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Q&A: FW school board candidates share views/Question 5
All five of my children have been involved in the arts. It has provided them with skills in time management, study habits, the ability to express themselves, creative thinking and the ability to work with others, as a team, to achieve a desired goal. A balance of arts, academics and sports is fundamental to the overall student success.
There should be as much emphasis on learning and the performing arts as there is in producing winning sports teams. The arts provide a well-rounded person that goes beyond physical prowess and challenges the intellectual abilities. The performing arts allow students to express themselves and further enhance their learning experience and higher-order thinking skills.
Scott G. Best:
The school districts most important responsibility is making sure that all students meet grade-level expectations in core classes every year. Any other program is secondary to this primary responsibility. If students meet grade-level expectations then other programs, such as the arts, are appropriate.
Charles R. Hoff:
There is considerable evidence that the arts can enhance learning, but we must seek balance when providing these opportunities in our public schools. Mastery of basic academic courses must be our primary focus. I believe that exploration of and encouragement in art and music are very appropriate and beneficial to students, however, these courses should not be used as a substitute for mastery of basic academic disciplines.
Arts and music are not dispensable and are part of a well-rounded education program. This is similar to the issue of competitive sports in the middle school, which I support. What Im looking for is parents who get as excited about academics as sports and arts.
Earl Van Dorien:
Lots! (But not at the sacrifice of our core basics!) Some of my best memories of high school were those spent in drama, band and orchestra. And lets not forget the industrial arts! In high school I developed a talent for woodworking; I made many wood pieces, and still have a wood shop in my home to this day. Sports? Yes! Combine these together by playing in the Pep Band for basketball games highly recommended!
A careful review of spending in all departments is essential for the
success of all students. While the arts develops students ability in a wide
range of opportunity where they wouldnt otherwise have that opportunity, I believe there has to be a balance that addresses needs when allocating funds for all programs. Not all 20,000-plus students in the Federal Way Schools will become the next Tom Cruise or William Shakespeare.
William A. May:
However, exposure and appreciation for culture and the arts is important in the education process and contributes to improving society.
I believe that the arts are absolutely important to creating whole students. I believe that too often programs such as sports will acquire the funding that would otherwise support building arts awareness. Arts programs are as important as sports programs, both should be supported in an equitable fashion.
Schools must engage students on multiple levels. Some students are into academics,that is where they shine. Other students are into athletics and school would be impossible for them without the draw of sports. The arts allow those students that may not fit into the other categories to have something to call their own and to excel in. I highly support the arts in our schools.