Archived Story

Art program to return to Merritt, Brandywine Elementary

Published 9:01am Wednesday, June 11, 2014

After a prolonged absence, art class is returning to Brandywine Community Schools in time for the 2014-15 school year.

Students at Brandywine Elementary School and Merritt Elementary School will spend at least one class period a week learning art from a certified instructor beginning next school year, according to Superintendent John Jarpe.

“We are placing more of an emphasis on art, so we can develop more of those skills for all our students,” he said.

The school was forced to eliminate the art program several years ago due to budget adjustments.

The move to bring it back comes as part of the district’s push to revise its fine arts curriculum, including the subjects of art, music, band and choir.

“The recommendation from that department was to reinstate art,” said Jarpe, adding that the move gained broad support from members of the school board.

To make room for art class, Jarpe said Brandywine Elementary and Merritt Elementary would no longer teach computer class as a separate subject.

“Teachers will be integrating technology and computers into their own teaching,” Jarpe said. “It will be more integrated and embedded with the subjects, instead of being a stand-alone subject. That’s the trade off.”

There will be an art classroom at each of the two school buildings.

Merritt Elementary Principal Karen Weimer said she is excited for the program’s return.

“It was an unfortunate budget cut a few years ago, but teachers still integrated art into their classwork — it’s not like art disappeared,” she said. “It will be nice to have that dedicated time for art back again.”


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