Danville schools focus on the arts in education

Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 18:52:35-04

BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — While most school districts focus on STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and math -- this school system believes the arts are at the forefront of academics.

All this month Danville Independent Schools has celebrated “Art in our Schools” month. District leaders believe the arts can help students excel across all subjects.

Danville Schools’ Director of Arts Education, Jane Dewey, says, "There is room for the arts for every student at the Danville schools. and maybe that is a little bit different than other places, but I hope that there's room for the arts for every student at every school."

Dewey’s two sons are an example of how art can be used after graduation. Both attended Danville high and were a part of the arts on and off stage. Now, her oldest son is a freelance performer outside of New York City. The other is pursuing a degree in computer science and works behind the scenes in theatre.

No matter the profession students who come back remember their art experiences.

"When they talk about the Danville schools or they visit us, they talk about Danville High School, they often come back to their arts experiences,” says Dewey.

This school was built in 1964 and even then, it had art in mind.

Danville High School Principal, Chad Luhman, says, "Just early on we placed a large emphasis on our resources invested in arts programs."

This school offers visual art, performance arts, and much more. Kentucky works to create pathways for students after graduation. This school’s programs have been recognized as one of them.

"You get that seal of completion and it leads to these things so it's the idea of completing it but it's the value of an arts pathway that we have at Danville High School,” says Luhman.

These leaders agree that the arts are outlets for all students. Coming back from the pandemic the focus on social and emotional learning has increased. They say the arts help students express themselves.

Dewey shares, "Arts allow you to express yourself. Arts allow you to feel what other people are feeling and understand better and allow you to have an appropriate, safe way to express feelings."