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Columbus County Schools Arts Education Programs
Columbus County Schools Three traditional high schools, one early college Eight middle schools (including three K-8 schools) Nine elementary schools (including three K-8 schools)
Columbus County Schools 6800 students, 19 schools 460 teachers, no locally funded positions 3rd largest county (greatest distance between two schools is 46 miles) 96th in overall wealth 90% Free and reduced 51% W, 31% B, 11% H, 7 %AI
Arts Education Requirement 1992- When two attendance areas merged five high schools into two consolidated high schools, the arts graduation requirement was implemented by request of the arts educators and the support of the school board. The requirement was also implemented at the third high school, which had consolidated in 1965.
Arts Education Requirement Vocal Music Dance Instrumental Music Theatre Visual ArtsAre offered at each high school to fulfill the requirement.
Arts Education Personnel Each high school has 4 Arts Education teachers: 1 Dance/Theatre 1 Instrumental Music 1 Vocal Music 1 Visual Arts These are all paid with state funds, based on ADM.
Middle Grades Each 6-8 (or K-8) school offers Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, and Visual Arts daily. Each middle grades arts education teacher spends ½ day at two schools. A child entering 6th grade can study Chorus, Band or Art everyday until they graduate high school.
K-5 Art and Music are offered for 6 or 12 week periods. Two General Music and two Visual Arts teachers serve CCS’ nine K-5 schools. Smaller schools (avg size 350 K-5 students), make daily arts classes challenging.
Itinerant Teachers Board policies recognize the challenges of itinerant teaching and helps clarify realistic responsibilities for itinerant teachers.
Instructional Supplies Each arts program is allocated funds from state instructional supply funds; Visual Arts and Instrumental Music receive proportionately higher amounts.
Additional funds are provided by: A $20 fee paid by each student per 9-12 arts education class A $5 fee paid per 6-8 arts class Schools make every effort to collect fees, but students are never prevented from participation because of lack of payment.
Challenges (9-12) Class size- An arts requirement means larger class sizes and fewer advanced courses Levels - Beginning students cannot be mixed with advanced Scheduling - has to be carefully done to “load balance” arts teachers (ensure that each period has multiple level I arts courses offered)
Challenges (9-12) Moving all students through requirementASAP- seniors should not be taking level I arts credit Vocal I, Instrumental I, Dance I, Theatre I, Visual Arts I ONLY should fill the requirement Specialty classes (pottery, jazz band etc) should have I level classes as prerequisites
Public Support The truly important work happens in the classroom, but what the public sees is the basis for their support.
Public Support Columbus County Schools hosts a student arts festival involving 1000 students, 6 performances, 700 pieces of artwork. This draws 2000 audience members annually, and demonstrates the rigor and importance of arts education. This is covered extensively in the local print and broadcast media.
Public Support All arts teachers must make an effort to create performance/display opportunities. Public perception of the arts programs are formulated from these performances and exhibitions, and public visibility can help build political capital with stakeholders.
Arts Coordinator/Support Having an advocate and an organizer at the central office level is crucial. Many teacher initiatives have different implications for arts teachers, and someone needs to be sitting at the table to ensure that the specialized needs of arts programs are known. As programs grow (as they will under a requirement scenario) centralized organization is a must.
Sir Ken Robinson “My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”
Sir Ken Robinson- “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html