The Santa Cruz City School district believes that arts education is a
core discipline. Our schools offer an engaging and comprehensive arts
program, from Kindergarten through high school, encompassing visual
arts, music, dance and drama. Our arts program nourishes the intellect,
prizes creativity and values imagination.
Arts programs in our schools are standards-based and taught by
credentialed music and visual arts instructors and professional experts
from our exemplary arts community.
In our elementary schools, students in Kindergarten through 4th grade receive general music instruction; 5th
graders choose between general music, strings or band. Middle schools
offer music electives that include band, choir and guitar, as well as
after-school music programs. Our high schools offer high-caliber,
award-winning options including vocal music, marching band, jazz band,
guitar and more. All schools celebrate their music programs with
Each of our elementary schools has a dedicated visual arts instructor.
Arts offerings at the middle schools are tailored to each school's
strengths and needs. Mission Hill arts courses are electives, including
drawing, ceramics and multimedia. Branciforte Middle School's integrates
arts with literacy. High School courses range from Art History to
Painting, Jewelry, Floral Design and Video Production.
Dance and Drama
Our elementary students may receive movement instruction taught by
professional experts and theatrical productions led by talented and
dedicated volunteers. Middle Schools offer a drama elective and/or
after-school theatrical sessions. Theater Arts play a key role in our
high schools with both student-led and faculty guided productions.
Arts programs in our district are coordinated and supported by the Visual and Performing Arts committee. VAPA advocates for integrated arts instruction based on these essential concepts:
The arts are core subjects
The arts enrich and are enriched by other subjects
The arts promote creativity, thinking and joy
The arts offer different ways to make meaning
The arts reflect and influence culture
The arts promote aesthetic literacy
Assessment is inherent in the arts
Technology is integral to the arts
Arts and technology support and improve upon one another
The arts prepare students for full participation in society
†he arts are a universal language
The arts promote literacy & academic achievement
The arts need to be accessible to all students during the regular school day
The arts serve diverse learning modalities.