Frequently Asked Questions
- What am I going to learn?
- How am I going to learn it?
- How Will This Help Me?
- Who may attend?
- What are the Entrance Requirements?
- What is the enrollment procedure?
- When are classes held?
- What will my day look like? Shadowing?
- Will there be food at Freestyle?
- Can I enroll in Freestyle and participate inextracurricular activities?
- Where is Freestyle?
- Will transportation be provided?
- How many units will I get? What happens if I don't pass classes?
- Do Freestyle classes count for admissions to the UC and CSU systems?
- Can I take a class at Freestyle without enrolling in the whole program?
- Is this a one or two year program?
- What do I need for Freestyle Classes?
1. What am I going to learn?
- Communication Skills - Students at Freestyle will receive a strong foundation in language and visual arts and meet UC/CSU requirements for English, Fine Arts, and Electives. In addition to developing research and writing skills through persuasive essays, research papers, creative stories, and poetry, students will also learn to express their ideas visually through drawing, layout, design, and photography.
- Multimedia Technology - Students will use the latest technology to become producers, not just consumers, of media. All projects will require students to create an art, video, web, or sound component to their written work using the latest multimedia software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Bridge, Dreamweaver, Flash, After Effects, Pro Tools, Reason, and Final Cut Pro. Students will use media not only to create their projects but to publish them in websites, blogs, podcasts, video broadcasts on the web and on the local Mountain View TV Station KMVT.
- Workplace Skills - Real world, project based learning will help students become strong presenters, project managers, collaborative workers, and creative problem solvers. These skills will be reinforced through ocasional volunteer community jobs.
- Knowledge of World - Learning becomes more relevant and meaningful when it is connected to the world outside of school. In every project, students will make connections between what they are learning and their community. Guest speakers will give students insight into the world of work and industry trends. Web based learning will inform and connect us to people in other cities and countries.
- Knowledge of Self - Freestyle will help students develop and expand their ideas as they explore issues that matter to them. Students will learn about themselves – what interests them, what their strengths are, and what their future might look like.
2. How am I going to learn it?
Project Based Learning
All our projects will allow students to explore real world issues that interest them and affect their community. With the help of teachers and industry partners, students will develop multimedia presentations to present their findings in exhibitions. These exhibitions will demonstrate the students’ understanding of content, as well as their proficiency in academic, technical and 21st Century Skills.
Real World Connections
We are committed to taking advantage of the opportunities open to us in the Silicon Valley. As a student, you will learn from experienced teachers with a strong background in the media arts. Guest speakers, field trips, and project work will bridge the gap that often exists between school and “the real world.” In addition, students will have the opportunity to volunteer for outside paid and unpaid job opportunities such as helping a local community member/organization create a video, designing a webpage for a local business, or using our studio to help a local musician record and produce music.
You will learn this by taking 3 classes at Freestyle. Every student MUST take these 2 CORE classes
~ English or English Honors - you choose. There is no need to take another English class at MV/LAHS. (10 units of college prep credits/year, UC/CSU "b")
~ Design - Fundamentals of Visual Art, Digital Photography and Graphic Design (10 units of elective college prep credits/year, UC/CSU "f")
Each student will then choose to take for his/her 3rd class EITHER
~ Film Production OR ~ Digital Media Production OR ~ Animation
Each elective class receives 10 units elective college prep credits/year and is a UC/CSU "f" course.
3. How Will This Help Me?
There is a body of research that has shown arts education engages students in learning. When students are engaged, truancy and dropout rates decline. Student involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, and greater involvement in community service. Studies have demonstrated that students who attend schools where the arts are integrated into the classroom curriculum outperform their peers in math and reading who did not have an arts integrated curriculum.Otis College of Art & Design (2016). 2015 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California. Retrieved from Otis College Website: http://www.otis.edu/sites/default/files/2015-CA-Region-Creative-Economy-Report-WEB-FINAL.pdf
At Freestyle Academy, you will not only strengthen the necessary writing, speaking, and research skills you will need in college and in the workforce, but you will also learn critical communication skills that will help you express your ideas in creative, exciting and original ways such as but not limited to:
- conceptual art and photography
- photography with DLSR manual settings
- experimental films, music and photo/video poems
- original and adapted short stories and screenplays
- narrative and documentary films
- storyboards and graphic novels
- narrative short animations
- video commercials
- video trailers
- magazine articles
- published books
- surreal photography and illustrations
- original music compositions
- portraiture photography and illustrations
- self-designed projects
- portfolio showcase with community professionals
4. Who may attend?
The program is open to juniors (as 1st year students) and seniors (as 2nd year students) at Mountain View, Los Altos, and Alta Vista High Schools. Note: Waiting list priority is given to students currently in the MVLA UHSD above students transferring into the MVLA UHSD starting their Junior year.
5. What are the Entrance Requirements?
You must have a 2.0 GPA or above. 1st year students must be juniors and 2nd year students must be seniors.
6. What is the enrollment procedure?
Apply online by the February break through http://www.freestyleacademy.rocks/apply
Why does Freestyle use a lottery system? Freestyle was originally created and envisioned to be another choice for those students who are "just doing school", not necessarily excelling in school or students with art or technical experience in hopes of getting these kinds of students once again excited about school. We are not looking for the "best" student or even a particular type of student. Our application process does not require any experience and does not require a portfolio to match the reason why Freestyle was created. This would hopefully entice students who are "just doing school" to apply. Our only requirement are a 2.0+ TGPA, a Junior or Senior within MVLAUHSD. We want a mix of all students and a lottery has resulted in a good mix of all levels of creative and passionate students with all levels of talents, skills and enthusiasm levels. More detailed info about the lottery system can be found here.
7. When are the 3 classes held?
Basically, classes are held during Periods 2, 3, & 4 for AM Session or Periods 5, 6, & 7 for PM Session. Students choose either AM or PM Session to attend Freestyle. See schedule below.
8. What will my day look like?
All students (Juniors and Seniors) can choose to attend Freestyle from EITHER 2.5 hour AM or PM block schedule below. Juniors and Seniors together will attend Freestyle for English, Fine Arts (Design) and one Elective (Film OR Digital Media OR Animation) for a total of 30 Units of credit for a single year. There is a limit of 80 Juniors and 80 Seniors due to equipment constraints for each AM and PM session. Juniors and Seniors will be in separate classes, not combined together in any class. This breaks down to a maximum of 20 students in each of the Core classes and 13-15 students in each of the Production classes with a capacity of 80 students for each AM and PM session or a total maximum capacity of 160 students.
Freestyle Academy Schedule Choices
Option 1 - AM Session
M, T, W, & F 9:30 am to 12:00 pm and Th 10:05 am - 11:35 am
Essentially Per. 2, 3, & 4 @ Freestyle
- This AM session allows you to take Periods 0, 1, 5, 6, and 7 at your home school (LAHS or MVHS) for classes not covered by Freestyle (Math, Science, Language, History, etc.). LAHS students have an option to take classes during Periods 0 and 1 at MVHS if the class needed is offered at MVHS, then attend Freestyle for Periods 2, 3, 4 and return back to LAHS for Periods 5, 6 and 7.
- This AM session also accommodates students who wish to participate in an afternoon activity such as sports. However, Open Labs at Freestyle are when students can come and freely use the equipment and are usually scheduled from 3:30 to 6:00 pm each weekday except Fridays on particular weeks prior to exhibitions.
Option 2 - PM Session
M, T, W, & F 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm and Thu 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Essentially Per. 5, 6 & 7 @ Freestyle
- This PM session allows you to take Periods 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 at your home school (LAHS or MVHS) for classes not covered by Freestyle (Math, Science, Language, History, etc.)
- This PM session does NOT accommodate students who wish to participate in an afternoon activity such as sports. Open Labs at Freestyle are when students can come and freely use the equipment and are usually scheduled from 3:30 to 6:00 pm each weekday except Fridays on particular weeks prior to exhibitions.
Current Juniors are automatically admitted to Freestyle for their Senior year and current Juniors will have first choice as to which block (AM or PM session) to attend Freestyle during their Senior Year. Any other remaining Senior seats will be filled in with new incoming Senior students.
Film or Digital Media
English and Design
Film or Digital Media
|J-Day = Juniors in
English and Design*
English and Design
English and Design
Film or Digital Media
English and Design
|S-Day = Seniors in
English and Design*
Film or Digital Media
*THURSDAYS are alternating J-Day and S-Day.
- One week: S-Day where Seniors are in English/Design on Thursday.
- Next week: J-Day where Juniors are in English/Design on Thursday.
- Following week: S-Day where Seniors are in English/Design on Thursday.
- Following week: J-Day where Juniors are in English/Design on Thursday.
Shadowing or campus visits - interested candidates can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for shadowing a student or campus visits.
9. Will there be food at Freestyle?
There two vending machines on campus at Freestyle and Ms. Parkinson sells food with all proceeds saved for a large pizza party at the end of the year. Students are responsible for their own meals. A microwave and mini-fridge are available for student use in the Digital Media room.
10. Can I enroll in Freestyle and participate in sport, drama, or extracurricular activities?
If you choose Option 1 AM Session above, you can participate in an afternoon activity.
11. Where is Freestyle?
Freestyle is located behind the MVLA District Office at 1299 Bryant Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040.
12. Will transportation be provided?
No transportation is necessary for students at Mountain View and Alta Vista High Schools.
13. How many units will I get?
Successful completion of the Freestyle coursework in one school year will get all students 10 credits each of English, Fine Arts (Design), and 10 credits in Electives (Film or Digital Media or Animation) for a total of 30 credits. For completion of 6 classes in two years at Freestyle, students will receive a total of 60 credits.
What happens if I don't pass classes?
Graduating HS is a very important goal. This requires you to get enough credits for graduation. Passing classes at Freestyle for enough credits is part of that process - especially passing English.
To remain a student at Freestyle:
- Each student must achieve a C- or higher each Semester in English and at least one of your other 2 Freestyle classes.
- Each student must also achieve a unweighted TGPA of 2.0 or higher each Semester in all your classes at all schools.
Failure to meet these standards will result in being disenrolled at Freestyle because we want you to enroll in classes that you can pass and get enough credits to graduate from high school. Ultimately, Freestyle cannot be the reason why you don't graduate from high school.
14. Do Freestyle classes count for admissions to the UC and CSU systems?
English is a college prep, UC, and CSU approved "b" course.
Design, Film, Digital Media, and Animation are all a college prep, UC, and CSU approved "f" course.
15. Can I take a class at Freestyle without enrolling in the whole program?
Because Freestyle is an interdisciplinary program, with all classes supporting the project based learning, students will not be able to take individual classes in selected periods of the day. Student MUST take all 3 classes at Freestyle.
16. Is this a one or two year program?
Freestyle is designed as a two-year program, with students working on more advanced work in the second year.
17. What do I need for Freestyle Classes?
You are not required to have any equipment to do your projects at Freestyle. We provide all equipment/software necessary for you to create productions. You can optionally/and voluntarily purchase your own equipment. More info at http://www.freestyleacademy.rocks/equipment. Here is what is provided for you at Freestyle for your productions