Danville Public Schools Superintendent Hopes to Open Performing - abc27 WHTM

Danville Public Schools Superintendent Hopes to Open Performing Arts Academy


Danville, VA - Kids who love the arts may just get the stage to show their talents if the Danville Public Schools superintendent gets his way.

Dr. Edward Newsome wants to create a performing arts academy in the school system. 

Dr. Newsome says kids in the area who love to dance, sing and act deserve a chance to make performing arts more than just an extra curricular activity. He's proposed a performing arts academy would give students an advantage if they choose to dive into a career in performing arts.

"Danville is bursting with talent and I think it's time that we are able to focus it so when these kids go out into the world they already have the skills to be successful," said Dana Tickle, Drama teacher at George Washington High School.

That's exactly the master plan of Danville Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Edward Newsome.
He said the art and P.E. classes offered in kindergarten through eighth grade, just isn't enough for certain students.

"As we assess the school division, during my listening and learning tour, talking to parents, talking to people, talking to students, I'm finding out that students need a more strategic and specific outlet to demonstrate their talents,"said  Dr. Edward Newsome, Danville Public Schools Superintendent. 

The plan is for a Woodrow Wilson Performing Arts Academy to be that outlet. It would be magnet school that still has core classes and SOLs, but would highly empathize classes in dance, graphic design, music and drama.

Drama teacher at George Washington High School said it's about time performing can be just more than an extra curricular activity.

"They would get the academics too because that's very important but they'd be able to focus on the arts as opposed to it being a 'I'm going to run there and then I'm going to run somewhere else. They'd be able to kind of be in an environment," Tickle said. 

For a theater student at Averett University who also went through Danville Public Schools, he knows the advantage this academy can give to aspiring performers. 

"I would have definitely gone to a performing arts academy if that would have been available in Danville. It's something that most students in Danville I think would really appreciate," Ryne Gammon. 

Admission into the performing arts academy would be based on a lottery system. The superintendent said they would only take up to 360 students.

A foreign language class in Mandarin Chinese would also be part of the curriculum. Dr. Newsome will be making a formal request for approval of the academy at a meeting Thursday night. 


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