Fayette middle-schoolers can explore creative arts careers in pilot program

Rising Starr Middle School students celebrate the close of the school year. Photo/School's Facebook page.
Rising Starr Middle School students celebrate the close of the school year. Photo/School's Facebook page.

Middle school students enrolled in Fayette County Public Schools who are interested in occupations connected to the creative arts will be able to explore career opportunities through a new pilot program housed next school year at Rising Starr Middle School.

Above, Rising Starr Middle School students celebrate the close of the school year. Photo/School’s Facebook page.

“This new program, called Community for the Creative Arts, will be offered at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year for seventh and eighth graders. Although housed at Rising Starr Middle, students from any middle school in the county can apply to attend,” said school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach.

The program will be project-focused and will connect students with mentors in areas such as film and television, the recording/music industry, computer science/software, multiple types of engineering, etc.

“We have multiple examples of this type of industry in our county and region, and we are exploring ways to create public and private partnerships that can benefit our young people and the school system,” Superintendent Jody Barrow said of the initiative.

Berry-Dreisbach said students will select an area of interest from media arts, performing arts or visual arts, and will be placed on creative arts academic teams within their grade level, clustered by interest.

“Teachers on these teams will expand academic content through arts integration, providing opportunities for students to explore their interest areas via academic content. Students participating in the program will also have literacy classes together, allowing further opportunity to research their chosen field, and build a capstone project that will be presented to the community at the end of the program,” Berry-Dreisbach said.

Berry-Dreisbach noted that “The Community for the Creative Arts is not designed to become a magnet program for the fine arts, nor does it take the place of traditional fine arts courses. Students who participate in band, chorus, orchestra, and art will still continue their classes. The pilot program supplements those classes, providing students, and others who are not taking fine arts courses, an expanded opportunity to explore additional interest areas through integration of the arts within their academic teams.”

Each middle school in the county has been allotted a limited number of seats within the program. Students and their parents must complete an application. Accepted applicants will then be awarded a seat in the program by lottery. The application deadline is June 8. Students will be notified by July 27 whether or not they were awarded a seat through the lottery. Students admitted to the program who do not attend Rising Starr Middle will have to provide their own transportation to and from school.

Information about the program and a link to the application has been sent to each middle school for distribution to parents. Parents and students can also access the application and information about the Community for the Creative Arts program by visiting Rising Starr Middle’s website, www.fcboe.org/rsms.