District Leads the Way in Prioritizing Arts Education for Overall Student Success

District Leads the Way in Prioritizing Arts Education for Overall Student Success
Posted on 03/30/2021
Student playing musical instrument

The National Endowment of the Arts published a report from noted scholars that compiled findings from several studies showing that children and teenagers who participated in arts education programs showed more positive academic and social outcomes in comparison to students who did not participate in those programs.

With these results in mind, the School District of Palm Beach County has worked to ensure the availability and quality of arts and music education. This is evident in the wide variety of course offerings in music, visual arts, theatre/drama, and dance in District schools. 

Students have access to coursework in ceramics, 2D and 3D design, photography, playwriting, musical theatre, orchestra, band, chorus, modern and classical dance techniques, as well as multiple Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Cambridge Examinations visual and performing arts offerings. 

“The District is conscientious of the social-emotional learning needs of students. Arts education has always been hugely impactful on the social-emotional development of students, and arts education is especially critical in supporting the well-being of the whole child,” said Samika Satterthwaite, the K-12 Arts Education Program Planner in the Department of K-12 Curriculum.

“The arts teach creativity and self expression, and helps build a community of collaboration and togetherness. Students are provided an opportunity to innovate and think outside the box. The arts allow students to strategize, analyze, solve challenges, create solutions and think of new ideas and pathways,” Satterthwaite said.

The District’s commitment to arts education has received national recognition, as well as local support. For four consecutive years, the District has been named one of the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants.

Additionally, the voters of Palm Beach County affirmed their support of arts and music through the passage of the 2018 Tax Referendum. As part of that legislation, more than 650 school fine arts, choice and career academy positions received funding, in addition to adding teachers on special assignment to support and expand the fine arts curriculum.

“Thanks to the efforts, dedication and talents of arts educators and leaders across the District and community, healthy and vibrant arts education programs exist and are staples in our schools,” Satterthwaite said. “Through strong community partnerships, supportive stakeholders, and student leadership, the District is a place where arts education is making a difference in the lives of students every day.”

Throughout March, Florida and national arts associations celebrate the arts by recognizing Music in Our Schools Month, Youth Art Month, Theatre in Our Schools Month, and Dance in Your Schools Month. The School District of Palm Beach County joins in these celebrations of arts education to emphasize the importance of providing students with a well-rounded educational experience.

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