Deep or Wide?
At the secondary level, the arts are electives, and students may sign up for the courses that interest them the most. This is a time of exploration and trying new things. Students may choose to focus on one area and enroll in it for multiple years, or they may try a variety of different courses. Although beginning band and orchestra are only offered in 6th grade, all other areas have beginning levels in grades 6-12. It's never too late to try something new. Courses meet daily on either a semester or year-long basis at the middle school, and on a year-long basis at the high school. This daily class time allows students to explore disciplines with more depth, and to begin to master skills in an area of interest.
Some students have intense interest and ability in a particular area of the arts. Students that complete the K - Advanced level courses develop expertise in the area. The advanced courses prepare students for college and career opportunities in the arts. Each year we have students major in in the arts and receive arts scholarships to attend college. Some schools participate in competitions and festivals that allow both individuals and groups to be recognized and challenged for greater growth.
Students that are deeply involved in the arts often find a community of kindred spirits that offer support throughout the middle and high school years. There are many opportunities to be involved beyond the regularly scheduled class period. Teachers showcase and celebrate student work throughout the year through a variety of opportunities, including art exhibits, school performances, extracurricular performances, parades, community performances, field trips, and even extended traveling trips.