Dreyfoos School of the Arts

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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Dreyfoos CIMG0275.JPG
501 South Sapodilla Avenue

Palm Beach

United States
Coordinates26°42′32″N 80°03′41″W / 26.708804°N 80.061468°W / 26.708804; -80.061468Coordinates: 26°42′32″N 80°03′41″W / 26.708804°N 80.061468°W / 26.708804; -80.061468
Other nameDSOA
Magnet (arts)
Secondary (high/9-12)
School districtPalm Beach County School District
SuperintendentDonald Fennoy
PrincipalBlake Bennett
Staff70.50 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment1,382 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio19.60[1]
Color(s)Black, White & Gold    
USNWR ranking46 (US News) /138 (Newsweek) (2014)
YearbookThe Marquee
NewsmagazineThe Muse
Art AreasCommunication Arts, Dance, Digital Media, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts (DSOA) is a public high school in West Palm Beach, Florida. Formerly named the Palm Beach County School of the Arts (also known as "School of the Arts" or "SOA"), the school was renamed in recognition of a 1997 donation of $1 million by Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., a West Palm Beach philanthropist.

DSOA is administrated by the School District of Palm Beach County, which also provides most of its funding. The school receives supplementary funds for its arts and academics from the School of the Arts Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


DSOA is designated by the School District of Palm Beach County as a "choice" school. The District's Choice programs, formerly known as magnet schools, were part of a plan by the District in the 1980s to desegregate the county's schools without forced busing that would meet Federal requirements to attract white students schools in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. In subsequent years, federal desegregation requirements eased. The programs became career academies under a rebranded "School Choice" program.[2]

Student Body[edit]

A total enrollment of 1296[3] diverse student body with 41% minority enrollment and 16% economically disadvantaged[3] is selected from across Palm Beach County through a process of competitive auditions in one of the six art areas.

Students must reside in Palm Beach County, and show proof of that residence when they enroll and re-enroll each year. The majority of students commute to the school from around the county by District buses, by Tri-Rail to the train station across the street on Tamarind Avenue, and by car. A few students live locally and walk or bike to the campus.


Students are selected to major in one core art area: Communication Arts, Dance, Digital Media, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Music is sub-divided into programs in Concert Band/Jazz, Orchestra, Vocal and Piano.[4] Students are then said to 'major' in their art area, taking at least two art area classes per year in addition to other academic and other classes. They may switch majors while attending, if they audition again and are accepted in the art area. Although students cannot dual major, they are permitted to take elective courses in other art areas if their schedule permits.

National Recognition[edit]

Dreyfoos is considered one of the top public arts and academics schools in the country. It has a 100% Advanced Placement (AP) participation rate, and has more Advanced Placement offerings than any other school in the District.[3] It regularly appears on national 'Top High Schools' lists at U.S. News[3] and Newsweek,[5] among others, as the top school in the nation for both arts and academics since 2005.


The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Visual Arts[edit]

According to The College Board's 2007 Report to the Nation, the studio art advanced placement students at The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts had the highest percentage of students passing the AP exam of any large high school in the world.[6] This is the third time the school's visual art department has received this distinction, having achieved it previously in 2005 and 2006.[7][8]

Communication Arts[edit]

The Dreyfoos Speech and Debate team won #1 in the nation at the annual Bickel and Brewer National Policy Forum competition in New York City in 2006 and 2007.[9]

The Collaborative Film Productions Club won 1st place in the High School Narrative category at the 2008 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival for the film "Wednesday".[10]

The TV production team of 2008-2009 won the NSPA Broadcast Pacemaker award.[11]

The TV Production team of 2009-2010 won a Broadcast Pacemaker Finalist award.[12]

The Muse student newsmagazine won a Pacemaker Award for the work done in the 2017–2018 school year.[citation needed]


The Dance Department provides training in different styles and techniques of jazz, ballet, pointe and modern dance.


Dreyfoos Music Department was selected as one of the top ten music programs in the country by the NARAS (National Association of Arts and Science) Foundation and was declared a GRAMMY Gold Division School [1]. The music department at Dreyfoos includes Band, Strings, Vocal, and Keyboard majors.[13]

In the summer of 2014, a group of Vocal students competed in the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales, and placed 1st in the Senior Children's Choir category and 2nd in both the Folk and Open categories. Most recently, they were invited to the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference to perform as Choir of Distinction.[citation needed]


The Jazz Band in 1998 was a finalist in the Essentially Ellington competition. In 2008 the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform in Washington D.C. as part of the Presidential inauguration festivities. In 2012 the school's Jazz Ensemble 1 was the winner of the 2012 Jazz and Swing Preservation society's 2012 "Battle of the Bands" which invited high schools across Palm Beach County, Florida to compete.[14] In 2016, they were the winner of the 2016 Swing Central competition in Savannah, Georgia.[15]


The Dreyfoos Theatre Department received the Educational Theatre Association's Outstanding School Award, Outstanding Student Award, & Hall of Fame Teacher Award (the first time in the 74 year-history of this organization that one school received all three awards).[16]

In 2018, a Dreyfoos Theatre senior was chosen to attend and compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City for her role in Dreyfoos’ production of Kiss Me, Kate.[17] In 2019, the Dreyfoos Theatre Department became one of the first high schools in the world to perform the musical Amelié, which premiered on Broadway in 2017.[18]


The Class of 2010 collectively received over $19 million in scholarship offers.[19]

In 2008, the school's student newsmagazine, The Muse, won the National Scholastic Press Association's prestigious Newspaper Pacemaker award, a recognition of the top student publications in the United States.[20] This is the second time Dreyfoos has won the award, having earned it previously in 2004 to become the first school publication in Florida to do so.[21] The Muse also won fifth place in "Best in Show" at the 2008 Fall Convention of the National Scholastic Press Association, having previously earned eighth place at the 2006 Spring Convention.[22][23]

The school's literary magazine, Seeds, received the prestigious National Scholastic Press Association Magazine Pacemaker in 2009.[24] Seeds also received fourth place in "Best in Show" at the 2007 Fall Convention of the National Scholastic Press Association.[25]

The school's newscast, "DSOA Today", received fourth place in "Best in Show" at the 2005 Spring Convention of the National Scholastic Press Association.[26]

The school's Theatre Department won the Southeastern Theatre Conference festival with its production of Kindertransport.[27] Numerous other productions have received high ratings at the Florida Theatre Conference and the Florida State Thespian Festival.


Twin Lakes was founded in 1908 as Palm Beach High School; it was established one year before the founding of the county itself and is the oldest high school in the county. Originally for whites, Palm Beach High merged in the 1970–1971 school year with the black Roosevelt High School following integration, forming Twin Lakes High School.[28]

Alexander W. Dreyfoos, at the suggestion of Dreyfoos Chairman Laurence Brandt Levine, donated the majority funding for the transformation of the campus, making the largest private contribution ever made to a public school in Florida, pledging $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 (DSOA).[29]

The Palm Beach School of the Arts was then divided into two entities: Dreyfoos School of the Arts and the Middle School of the Arts, which later became the Bak Middle School of the Arts serving grades 6–8. MSOA remained on the Mangonia Park campus.

Dreyfoos celebrated the site's 100-Year Celebration with the "100 Years on the Hill" event.

In 2010, Burt Reynolds who graduated from the campus when it was Palm Beach High, returned to the campus for a dedication of the front drive, now used as a pick-up/drop-off for the school as "Burt Reynolds Drive."[30]

Notable Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "ALEXANDER W DREYFOOS JUNIOR SCHOOL OF THE ARTS". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  2. ^ "Palm Beach County schools consider full choice" Scott Travis, Sun Sentinel, March 8, 2014
  3. ^ a b c d Dreyfoos School of the Arts USNews.com
  4. ^ Dreyfoos School of the Arts Official Website
  5. ^ America's Top High Schools Newsweek
  6. ^ "2007 AP Report to the Nation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  7. ^ "2005 AP Report to the Nation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  8. ^ "2006 AP Report to the Nation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  9. ^ "Dreyfoos Debate Team Wins National Honor". Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  10. ^ "FLIFF 2008 High School Film Competition". Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  11. ^ "2009 NSPA Broadcast Pacemaker Winners". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  12. ^ "2010 NSPA Broadcast Pacemaker Winners". Archived from the original on 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  13. ^ "A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts". www.awdsoa.org/music--keyboard.html. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  14. ^ DSOA Band Beat
  15. ^ http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local.../dreyfoos-jazz.../eFtyR3DXeMTDuH3Zdj9gXP/
  16. ^ "Dreyfoos Sweep Makes Statement For the Arts". Palm Beach Post, The. 2003-06-15. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  17. ^ Poinsett, Holly (2018-06-06). "'Dream Awards' honor high school musical theater's best". WPEC. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  18. ^ Desk, BWW News. "AMELIE, A NEW MUSICAL Brings Its Magic To Dreyfoos School Of The Arts". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  19. ^ "SOAFI - Academics". Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  20. ^ "2008 NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Winners". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  21. ^ "2004 NSPA Newspaper Pacemaker Winners". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
  22. ^ "NSPA Winners Fall 2008". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  23. ^ "NSPA Winners Spring 2006". Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  24. ^ "2009 NSPA Magazine Pacemaker Winners". Archived from the original on 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  25. ^ "NSPA Winners Fall 2007". Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  26. ^ "NSPA Winners Spring 2005". Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  27. ^ "A Tale Of Hope, Sadness". Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  28. ^ "Dreyfoos has rich history on 'The Hill'". Archived from the original on 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2011-07-03.
  29. ^ Dreyfoos School of the Arts Official Website
  30. ^ Ceremony to Dedicate Burt Reynolds Road at Dreyfoos School of Arts - Americantowns

External links[edit]