School Overview

Our Purpose

The School For Creative & Performing Arts has been committed to providing a world- class artistic and educational experience for students. Located in one of the most historically significant and culturally rich communities in Cincinnati, SCPA is the first school in the country to combine a full range of arts studies with a complete college-preparatory academic program for elementary through high school students. This dual mission paves the way for students to reach their fullest potential as lifelong learners and passionate artists. 

The School for Creative and Performing Arts is a K-12 Cincinnati Public School offering pre-professional arts training and advanced college preparatory academics. Approximately 1400 brilliant, gifted young students attend SCPA, which is housed in the new Erich Kunzel Center for Art and Education in downtown Cincinnati. Today, the gleaming curve of this new facility is a symbol of the energy and movement that has always propelled the school forward. As SCPA ushers in a new era of excellence, the powerful combination of community, arts, education and state-of-the-art resources is seen and felt in every aspect of the school. SCPA has never been in a better position to nurture young artists as they prepare for the future.

SCPA Exterior


Our Students

Every student admitted to SCPA has already demonstrated incredible capacity, talent, intellect and determination. SCPA is accessible to all children who exhibit the talent and determination to succeed, regardless of their financial or family circumstances. SCPA is singular in its ability to equitably empower young people to lead us to a more connected and a more compassionate community. 
Our student body is the most diverse in the region. Our student body is made up of African American, Hispanic, Asian, Central and Eastern European, Native American, and multi-racial students. Approximately 3 percent of the Approximately 3 percent of the students live outside the public-school district, including neighboring Kentucky and Indiana, and pay tuition. Some students relocate with their families to attend SCPA. 

Graduation Rate College Rate Post-Graduate Aid

53% of SCPA students are living below poverty level. The SCPA Fund, a non-profit organization created to support SCPA mission of academic and artistic excellence., provides the funds needed to provide the support and tools necessary for SCPA’s students to achieve their goals in academic and artistic excellence. We provide support to maintain over 254 instruments, to provide 1,000 pointe shoes and over 290 student performances annually. 


Our Curriculum

Academics & Artistic Majors

SCPA Artistic departments include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Technical Theater, Visual Arts, and Vocal Music. Arts classes are interspersed throughout the day. Each class meets daily for one or two periods of 46 minutes each. Many students take electives in their majors as well as required courses. Students must have at least 8 art credits for graduation, and they must maintain good standing in an art major. Our students perform on average of 295 performances annually. 

All students are admitted through highly selective auditions in the art majors. Students are often permitted to participate in more than one art major. Arts board exam reviews are conducted each semester to ensure that students maintain high artistic standards. Performance majors audition for elite ensembles in addition to taking daily classes. Dance and drama ensemble members also take technique classes. Electives are offered within most of the art majors so that students may achieve a thorough education. Private music lessons are available to any student who attends SCPA. All students have the opportunity to audition for age appropriate major productions.

Academically, state proficiency test scores at most grade levels are among the highest in the local system. Academic departments include English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. 


Grades are reported on a 4-point scale for each quarter of the year. Honors and AP courses are given additional weight: 5.0 for A, 4.5 for B. Weighted GPA through the first semester of senior year establish final class rank. Students receive honor roll recognition for B average, A average, and all A’s.

Graduation Requirements

  • English requires 4 credits
  • Mathematics (Algebra 1-2, Geometry and one additional) requires 4 credits
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry and one additional) requires 3 credits
  • Social Studies (World History, US History, American Government/Economics) requires 3 credits
  • Foreign Language (Languages offered: German, Spanish and French)
  • Health requires .5 credit
  • Physical Education requires .5 credit
  • Fine arts requires 8 credits