Mission Statement

The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts will provide an outstanding arts-centered education, in concert with a strong academic program, for students with exceptional ability in communication arts, dance, music, theatre, digital media or visual arts. The faculty and staff, in partnership with students, parents, and the community, will strive to meet the individual creative and academic needs of these students.

We, at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, believe that:

  • We have a unique student population selected on the basis of artistic talent in communication arts, dance, digital media/ photography, music, theatre or visual arts.
  • The major function of our school is to provide our students with the tools necessary to pursue the arts at the college, conservatory or professional level.
  • The student's primary focus should be on the arts.
  • Strong art and academic programs stimulate excellence in artistic and intellectual endeavors.
  • All faculty, parents and students see art as a common purpose in all classes.
  • The School of the Arts fosters a life of appreciation and support of the arts. stimulate excellence in artistic and intellectual endeavors.
  • All faculty, parents and students see art as a common purpose in all classes.
  • The School of the Arts fosters a life of appreciation and support of the arts.

School History

In the 1980s, a group of arts teachers proposed to the School District that a school of the arts be developed in Palm Beach County. A survey was sent out to gauge community interest in the development of a school of the arts. The community’s response was overwhelmingly positive. It was also at this time that the School District was looking to magnet programs to further integrate their schools. The Palm Beach County School of the Arts opened on the campus of the old North Shore High School in 1990 with an enrollment of 250 students in grades 7-9, specializing in 5 areas of arts study: communication arts, dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. Each year, a new 7th grade class was added until 1994 when the school housed students from grades 7 through 12, and the school graduated its first class.

As the school grew, so did the need for a larger, state of the art facility. Through negotiation and the hard work of the School District, the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, and the School of the Arts Foundation, the Central Schools site in downtown West Palm Beach underwent significant renovations to become the new home of the School of the Arts in 1997.

In 1997, Alexander W. Dreyfoos made the largest private contribution ever made to a public school in Florida when he pledged $1,000,000 to support the Palm Beach County School of the Arts, which was subsequently renamed in his honor, the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

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