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Cab Calloway Admissions
Welcome to the Cab Calloway Admissions section of the site. We know you have many questions about our school and the programs we offer, so we have designed this web site to help you learn more about CCSA. Here, you can view what our arts areas are, view how you can come to CCSA, see the enrollment policies, discover facts and accomplishments of CCSA, and more. Please read on so you are familiar with the Cab Calloway School of the Performing Arts, and can make the best of your child’s education!

100 N. DuPont Road
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
(302) 651-2700

Click on a target below to go the specified section on this page:

Cab Calloway School of the Arts is accepting applications for the 2005-2006 school year.

Notices of acceptance must be received by March 15th, 2005. If the complete registration packet is not received by this date, your child's seat may be forfeited. If you have questions regarding registration, please call Mrs. Debra Fawcett at (302) 651-2705.

If you are in interested in enrollment for future school years, please keep in touch and remember our admissions period opens the fall before the desired school year.

How to Apply to CCSA

1. Pick up and fill out TWO (2) applications, one for Cab Calloway School of the Arts and one for the Red Clay Consolidated School District's Choice Program. The choice application must be filled out even if you live in the Red Clay District. These are available at CCSA beginning November 2004 until January 2005. Applications received after 3 p.m. on January 12th, 2005 will be considered "late" and will not be considered for enrollment. Applications are available in the guidance office at CCSA. Also, you can APPLY ONLINE.

2. The application will ask your child to pick two (2) art areas in which to complete their assessment, a major and a minor. We offer six art areas at CCSA: Communication Arts, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Visual Arts, and Vocal Music.

3. Turn in both applications to the guidance office.

4. In the next few weeks, you will be scheduled a time and date for your assessment. Make sure you attend! Failure to attend will automatically disqualify you from the enrollment process.

5. Come prepared to your assessment. Your enrollment is based solely on your performance during the assessment. Get a good night's sleep the night before, eat a healthy breakfast, and come prepared to show us your best!

6. After your assessments are completed, you will receive a letter in the mail notifying you of your enrollment status. You will either be immediately seated, or placed in a waiting pool.


Upon acceptance to CCSA, applicants must respond to keep their seat given. Also, each grade is required to register with the school:

Middle School

Sixth Grade
Seventh Grade
Eighth Grade


Arts Majors and Minors

Here at Cab Calloway, we have a variety of art courses in which our students major and minor. We provide courses in Visual Arts, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Dance, and Communication Arts. For more information visit out Arts Pages.

When auditioning, students must assess in their arts areas. Below are the skills assessments requirements for middle school and high school:

High School:

Communication Arts
Instrumental Music
Visual Arts
Vocal Music


The Lottery System

As a public, choice school in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, Cab Calloway School of the Arts must abide by the State Choice Program's rules and regulations. The state mandates that every choice school must base their admissions process on a lottery system. Cab Calloway applicants will be entered into a lottery system following their assessments in their chosen art areas.

FAQ about the Lottery System:

Q. How do applicants get entered into the lottery?
A. During the assessment process, each applicant must reach a threshold of 70 out of 100 points on the art area's designated rubric to be entered into the admissions lottery. This will ensure that students who apply have the skills and potential necessary to succeed in our programs. Upon reaching this threshold, students will be entered into a lottery system designed in accordance with state regulations. Students selected from the lottery will be offered a seat in their chosen art programs. Students not selected will be moved to the top of the waiting list. Those students who do not reach the set level of points will be placed onto a waiting list.

Q. Are certain students given priority?
A. Yes. There are several criteria that will give students a higher priority on both the wait list and in the lottery process. The following criteria will be used to priority order for all students participating in the selection process.

1. Returning students who continue to meet the requirements of the grade configuration of Cab Calloway, i.e.: grades, attendance, behavior.

2. Children of all Red Clay employees will have a preference to the school where the parent is assigned.

3. Siblings of Red Clay students who will remain enrolled in the program for the next school year, provided that the siblings meet the requirements for the program or school. Exiting students are not considered siblings for this enrollment preference.

4. In-district students who have designated the school as first, second or third choice based on the random number assigned by the computer lottery process.

5. Siblings of out-of-district students who have designated the school as first, second or third choice based on the random number assigned by the computer lottery process.

6. Out-of-district students who have designated the school as first, second or third choice based on the random number assignment by the computer lottery process.


The Waiting Pool

Unfortunately, we do not have the space to accept all of the wonderfully talented children who apply to CCSA. Often times, a student is placed in the waiting pool if a seat is not available.

Approximately 50% of the yearly applicants to CCSA are placed in the waiting pool because of the lack of physical capacity. The pool is divided by art major, art minor and grade level. Grades, behavior records, and other aspects of a child's past are not part of the entrance process. Your child does not hold a specific place in the waiting pool. There is never a next in line or fourth in line, etc. There are several factors that determine a child's selection from the waiting pool. These include major, minor, grade level, and whether or not a student resides within the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

The wait list will be maintained until April 15th, 2005 for out-of-district students, and until September 30th, 2005 for students who reside in Red Clay. There are several opportunities for children in the waiting pool to be offered a seat at CCSA. When the registration period ends on March 15th, 2005, seats become available when invitees decline. There are also seats available at the end of the school year when students are exited from the Choice Program. While there are opportunities technically available until the start of the school year, the likelihood of a wait-listed student being offered a seat declines dramatically after mid-June. If you do not hear from us before then, you should register your child in their feeder-pattern school.

If your child is selected from the waiting pool and offered a seat, you will receive an immediate phone call from Mrs. Fawcett and a follow-up registration packet in the mail.

Keep in mind that there is nothing you can do to improve your child's chances of being selected from the waiting pool. While we will take the time to answer questions from concerned parents, calling to check the status of your child will not increase their chances of acceptance.


Facts on CCSA

90% of our graduates attend college.

All of our high school students are enrolled in either Advanced Placement, Honors or College-Preparatory level courses.

We offer a variety of after-school activities (both academic and artistic) including, but not nearly limited to a dance club, a DSTP prep class, Science Olympiad, Shakespearean studies, stage crew, yoga, and newspaper!

2003 Was Quite a Year at CCSA:

The eighth grade placed eighth in the state in DSTP testing for reading and writing, and 11th for math! This was out of thirty-seven schools!

The tenth grade's math scores placed eighth in the state in DSTP testing and second in reading and writing!

Our kids took home first place in the Red Clay Consolidated School District's Spelling Bee and third, sixth, and eighth in the Statewide competition!

Over twenty students were published in the Creative Communications publication, A Celebration of Young Poets.

Honors were given to numerous Visual Arts majors by the Scholastic Art Awards.

The Science Olympiad team placed eighth in the state, including private and charter schools and took home the coveted Spirit Award.

Student representatives were invited to the International Dance Excellence Competition Boards in Los Angeles, California.

There were four major productions including Les Miserables and ShowStoppers

High School English teacher Jane Rae was awarded a scholarship for Shakespearean studies by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Phantoms Jazz Band received a rating of "Excellent" at the Ridley Jazz Festival and the award for the "Best Trombone Section."

The middle school Concert Band and the Phantoms Jazz Band competed in the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Some Highlights from 2002:

Our tenth grade placed second in the state in DSTP testing for reading and writing out of thirty-two schools.

The CCSA High School Jazz Band received an "Excellent" rating at the Jazz Festival.

One of our students received the "Best Soloist" award at the Jazz Festival.

Five students were selected to perform in the ACDA Children's Honor Choir.

Eighth grade English teacher, Linda Emerick, was selected as a founding member of the University of Delaware's Academy of Master Teachers.

CCSA celebrated its tenth Anniversary.

Three teachers were honored by the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers."

Linda Emerick was honored by MBNA by receiving the "Best Practices in Education Award."

Student Ashley Benson was recognized by the Art Educators of Delaware for her flag design for the State of Delaware celebrating Youth Art Month.

The seventh grade math team placed first and second in the Delaware Math League.

Both faculty and students submitted dinosaur designs in the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts Wilmington display.

CCSA chapter of the National Art Honor Society was honored by Governor Ruth Ann Minner for their collaboration of "The Adventures of Folic Man.


CCSA History

In 1992, a group of parents approached the Red Clay Consolidated School District with a proposal to establish a Creative and Performing Arts Middle School. The idea stemmed from the desire to ensure a quality education for students while nurturing their individual talents and artistic abilities. Studies showed that schools specializing in the arts had a more positive influence on children than those that solely provided academic curriculums. The Red Clay Consolidated District found space on the Wilmington High School campus, and the first public arts school in Delaware was created, providing education for 125 students in grades six and seven.

Around this time, American jazz icon, Cab Calloway, and his wife moved to Delaware to be close to their daughter, Cabella Calloway Langsam. Calloway gave his time, talent and love to the new arts school and in November 1992, cut the ribbon at its official grand opening. A year later, the school was renamed the “Cab Calloway School of the Arts” (CCSA) in his honor. In 1994, our students were chosen to sing before thousands of people in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Harlem at a memorial service held in his honor. Our students entertained Hillary Rodham Clinton, performed with Bob McGrath from the original cast of Sesame Street, represented the State of Delaware with their dancing and singing at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and worked with various world renowned musical artists.

In 1993, an eighth grade curriculum was added and enrollment reached 200. The school expanded again in 1996 to include grades nine and ten. Grades eleven and twelve followed, and in June of 2000, the first senior class graduated.


Our Purpose:

Cab Calloway School of the Arts features a rigorous, college-prep level academic curriculum infused with training in the arts. CCSA is a public choice magnet school. Prospective students must apply and assess in two arts areas to be eligible for acceptance. Enrollment has currently reached 760 students, and will increase to 800 for the 2003-2004 school year. Our small school population and even smaller class sizes are a huge educational benefit for all students. Seventy-six percent of our students are Caucasian, twenty percent are African American, three percent are Hispanic and one percent are Asian. Our students come from every school district in New Castle County and areas further south.

Our students must make a commitment to achievement in the arts and must maintain high academic and behavior standards. CCSA upholds its own commitment to providing these talented and dedicated children with a positive learning environment.

The mission of the middle school is to provide a quality education, both academically and artistically, to students who have a desire to explore the creative and performing arts.

The high school seeks to provide young people from diverse backgrounds with intensive training in the arts in the context of an exemplary, comprehensive, academic curriculum that will prepare them for success in higher education and employment. We are proud to announce that ninety percent of our graduates move on to post-secondary education.


Our Ties to Wilmington High School:

Wilmington High School was created in 1872. In 1899, the building on Pennsylvania Avenue opened, residing on the land across from the Wilmington and Brandywine cemetery, and east of Trinity Church. This space is now home to The Chase Building.

By the 1950's, the building was becoming inadequate. Chick Laird, a local philanthropist, donated land for a new building at the city's edge on Lancaster Avenue at DuPont Road. The new Wilmington High School was constructed on this land in 1960. The original cornerstone and some wrought iron work from the old building were installed on the grounds, and the marble plaque honoring Alumni who died in World War I found a home in the theater lobby of the new building.

In the early 1970's, the city (and nation) went through a period of racial violence. The federal desegregation order was put in place, which created city-suburban busing, dissolved the Wilmington school district, and created 4 vaguely pie shaped districts in New Castle County. It also mandated that one high school remain in the city – Wilmington High. Suburban students resisted being bused to the school because of Wilmington High’s supposedly poor academic standing and the “inner city” dangers found in other cities such as Detroit and Watts. The school gained a reputation for tough, poor kids and mediocre academics. The school
seemed trapped in a downward enrollment spiral.

The Red Clay Consolidated School District implemented alternatives in an effort to turn the school around. They renamed it The Center for Educational Innovation, and in addition to the traditional high school curriculum, offered space to an assortment of specialty schools including a science academy, banking academy, the Phoenix School and the Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts (later renamed Cab Calloway School of the Arts). The most promising of these programs turned out to be the science academy, which changed into Delaware’s first charter school, The Charter School of Wilmington. It officially opened in September 1996.

Cab Calloway was also very successful, and the Red Clay Board granted its founders permission to expand its programs to encompass high school grades. The high school program opened in September 1997 with grades nine and ten. Grades eleven and twelve were added as classes matured, and in June 2000, CCSA graduated its first senior class.

The traditional Wilmington High School Program failed to draw enough students to remain viable. Despite protests from its alumni who rightly mourned the passing of a distinguished Wilmington institution, the last class graduated in 1998.

Wilmington High's reincarnation as two vibrant schools -- one Arts, one Sciences -- will preserve the NHS tradition of excellence, and history of achievement. A Wall of Fame has been erected in the main lobby of the building to showcase Wilmington High graduates who have achieved distinction in their communities. The Wilmington High School logo has also remained on the exterior of the building, securing its place in Wilmington’s history.

The sterling academic achievements accomplished by the new schools follow directly in the spirit of their predecessor. As the news Journal said in 1996, "Wilmington High's future will be on [the] cutting edge of 21st century education…. Now it is home to vibrant new educational programs and its promise is boundless."


Frequently Asked Questions, (FAQ)

Q. How many students are in the high school?
A. There are approximately 400 students.

Q. How large is the average class?
A. Class sizes range from as low as ten to twelve students, all the way to as many as thirty, depending on the difficulty and scheduling.

Q. Is Mr. Cab Calloway alive today? If so, what significance does he have with the school?
A. Mr. Calloway died in 1994, the year after cutting the ribbon to open up the school. Today his wife and daughter are involved in many major school related events.

Q. Does CCSA have an athletics program?
A. No, but CCSA and our neighboring school, the Charter School of Wilmington, join together to form teams that are competitive in their division.

Q. What are the art fields at CCSA?
A. Both middle and high school students have the art areas of: Communication Arts, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Visual Arts and Vocal Music. Click to see our Arts Pages for more information.

Q. What courses does CCSA offer?
A. Our school offers College Preparation, Honors, Advanced Placement, and Special Education classes. CCSA does not offer general courses. Students may also take classes in the Charter School if their schedule permits. Click to visit the Academics Pages for more information.

Q. How does CCSA compare with other schools in their academics?
A. CCSA is number two in the state (second to the Charter School) and first in the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

Q. Are CCSA and CSW (Charter School Of Wilmington) the same school?
A. No, we are two different schools that happen to share the same building, but there are many activities and courses that both schools participate in together.

Q. What foreign languages does Cab offer?
A. We offer Spanish and French.

Q. What is the school's mascot?
A. "The Spirit" of Cab Calloway is the mascot.

Q. What year did Cab Calloway open?
A. The School had it's first classes in 1992.

Q. What is your official theme song?
A. Minnie the Moocher is our anthem, because it was a staple song for Mr. Calloway when he was in his prime.

Q. What is the admissions cost?
A. Cab Calloway is a public school, therefore it costs nothing. However, once your student reaches high school there is a $25 class due to be paid each year that goes towards your classes field trips and dances.

Q. What must my child do to be eligible to attend?
A. An audition is REQUIRED in two arts areas. You must set up an audition time with the school by a certain deadline. If your child is not accepted immediately, he or she will be placed into a waiting pool.

Q. What is ShowStoppers?
A. ShowStoppers is a variety show that includes middle and high school students. Dance, Drama. Vocal and Instrumental arts perform while Visual, and Communication Arts make slide shows to introduce and complement the performances.

Q. What are your transportation policies?
A. Cab Calloway is considered a public school and therefore we only bus students who live in the district. If you are a student who lives outside the district you can either drive to a bus stop in the district or get driven to school. We release a carpool list at the beginning of the year for anyone interested in that.

Q. The Charter bus stops right near my house. I heard that in the past Cab students rode the bus. Can my Cab student hitch a ride?
A. Cab students did use to be able to ride the Charter bus. However, because of some disagreements between Charter and Cab, this is no longer an option. Your Cab student may only ride the Charter bus if:
1) Your Cab student has a sibling currently attending the Charter School of Wilmington and currently riding the bus, or
2) Your Cab student is currently playing a Charter sport.
We understand your complaints and frustration. Many Cab students and parents are fighting this new policy.

We hope you learned more about CCSA by reading the preceding information; we wish you best of luck in your assessment to CCSA and we hope to see you soon!