About Detroit School of Arts

Exterior photo of DSA building at nightDetroit School of Arts is a nationally renowned Arts and Academic high school that offers a strong college preparatory Academic and Arts Curriculum, with pre-professional study in Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music Technology, Dance, Theater, Speech, Radio/Television production, Visual Arts and Visual Communications.

In order to provide a stimulus for young people to advance their knowledge in all areas, DSA provides an exigent academic program; DSA has a core academic, advanced placement curriculum. The School’s Administration believes that these rigorous course offerings will prepare students for an internationally competitive society. The results of this demanding program are dramatic. Detroit School of Arts’ graduation rate averages 98% annually. All graduating seniors receive financial awards for college.

Signers on a stage posing for a photoDSA’s performing groups travel around the world to cities such as Toronto, Ontario; London, England; New York, NY; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Atlanta, GA; Miami FL; and Los Angeles, CA. DSA Dance Majors have worked professionally with entertainers such as Aretha Franklin, and have been First Place State winners in premier dance competitions and festivals. The Radio, Television & Communications Department produces “Detroit Public Schools’ Radio”, which airs on WRCJ (90.9 FM) and Channel 10 and 22 (Comcast Television). Visual Arts student works (which have won National, State, and Local Honors) are exhibited in several local venues, such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Detroit Children’s Museum, and Pewabic Pottery. The DSA Marching Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Male Vocal, Female Vocal, and Concert Choir all earn superior ratings at festivals and competitions, and perform regularly for the community. The DSA Wind Symphony has performed twice at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. DSA is the only predominately African-American band to perform in this event. In addition, the DSA band performed in London, England in April 2001. The late Platinum Recording Artist and Star Search Alumnus, “Aaliyah” Haughton is a 1997 graduate from the Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts. She was nominated for two Grammy Awards and three NAACP Awards. She had two successful films, “Romeo Must Die”, and Ann Rice’s “The Queen of the Damned.”

Awards and Recognition

  • Newsweek Magazine’s Top Schools in America – Bronze Medal Award
  • The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Creative Ticket National School of Distinction Award
  • Skillman Good Schools Award
  • The Grammy Signature Award

Our Vision

Detroit School of Arts (DSA) school community believes that parents, teachers, administrators and students are partners in the educational process.  The school and home must form an alliance to provide quality educational programs for youth.  A quality high school program works in partnership with families and community and ensures that students gain optimal academic experiences to prepare them for post secondary pursuits and lifelong learning.

Our Mission

Detroit School of Arts (DSA) provides a unique, specialized, challenging, integrated academic and arts education designed to produce proficient graduates equipped to succeed in a global society.

The Legacy We Honor

Originally entitled “The Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts”, Detroit School of Arts (DSA) was envisioned as a smaller citywide public high school with emphasis on a strong college preparatory academic and arts curriculum. Founded in 1992 by Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, it offers a pre-professional study in Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music Technology, Dance, Theater, Speech, Radio/Television production, Visual Arts and Visual Communications.

Our Motto

“Discovering Truth through Intellect and Talent”

Commitment to College Success

The Staff of Detroit School of Arts is committed to providing optimal academic and arts experiences that will lead every student to the world of higher education and lifelong learning.  A commitment to college success for all students will be supported by the DSA community of educators who will assist students with college applications, scholarships, financial aid and continual support.