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Six Los Angeles Unified Schools Honored with Exemplary Arts Education Awards for 2021 (05-03-21)

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Shannon Haber, 213-393-1289                                                               

Six Los Angeles Unified Schools Honored With Exemplaray Arts Education Awards for 2021 

LOS ANGELES (May 3, 2021) – Six schools in Los Angeles Unified are among 33 that were honored by the state Department of Education with an Exemplary Arts Education Award for 2021 for advancing achievement in arts instruction for all students.

The announcement was made last week by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who commended the schools “for recognizing that this is a time when the arts are more critical than ever.”

“I am delighted these schools are being recognized for their artistic achievements,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said.

The winners are: ArTES (Arts, Theatre, Entertainment School) at César Chávez Learning Academies, CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts - Multimedia and Performing, Ramón C. Cortines, Grand Arts High School of Visual and Performing Arts, Renaissance Arts Academy, (ICEF) View Park Preparatory Charter High School and 32nd Street USC Performing Arts Magnet.

Congratulations to our schools receiving the State’s California Exemplary Arts Education Award, particularly ArTES Magnet and CHAMPS Charter in Board District 6,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “These opportunities for students to pursue music, visual arts, media arts, dance, and theatre benefit their creativity, wellness, and even boost achievement in traditional academic subjects. Thank you to all the educators, parents, and students for all your hard work that led to this impressive recognition!”

Exemplary Arts Education Award winners include traditional comprehensive schools, magnet schools, and district and independent charters. These schools serve diverse demographic populations of varying sizes, from a large urban school with 3,700 students to a much smaller school with 250 students.

In addition to meeting the Arts Standards eligibility criteria, schools must offer instruction to all students in a minimum of three of the five disciplines identified in the state Arts Standards: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.

"We are proud to be acknowledged for providing what we know is a key to student success: rigorous, sequenced arts instruction that promotes engagement, emotional wellbeing, confidence and academic achievement,” ArTes principal  Anne Maschler said. “We are grateful for our amazing students who graduate ready to engage with their communities with the unique perspective of artists."

“Thank you to the California Department of Education for this honorable award,” Grand Arts High School Principal Lori Gambero said. “Our talented students and teachers truly represent the artistic value and spirit that embodies our school. We are excited to be highlighted and featured amongst this distinguished group of schools.”  

An awards ceremony will be held later in the year. 

“A special congratulations to the 32nd Street USC Performing Arts Magnet,”  Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. He is a former math teacher, rocket scientist and concert violinist. “Art instruction can be effective in teaching math and other subjects. Performing on a stage, playing in the band, singing in the choir, excelling in painting or any other art form can also motivate students to come to school as they nurture a talent, master a skill or develop an appreciation they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.”

“Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts is an extraordinary reflection of greatness in the heart of Los Angeles,” Board Member Mónica García said. “I am overjoyed for the students, teachers, staff and administration that have earned this distinction!”

“Congratulations to our schools that won the Exemplary Arts Education Award,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “The arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education. Let's constantly push for arts education in all of our schools. Many students rely on the arts all through their school years to keep them on target to graduation and future careers. Arts matter!”

“Congratulations to these schools for this prestigious recognition of their exemplary arts programs,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “Arts education can provide students of any age with the opportunity to create new things, express their feelings, and find their passion. We are proud to have such impressive arts programs to learn from and replicate for more kids across our district.”

“Congratulations to the Los Angeles Unified School District schools that have been recognized for allowing students to explore and create in a productive and educational setting,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “During these times, it is more important than ever for students to express their creativity, and I commend these schools for supporting students in these ways, even through distanced learning."  

“To receive the California Exemplary Arts Education Award is an amazing honor and I’m so proud that our Los Angeles Unified schools have embraced and propelled our arts education programs to receive this well-deserved recognition,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “A robust arts education is absolutely fundamental, and we are excited to see the future contributions of our scholar-artists."