For those of you who know me, you know how important I believe a strong arts education is as part of a child’s total academic experience. It’s also one of the hallmarks of a great school district. This is why I’ve made the arts a priority in my work. It’s also why the arts have been a part of my own children’s lives. From the age of three, each of my three children has played the piano, some with more zeal than others I admit, but the benefits and evolution of this skill is tangible. I, myself, was fortunate to have extremely constructive experiences being involved in the music program at my middle school and high school. Those experiences made me a more confident learner both in life and in the classroom.
The research is clear about the connection between arts experiences and the positive effects on the brain and the brain’s capacity for learning in other areas of study and life. And at Mariemont City Schools, we strive for maximizing learner independence and the capacity to thrive as global citizens. With this in mind and in an effort to be responsive to the results of our recent arts audit, we are strategically expanding arts opportunities for all of our students. And there is so much we’ve already accomplished throughout the past year.
We believe experiences beyond the normal school day must be part of the larger academic program, and that’s why we have now added exciting after-school enrichment courses for our elementary students through our Warriors BEyond program. Students have been learning to play the guitar and piano; 16 different arts courses exposed students to techniques like Cartooning, Sock Puppets and Paper Mache Piñatas. Students are also engaged in music theater classes that focus on singing, dancing and acting skills. And we’re just getting started…
At the junior high, we are offering new and improved arts electives and arts-focused expeditions. Through courses like Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Creative Math, Music Video Production and a restructured Digital Arts program through the Oaks Career Center, which now includes Advanced Digital Arts, our students are incorporating arts into their school day. Additionally, there are many opportunities for our junior high school students to explore the arts through our Expeditions program launched this school year.
And of course there are numerous courses in all facets of the arts available to our students at the high school. New this year, we have added AP Music Theory – a rigorous course that is a great enhancement to our already strong arts program..
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the Mariemont Arts Association for all the support they have provided as we create this great arts experience for our kids. MAA has generously supported numerous arts programs and has most recently helped the junior high reestablish Studio Arts and launch the Arts Expeditions program. We are grateful for their assistance and all of the assistance we receive from our school support organizations.
We are relentless in maintaining our foothold on the leading edge of education. This school district has never been better positioned for today and for tomorrow. And I believe that our collective commitment to the arts will help us continue to provide the utmost in quality education for our Scholars of Today by offering these enriching opportunities for individual achievement to inspire our Leaders of Tomorrow. It’s a great time to be a part of Mariemont City Schools.
Superintendent, Mariemont City Schools