EPISD discusses expanding fine arts in schools

Bowie band practices early every morning during the school week..jpg

El Paso ISD board members are discussing success from the district’s fine arts programs and opportunities to expand them Thursday morning.

A presentation that EPISD leaders will review today says they have an art or music teacher at every elementary school as well as programs like mariachi, choir, dance, theater, band and orchestra at middle and high schools.

All are programs that they say translate to academic success.

The presentation includes a study that shows those who study music score higher on the SAT than those who do not.

It says studies also show a correlation between fine arts and higher attendance, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline issues.

For expanding fine arts programs, the district lists an EPISD parade with choirs, dance teams, marching and jazz bands.

It also suggests workshops for theater, music, art, and dance teachers.

It also proposes more state competitions and local concerts for EPISD bands, orchestras, choirs and mariachi groups.

EPISD alum Alejandro Ramirez took fine arts classes when he was in school and he says those are all additions that students need and deserve.

“Art really just taught me patience,” Ramirez says, “You don’t have to rush as long as you go with it and let it take you somewhere.”

He continued, “And sometimes it’s someplace new. I had a great time. I feel like it impacted me very well.”

Ramirez concluded, “I really don’t think kids should be denied of that.”

The presentation says the fine arts budget is just over $2 million this year.

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