Arts-based electives are a crucial cornerstone of a well-rounded prep school curriculum. Visual and performing arts encourage personal growth and emotional health. Arts-based curricula have even been shown to support student achievement in academic subjects. Unfortunately, public schools are often forced to reduce or eliminate their art programs due to budget cuts. When you enroll your child in a private prep school, he or she will have access to a full selection of well-designed arts-based electives. Orinda Academy offers a variety of Visual and Performing Arts classes. Some of these include Art, Studio Art, Yearbook, Drama, Stage Band, Vocals, and Dance. Our Stage Band collaborates with the faculty band, providing an opportunity to grow as a school community and learn musical techniques and songs from each other.
Most educators would agree that college admissions officers tend to emphasize the importance of achievement in the core subject areas, including mathematics, science, and English. Yet, this should not diminish the importance of art programs. In fact, research indicates that students who participate in art classes demonstrate greater achievements in core subject areas and score higher on standardized tests. Art programs facilitate the development of critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creative cognition. Arts-based electives are particularly important for children with learning differences, as they help students explore the world in a way that is meaningful to them.
While working through a rigorous college prep curriculum, it’s not unusual for high school students to experience stress that they have difficulty coping with. Arts-based electives provide a welcome respite from worrying about test scores and memorizing critical facts. In an art studio, students can relax a little and enjoy the process of creating their masterpieces. Focusing on the process, rather than the result, is a healthy form of mindfulness.
The high school years are a time of considerable change for children. Art programs allow students to connect with and develop their self-identities, and to express their innermost thoughts and struggles. Art stimulates self-awareness and self-confidence.
Here at Orinda Academy, a college prep school in Orinda, we are pleased to offer a wealth of enrichment activities and arts-based electives to our student body. We are firmly committed to implementing a comprehensive curriculum that is adaptable to all learning styles and that encourages student creativity. Give your child the gift of a prep school education and call us today at (925) 478-4504.