FREQUENT QUESTIONS

I missed the deadline to apply for the coming year. Are there exceptions?
Unfortunately, no, DASH cannot make exceptions to the application deadlines. These dates are set by the school district, which requires all applicants have their forms on file no later than January 15th the school year before enrollment.

When can I schedule a campus tour?
Visits from potential applicants and their parents or guardians (including guided tours) are hosted during Open Houses in November or December. Additional tours for applicants and their parents or guardians are provided during auditions on the day and time of your scheduled audition appointment. Because DASH faculty and students work very hard all school year long and are highly protective of our learning environment, the options to drop by for a visit or "shadow" a current student during the school day are not available.

What if I'm not currently a Miami Dade County Public Schools student?
The steps to apply, deadlines, and requirements are the same for all applicants. Whether or not you are currently a district student or you currently live in Miami, in Florida, or in the United States, you must complete and submit the two required application forms online by January 15th and prepare a sketchbook and portfolio for audition day.

DASH is not authorized by MDCPS to be an international studies school and does not have a foreign exchange program. Attending DASH requires that you live locally, near enough to get to school every day for four years of high school. Families who live outside Miami Dade County do not qualify for district-sponsored transportation. It's also important to note that our daily schedule is an extended school day (from 7:40 A.M to 3:35 P.M.) and that long travel times must be taken into account when considering the difference between attending DASH and attending your local "home" school.

I am interested in design but I do not draw. Is that alright?
All DASH students complete fine art courses in addition to their design work. DASH is an art school and this requirement applies for everyone across all five design programs. Applicants must demonstrate observation drawing skills through the audition requirements. These requirements are the same for all applicants (sketchbook, portfolio, three live drawings and an interview).

The ability to draw well comes from practice. If you've never seriously practiced before and you want to study at DASH, it's time to get serious. Afterall, other talented applicants are also competing for a spot. We're looking for students who show strong potential to become powerful visual communicators (young people with a unique take on how they see the world, interesting choices of subject matter, thoughtful compositions that fill the page expansively, and drawings that are accurate as possible based on observed three-dimensional details from real life). Obviously, we're also looking for students who are passionate about art and design! Technical training is not required. But hard work and discipline are. Please practice your drawing skills following the recommended exercises on this website. You will need to practice well in advance of the audition in order to acheive a sufficient score. Attending an Open House Workshop will help.

What kind of drawings are not acceptable?
Any single piece drawn partially or fully by someone other than you yourself (the applicant) is not allowed. We want to see work based on your own observations of three dimensional real life, so please do not include anything copied from a two dimensional source like a photo or other piece of art. Because your own original point of view and style are what DASH looks for, we don't want to see cartoon style or anime drawings. Representations of drugs, alcohol, and weapons are not welcome.

What if I am older than 8th grade and interested in DASH?
Currently, transfer spots for older applicants are rarely available. In the past, DASH has welcomed older applicants to be considered as transfer students. The steps to apply, deadlines, and requirements have always been the same for all applicants. Older applicants are evaluated with more scrutiny because they are compared with students their same age and need to demonstrate their potential to catch up quickly with DASH's extensive curriculum. Keep in mind design program courses do not begin until 10th grade.

In 2012, DASH began enrolling larger freshmen classes than in the past. This means there are now fewer spots for older applicants. In any given year, there may be 5 or fewer spots for ninth grade applicants going into tenth grade and 3 or fewer spots for tenth grade applicants going into eleventh grade. Eleventh grade applicants going into twelfth grade are not considered, as they would have far too much catching up to do. Ninth or tenth grade applicants need to demonstrate exceptionally strong work. All applicants older than 8th grade must audition during the very first audition of the year.

I have a sibling who attends/attended DASH. Does this qualify me for special consideration?
Siblings who know all about DASH are a great resource to applicants. They can help you prepare and guide you with lots of inside knowledge about exactly what we look for. But unlike lottery-based magnet schools that give special consideration for siblings, DASH is a talent-based visual arts magnet and each applicant must demonstrate his or her own suitablility for the school regardless of whether a sister or brother attends/attended.

Are exceptional education students and English language learners considered?
Absolutely! Art does not discriminate. All kinds of talented and ambitious students interested in rigorous arts, design, and academic studies should apply. DASH has a full time ESE specialist on staff, and all DASH faculty members are trained to provide accommodations for students with special needs.

Are teacher recommendations required?
DASH no longer requires teacher recommendations. These have been eliminated from the audition process. Applicants should prepare carefully according to the directions on this website.

May I include recommendations, a resume, or awards with my portfolio?
These items do not affect your audition score in any way. Therefore it is advised you do not include them with your portfolio. That way, the DASH art teachers who evaluate your audition can concentrate on your art work and spend more time considering your potential as a visual communicator.

Is there a waiting list?
Yes. Applicants who complete the audition are notified in March of the results. There are three possible outcomes: an offer of admission, notice of placement onto the waiting list, or notice of insufficient score.

May I find out which number I am on the waiting list?
No, DASH does not release wait list order. This information is strictly confidential. If a spot opens for you, we will contact you immediately by phone and email. In the meantime, you should make other plans. Please do not contact us to inquire about your wait list status.

I am on the waiting list. When will I find out if a spot has opened for me?
Please do not contact DASH to ask if a spot has opened. We will contact you immediately by phone and email if and when a spot opens for you. The first week of April is the deadline for the first round of admitted students to inform us whether they accept our offer. Throughout April, a few more rounds of admissions offers are extended to students on the waiting list. We generally fill all available spots by early May.

Is it alright to accept an offer of admission from another school of choice and then change my mind if DASH offers me admission later?
Yes. Families always have the right to inform schools of choice that they have changed their plans. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not playing fair. We recommend taking your best offer. This will mean you become "futured" to the school you choose. You will need to inform the school in writing if you change your mind. Some schools are more reluctant than others to "release" a student who has been "futured" to their school. It is always best to show up in person and bring documentation if your plans change.

May I try again next year if I ultimately did not receive an offer of admission this year?
While 9th and 10th grade applicants are allowed to audition and be considered as transfer students, lately there have been very few spots for these older applicants. Please see the information above for applicants older than 8th grade.

Which advanced academic classes does DASH offer?
Current course offerings are posted on the main DASH website under the Info section. Click the link for DASH Curriculum. The chart shows course options listed by subject in rows and by grade in columns. This information represents the tentative plan for offerings and is not a guarantee. We are always working to enhance our capacity and adapt our curriculum to best prepare our students for university admissions and scholarships.

What are the school hours and what is the earliest and latest the campus is open?
The DASH school day begins at 7:40 A.M. and ends at 3:35 P.M. The campus opens at 7:00 A.M. and is locked after 4:00 P.M.

How do new students sign up for their classes?
Apart from their own choice of foreign language elective, new students are assigned by the counselors into the appropriate DASH courses based on their previous courses and grades. Once the school year begins, level placement may be reassigned with teacher recommendation based on student performance.

How do I update my address with the school?
Addresses are connected with the official MDCPS student information system, ISIS. The address you provide when you apply online for your audition appointment is not necessarily your official address on file. Please check with your current school's registrar to make sure your correct address is on file. You will need to provide proof of new address such as a deed, lease agreement, or acceptable utility bill in order to update your official address. This is very important, as assignment of transportation and official school mail will be tied to your official address in ISIS.

When will I find out details about transportation such as my assigned bus stop and time?
DASH does not have direct control over transportation assignments for its students. This is handled by the school district's Department of Transportation. Postcards are mailed to your official address on file within one-two weeks before the start of the new school year. Your postcard will indicate the address of your AM and PM stops, time windows for drop off and pick up, and route numbers for school buses.

How do I report problems with transportation?
The DASH Magnet Office uses an internal form to track transportation issues so that we can report them to the district. Students must complete the form and turn it in to the Magnet Office when bus issues happen. Click here to print and complete the form from home.

Please note that transportation issues are heaviest the first couple weeks of school while drivers and routing specialists deal with new routes across the whole district. Keep in mind DASH is in the unique position of having students coming from throughout Miami Dade County. Routines get smoother a couple weeks into the school year. Reporting issues right away helps us all work together to resolve them as quickly as possible.