The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts located in Houston, Texas educates students in grades 9 through 12 and was founded on the principles that young artists need specialized and rigorous training in the arts to be prepared for the intense competition found in colleges, conservatories, and the professional arts world. Formed in 1971, HSPVA represented the first attempt by any public high school in the United States to correlate an academic program with concentrated training in the arts. HSPVA is a dramatic departure from traditional comprehensive programs. Students select one art area to study and spend three hours each day in their individual art area until they graduate. The rest of the day is spent in traditional academic classes. HSPVA offers programs in six areas: theatre (including technical theatre), visual arts, creative writing, and dance, and music. Creative writing is the newest and smallest department. Formed in 2011, its approximately 70 students study fiction, poetry, dramatic writing, and creative non-fiction. Integrated into its curriculum is a focus on technology skills and applications as an extension of their storytelling and writing practice. Students learn Mac and Adobe applications and take classes in digital storytelling, photography, and film.