Art ed evaluated

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Grand Haven and Spring Lake schools are among the 93 percent of high schools, 94 percent of elementary schools and 92 percent of middle schools in the state that provide at least one art course, based on the Michigan Arts Education Survey that was released Thursday.

The survey was conducted by Michigan Youth Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Department of Education, and ArtServe Michigan.

Additional findings from the survey include: About 12 percent of high schools don’t satisfy state graduation requirements of a single arts credit, and about 108,000 K-12 students lack access to art education.

“It’s a broad representation,” said Kim Dabbs, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts, during a press conference phone call.

While other schools in Michigan might struggle to offer art education, Grand Haven-area schools offer a variety of opportunities for their students in art or music.

“When many schools are cutting programs, we have protected ours by finding efficiencies elsewhere,” said Mary Jane Evink, curriculum specialist for Grand Haven Area Public Schools.

Evink said students in the district’s Young Fives program through seniors in high school have programs built into their schedules — whether it’s band, choir, orchestra, painting or photography.

Spring Lake Public Schools Curriculum Director Scott Ely said his district has also maintained its art and music programs, even though it’s been difficult with budget cuts and additional state curriculum mandates. He said the community supports the programs and the district has set keeping them as a priority.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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