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?
- 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?
- Are there any AP/Honors classes at Freestyle?
- 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, animation, or sound component to their written work using the latest multimedia software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Bridge, Dreamweaver, Animate, Maya, DragonFrame, After Effects, Pro Tools, and Reason. 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 occasional paid and volunteer community jobs requested from anyone in the community.
- 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 and 1 Elective Class
1. English - There is no need to take another English class at MV/LAHS. (10 units of college prep credits/year, UC/CSU "b")
2. Digital Media - (10 units of elective college prep credits/year, UC/CSU "f")
3. Each student will then choose to take an Elective class for his/her 3rd class in EITHER Film OR Design 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.
In the last two decades, California’s dominance of the Entertainment & Digital Media industry has continued unabated. In 2001, its share of the total Creative Economy was only 58.8%. By 2010, that had grown to 65.9%. By 2019, the share of all Creative Economy employees working in Entertainment had grown to 71.9%. This speaks to the massive technological changes that have taken place over the last few years, and how this industry has successfully harnessed that change (think: Smart TVs, streaming platforms, etc.) for their own benefit. While Architecture and Related Services reported the fastest growth over the past five years, Entertainment & Digital Media has seen the largest growth of employment, with over 152,000 jobs added in the state between 2014 and 2019.
Overall, jobs in Entertainment & Digital Media span six main categories, with most of them concentrated in Emerging Digital Media (45%) and Film (18%). Occupations in these sectors include Data Processing and Custom Computer Programmers, Internet Publishing and Broadcasting, Artists, Artist Managers, and Motion Picture/Video Distributors. Other subsectors, such as Professional Services (including Marketing Researchers, Graphic Design or Photography) and Publishers (Newspaper Publishers), account for far fewer jobs (15% and 16% respectively), but are still integral to the industry as a whole.
Based on data from 2019, the most recent complete data available for the 2021 Otis College Report on the Creative Economy.Otis College of Art & Design (2021). 2021 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California. Retrieved from Otis College Website: https://www.otis.edu/creative-economy/2021/entertainment-digital-services
Specific information about the Bay Area from the Otis Report
Entertainment & Digital Media has the largest presence in the Bay Area out of all the creative industries, attributable to the concentration of tech jobs in the region (a great many tech jobs come under the Emerging Digital Media heading). Over 81% of wage and salary workers in the Bay Area work in Entertainment & Digital Media, and 79% of contractor workers are employed in the industry. Relative to its share of wage and salary employees (4%), Architecture and Related Services has a large number of contract workers (10%). Of all regions, creative employment grew fastest in the Bay Area, with wage and salary employment growing 46% (1,700 jobs) between 2014 and 2019, and contract employment growing 8% (6,500 jobs) over the same period.
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
- short 2D and 3D animations
- video commercials
- video trailers
- illustrated art
- publications such as posters, brochures, magazine articles, books, advertisements
- critiques and presentations
- surreal photography and illustrations
- digital design converted to physical art
- original music compositions
- portraiture photography and illustrations
- self-designed projects
- personal stationery
- portfolio showcase with community professionals
4. Who may attend?
The program is open to juniors and seniors at Mountain View HS, Los Altos HS, and Alta Vista HS. MVLA does not allow students in Option B / Independent Study to be simultaneously enrolled at Freestyle Academy. First year seniors are accepted into classes when there is still space in classes after all returning second year seniors have been confirmed into their classes. More info about first year senior classes.
5. What are the Entrance Requirements?
- You must be a student enrolled in the MVLAHSD schools - no exceptions.
- 1st year students must be juniors (or seniors if space permits).
- 2nd year students must be seniors.
6. What is the enrollment procedure?
Apply online by the February break through https://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 is that you must be 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. The NORMAL schedule:
|Mondays||AM classes 9:45 - 12:15||PM classes 1:10 - 3:40|
|Tuesdays||AM classes 10:30 - 12:00||PM classes 12:45 - 2:15|
|Wednesdays||AM classes 10:30 - 12:45||PM classes 1:25 - 3:40|
|Thursdays||AM classes 10:30 - 12:00||PM classes 12:45 - 2:15 with PM Flex to 2:15 - 3:00|
|Fridays||AM Classes 9:45 - 12:00 then AM Flex 12:00 - 12:45||PM classes 1:25 - 3:40|
8. What will my day look like?
All students (Juniors and Seniors) can choose to attend Freestyle from EITHER AM or PM block schedule below. Juniors and Seniors will attend Freestyle for English, Digital Media and one Elective (Film OR Design 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 with 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 after school to 6:00 pm each weekday on particular weeks prior to exhibitions.
- Option 2 - PM Session with 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 - because classes end late in the day. With our current schedule, classes normally end M, W, F @ 3:40, Tu @ 2:15, Thu @ 3:00 which may conflict with after school activities - so your better choice would be to take AM classes if you do have afternoon conflicts. Open Labs at Freestyle are when students can come and freely use the equipment and are usually scheduled from after school to 6:00 pm each weekday 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. More info about first year senior classes.
Here's a link to detailed information about our schedule and our Flex period.
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?
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 and on the east side of the MVHS Back Parking Lot.
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 the 3 classes taken at Freestyle for a total of 30 credits. For completion of 6 classes in two years at Freestyle, students will receive a total of 60 credits - 20 English credits and 40 elective credits.
14. Do Freestyle classes count for admissions to the UC and CSU systems?
English at Freestyle is a college prep, UC, and CSU approved "b" course.
Other classes at Freestyle are all a college prep, UC, and CSU approved "f" (visual arts elective) course.
15. Can I take a single 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. Any remaining Senior seats in any class will be filled in with new incoming Senior students. More info about first year senior classes.
17. Are there any AP/Honors classes at Freestyle?
We do not offer any AP or Honors classes at Freestyle.
18. 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. If available, students can check out computers for use at home for the entire year - information will provided to students at the beginning of the year. More equipment info is posted on https://freestyleacademy.rocks/equipment. Here is what is provided for you at Freestyle for your productions