The importance of creativity — whether on the stage, at a canvas, looking through a microscope or starting up a business — is not lost on Glacier High School educators.
For the 2014-15 school year, students will have the opportunity to register for the new Glacier Fine Arts Academy.
Students who complete four-year plans in music, theater or visual arts will be recognized for their achievements at graduation.
“I’m not sure people realize the hard work and dedication it takes to earn four credits of fine arts,” said Ivanna Fritz, head of Glacier’s Theater and English departments. “These students have a true passion and work for ridiculous numbers of hours on their craft.”
The Fine Arts Academy will join focused learning programs such as the Engineering Academy, which offered its first introductory courses this school year.
Glacier also has graduation distinctions for students taking Advanced Placement or vocational/agricultural classes.
The fine arts promote experimentation, expression, observation and reflection. Without a focus on “the correct answer,” students have the freedom to take risks, according to Glacier Art Department Head Josh Lancaster.
“Studies show that fine arts education equips students to form mental images, which can be used to creatively solve problems,” Lancaster said. “Chemists, engineers, and architects use this type of ‘visioneering’ to create models and inventors use it to think up new ideas.”
Lancaster also noted research from the College Board that shows the impact of fine arts exposure over four years.
“Research also shows strong correlations between students who participate in fine art programs and higher than average SAT scores,” Lancaster said. “According to The College Board in 2005, students who have four years of fine arts score 58 points higher on the verbal portion and 38 points higher on the math portion of the SAT (when compared to peers with one half-year or less of art course work).”
Another part of the Fine Arts Academy will be to connect students in a greater capacity with the art community’s multitude of bronze foundries, theater productions, professional artists and musicians working in the valley, Lancaster said.
For more information visit www.sd5.k12.mt.us/domain/583.
Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.