Lina Cruz is a tough, sharp-witted Latina cheerleader from East L.A. who transfers to a posh, West Los Angeles high school after her widowed mother remarries a wealthy man and Lina not only finds herself a fish-out-of-her-environment at her new high school but she faces off against Avery, the snobbish and ultra-competitive all-star cheer-leading captain to qualify for a spot on her new school's cheer-leading team with the help of her new sheltered stepsister, Skylar, and her former teammates whom she calls up to help her.
Troy and the gang of East High School are going through their senior year. Troy wants to attend the nearby University of Albuquerque next year on a basketball scholarship, but Gabriella wants to attend Stanford University in California. Meanwhile, Sharpay, the school's spoiled rich girl, plots to go all out planning the school's final musical show with the idea to add music to her hopes and fears about the future. While Sharpay takes an up-and-coming British exchange student under her wing, her flamboyant fraternal twin brother, Ryan, has his sights set on something different after school. In addition, Troy's best friend and basketball teammate Chad, and Garbiella's best friend Taylor, all have their sights set on their plans. But all of them confronts the harsh realities of the world.