In July of 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating the second week of September as Arts in Education Week.
The School District of Fairfield County is a prime example of the importance of this resolution as the new school year gets in full swing.
The district’s visual and performing arts department continues to expand to serve the needs of students in our schools, according to Julianne Neal, coordinator of visual and performing arts.
“Our programs are showing continued growth. We have been thrilled to become an arts in the basic curriculum site for the past two years, as well as a distinguished arts program,” says Neal. “These two awards made it possible for our faculty members to attend curriculum leadership institutes in the arts during the summer of 2012, as well as arts assessment and technology courses offered through the University of South Carolina and Lander University. The department has been able to expand our arts areas as well, with increased instrumental music in our elementary schools, a new dance program at the middle school level and a new orchestra course offered at the high school level. We are extremely proud of the efforts of the students and the faculty members in our department.”
Nearly half of the funding from the grant awards enabled the county educators to attend classes over the summer and bring information home to other educators in their arts areas.
Neal and several other teachers presented sessions at the recent Raise the Bar Symposium sponsored by the district.
Melissa McCrary presented technology sessions in arts advocacy, while Michael Lindsay presented a rhythm session in music and Kimberlea Daly presented on texture in visual arts.
Several of the teachers will use information from the assessment sessions to create authentic assessments of student work in dance, choral music, and theatre.
The grant funding, provided by the State Department of Education and the South Carolina Arts Commission, will provide further training for more of the district faculty during the summer of 2013, as well as artists-in-residence in theatre and dance during the school year.
The 2012 funding provided mosaic tile projects in each elementary school, as well as a collaborative effort with the athletic department in which visual art students at FCHS partnered with the baseball team to create the Griffin dugout.
According to the resolution (H.Con.Res. 275), “whereas where schools and communities are delivering high quality learning opportunities in, through, and about the arts for children, extraordinary results occur.”
To see these results in action, visit your child’s visual or performing arts classroom.