Dayton Public Schools considers creating a new arts school

By Anna Harman

Dayton Public Schools are considering building a new arts elementary school in west Dayton, according to superintendent David Lawrence. For now, it’s just a conversation to brainstorm how this could function in the Dayton area. 

They have to consider what it would cost to build the school and also research what arts schools around the country are like functionally. They still aren’t clear on a decision just yet. 

Board member Jocelyn Rhynard states that Dayton has been under-resourced for decades, so she believes an arts school could help students in that area. She wants to spread the arts across Dayton so that all children can experience the impact it has on many people.

Cedarville Education Professor, Dr. Megan Brown believes building this arts school could be a great idea and appreciates that the school board is trying to find ways to connect students with the arts at a young age. Brown believes that this school would give students an opportunity to explore their young learning through the arts in a way that might not be provided at a more traditional school. 

“The teachers will need to learn how to partner with art educators to provide their instruction,” Brown said. “This type of co-teaching is not traditionally taught at the college level so there may be a learning curve for any teacher choosing to work in the school. However, as an artist who also is a teacher, it sounds like a wonderful opportunity to do what I love.”

However, she does recognize there could be potential negative effects.

 “I wonder about the other subject areas and the ways that those subjects will be taught through the art lens,” Brown said. “This type of structure does allow for arts integration, which I love.”

Brown also recognizes the impact building an arts school could have on other schools in the community.

“Any time a school is built, especially a school that specializes in a specific topic, I wonder how the movement of students from one school to another will affect their previous school,” Brown said. 

Cedarville Education Professor, Dr. Kevin Jones agrees that the building of the arts elementary school is a great idea. 

“I think the idea is fabulous,” Jones said. “Arts belong to God and he has given people the ability to express themselves in ways that can glorify Him.”

He commends the city leaders for being forward thinking and trying to establish a school that will add depth and significance to a community. 

“I hope God will bless them with the support needed for this,” Jones said. He believes that a good curricular approach in addition to the school being rightly led, funded, and supported could have a positive impact on students, teachers, and arts in general. 

The Dayton area is expected to be surveyed about this idea in coming months to gain residents’ input on the school board’s ideas. However, superintendent David Lawrence invites the community to join the conversations that he has been hosting at DPS buildings before the surveying starts concerning these matters. He also invites the community to reach out to the school board to provide their thoughts on the potential building of the new arts elementary school. 

Anna Harman is a senior Christian Education major and also a reporter for Cedars. She appreciates writing, children’s ministry, flowers, and going to concerts.

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