SOCAPA has two levels of student supervision: Pre-College and High School. Each supervision level corresponds to the campus of attendance and the age group of our students. Supervision levels are mandatory and apply to all in-class activities as well as evening and weekend activities.
While all of our campuses are supervised by our dedicated residential staff, as a camp designed for high school students we encourage the personal responsibility and emerging independence critical to the healthy growth of young adults.
The number one priority at the School of Creative and Performing Arts is the safety and well-being of our students. SOCAPA has a full staff of qualified supervisors on-duty at all times during the program. All of our counselors and teaching assistants are at least twenty-one years of age and have strong leadership skills and experience. Most have degrees in either visual or performing arts from prestigious universities and many have been through Residence Assistant training programs.
The High School level of supervision provides highly structured evening and weekend activities throughout the program. During limited amounts of free time, which is typically between 5 and 7pm daily, students may sign out to explore the surrounding area inside specific boundaries set by staff, get supplies, or scout photo and film locations using the Buddy System. In addition, the Buddy System allows students to have some independence during class time and structured evening/weekend activities by allowing them to explore limited surrounding areas while still being with the larger group. For example, when the group goes to the MOMA or to the Farmer's Market, students arrive with a counselor and then are given an hour and a half to two hours to explore the event with a buddy or small group before meeting with the counselor again for a check in.
SOCAPA's Pre-College level of supervision is only offered at our Manhattan campus. After the first week of mandatory structured evening activities, pre-college students are given two or three evenings off, allowing them blocks of free time that they can structure to meet their individual interests and needs. This means that students may have from 5:30 - 10:00pm of free time during weeks 2 and 3 of our longer sessions to continue to work on their projects, go see an exhibit, see a movie, etc. Students may sign out using the Buddy System during this free time. Pre-College students may travel by Subway with their buddy. Students in the Pre-College Program are mature and take personal and group responsibility seriously and are able to handle increased freedom.
On evenings and weekends when students are not in class or on shoots, SOCAPA provides a full schedule of activities until 10pm. All students must check in on their floor by 10:30pm. Our supervisors make rounds and conduct sporadic room checks after lights-out at 11pm, and resident staff are on-duty through the night. Students are not allowed in the dormitory rooms of members of the opposite sex.
All SOCAPA students can go off campus during limited free time by signing out in the office and providing destination, purpose and contact information. Each student must be accompanied by another SOCAPA student. Each buddy group must have a cell phone with them and they must stay together at all times. Upon return, students sign back in with the staff.
If parent/guardian would like to sign out a student for any period of time (for example to go out to dinner with Auntie Alice who lives near campus), we require a completed and signed form.
This form should be signed and faxed (or e-mailed) to our office 24 hours prior to the sign-out time. The form details to whom we should release the student, when the student should be released and for how long, and a contact number where the student will be. Students must notify a supervisor upon departure and return. Students must be back no later than check-in (10:30pm) unless spending the entire night (10:30pm – 8:00am) off campus.
Alcohol or drugs are strictly prohibited on all our campuses. SOCAPA supervisors have the right to search for illegal substances. Students who violate this policy will be immediately expelled from the program with no return of fees.
During the program, each campus is reachable by phone and e-mail twenty-four hours a day. In addition, the resident assistant on duty will have an emergency cell phone on their person at all times. Illness and problems are handled immediately and the family is always contacted directly. For non-emergency communication, we request that the main office phone and email accounts be used, and our staff will respond in a timely manner.
Day students and their families are responsible for coordinating their own arrivals and departures from camp. In New York, day students depart after classes, typically at 5pm. A few evening classes may be required, and will be outlined on schedules that all day students receive at orientation. Burlington and Los Angeles day students may participate in residential life activities, and should communicate clearly with staff when they wish to remain for evening activities. Behavior expectations while at camp are the same for residential and day students. For more information on attending as a day student, please visit our location pages for New York, Los Angeles, and Burlington.