Application Process

SCPA Audition Criteria Letter for the 2018-19 School Year


Dear Applicant and Family,

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for The School for Creative and Performing Arts. Please note the action items below: 

A fully completed 2018-19 SCPA Application and all supporting material must be received by January 5th, 2018 before your child can be scheduled for an audition. The Audition Preparation Packet must be completed and brought with you to the audition. If you are an out-of-district student, a $25 application fee payment must be made in the form of cash or money order, payable to SCPA, when submitting your application. 

SCPA is a K-12 pre-professional arts and academic college preparatory school.  Artistically, we prepare students for continued university and conservatory studies, apprenticeships, and/or professional experience. Academically, we prepare serious students for continued college and university studies in the humanities, liberal arts and sciences.  In addition to serving a student population with traditional needs, SCPA serves students with Individualized Education Plans and students who have been identified by CPS as gifted and talented.  Through meticulous attention to both artistic and academic development, we provide all our students with a very unique educational opportunity.  Please review the information in this packet carefully and be sure to submit all requested material. 

Criteria for Acceptance into SCPA:

  1. Demonstration of artistic talent and ability in one or more of the seven artistic disciplines in the SCPA curriculum.  Artistic talent is evaluated by SCPA artistic faculty members.
  2. Demonstration of exemplary school behavior, discipline and attendance at the applicant’s current and former schools.
  3. Demonstration of a positive and enthusiastic attitude toward learning and an ability to work cooperatively with others.

SCPA Admission Process for Students Entering Grades K-3

Parents of students in K-3, interested in enrolling for the 2018-19 School Year, please visit the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education Website for more information.

SCPA Admission Process for Students Entering Grades 4-12

Step 1:  To obtain the preparation packet visit  Select the Enroll tab and then the Audition Packet tab to download the Application, the Audition Packet, and the Recommendation Forms. The application and supporting material may also be obtained by visiting The School for Creative & Performing Arts.  Applications will be located on the security counter.

Step 2:  Complete, sign, and return the written application and all supporting materials to SCPA by January 5, 2018.  Mailed applications should be postmarked by January 5, 2018 and sent preferably with tracking information.  Supporting materials that must accompany the application include: (1) Copy of original birth certificate; (2) Two Teacher Recommendations (one academic form and one artistic form) in sealed envelopes with teacher signatures across the seal, (3) Proof of residency (e.g. most recent utility bill, lease agreement or mortgage statement); (4) Proof of legal guardianship (if applicable); (5) Current resume of artistic activities; (6) Recent photograph or head shot (write the students full name on the back); (7) Out-of-district and out-of -state students must include a $25.00 application fee payment made in the form of cash or money order payable to SCPA (incomplete applications cannot be processed and will not be returned to sender). 

Step 3:  After receipt of your completed application and all supporting material, the school will notify you by email of your exact audition date and time (please ensure your email address is legible and correct on the application, if you do not list an email address we will contact you by phone and then mail).  Students will be scheduled for audition dates and times based on school availability. 

Step 4:  Bring the completed audition preparation packet and any requested artistic supporting materials (i.e. creative writing portfolio, technical theater questionnaire) to your audition.  Please be on time for your audition.  Students who arrive late to the audition will not be able to audition.  Students who miss their audition will need to wait to audition for the following school year.  This will require the student to (1) complete and submit the new application form, (2) submit all of the supporting materials and (3) audition again in person at the school for the next school year. 

Step 5:  Students will audition for the SCPA artistic faculty.  Parents are not permitted in the audition area.  Parents will have the opportunity to meet in the school theater with the SCPA Principal and SCPA Artistic Director.  They will review the audition procedure with parents and give an overview of school curriculum and policies. 

Step 6:  SCPA will notify in-district students by email and in writing of the audition result within 6 weeks after the audition date.  In-district students will be: (1) accepted to SCPA or (2) not accepted to SCPA.  Out-of-district students will be notified by email and in writing within 6 weeks if they have passed or did not pass the SCPA audition.  Out-of-district students that receive a ‘Passed’ audition are not guarantee an acceptance into the school.  Out-of-district students must also be accepted through the Out-of-district Open Enrollment Process.  Applications for Out-of-district Open Enrollment will be available April 1-30, 2018.  If you are accepted through the CPS Out-of-district Open Enrollment, a separate letter of acceptance will be sent on behalf of CPS along with a registration packet to enroll your child via CPS.

Step 7:  If accepted to SCPA, the parent/guardian will be sent an acceptance letter and an email link to obtain your registration packet (hardcopy registration packets are available upon request).  The parent/guardian must fully complete the registration packet and the student and parent must sign the student/parent contract. 

Step 8:  Both the registration packet and the student/parent contract must be fully completed and returned in person to SCPA by the parent/guardian in order for the student to be registered at the school.  A reasonable deadline of returning the registration packet will be identified.  If the parent/guardian does not complete and return the registration packet by the deadline the child may forfeit his/her eligibility to become an SCPA student. 

Step 9:  If the student is not accepted during the current school year, he she may audition again the following school year.  SCPA requires submission of all new application and supporting materials each year. 

Upcoming Audition Dates:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – In District Auditions for Students entering Grades 7-12.  This audition is only for students who currently reside in the Cincinnati Public School District.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 – In District Auditions for Students entering Grades 4-6.  This audition is only for students who currently reside in the Cincinnati Public School District.

Thursday, January 18, 2018 – In and Out-of-District Auditions for Students entering Grades 7-12. This audition is for students who currently reside in the Cincinnati Public School district, and students that reside outside of the Cincinnati Public School District.

Saturday, January 20, 2018  – In and Out of District Auditions for Students entering Grades 4-6.  This audition is for students who currently reside in the Cincinnati Public School district, and students that reside outside of the Cincinnati Public School District.

A confirmed audition time will be sent to you after we have received all completed paperwork.  We must receive your complete application and all supporting materials no later than Friday, January 5, 2018 by 4:00 PM in order for you to be scheduled for any auditions.  Mailed applications should be sent preferably with tracking and must be postmarked by the deadline date of Friday, January 5, 2018 by 4:00 PM.  No Applications will be accepted after this time.

Important Notes: 

  • Arrive to your audition at least 15 minutes early. 
  • There are (7) Artistic Departments at The School for Creative and Performing Arts: Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Technical Theater (Scenic, Lighting, and Costuming,) Visual Arts, and Vocal Music.
  • Students entering Grades 4-6 are required to audition in all talent areas (except Technical Theater).
  • Students entering Grades 7-12 are only required to audition in one category but may audition for all categories.
  • Students may audition only once during a school year.
  • Students who are not accepted to SCPA may re-apply and audition again the following academic year. 
  • In-district students receive priority of acceptance over all out-of-district and out-of-state applicants.
  • CPS allows students who live outside the CPS district's boundaries (but in Ohio) to enroll in CPS schools without paying tuition. Students who reside outside of Ohio are required to pay tuition.
  • In addition to this SCPA audition, out-of-district families must submit a CPS Open Enrollment Application with Cincinnati Public Schools April 1-30, 2018.  Families may obtain information regarding CPS open enrollment application from the Cincinnati Public Schools website (