The Arts are on the Chopping Block

My 14 year old daughter came home very upset. It seems that Todd White, the Superintendent of Blue Valley School District, has had a plan to cut the arts from our schools since he was hired. I was shocked. One of the reasons I moved to the district was for their arts programs in the public schools. How could this be happening… and completely in the dark?

This school year I heard they were removing the “wheel” for 6th graders. The wheel allowed all 6th graders to participate in a variety of exploratory classes including Art; Drama; FACS; Pre-Engineering; Choir and a few others. By allowing students to experience all of these they were being exposed to things they may never have otherwise tried. It allowed them to find out what they liked and to be creative. In subsequent years they could pick and choose. I was puzzled as to why they did away with it. Now I know.

This was the first phase in taking arts out of our schools. The next phase is set for 2018-2019 when they cut back the time allotment and the options for the arts. I have only seen rough plans, but from what I see it will decimate the creative arts and limit music and choir. this will have a chilling effect throughout the middle and high schools as students will no longer be exposed to these programs and be funneled into the traditional STEM classes instead.

I am all for academics. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) all have their place. But there are many studies that show that only educating in those areas actually reduces academic results. There has been a movement in many districts to commit to STEAM vs. STEM. The A stands for Arts.

As a creative and an entrepreneur I can say that the arts were instrumental in my success. They created confidence, expanding my mind for more out of the box thinking and gave me a broad range of creative talents to call on that were invaluable. I am standing up for the arts our children’s education. And to that end, I need your help. We need to spread the word and tell people about this. Send links to this website, get them to sign up for the newsletter, get the parents involved to contact the Superintendent and our Board of Education and let them know this is NOT acceptable.

I believe they thought they could just phase it out without anyone knowing. It’s time to let them know we will not stand idly by and watch the creative arts be phased out. Let me know that you are behind this effort. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page and contact me if you want to help.

I thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Bob Stewart

Correction 5/2/2017
In my original post I stated “It seems that Todd White, the Superintendent of Blue Valley School District, has had a plan to cut the arts from our schools since he was hired”. This was early in my research and I believe that comment was uncalled for and I apologize to Dr. White.

3 thoughts on “The Arts are on the Chopping Block

  1. Leasi Frye

    This is a HUGE mistake. The arts are sometimes the only thing that makes school bearable for some kids. It can be the one thing that makes high school a positive experience for them. Well-rounded individuals have arts included in their curriculum. It not only will affect the high school arts programs, but will affect college band programs. Ask K-State how they feel about BV removing music from their curriculum.

  2. Shelley Moran

    As a parent and an educator in this district, this hurts my heart. The arts are where many children thrive, find their voice, make beautiful music, explore their world, imagine, and create. I value and appreciate the need to give our community the best education for all children; however, limiting or eliminating arts education is NOT the way to do it. I hope more will speak out against this.

  3. Erin Woodall

    Oxford Middle School six graders fully intend to support “Save Blue Valley Arts”. Students will ban together with a “Sit-In” until their voices are heard!!!!

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