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Keep the Performing Arts Alive and Thriving in FCPS

This petition had 3,692 supporters

As teachers, students and stakeholders in FCPS Fine and Performing Arts Programs, we are well aware of how the disciplines of Theatre and Dance serve as invaluable components of our students’ education and development.  However, it is imperative that the FCPS community be aware of how our programs are being jeopardized in the current climate of budget cutbacks.

The Fine Arts Theatre and Dance Specialist position, currently held by Judy Bowns, was reduced from a full time to a part time position.  With this reduction, the Performing Arts Departments are now the only disciplines of the four Fine Arts programs that would not have a full time representative.  This is disturbing for many Performing Arts teachers who feel their departments are receiving increasingly less support, consideration and resources. This position is the primary and only full time resource available for the 55 + Theatre Arts and Dance teachers across the county.  The Theatre Arts and Dance Specialist is responsible for providing FCPS Performing Arts teachers with key supports such as;

- guidance on liability and legal issues

- providing and ensuring safety standards for students and educational performance spaces

- community outreach

- coordinating professional development for Theatre and Dance teachers

- representation of teachers and programs on the county and statewide levels

As Theatre and Dance programs continue to diminish across the county due to increased graduation requirements and elective offerings, this minimization of department representation and support poses a serious threat for our Theatre and Dance programs.

We are asking students, parents and community members who support Theatre and Dance programming in FCPS to join us in voicing our concern to the FCPS administration, School Board members and Board of Supervisors that our Theatre and Dance programs are needed, valuable and non-disposable in FCPS education.  To continue to provide the proven high quality, student safety and ensure the longevity of these programs it is necessary for FCPS to provide and fund a FULL TIME FCPS Theatre Arts and Dance Specialist position.  It is not realistic or possible for this position to be effective at a part time status. 

The FCPS fiscal budget for the 2014-2015 academic year will be finalized Thursday May 22, 2014.  It is imperative that we act quickly and confidently to keep the Performing Arts alive and thriving in FCPS.  



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