I was recently talking to a good friend about a school that needs to attract more students – so they have decided to pursue an art & technology focused curriculum. Lynn is a gifted math teacher, with a passion for the arts, who recently moved from a strong suburban school district in Illinois to a struggling district in California. She currently teaches 8th grade math to what many would consider a pretty tough audience, but as great teachers do, she sees past the labels and test scores to find the children inside.
In a recent email exchange, Lynn shared that her middle school has decided to pursue an arts focus. I was surprised by this turn of events and asked what made them pursue the arts? It turns out their district has ‘schools of choice’, and if they don’t get enrollment numbers up, they’re in danger of being closed. The schools are also competing for the ‘top’ students so the principal decided to try an art & technology focus.
Now isn’t it interesting that when they need to find ways to attract more students – and even the ‘top’ students – the arts are the main attraction.
Lynn, whose own children participated in music, art and theater, is excited to work on this project. She shared; “We have a new multi-purpose room with a large stage plus we have an amazing band director. We finally have one section of art, and we have people on staff that can teach theater and dance. On the technology side, we have a math teacher who used to be a computer programmer, and we already teach a couple of engineering classes. Every student has a netbook, so we have a real need for computer classes. It will be interesting to see what happens!”