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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998
 

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 13 - March 19, 1998 Getting to the art of education: new school introduced to q;;lpe Region By Rosanne Pack With the application deadline looming, representatives of the Southern Delaware School of the Arts brought their information show to the Cape Region Wednes- day night. Complete with slides and examples of taking an artistic approach to basic academics, ad- ministrators and teachers from In- dian River School District met with more than 30 parents and stu- dents. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 17; students will be notified of their status by Tues- day, March 31. Once Babs Sutton and several teachers made their presentation, parents and even a few students asked ques- tions that ranged from transportation to computer SUTTON issues. Sut- ton, supervisor of secondary in- struction for Indian River district, said that the interest and questions were very similar to those ex- pressed at other meetings through- out the county. "Coming into this, we really did not know what to expect," she said. "We had high hopes, but honestly, we didn't anticipate this great an interest. I think we are going to have the necessary 300 students with no problem; I just hope we don't get into a situation where we have to disappoint fam- ilies." The school will open this Sep- tember under the school choice program initiated recently in Delaware. Students entering grades one through eight, from Milford and all Sussex County districts, are eligible. The applica- tion process is completed by fill- ing out the school choice form; auditions will not be conducted nor will portfolios of visual arts be required. Sutton said that the school of the arts committee will review ap- plications starting Wednesday, March 18, and make every effort to deal with them in the most equi- table manner possible. She said that acceptance will not be on a strict first-come, first served basis; rather the committee will try to determine which children will best be served by attending a school that integrates the arts and other academics. Whenever possi- ble, consideration will be given to families who apply for more than one child. Arts within academics Music, art, drama and move- ment are to be integrated into a curriculum that includes the stan- dard academic subjects of Eng- lish, science, math and social studies. The school is to include an assessment program where stu- dents can learn and display their knowledge in a variety of ways as it applies to everyday life while providing a school climate that fosters student responsibility, re- spect, goal setting and personal excellence. The staff will be composed of certified teachers for the core sub- jects and the art courses. Using the projected figure of 300 students, the school will have 15 teachers. Sutton said that the number and ages of students will determine how many teachers will be hired for each subject or grade and the student-to-teacher ratio. "We have to get the kids first, and then see what our needs will be," she said. "We will be meeting and planning all summer. We have to stay flexible, but we also have to show that we have a mini- mum of 300 students initially; 300 is the number required to have a principal." Beth Howlett, Indian River mu- sic teacher and a member of the Learning Through the Arts plan- ning committee, reminded those attending the meeting that the Southern Delaware School of the Arts will not be a performing arts school. She said that students will be exposed to and will incorporate Caught up in the philoso- phy of the arts incorporated into all aspects of life, Julia LeVasser dances to her own inner music while her moth- er learns about the Southern Delaware School of the Arts at a recent meeting.. The four-year-old Rehoboth Beach resident will have to wait a few years to apply, but she appears to be a good can- didate, Cinderella ballgown and all Older children, grades one through eighth have until Tuesday, March 17 to apply. Rosanne Pack photo the arts in all core subjects, but the school is not intended primarily for youngsters with exceptional talents in artistic fields. She also said that youngsters who are not being served by tradi- tional education might be candi- dates for a school of the arts. "I have kids in my classes who do not relate well to standard pre- sentation of language arts or so- cial studies," she said. "But I know if they were allowed to put what they know to music or draw- ing, they could come right out with it. This is a different drum- mer approach." Howlett said that children with learning disabilities have equal chance of being selected for the new school. She said special edu- cation students should submit their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) along with their appli- cation. "All students who are eligible for state services will receive those that this school can pro- vide," she said. "When we see the IEP, we will know if this school "will be capable of filling those in- dividual needs." Transportation, location? Parents had questions regarding the transportation process that will take students from the Cape dis- trict to the school of the arts in Selbyville. One even questioned the choice of location, "down in the comer of Sussex County." Sutton said that parents outside of Indian River district will be re- sponsible for getting their children to the closest bussing point for that district. For many in Cape district, that could be Long Neck or Bethany Beach. From there, students will ride the routine route to an Indian River school where they will board a bus to the Sel- byville destination. The one-way trip will be an hour in many cases. Sutton said that parents can call Greg Sutton, Indian River transportation direc- tor, 436-1000, for information re- garding bussing from specific points. Sutton said that the use of the Selbyville location is definite. She said the building meets all codes and provides a location for a new school without the expense of building a new facility. Since the school is just passing out of the planning stages, com- mittee members acknowledge that there are many issues that may be addressed in later years. There is the possibility that kindergarten may be added, and that the school could expand into a 12-year school of the arts. For now, those who attend through eighth grade will be academically prepared to go on to traditional high school. Howler recommended that par- ents "think long and hard" before applying for placement of a sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grader who has attended school in their home dis- trict since kindergarten. She said the transition might not be in the best interest for a child who is well-adjusted and content in their home school. Sutton said that the committee will not review or even count the number of applications that have been submitted until March 17. She said she can honestly say that she does not know how many have come in so far. "But, I know that the pile on the secretary's desk is growing daily," she said. "Those of us who have been working on this for almost two years now are so excited. We know now that we are going to do it. We are going to have a school of the arts." As a "magnet school" rather than a charter school, the Southern Delaware School of the Arts is in- cluded in Indian River School District and funded as such. The children who are accepted will bring their funding with them from their home district. The school will also apply for grants and funding from arts and other education sources. For further information on the school and the application process, call 436-1070, Ext. 123. 226 The deadline for applications is March 17, 4 p.m., and they must be received at the Dept. of Instruc- tion, Indian River Educational Complex, 31 Hoosier St., RD 2, Box 156, Selbyville, DE 19975. At Nationwide , we go the extra mile to save you money. That's why we offer a variety of auto premium discounts, including our multi-car discount, our safe driver discount, airbag discount and more. Call us and start saving money today. David Truitt 365 Savannah Rd. Lewes 645-6459 0 NATIONWIDE INSURANCE Narde Is on yr side Visit Natlorde at http://ww.nalioa*hah.com OH 4321$ NaCor, wid is a gisterad (wdual servme mark ot Natkvr,., tud lnsorar Coar, r Joe & Margaret Mansfield Serving the Eastern Shore of MD & DE You'll love our Quality, Service & Reasonable Prices! Commercial & Residential Septic. Drain & Sewer Services. Drainfield Restoration with Money Back Guarantee. 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