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— Sept. 2, 2016

 

 

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Indianapolis
Public Schools is proud to celebrate the beginning of our second year in
partnership with local and national leaders to increase access and equity in
arts education for our students.

 

 

As we enter
year two of the Any Given Child Indy
initiative with the Arts Council of Indianapolis and The John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts, we are honored to continue these vital efforts
to ensure all students are able to experience the power of arts in our schools.Edison School of the Arts Open House

 

Arts education
can be easily overlooked by some, but it is a core component of a robust,
well-rounded curriculum. The arts encourage creativity, problem solving,
critical thinking and teamwork, while building confidence in our young
scholars. Students involved in the arts tend to have higher attendance rates,
which lead to lower high school dropout rates.

 

“Providing
our students with a hearty educational experience requires more than the
standards found on state assessments,” said Deputy Superintendent for Academics
Dr. Wanda H. Legrand. “We must share every possible opportunity we can with our
students to give them a well-rounded experience. Every child deserves to have
access to the arts in fulfilling and engaging ways, not just those whose
financial status affords lessons and experiences outside of school.”

 

A few ways IPS
provides quality arts programming for our students is through partnerships with
local arts organizations, and via our Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Choice programs
for elementary students at Edison School of the Arts School 47 and at Broad
Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities.

 

We
also monitor arts in our schools through Any Given Child’s Indy Community Arts
Team (CAT), which is comprised of professionals and advocates from the arts,
education, business and community sectors. These dedicated volunteers spent the
2015–2016 school year creating a baseline analysis of the state of the arts in
our schools and developing an action plan for the current year. The 2016–2017 action
plan includes the following goals:

 

 

  • Goal 1: Unite schools, arts organizations and
    community resources to support lifelong creative engagement.
  • Goal 2: Eliminate identified districtwide gaps in
    the arts to provide equity and access in alignment with the Indiana academic
    standards for every child.
  • Goal 3: Create a robust and collaborative
    professional development program that supports effective arts integration,
    education and engagement.
  • Goal 4: Demonstrate measurable impacts on
    students, families, schools and our community.

 

 

If you’re
passionate about increasing our students’ access to arts opportunities,
consider joining one of our implementation teams. These goals will require the
efforts of our entire community, and we look forward to partnering with you in
the near future for this exciting work!

 

In a further
showing of our commitment to the arts, IPS will celebrate National Arts in
Education Week in Indianapolis on September 11-17 with a series of events
showcasing the importance of arts education. Our implementation teams will hold
their first meetings in the following areas on Thursday, September 15:

 

  • Budget &
    Resources Committee
  • Professional
    Development Committee
  • Evaluation
    & Assessment Committee
  • Creative
    Engagement Committee

 

 

To
learn more about the kickoff and reserve your seat on one of these committees,
visit www.anygivenchildindy.org.

 

IPS
is also proud to celebrate the expansion of our elementary VPA Choice program
to serve students through 8th grade! The program moved to its new
home at Edison School of the Arts this summer, and hosted a ribbon cutting on
August 30 where our talented students showcased the robust arts education
they’re experiencing in the new setting.

 

After our VPA
students graduate 8th Grade, they have the opportunity to hone their
artistic skills at Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities.
Broad Ripple is in the process of phasing out middle grades to focus on
exemplary opportunities for our high school scholars, and this year
administrators implemented a block schedule to allow longer class periods for
students to rehearse in ensembles, prepare for performances or fine tune their
works of art!

 

“Arts education
connects our schools with our community in meaningful ways,” said
Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “We are proud to partner with supportive
local organizations and the Kennedy Center to increase equitable access to arts
experiences; we look forward to seeing a positive impact on student and family
engagement as we boost creative opportunities districtwide.”

 

We are committed
to the arts here at IPS; stay tuned for more exciting updates throughout the
year!