• Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 Frequently Asked Questions


    When will we here about the outcome of the audition?

    Letters will be mailed or emailed early December. If a child is accepted to CAPA, it is assumed they will be taking the spot, and they will be removed from the lottery for their other choices.

    What is a waitlist, and how does it work

    After the auditions are complete, a rubric is used to score each audition. Students
    with the highest audition score are admitted first until the available slots are filled.  Additional students with passing scores are placed on the waitlist.  Any child from the accepted list who rescinds their acceptance opens a space for the next waitlisted student with the highest score.  The last day we will take any children from the waitlist is July 15, 2014 .

    Can I stay on the waitlist at CAPA and take a spot at another magnet school?

    If a child is waitlisted, they may stay on the waitlist and be accepted at another magnet as long as the other magnet is not full. If it is full, the child must make a choice if they want to stay on the waitlist at CAPA or take the acceptance at the other program.

    What does Pittsburgh CAPA stand for?

    Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts

    Who is on the audition panel?

    At least 2-4 people will be on each panel. It consists of arts teachers, some academic teachers, as well as some external artists from around the city. It varies depending on the particular art form. Children will not be auditioned by anyone who has a preexisting relationship with them or anyone from their family.

    Can I apply if I do not live in Pittsburgh?

    Children are welcome to apply if they do not live in the City. However, they cannot be admitted until all children in the City of Pittsburgh are given a chance to receive admittance. This also applies to the children of teachers. If students are admitted and they live outside the city, tuition fees will apply.

    Do you use race or gender or socio economic status in your admissions process?


    If I do not get accepted, how can I secure a second magnet that I might have applied to?

    We encourage children to apply to a 2nd and 3rd choice on the initial magnet application. This is the way to ensure there is a chance to get into another program should your child not be admitted to CAPA.

    Are there academic criteria to be admitted to CAPA?


    If not accepted, who should I contact to learn why, if I want to know?

    You can contact the arts chairperson for the art form to which your child applied. Please understand that while they can provide limited feedback, they cannot give you detailed information on the outcome of your child's audition as compared to other children. For general questions or concerns regarding the audition requirements or application process, please contact the specific Art Chairperson.

    If my child is admitted in 6th grade, are they automatically admitted in 9th grade?

    No—children admitted in 6th grade must reapply for 9th grade. A juried review process occurs in the fall of 8th grade for those interested in beginning 9th grade at CAPA. 

    Can I reapply if I do not earn acceptance?

    Yes, you may reapply for the next year.

    Can my child switch majors once admitted?

    Only if space is available and students will be asked to complete an internal audition process.

    Are there sports at CAPA?

    There are interscholastic sports in the middle grades, but not for the high school grades.

    How does transportation work?

    Students who live more than 1.5 miles away for middle grades and 2 miles away for high school are provided with transportation. Middle grades children receive yellow buses and high school students receive Port Authority passes.

    What is the length of the school day?

    The length of the school day at Pittsburgh CAPA is longer than the typical school day so that additional arts periods are made available. The day begins at 8:25 for middle school students, and 7:40 for high school students.

    Is my child at an advantage if they attended a school with an arts program?

    Not necessarily. We are looking for children not only with prior experience in the arts, but also a passion for the arts, and children with potential to become great artists.

    If my child has a disability, should I inform the school?

    We do not take disability into account during auditions.

    What academic courses are available at Pittsburgh CAPA?

    Pittsburgh CAPA has earned AYP (adequate yearly progress) ever year since the inception of NCLB. With that said, we offer a superior academic program for students in grades 6-12. Currently we offer 12 Advanced Placement Courses, a wealth of CAS/Gifted and Talented courses, scholars and regular education courses.

    How do I register for Pittsburgh Public Schools if we have never attended PPS before?

    If you are new to the district, your application should include two proofs of residence, complete and updated immunization records, and a copy of your birth certificate in addition to your completed application. When we receive those you will be automatically enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

    Are twins or siblings accepted together at CAPA?

    No, students are auditioned as individuals with no guarantee that siblings or multiple birth siblings will be both be admitted.
    Note: Students entering grades 7 or 8 may audition, but we currently do not have any open spaces in these grades. Students who demonstrate top scores during the audition process in these grades will be placed on the waiting lists.

    How many spaces are available in each art form? (Numbers listed may change)



    Grade 6

    Grade 9

    The numbers listed below DO NOT include our current 8th grade students.




    Instrumental Music



    Literary Arts






    Production Technology






    Visual Art



    Vocal Music





    Audition Preparation


    What do I need for my child's audition?

    Please see pages 4 - 6 of Part 2 of the CAPA supplemental application for a complete chart of the requirements for children's auditions.

    What should my child wear to the audition?

    Comfortable, yet professional clothing —and applicable to the art form. Students Auditioning for Dance should wear appropriate dance attire and shoes or comfortable (not loose fitting) clothing.

    Where do I park?

    Parents who choose to stay for the audition or who want to come in with their children to drop them off can park at a meter on the street, or in the nearby lots. There is no parking provided on site at the school.

    Can I drop my child off and return or do I have to stay?

    You may drop your child off and return, however you are welcome to come in and meet with the Principal for a question and answer session. Coffee will be available to purchase, and a space will be open where you may wait for your child. Please expect your child to be there for the entire scheduled time.

    If we are unavailable on both audition dates what should we do?

    Children are only rescheduled for religious reasons—and if services interfere with these two dates, please contact the main office—we would be happy to set up an alternative date.

    Will I have a chance to ask questions at the audition?

    There will be a question and answer session with the Principal at the beginning of each audition day—however parents should not engage with individual arts coordinators on the day of the audition to discuss the audition.

    I want to know more about the specific art form for which my child is applying.

    For general questions or concerns regarding the audition requirements or application process, please contact the specific Art Chairperson.
    Dance 412-529-6125 rpolanco1@pghboe.net
    instrumental Music 412-529-6112 dknapp1@pghboe.net
    Literary Arts 412-529-0374 mcregan1@pghboe.net
    Piano 412-529-6101 afink1@pghboe.net or ekeeney1@pghboe.net
    Production Technology 412-529-6109 wscheuering1@pghboe.net
    Technical Theatre 412-529-6109 wscheuering1@pghboe.net
    Theatre  412-529-6121 mrossistabler1@pghboe.net
    Visual Arts 412-529-6129 pultz2@pghboe.net
    Vocal Music 412-529-6113 gsavage1@pghboe.net