Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA) is San Diego County’s premier public school arts conservatory, home to 200 scholar artists grades 9 through 12, who attend the nationally ranked Coronado High School or Coronado Pathways Charter School. CoSA provides an intense, pre-professional arts education to students from Coronado and from all over San Diego, who are admitted after a rigorous and competitive application/audition process.
Each school day CoSA offers three or more hours of instruction, pairing young artists with educators who are also industry specialists. With a curriculum designed by professional artist/educators, students are immersed in their chosen specialty in one of six conservatories: Classical and Contemporary Dance, Digital Arts (Animation, Filmmaking, Gaming, Coronado Studios CoSA Broadcast & Film, and Graphic Design), Instrumental Music, Musical Theatre & Drama, Technical Theatre and Visual Arts. CoSA is a State of California-approved Career Technical Education program.
Our award-winning student artists perform and exhibit at the Coronado Performing Arts Center housed at Coronado High School, in either the 570 seat Main Stage or 80 seat Black Box theatres. Coronado Performing Arts Center is also available for rental to local arts, civic and corporate organizations.
More than fifty percent of the CoSA budget is raised each year by the CoSA Foundation. If you would like to see the arts continue to thrive in education, please consider making a donation at www.cosafoundation.org.
Click on the image to the right to see a digital copy of the CoSA brochure
CoSA was founded in 1996 by Kris McClung, a theatre arts and English teacher at Coronado High School who wanted to give students who were passionate about the arts an in-depth, curriculum-driven opportunity to pursue their dreams and develop their talents. The school has grown from its first class of about 45 students to approximately 200 students in six conservatories today. Many of CoSA’s graduates pursued their study of the arts at four-year universities or fine arts colleges, and some continue to work and perform in the arts today, while others have become successful lawyers, educators, parents or are excelling in many other types of careers.
Over the years, career technical education grants, Perkins grants and other funding, including the CoSA Foundation, have helped the school expand its faculty, curriculum and facilities, which are unsurpassed in public or private education in San Diego County. The CoSA Foundation was formed to raise money from public and private sources to fill the gap between funds the Coronado Unified School District supplies to the program and what is needed to fuel CoSA’s growth and exceptional standards. To date, the Foundation has raised over $3.5 million and is critical to the continued vitality of the program.
In 2012, Shane Schmeichel became CoSA’s Director, and Assistant Principal at Coronado High School. Schmeichel relocated to San Diego from Minneapolis, MN, where he created specialty educational programs for Minnesota’s fourth-largest school district that cultivated a connection between the arts and all other subject areas. Schmeichel’s strategy is a multi-faceted approach to learning, developing programs that integrate the arts with standard subjects – making learning more meaningful and applicable to real life.
A violinist, Schmeichel credits his experience as a musician for his view of using the arts for learning. “Being a musician shows you how to do something rigorously, and that intense kind of commitment sheds light on how you learn. Artists study their art form so intensively that it ends up affecting everything else they do.” Schmeichel’s philosophy is the foundation of CoSA’s standards of motivating students to explore, experiment and excel in their passion for the arts.
Julia Greig is CoSA's college and career counselor. Born and raised in southern California, Julia left to study psychology and education at UC Davis and earn her masters in School Counseling from the University of San Francisco. After moving back down south and working close to home in Santa Monica, she came to CoSA in 2015. Aside from supporting the success of teenagers, she’s a painter, swimmer, and chef by hobby and appreciates any and all food/eatery recommendations!
All students at CoSA are also students at Coronado High School (CHS), an award-winning public high school (to learn more about CHS, please click here). Some CoSA students pursue their academic studies through an independent online study program offered through CHS.
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Click Here to examine CoSA Curriculum.