Milwaukie Academy of the Arts

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College preparation for students who think like artists. Project-based learning focused on fine and performing arts instills creative and problem solving skills for lifelong learning.

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  • The Milwaukie Academy of the Arts is a free public charter high school open to students living in Oregon.
  • Grade 9-12 enrollment: 360 students (2014/2015)


In 2005 a dedicated group of educators formed the Charter, embedded within Milwaukie High School, to sustain a high quality art presence on the campus with the unique Freshman Arts Lab course at its foundation. All core classes of social studies, language arts, science and math are taught using the arts to enhance student learning. The results speak for themselves. The State of Oregon has consistently ranked MAA as “Outstanding” and MAA’s students consistently meet or exceed Oregon State benchmarks. MAA students and parents report high levels of satisfaction with their school experience and with MAA’s caring and dedicated teachers.


  • MAA is an arts-integrated charter school within Milwaukie High School that designs its instruction in and through the arts.
  • Arts are conducive to powerful learning, increasing motivation, relevance and achievement for our students. All core classes are taught using the arts to enhance student learning.
  • We offer a rigorous arts-based curriculum preparing students for success using project based learning, where students choose a broad spectrum of arts courses.
  • Students of Milwaukie Academy of the Arts will have access to all elective course offerings that are available to MHS. Please consult the Milwaukie High School web site for more specifics about this school, or contact the MHS Guidance Office.

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What parents, students & teachers say about MAA.

How would you describe Milwaukie Academy of the Arts?

“It is a project-based instruction program that provides students with a smaller pool of teachers who get the chance to know the kids. This allows staff to help students overcome weaknesses and build on strengths.”

“Milwaukie Academy of the Arts is a school that cares deeply about academics and students. The teachers are very helpful and love to see their students improve. In this school our curriculum is more art-focused than in a typical high school. We learn through group projects, using hands-on approaches. The students and teachers work together to create a family-like environment.”

“Milwaukie Academy of the Arts is an exceptional learning environment in which kids learn in more creative ways and get to know their teachers on a more personal level. This makes students feel accepted and unique.”

Why did you choose Milwaukie Academy of the Arts?

“We chose the school because of the theme-based learning, the personal attention from teachers, and because our son felt he could be successful here.”

“I chose the school because I love art, I love doing projects, and I needed to have a healthy environment. When I heard MAA is like a big family, I knew that was the perfect school for me. I’ve never really had a family, and MAA taught me what Family really means.”

What type of student is the best fit for Milwaukie Academy of the Arts?

“For the student who needs to have a correlation between academics and right-brain thinking, MAA provides alternatives.”

“This is a good school for students who don’t fit into mainstream education and those who like to be hands-on with their learning.”

“Milwaukie Academy of the Arts is the right fit for students who are serious about school and want to go to College. The teachers will help prepare you for college and encourage you to keep your grades up so you can succeed not just now, but in the future.”

“Any student is a good fit for MAA. I feel like MAA is open to anyone and that if they want to come into this school with an open mind, anyone could love it and do well here. If you are interested in smaller classes, and individual attention, this school is for you. Being artsy is a plus, but it certainly isn’t needed.”

What do you like most about the teachers at Milwaukie Academy of the Arts?

“The teachers here are highly trained, experienced, and gifted. They make great mentors for their students. I have no doubt that they must have been carefully selected.”

“Teachers make learning fun and interesting. I was shocked to hear that my daughter’s favorite class is science!”

“These teachers are hard core. They love what they do. They know how to get all the information to us no matter what ways we learn best. They know their students by name and go out of their way to get us the help we need, when we need it.”

“I like that the teachers here communicate with each other about their curriculum and work together as a team. Because of the small class sizes and team approach, they are better able to keep tabs on students on a more individual basis.”

What do you want to tell students and parents considering Milwaukie Academy of the Arts?

“We are very happy that we chose this school for our daughter. We were concerned that she wouldn’t know anyone and that she would get lost in a big school, but she made fast friends, and the teachers have worked very closely with her, even staying after school to help her understand things better. We are very happy here and recommend this school to those looking for a more individualized high school experience for their child.”

“Milwaukie Academy of the Arts offers a unique learning environment. Even students who are not into art may find the different teaching style helps them find success in areas where they may struggle.”

“Don’t hesitate! Come into the program with an open mind, and you will succeed. The students and staff are very accepting of everyone. One warning: You will have lots of friends, guaranteed! I haven’t met you yet, but I already consider you family, and I hope you love this school as much as I do.”