Update – Things Haven’t Changed

I know it’s summer. We are all busy with vacations and camps and life. I’m certain that many of the camps your kids are attending have something to do with the arts. Sadly, it’s clear that everything we brought up about the arts and our schools do not appear to have made any difference. Things are still proceeding as they were and there has been no explanation as to how this won’t decimate the arts in our schools.

Many 6th grade students found themselves stuck this year. The “wheel” was forever changed to limit the number of elective options our children will have. Less children will be exposed to art, music, choir and acting. That means that less students will be able taking these classes in 7th and 8th grade. That in turn will significantly reduce the interest and skills of students entering high school. This will ultimately damage our high school arts programs. In my personal conversation with Dr. White we determined that a child could go through middle school and NEVER take a SINGLE arts class. This didn’t seem to concern him in the least. To me, this is completely unacceptable.

Teachers are also being introduced to “project based learning” over the summer. My 8th grade daughter had experienced in Project Based Learning last year with their “Global Village” project. I can tell you it was an unmitigated disaster. They assigned groups to create projects that in theory would help raise funds or awareness for things like water shortages, pet shelters, dignity drive and other. I can only say that every single student I talked with was negative. They HATED it. And it was chaotic as the projects were not well thought out and they were expecting children to have skills that they have never been taught and are in many ways too young to understand.

As we are clearly catapulting rapidly towards some implementation of Project Based Learning and a complete restructuring of the electives in our middle schools, we have gotten no explanations or guarantees from the District or the Board about having some say in this process.

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