Thank You MVCSD!

  • Greetings All,

    Denzel Washington School of the Arts serves students in grade 6-12.   This is a major milestone for the MVCSD.  We are grateful for the support we have received at our performances throughout the years.  We also appreciate and acknowledge Nellie A. Thornton High School staff and students for welcoming us for 2018 -2020, Principal Alan Gonzalez for supporting our initial program at Grimes Elementary via our Summer Bridge Program 2015; Principal Brown for housing and supervising our program at BTMS in 2015-2016; and Principal Ron Gonzalez for allowing our program to nest at MVHS 2016 - 2018.  Our school would not exist if not for the support of those administrators. 

    We are also thrilled that we were able to create and nurture our school with the full support of our superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, his cabinet and the Board of Trustees.  Thank you.

    The objective of the Denzel Washington School of the Arts is to provide an educational experience for children passionate about an art discipline.  We utilize this passion as a gateway for preparation in college or conservatory training.  We recognize that some of our students will pursue the arts and enter professional careers in the arts - continuing Mount Vernon's legacy of creating stars.  We also recognize that others will elect traditional majors and contribute to our society as doctors, lawyers, teachers and in other professions.  Either way, our goal includes educating the whole child and nurturing their self-esteem, confidence, and passion for learning.  We also endeavor to nurture future patrons of the arts.

District News

  • Board of Education Meeting Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a Meeting of the Mount Vernon Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at The Education Center, 165 N. Columbus, Mount Vernon, NY. Members of the public may view the meeting LIVE on Facebook and the district website The meeting will also be available for playback on the district's Board Docs website.

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  • New Mount Vernon High School Principal Brings International Baccalaureate Experience

    Mount Vernon High School students were greeted in September by a new principal, Dr. Matthew Gonzales, an education leader with more than 20 years of experience, including with the International Baccalaureate program. The Mount Vernon Board of Education hired Dr. Gonzales in August to lead the school of 1,200 students. The position puts the veteran educator in charge of overseeing the high school’s new configuration, splitting the student body into three divisions named for role models and acclaimed figures – Maya Angelou, Benjamin Banneker and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Thrusha Henderson, Mount Vernon Educator With Vast Experience Named Pennington School Principal

    Thrusha Henderson, who has built a career as an educator in the Mount Vernon City School District over the past 24 years, is the new principal of the Pennington School. She took the position starting in August after serving as assistant principal in three district schools over several years, including serving twice as an administrator shared by two schools. For the past school year, she served as assistant principal for both the Nelson Mandela/Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer School and Rebecca Turner Elementary School.

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  • Experienced Educator Who Once Founded a School Will Become Mount Vernon STEAM Academy Principal

    The Mount Vernon STEAM Academy is now led by Sharon Spencer, who arrived earlier this month. The new principal is an innovative thinker whose experience includes founding a charter high school in Queens and guiding it through its first graduating class. Spencer is eager to serve Mount Vernon, having become familiar with Mount Vernon after growing up nearby in the Wakefield section of the Bronx.

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  • Two Mount Vernon High School Graduates Mark Perfect Scores in New International Baccalaureate Program

    In its inaugural year, The Mount Vernon High School’s International Baccalaureate program produced two graduates with perfect scores, placing them in the top echelons of an honors program recognized worldwide. Class of 2021 valedictorian Gabrielle Sylvester and salutatorian John Alex both scored 7 out of 7 in the rigorous, highly independent program. Another six members of their class also passed the program.

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News Headlines

  • DWSA Application and Audition Information

    The Mount Vernon City School District offers a creative opportunity for students entering grades 6 – 10 to excel academically and artistically. Denzel Washington School of the Arts is designed for creative students interested in the arts. Students can apply from any Mount Vernon school and are admitted based on an audition in theatre, vocal music, dance, a visual arts portfolio, or playing a musical instrument in addition to a comprehensive application and an interview with the student and parent. The school will assist each student with discovering and nurturing their unique talent while also utilizing an arts framework to support success in academic classes. Students will transfer their creative skills to the classroom and build their cognitive framework and affective mindset to become strong readers, mathematicians, thinkers and learners.

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  • William Warfield Scholarship Fund 2021 Benefit Concert Featuring our 10th Grader Judah Taylor

    Please read the attached press release and flyer for an upcoming concert featuring Judah Taylor, won first place in the William Warfield Classical Voice Competition. Judah Taylor, sophomore at Denzel Washington School of the Arts, in Mount Vernon, New York. placed first in the 2020 William Warfield Scholarship Fund Classical Vocal Competition for African American High School Students, with his amazing performance of “Caro, Mio Ben”. This rising artist has performed at the 2020 Mount Vernon Mayoral Inauguration; and he is a current member of the Greater Centennial AME Zion Men’s Chorus. Judah has received acting scholarships from American Academy of Dramatic Arts 2019 and AMDA 2018, 2020. In addition, Judah Taylor attends the Juilliard Pre-College with support from The Epstein Family Foundation Scholarship.

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  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

    Under the direction of Dr. Evelyn Collins, students from the Mount Vernon Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program will take the stage to perform August Wilson’s play, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ Performances are scheduled for Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at Nellie Thornton High School, located at 121 South 6th Avenue, Mount Vernon.

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  • Mount Vernon student cast in 'Central Park Five' miniseries on Netflix

    Eighth-grader Judah Taylor, 14, talks about his role in a Netflix original miniseries called "Central Park 5" at Thornton High School which houses the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet School Nov. 5, 1018 in Mount Vernon.

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Promotional Video for Denzel Washington School of the Arts

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Promo Video

Nellie A. Thornton High School - Virtual Graduation Ceremony - Class of 2020

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National Core Arts Standards

  • "Arts Education benefits the student because it cultivates the whole child, gradually building many kinds of literacy while developing intuition, reasoning, imagination, and dexterity into unique forms of expression and communication. This process requires not merely an active mind but a trained one. An education in the arts benefits society because students of the arts gain powerful tools for understanding human experiences, both past and present. They learn to respect the often very different ways others have of thinking, working, and expressing themselves. They learn to make decisions in situations where there are no standard answers. By studying the arts, students stimulate their natural creativity and learn to develop it to meet the needs of a complex and competitive society. And, as study and competence in the arts reinforce one other, the joy of learning becomes real, tangible, and powerful."