ArTES (Art, Theater, and Entertainment School)

1001 Arroyo Street - San Fernando CA - 91340
Type of autonomy arrangement: Pilot Schools
Basic Profile

Opened In







District - Pilot


Determine learning program
Set school-level policy
Determine professional development
Determine authorizer assessments
Determine state assessments


Select colleagues
Evaluate colleagues
Transfer or terminate colleagues
Determine tenure policy
Select leaders


Determine school budget
Set staff pattern
Determine compensation
Determine teacher workday
Set schedule
Teacher Authority Is...
De Jure and De Facto

De jure authority is granted to the school governing board via the pilot agreement, which is in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between LAUSD and UTLA. The MOU gives the board authority to make decisions in some areas. De facto, the governing board transfers this authority to the teachers, who collectively make decisions in areas indicated. In addition to the MOU, teachers collectively write an Elect to Work Agreement (EWA) for their site on an annual basis that outlines the working conditions at the school that are different from those outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between the district and union. For example, they can expand their own work hours, require participation in school events, and expand professional development requirements. This is a means to exercise more autonomy at the school level, at the will of the teachers. Teachers at the site vote on the terms they outline in the EWA, and anyone who does not agree to work under the conditions will enter the district’s hiring pool and default to the working conditions outlined in the existing collective bargaining agreement.

About the Learning Program

The Art, Theater, and Entertainment School (ArTES) has been granted increased autonomy by LAUSD to inspire and celebrate innovation. ArTES employs the power of technology to engage learning, and every student here has an iPad. ArTES is a school that develops meaningful relationships between students and educators, holds high expectations, values creativity and inquiry, provides support, and celebrates achievements. At ArTES, students are lifelong learners who embody multiple roles within their community: STUDENT – CITIZEN – ARTIST. ArTES creates an academic and creative environment that emphasizes depth of exploration over breadth. Their approach follows a four-step mission to identify strengths and needs, hold high expectations, provide support, and display outcomes.

A brief timeline of how it all happened

  • Prior to 2010, a group of eight teacher leaders worked together at a comprehensive high school.
  • The teachers dreamed of creating a different type of school that would integrate the arts and college readiness for all students.
  • This team of teachers appealed to the district to start a small school within the comprehensive high school.
  • School Board member Nury Martinez encouraged the team to dream bigger and apply to be a pilot school on the Cesar Chavez Learning Academies site.
  • The application for ArTES was submitted and approved.
  • ArTES opened in 2011.
  • In 2014, ArTES became a magnet school, one of the few magnet and pilot schools in the district.

Student-centered exhibitions
ArTES Magnet hosts an annual event called ArtRiot, a spring festival that showcases student art and performances.

Impact on graduation and college-going
ArTES Magnet works with many community partners such as ProjectGrad, EduCare, CalArts, Arts Schools Network, Youth Policy Institute, and the Innovative School Leadership Initiative to ensure that students have the resources for academic and life success. The dual focus on integrated arts and college-going have resulted in high academic achievement.

  • The class of 2016 had a 93% graduation rate.
  • The class of 2017 is predicted to have a 95% graduation-going rate.