HOW TO APPLY
The application and admission process for Communications Arts High School occurs each school year, from November through January (with applications due in January), for enrollment in the following August. Admission is available only through this process.
Application forms available through your middle school counselor, or can be downloaded here: https://nisd.net/communicationsarts/cahs-2020-2021-applications
- Admission is based on the following criteria:
commitment to develop exceptional skills in written, oral, and visual communications;
satisfactory conduct (citizenship marks on report cards and referrals to the Vice Principal’s Office are considered);
satisfactory standardized test scores;
and at least a “C” average in middle school.
Please note that copies of middle school discipline records will be reviewed by Communications Arts High School administrators. Students who meet the criteria will be admitted to the lottery pool. Once a lottery pool has been established from the applications that meet the initial criteria, the lottery will be conducted. Selections from the qualified applicants are random. Students included in the lottery pool but not selected in the initial lottery will remain in the pool that will be used to fill additional spots as openings occur.
Students will be notified of their tentative acceptance by a letter that will be mailed home. This acceptance is TENTATIVE until CAHS reviews the applicant’s FINAL REPORT CARD, 8th GRADE STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES, and CITIZENSHIP REPORTS. If any of these reports is unsatisfactory, the applicant will not be admitted to Communications Arts.
ADMISSIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
► Where is Communications Arts?
We are on the Taft High School campus (located at 11600 Culebra Road) near Sea World on the west side of San Antonio, Texas. (See a map here)
► What are the requirements for admission to Communications Arts?
Admission is based on the following criteria: commitment to develop exceptional skills in written, oral, and visual communications; satisfactory attendance; satisfactory conduct (citizenship marks on report cards and referrals to the Vice-Principal’s Office are considered); satisfactory standardized test scores; and at least a “C” average in middle school.
Admission to Communications Arts High School is open only to students residing within the boundaries of Northside Independent School District.
► How many students do you accept?
We accept approximately 200 freshmen and 20 sophomores each year. We do not accept anyone after the beginning of the sophomore year.
► What is the size of the school?
We have around 700 students.
► How are students chosen?
Every application is read to be sure students meet the admission requirements; then the eligible applicants are entered into a lottery, where each applicant has the same chance to be chosen.
► Where can I get an application?
During the application period, from November to January (with applications due in January), applications will be available at all Northside middle schools, online at the Communications Arts website, and in the CAHS main office.
► Will my parents have to drive me to ComArts?
NISD provides transportation to all students who live within the district. New bus routes are built each year based on where our students live.
► For what career fields are students being prepared?
CAHS does not focus on any particular career; rather, the philosophy is that skills in speaking, writing, using technology, and understanding visual images serves as a foundation for college, for all careers, and for life.
► Is your school an arts school?
We are NOT a visual or performing arts school. Our curriculum focuses on communication skills in one of three strands - Animation, Audio/Video Production and Broadcast Journalism.
► Will I be able to play sports?
Yes, ComArts students may participate in all of the sports and extra-curricular activities at Taft.
► Is Communications Arts hard?
We like to use the term "rigorous." All of the core courses are pre-AP, AP, and/or Dual Credit. Our teachers are very supportive and work to help students be successful. Students start AP and Dual Credit classes their freshman year. Colleges encourage a schedule that conatins rigorous coursework.
► What do "AP" and "Dual Credit" mean?
These are courses taught on a college level, which afford students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. "AP" stands for Advanced Placement; students must score a particular score on a national test to earn college credit. "Dual Credit" means eligible students earn high school and college credit for the course. Our college affiliate is Northwest Vista.
► If my older sibling is already at ComArts, am I automatically accepted?
No. Having a sibling at ComArts is not considered. All eligible applicants have the same opportunity to be chosen in the lottery.
► What happens if I need extra help in these advanced classes?
Teachers are available for extra assistance before school, at lunch, and after school.
► What Endorsements can I earn at Communications Arts?
By following the Communications Arts High School curriculum, students will take courses that lead to a Business & Industry and Multidisciplinary diploma endorsement. Additionally, students may be able to earn other endorsements depending on the elective credits they earn throughout their high school career.
► How many electives can I take?
Each year you will have one elective. Other “electives” will actually be filled by ComArts requirements.
► Does ComArts have a waiting list?
We do not have a waiting list, in that students are not ranked. However, students who are not chosen in the initial lottery continue to be eligible for subsequent lotteries. Typically, we will have one or two additional drawings during the summer as openings become available.
RECRUITING & APPLICATION DATES
Monday, November 18, 2019: Magnet School Fairs, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at two locations this year: NISD Sports Gym 8400 N. Loop 1604 W., in the Farris Athletic Complex AND at the Paul Taylor Field House, 7001 Culebra Road
December 5-19, 2018: Middle School students will visit the Northside Activity Center during the school day to learn about all of NISD's magnet schools
Monday, December 2, 2019: CAHS Evening Tour for Prospective Students, 6:30 pm-8:00 pm, at Communications Arts High School
Friday, January 10, 2020: Applications due to counselors (IMPORTANT: middle school due dates vary - check with middle school counselors for their campus deadlines)
TBA: Notification letters mailed to all applicants
TBA: New Student Orientation