From Michelle Barrientos
How does this affect educational opportunities for neighborhood students
who are not interested in the arts?
It will not impact their educational opportunities at all. Lamar will still have a high standard for academic excellence and continue to recruit the best teachers possible for core subjects. Students do not have to
participate in fine arts now, and will not be required to participate in the future. However, those who do participate in fine arts programs are shown to perform better academically.
Since Lamar may become a magnet school will it still be required to serve all neighborhood students?
The goal of the making Lamar a magnet school is to encourage neighborhood youth to come to Lamar rather than going to Ann Richards, Kealing, Fulmore or private schools. We are losing some of our best students and families who are choosing other schools who have more to offer. We are not seeking to
take students from other schools; our goal is to serve our neighborhood students better.
Will non-arts electives be more limited at Lamar?
The number of non-arts electives will not be reduced.
Will resources in other academic and extracurricular activities be reduced to support more arts funding?
Resources for extracurricular activities are currently funded by each one of those activities so there would be no impact on those resources. Academic funding would not be diverted to arts.
Was their ever an opportunity to decide on another magnet theme for Lamar (technology, science, computers, learning disabilities, etc.)?
The fine arts dept at AISD was interested in our pursuit of this track. The growth in our band and choir programs alone show the interest in fine arts that has grown in our school. It was a logical choice that a large number of parents as well as staff expressed an interest in pursuing, especially considering the fact that we tract to McCallum, which is a fine arts academy. There has not been a movement or interest expressed by any other group.
If magnet schools are intended to help develop a future career track for students what are the career prospects for the arts in our community?
Without intending to offend anyone, I know many underemployed adults with careers in the arts including some close family members. Our goal is to offer our children ever opportunity to excel and explore their abilities, both creatively through fine arts and academically. Whether they pursue a career in the arts or choose another path, Lamar students will have a greater appreciation for the world around them, and have an opportunity to grow creatively. Middle school is a place where most students begin to get an idea of what they would like to have as a career, not all will continue in the arts, but those who do choose that path will be well equipped to move forward.