School Board Drops PAVAN

The Clarke County School Board has pulled its support for a regional arts program jointly funded by four counties. The cut will save the school district $15,500 in funds.

The Performing and Visual Arts Northwest program – known as PAVAN – provides arts programs for public, private and home-schooled students in the Virginia counties of Clarke, Frederick, Loudoun and Shenandoah. Clarke County Public Schools’s support of PAVAN provided Clarke students with access to the organization’s PAVAN Day Camps, Summer Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and also provided Arts in the Classroom grants as well as professional development opportunities for arts educators.

The decision, in part, was based the program’s fixed price-tag for each county regardless of how many students participated. Clarke County Public Schools Curriculum Director, Dr. Lisa Floyd, told School Board members that last year Clarke County’s PAVAN participation had dropped to just six students.

“It’s not practical for our division to participate in PAVAN given the number of students that attend,” said Clarke County Public schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Murphy. “The PAVAN partnership has been dissolving across the region for some time based on a number of reasons.”

In a unanimous vote, the School Board agreed to remove its funding for the program and directed school administrators to investigate ways to re-program the $15K in savings towards an alternative arts enrichment program.

“I hate to see us loose PAVAN but if we can reach more kids in another way with the money then I’m all for eliminating it,” said School Board member Barbara Lee (Millwood).

For more information on PAVAN visit http://www.pavanw.org/Home_Page.html

 

Comments

  1. listening says:

    I truly hope the school board finds another rewarding opportunity for all visual and performing art students of the Clarke Public School System. PAVAN is on the move with a new director and new ideas. It might be something to look back into in a few years.

  2. n3utr0nRU says:

    Sad. This program provided TONS of opportunities for my classmates throughout my time at Clarke Schools. I would hope that there is a suitable replacement program, or that there will be an effort made to alternatively fund this program. this is a devolution in our schools approach to supporting the arts in education.

    What’s going on here people?

  3. Short sighted and not the way to go. Agree 6 for $15.5K is not the best deal but dropping out of the program doesn’t seem to be the answer. What’s going on here indeed?

  4. Realistic Joe says:

    Clarke County Public Schools Curriculum Director, Dr. Lisa Floyd, told School Board members that last year Clarke County’s PAVAN participation had dropped to just six students.

    In a unanimous vote, the School Board agreed to remove its funding for the program and directed school administrators to investigate ways to re-program the $15K in savings towards an alternative arts enrichment program

    “I hate to see us loose PAVAN but if we can reach more kids in another way with the money then I’m all for eliminating it,” said School Board member Barbara Lee.

    Seems all involved made an educated decision. Participation had dropped to just six students.
    It would be interesting to know why the enrollment dropped.

  5. Arts supporter says:

    Sadly, the arts do not have an SOL requirement, so when push comes to shove, shove wins.

  6. This doesn’t include chorus classes and chamber choir, right?

    • Correct…PAVAN was an extra-curricular program that afforded an opportunity for CC students to gain additional exposure to the arts outside the current CCPS curriculum.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    So many students now want to work over the summer, so summer programs like the PAVAN day camp and Gov School are too much of a committment. Plus, if these kids also do sports, that usually takes precedence. But we still have classes–band, choir, art and theatre. Hopefully they won’t get offered at the same time so students can take more than one if they wish.

  8. Roscoe Evans says:

    What’s next for our chidren?

    “Calculus Too Hard, Dropped for 2013-2014”? Then physics, then chemistry.

    Mr. Mister is right, and it’s just too bad.

    Children need art, music, exercise, foreign languages, and every appropriate academic subject. If Clarke can’t provide adequate education to its children, send them East or West and have the county pay tuitions. Use the new, undersized high school as a community center, and stop pretending that we care about our kids.

    • Right Winger says:

      Uh, PAVAN is an extra-curricular activity, not an academic subject. At least, in Clarke County it is.

  9. SOL, otherwise known as Core classes will unfortunately have priority and there is little room, but great necessity, for those electives you name. NCLB is the root cause, as we know.

  10. Roscoe Evans says:

    Clarke’s inadequate “dedication” to education, in my personal experience, goes back at least 20 years. It was clear when I first came here that the high school was a sad excuse for an educational facility, and its taken all of those 20 plus years to get to a new, but still inadequate replacement.

    SOL and NCLB did not exist then, and they don’t excuse Clarke’s poor attention to its children’s needs. Football and baseball and soccer (I played them all) are extracurricular activities, too, but I’d slash the budget for them before I cut music or art, intramurals and phys ed, languages and the sciences.

    School’s not just a high cost day care. Or is it?

    • livein22611 says:

      Do you not understand that this was an additional program and not the art, chorus, band, and other art programs currently offered? The PAVAN program is not the same great program it used to be. And Roscoe, you might want to get that 20 year old chip off your shoulder. The new school is not inadequate. You just sound bitter.

  11. LongTimer says:

    The high school served its purpose very well for me: a 1975 Clarke County Graduate. I don’t think its the structure, I think its what lies within the structure that counts the most.

    • “.. I think its what lies within the structure that counts the most…”

      Correct. People who complain about how bad things were but stuck around just make themselves look like bitter, old has-beens.

  12. Roscoe Evans says:

    Yes, I know what PAVAN is, 22611.

    And, I don’t have enough of a vested interest in the schools to have any bitterness of any sort. (I’m often cranky, rarely bitter) I just dislike seeing one bad policy decision being heaped upon another, purportedly for the purpose of educating our children, really for the purpose of making cheap choices.

    Personally, I have enjoyed much of the past 20 years, and I don’t see how you could intuit otherwise from my brief remarks. The point is that Clarke wasted most of those 20 years, “searching” for free land and free building plans and free educational expertise, all to come up with a building that only now is being opened for use.

    And, it is inadequate, as we shall see in the coming months and years. I understand it’s packed with educational upgrades, which are virtual necessities these days. Fine.

    But it’s still an undersized building on an inadequate plat in an uncomfortablly fitting location and it all is separated from the school’s athletic facilities.

    How’s that bifurcated campus going to work out, with complex traffic patterns related to Rt. 7 and the adjacent development?

    My concern is that there are so many things that can go wrong, something is sure to go wrong.

    Planning could have avoided those issues.

    So, I’m glad there’s a new building. Sad (not bitter), to see continued poor decisionmaking.

  13. Shaun Broy says:

    That money should go directly towards arts programs that have traditionally left Clarke County students without many serious performing arts opportunities. It would be a step in the right direction to develop a curriculum that can be enhanced by adding to or expanding the following “examples” of opportunities, which are offered in most of the neighboring localities:

    Theatre/Acting
    Musical Theatre
    Orchestra
    Show Choir

    Let’s see those funds invested in these sorts of opportunities that can be showcased at the middle and high school level. That stage in the new high school auditorium should be put to good use!

    I call upon the Clarke County Education Foundation and the entire community to raise a matching amount of funds to invest in “fine arts” opportunities in which Clarke County students have been deprived of for many, many years!

    The school board should be held accountable to funneling every cent of that money into the arts, as they have made that commitment.

    There are some creative ways in which you can stretch those funds in a way that can benefit the most students, while engaging the community as well.

    It’s one of those times… THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.

  14. Shaun, CCHS indeed DOES have a strong musical theatre production every year, and its fall plays have begun to be just as solid. I agree with you that much more could be offered, and share with you the request of the SB that those funds go to support classroom efforts like the CCHS theatre classes, etc. These programs won’t grow without consistent & dedicated support beyond what has been done, though.

    • True. But, what does the SB pay for those things beyond the stipends for the directors? Seems I recall that the initial plans for the new school didn’t even have dressing rooms in them, but – thankfully – the SB thought better and added them.

      Money talks, though…give the performing arts teachers the resources and budget they need to buy scripts, and music, and other materials to take these classes to the next level.

      • To be fair, they didn’t really add dressing rooms. They added a divider and some mirrors in the choir room. Which isn’t really fair to either group.

        • Agreed. This was one of many drawbacks with with inferior plans the previous SB selected because they focused on total school size (800 students) first and programming 2nd. But, they did listen and add things as best they could with what they had.

          • Not many Middle Schools have dressing rooms for the stage performers.

            Still haven’t heard from any Town Official that reads CDN regarding the necessity to build out Mosby.

  15. As much as I WANT to complain about sports being more important that music, theatre, and other arts, that’s sometimes just the way schools are. Some schools are so focused on sports, and some are so focused on marching band, some are so focused on theatre, and some are so focused on robotics. It depends on the school, so who am I to complain about which one I’m in, if I was in one that focused on what I did (music) would I expect the others not to complain?
    I understand them cutting PAVAN. As great of a program as it was, we did indeed have very few students going. However, I’m a little weary of them saying it will go straight back to the arts. I would LOVE to see an Orchestra at CCHS. I personally know quite a few people who play strings and have no where to play with an ensemble. And I know even more people that would have an interest in learning. Or any of the other ideas presented above, like show choir. I think both would be incredibly neat to have here. I hope the school officials make the right decision and put this extra money to good use and not straight into the gym.

  16. I went to PAVAN for two years and had some of the best experiences. If simply having access to a ton of art supplies wasn’t enough, the teachers were phenomenal. I learned so much from my time there, it’s shame to know no CCHS students will be attending in the future years.

    I would like to say that there’s a reason sports get money: it’s because they /make/ money.