Board certified teachers and several Surdna Fellows. Approximately 88% of the faculty has more than ten years of teaching experience, and more than 83% have advanced degrees.
 Montgomery Arts Theatre lobby at Booker T. Washington HSPVA.
Montgomery Arts Theatre lobby at Booker T. Washington HSPVA.

The school’s dual emphasis on arts and academics consistently produces a stellar list of graduates. Among those are Grammy winners such as R&B vocalist Erykah Badu also known as The Queen of Neo Soul, jazz singer Norah Jones, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, members of the gospel group God’s Property and Brave Combo. Other notable alums include dancer Jay Franke, Philadelphia Orchestra cellist John Koen, Broadway's "Porgy and Bess" musical actor Cedric Neal, film composer/musician Darius Holbert, visual artists Christian Schumann and Chris Arnold, drummer Aaron Comess, and Edie Brickell of the New Bohemians.

In 2008, a new $65 million state-of-the-art facility designed by nationally recognized architect, Brad Cloepfil, was completed. The main building, incorporated as an historical landmark, has been preserved.


The attendance rate for students at the school is 96%, equal with the state average of 96%. 21% of the students at Washington are economically disadvantaged, 2% enroll in special education, 31% enroll in gifted and talent programs, and 1% are considered "limited English proficient."[6] The class of 2015 managed to receive over $30 million in scholarships and grants.

The ethnic makeup of the school is 42% White American, non-Hispanic, 30% African American, 24% Hispanic American, 3% Asian American/Pacific Islander American, and 1% American Indian/Alaskan Native.[6]

The average class sizes at Washington are 20 students for English, 27 for foreign language, 19 for math, 22 for science, and 25 for social studies.[6]


Notable alumni include:


  1. ^ a b c d e Dallas ISD - Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Retrieved 4 October 2006.
  2. ^ Texas Education Agency - School Directory Archived 2006-04-18 at the Wayback Machine. - type in school number "057905034" and select "view report." Retrieved 4 October 2006.
  3. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Trustee Archived 2007-10-04 at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). Retrieved 4 October 2006.
  4. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Area Archived 2007-03-15 at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). Retrieved 4 October 2006.
  5. ^ Benton, Joshua (2005-07-15). "A family on both sides of district's demise; Pioneer fought to save W-H; granddaughter cast key vote to close it". The Dallas Morning News. p. 1A. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-22.  ()
  6. ^ a b c Great Schools - Booker T. Washington High School - Dallas, Texas. Information originally from the Texas Education Agency. Retrieved 4 October 2006.
  7. ^ a b c Larson, J. Louise (2008-02-16). "Dallas performing, visual arts school set for Taste of the Arts". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  8. ^ Erykah Badu biography, VH1. Retrieved on 7 April 2007.
  9. ^ "Fete for Banks Here Tuesday." The Dallas Morning News, October 9, 1955. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
  10. ^ Arlo Eisenberg: Burgers, Hookers and Art Archived February 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  11. ^ Biography, Retrieved: 11 December 2012.
  12. ^ Norah Jones biography, VH1. Retrieved on 7 April 2007.
  13. ^ Biography Archived 2007-04-04 at the Wayback Machine., Elizabeth Mitchell Central. Retrieved on 7 April 2007.
  14. ^ [1], IMDB

External links

This page was last edited on 14 April 2018, at 19:10.
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