Answers to Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions

October 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Early each fall Bill Lowman, President/Headmaster of Idyllwild Arts Academy travels around the West Coast holding Parent Receptions.  Joining Bill this year were Theresa Teel, Director of Special Events and Alison Yates, Alumni & Parent Relations Officer. These Parent Receptions are intended as a forum for parents of current students to ask questions and discuss concerns. The receptions allow an opportunity for Idyllwild Arts to have an open line of communication that we ultimately hope will strengthen our relationship with parents and their students.

For those unable to attend a reception, we have compiled a brief rundown of the main talking points and most frequently asked questions.

NOTE: If parents have any further questions or concerns, please contact Alison by email or extension 2331.


Q: How often will the faculty update the grades/progress of students on the EdLine class page?

A: The expectation is that full-time faculty members will update their page at least once a week.  Adjunct faculty members may not update their pages as often, as they may not physically have a campus office.

Q: How does my child become a part of the National Honors Society? Who do we talk to?

A: Membership for the National Honors Society is open to those students who meet the required standards in four areas of evaluation: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Standards for selection are established by the national office of the NHS and have been revised to meet our local chapter needs. A five member Faculty Council, appointed by the Dean of Academics, bestows this honor upon qualified students on behalf of the faculty of our school each October and May of the academic year. Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades at Idyllwild Arts are eligible for membership. For the scholarship criterion, a student must have a cumulative Idyllwild Arts GPA of 3.80 or better. Students who meet this criterion are invited to complete a Student Activity Information Form that provides the Faculty Council with information regarding the candidate’s leadership and service experience.

The contact person for asking questions and getting more information about The National Honors Society is John Goulding. He can be reached by email.


Q: What is the level of involvement that Idyllwild Arts has with the SAT.

A: Idyllwild Arts Academy is its own SAT testing center; however we are not equipped to provide significant SAT prep courses for students.

For the past five years, Idyllwild Arts’ College Counseling Office has had Tobin Style, director of Perspective Educational Services, come up to campus and do an intensive, weekend SAT preparation class. The current seniors have stated that this class helped them and also how well presented the material was. While the weekend pre session is not mandatory, the College Counselors strongly encourage all students to enroll. This class will be given sometime in February to help prepare the juniors for the May test, which is mandatory.

Students who would like more extensive SAT preparation courses are encouraged to take them either during vacation breaks or in the summer.

Q: What happens when my child starts applying for College? What is the process?

A: Our College Counseling office helps every individual student in the process of choosing and applying for colleges. The counselor helps to find a balance between the wants of the student and parents, and the reality of the student’s grades/portfolio. However, we need the parents to help as well to make certain that their child is meeting the application deadlines. If you are a parent of a senior, please be sure to schedule an appointment with a college counselor.

Other than filling out the required financial information/forms or any other parent data, we encourage parents to be coaches in the application process. As educators, we believe that seniors in high school benefit by taking on this responsibility and completing applications themselves. In some cases, it is actually illegal for parents to do their children’s applications. We are encouraged to report to the colleges if we know a parent has done part or all of the applications.


Q: What is the school doing to ensure that my student is attending their classes?

A: We have implemented a breakfast check-in procedure where students must wake up and check-in with a faculty or staff member at breakfast before 7:45am. In this way we hope that not only are they attending their first period class, but also getting something to eat at the start of their day.

Q: What happens when my child is absent or has an attendance problem? How will I know?

A: Aside from having access to your child’s attendance record and being able to track it in EdLine, Marc Kets, the Associate Dean of Students will notify you.

Please refer to pages 9-11 in the Student/Parent Handbook for a complete description of the school’s attendance policies, which also includes information about the point-penalty system for unexcused class absences.

Q: What if my child needs to go to an audition off the hill?

A: Our van transportation system would be able to provide transportation to and from an audition.  For any transportation requests, email the transportation department.

Before the Transportation Department can authorize a trip, students must gain approval from their respective Arts department chair and the Associate Dean of Students. The student must obtain in advance an “Away Permission Form” and have each academic and arts teacher sign acknowledging they will be out of class.

Q: I would like to provide a home-stay for students over holiday breaks.

A: We always appreciate it when parents volunteer to have students for home-stay. If this is something you are interested in doing, please contact the Dean of Students, John Newman by email or extension 2225.

Q: I am concerned with how my child’s rigorous schedule may affect his/her health.

A: Our busy lives at the Academy are something we all have in common. We instruct the students at the very outset of the year to pay special attention not only to the “what,” “when,” and “where” in terms of what they need to accomplish in their work throughout the year, but most importantly, “how” they are going to do it. We teach skills of time management, organization, and self care, and encourage students to plan ahead and get enough rest. If students do become sick or fatigued, they should go to the Health Center for a consultation with a school nurse.

Our teachers are very understanding of the nature of the dual curriculum at IAA, and are especially sensitive to the periods of time in which students are in “production mode,” which is not unique to the performing arts. To this end, teachers are accustomed to granting extensions and making other appropriate accommodations for students who are struggling. Communication with the key people in your sons and daughters’ lives, their advisors, teachers, dorm parents, and deans, is also important any time you or they have concerns about health-related matters. In rare cases, if the situation becomes too difficult to manage, a medical leave of absence may be appropriate. If this does appear to be the case, please contact John Newman, Dean of Students by email or extension 2225.

Q: I am a local parent and I am concerned about time conflicts and picking up my child on time, what can I do?

A: The Parent Directory contains all parent contact information. We encourage parents to network and create carpools when convenient.

Q: What happens if I am picking up my child from campus late and the gates are down, how will I get in?

A: If you need access to the campus after hours please contact Student Services in Log Lodge at extension 2228. We share this information on an “As Needed” basis to Parents or Guardians.

Q: When do the phones and the Internet get shut off in the dorms?

A: Phones are turned off during the evening from 8:50 to 10:00, which is Room Study. They are back on from 10:00PM to midnight. They are turned off from midnight to 6:00AM, but students can still use their phones to contact a dorm parent or dial 911. The internet is on from 6:00AM to midnight, Sunday through Friday. On Saturdays, the internet is on from 6:00AM to Sunday at midnight. We have had some issues with the internet timers this fall, but believe we have corrected the problem, thanks to feedback from families like you!

Q: What is the procedure for away permission?

A: If you would like to give your child away permission or take another student home with you, please contact Marc Kets by email or extension 2232. Please see pages 9-11 in the Student/Parent Handbook for a complete description of the school’s policies regarding “Away Permission.”

Q: What is the check in/check out process for my child to leave the dorms? Is there anything I need to do?

A: Please see pages 9-11 in the Student/Parent Handbook for a complete description of the school’s policies regarding “Away Permission.”

Q: My child seems to be having a hard time adjusting to the social scene at Idyllwild Arts, or the pressure of academic classes, etc. What can I do?

A: An extensive network of support is available for your child at Idyllwild Arts Academy, beginning with the prefects who are elected student leaders trained in such skills as mediation, active listening, and conflict resolution. They have perhaps the best capacity for empathy in working with your sons and daughters, as they all have “been there, done that” in their own experience as students at Idyllwild Arts. Dorm Parents are our “in loco parentis,” meaning the role they play is one of a parent to your child.  The arts faculty understands and supports your child’s passions better than any other individuals, and they provide the context and the mentoring your child will need to succeed in his or her chosen field.

We have a student-run/adult supported organization known as Peer Ears, which meets every Wednesday and encourages students to talk openly about their experiences, both good and bad, with the expectation that they will garner strength and support from one another in their shared lives.

Academic support resources include X-Block, a dedicated time built into the schedule every Tuesday through Thursday from 10:55 to 11:35, and on Fridays from 12:20 to 1:00, during which students are encouraged to seek extra help from their teachers. The Resource Center is a place where students can get extra help with a trained specialist in remedial learning. If you would like to request regular sessions for your child in the Resource Center, please contact Anna-Karin Li, Dean of Academics by email or extension 2224.

Student Math and Writing Tutors are available on a weekly basis to assist students in those specific skills, and students frequently form impromptu “study groups” to prepare for major assignments.

If you feel that your child is having an especially hard time and needs extra support, our school counselors are available to speak with them one-on-one, and can assure that their emotional needs are being met.  Please feel free to share your concerns and we will deal with the situation discreetly.


Q: When I am placing a transportation request, how am I being billed for that?

A: The charges from a transportation request are automatically added to your bill.

Questions and Answers about your Statement

  • Statements are mailed once a month by the 15th of each month.
  • If you are on a payment plan, the statement will not reflect your scheduled monthly payment; instead it shows the remaining amount of unpaid tuition. Please refer to your payment plan schedule when remitting your monthly payment.
  • The date column indicates the day the transaction occurred.
  • The reference will be the description of whatever the transactions was.
  • The statement has several transaction” types” that consist of the following:
    • Charge- Anything billed to the student. This will include bookstore charges, class supplies, transportation, health center, long distance, field trips, music repair, etc.

Detail for any of these charges is available upon request.

    • Payment-Payments received for any student in the form of check, credit card, ACH or wires.
    • Credit- A credit can be either a discount given, a correction to a billing item or an advance deposit related credit.
    • Advance Deposit- Advance Deposits are funded with a payment and released as credits at different times of the year and applied accordingly. At the beginning of the year students may be billed for several advance deposits that consist of the following:
      • Allowance deposit-660.00 –Released in increments each month, starting in October, applied toward the 20.00 a week allowance your child collects from the bookstore.
      • Incidental Deposit-800.00-released as a credit at the end of September and is applied to any incidental charges that occur in the student account, including but not limited to: bookstore, transportation, health, postage, in class supplies, testing fees, instrument repair, etc.  Once the $800.00 credit is exceeded, any additional charges applied to the student account must be paid according to the statement mailed on a monthly basis.
      • Phone Deposit-200.00- Released in October and applied to long distance charges.
      • Room Deposit -250.00-Released as a credit in May and applied to any room damages or repairs the student is billed for.
      • Travel Deposit-1400.00-This is reserved for any emergency travel the student may need throughout the year.

Any remaining credit from advance deposits such as the phone, room and travel will be applied to any unpaid incidental charges at the end of the year. If there is still a remaining credit after application to all student charges, Idyllwild Arts will either apply the credit to the following year or, if the student is not returning, refund the credit to the parent in the form of a check or wire on or around July 31.

      • The amount column is the amount of the transaction and the balance column will give you a running total of the monthly activity as it takes place.
      • Remittance of any balance owed is due 15 days after receipt of statement.
      • Any balance in parentheses indicates a credit balance. For example, if you see ($426.71) in the total column, this is a credit. No payment is necessary.
      • Payment should always be remitted with reference to the student name and ID.

It is important to review your child’s statement each month and discuss any charges you may feel are excessive or unnecessary. It is the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian/sponsor to monitor these charges.  All incidental charging privileges will be suspended without notice if any student account becomes delinquent over 60 days.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact:

Meagan Greene, Accounts Receivable Associate

Phone: (951) 659-2171, extension 2210



Q: Can any of my family members attend Family Weekend?

A: Yes. Family Weekend is open to all members of your family, not just the parents.  We changed the name of the weekend several years ago from “Parents Weekend” to “Family Weekend” to recognize the diversity of our population, acknowledge that many students had guardians who wanted to visit or that the entire family (siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, close friends, etc.) wanted to visit campus.

Q: I am interested in volunteering for the Idyllwild Arts Academy in some way, who do I talk to?

A: If you are interested in volunteering for the Gala, Idyllwild Arts Day in LA or any other upcoming events, please contact the Director of Special Events, Theresa Teel by email or extension 2338

Q: I am interested in providing opportunities for Idyllwild Arts students within my field. For example, “I am curator who would like to organize a gallery trip for Visual Art students or I work for a studio and would like to give a tour to whom should I speak?”

A: You may contact Alison Yates, Alumni & Parent Relations Officer and she will put you in contact with the appropriate person. Alternatively, you may contact the respective Arts department chair. For example, a visual art curator would email the chair of the Visual Art Department.

If you have other questions not covered, or you have feedback you would like to give, please contact Alison Yates by email or extension 2331.

Throughout these receptions we are proud to say that we have received a great deal of positive feedback from parents. Many have expressed how much their students love being at Idyllwild Arts and how grateful they are to have found a place where their students can thrive.  We are thankful to have the opportunity to work and support your truly talented children.

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October 2010


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