State grant ups arts studies at SCV schools

first_imgSANTA CLARITA – Santa Clarita’s schools are developing plans and budgets for the extra cash flow they’ve received for arts education programs. Santa Clarita’s schools have long boasted successful visual- and performing-arts programs such as marching bands, choirs and dance teams that have earned state and national accolades. But funding for these programs has been an ongoing struggle. “For the most part we have relied on our wonderful parent organizations to fund our programs, music specialists and after-school enrichment classes,” said Joan M. Lucid, assistant superintendent of instruction for the Saugus Union School District. Crunelle is planning to submit a plan to the Hart board for approval next week that highlights a plan that includes a teacher-led committee. She said teachers decided unanimously to continue supporting established programs such as the district’s Honor Band and the Theater Project but also wanted to focus on staff development. “This will provide our staff with the opportunity to have their own staff development that will be focused on what is meaningful to them,” Crunelle said. This first plan covers a $105 million state grant that translates to $15 per student in the Hart district. The renewed commitment to visual- and performing-arts education comes after several studies confirmed the academic value of arts disciplines, said Nancy Carr, the state department of education’s visual and performing arts consultant. “There has been a dawning realization that students who have the opportunity to experience arts education perform better academically,” she said. Carr said the money should help teachers and administrators gain the financial means to ensure they are providing the most comprehensive, and academically rigorous, art programs for their students. (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “What we want to do now is capitalize on what parents have already done and make sure those experiences are the same for all children at all schools. In the past these special programs have been dependent on what parents were able to bring to the table.” Like Lucid, administrators at school districts have established committees made up of teachers, administrators and sometimes parents who help establish the needs of the visual- and performing-arts programs, most of them organized independently of programs at other district schools. The Saugus district plans to team with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission to develop a program spanning several disciplines. Across the board, administrators agree there’s value in combining the arts and education. “The arts are very important because they round out the school experience for children, and we know from research how much they can improve student achievement,” Lucid said. The Hart Union High School District has graduated several prolific musicians and thespians, but Leslie Crunelle, assistant superintendent of educational services, said funds have been short for visual- and performing-arts teachers and programs. last_img read more

Fischer Qualifies For USATF Championship

first_img Live Video Story Links DES MOINES, Iowa – NCAA All-American, four-time Missouri Valley Conference champion and recent Drake University graduate Reed Fischer (Minnetonka, Minn.) has qualified for this week’s USA Track & Field Championships in the 10,000 meters. Fischer will race against the nation’s best in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, June 23, at 12:09 a.m. CDT.Fischer is one of four collegians selected for the USATF Championship field in the 10,000 meters with professionals such as three-time Olympian Galen Rupp.Qualifying for the USATF Championship is another honor in what has been a tremendous season for Fischer. Earlier this month, he earned NCAA All-America honors in the 10,000 meters with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. That performance came just weeks after winning the event at the MVC Championship to claim his fourth MVC title of the season. During the indoor season, he swept the 3,000 and 5,000 titles at the MVC Championship and was the MVC Cross Country Champion in the fall.Fischer has set school records this season in the indoor 3,000 and 5,000 meters as well as the outdoor 5,000 meters. His record setting performance in setting the outdoor 5,000 meters came at the Drake Relays to shatter the 39-year-old record and run the fastest 5,000 meters the Relays since 1988. He also owns the second fastest 10,000-meter time in program history at 28:47.86 set earlier this season at the Stanford Invitational.In addition to this latest honor, he is a three-time NCAA qualifier, a three-time all-region selection and a seven-time All-MVC selection. Academically, Fischer was the MVC Cross Country Elite 18 Award winner and a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree while garnering multiple USTFCCCA All-Academic accolades. An English/public relations major with a 3.81 grade point average, Fischer has been nominated for the Oreon E. Scott Award, given to the top senior at Drake University. He has collected a total of six MVC Scholar-Athlete Team selections and been named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week 10 times in his career and was recently named the MVC Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award Winner.Print Friendly Versioncenter_img Live Results last_img read more