Welcome to The Arts: The Heart of Education

Did you know?

  • The arts teach students to be more tolerant and open.
  • The arts allow kids to express themselves creatively.
  • The arts promote individuality, bolster self-confidence and improve overall academic performance.
  • The arts help students become logical and creative problem-solvers.
  • The arts make the brain stronger! (The arts develop and strengthen many brain systems at one time while building a network of complex connections.)
  • Students of the arts are three and four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected class officers within their schools, participate in a math or science fair, have great school attendance, win awards for writing, participate in youth groups, read for pleasure, perform community service and attend cultural activities.
  • Students who are involved in the arts score higher on SAT and other tests.
  • Businesses report that arts students are dedicated, hardworking and team players in the job market.

Philosophy and Rationale for the Arts

The arts are essential in education for they provide students with the means to think, feel, and understand the world around them in ways unique and distinct from other academic disciplines. These skills have been recognized as essential to lifelong success both in and out of school by a variety of education and civic leaders, including the National Association of State Boards of Education, the Education Commission of the States, the Arts Education Partnership, and Business Week.

Arts Education in Arizona

Arizona has recognized the importance of arts education for its students in a variety of ways, including:

  • Requiring music and visual arts be taught in grades K-8
  • Creating high quality certifications (endorsements) for teachers in the areas of dance, music, theatre and visual arts
  • Requiring a fine arts high school credit for admission to our state’s universities
  • Adopting Academic Standards in the Arts, with rigorous, sequential guidelines for creating quality arts education for Arizona’s students

Arts Standards

The Arizona Academic Standards in the Arts provide guidance on what a student should know and be able to do in all four arts disciplines: dance, music, theatre and visual arts. Every student should receive arts instruction through the intermediate level in all art forms, as well as reach an advanced level in at least one art form prior to graduation from high school. We believe these Standards will help schools develop quality arts education programs for their students.

A quality fine arts program:

  1. Provides essential ways to understand and express life experiences
  2. Develops deep understanding of past and present cultures/peoples
  3. Prepares students for active participation in creating the culture of the present and future
  4. Develops imagination
  5. Enables students to make informed aesthetic choices
  6. Provides a creative, motivating vehicle for mastering technology, including multimedia
  7. Helps develop the full range of students’ abilities
  8. Prepares students for enjoyable recreation and leisure time
  9. Prepares students for success in a wide variety of careers
  10. Develops self-discipline and focus
  11. Develops the capacity to refine work, aspiring to high quality standards
  12. Creates a positive, inclusive school atmosphere
  13. Fosters creativity and independence
  14. Develops the ability to solve complex, often ambiguous, problems
  15. Develops teamwork
  16. Enhances self-esteem
  17. Increases learning across the curriculum

In PUSD, music and visual arts are taught by certified specialists in grades K-5 and offered to students in grades 6-8.

  • A fine arts or vocational credit is required to graduate from PHS.
  • Arizona Standards are followed in a sequential curriculum in art and music in PUSD.
  • Drama is offered 9-12 with certified specialists.