Support the Arts for Hartford 6th Grade

Support the Arts for Hartford 6th Grade

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Susan Rhyner started this petition to rhynersusan@gmail.com and

Sixth grade students at Mt. Laurel's Hartford Upper Elementary School came home upset on Thursday, September 5, at the sudden announcement that they would not receive Art Class as one of their instructional areas during the 2019-2020 school year. Instead, students were informed that due to a change at the NJ Dept of Education, Art Class was being replaced with a class on "Financial Literacy". This unexpected news came with no prior warning or prior communication to students and parents, who had been promised that Art Class would be part of the 2019-2020 6th grade curriculum. As Mt. Laurel parents and residents, we understand that the NJ Dept of Education has mandated that 6th grade students receive instruction in Financial Literacy; however, our children already received this coursework in 5th grade, during the 2018-2019 school year (again, at the expense of having no Art Class). There are other alternatives that could have been pursued without eliminating Art Class AGAIN for our children, who will not receive Art Class again until 8th grade. We respectfully ask the Mt. Laurel Board of Education to reconsider this decision, conduct a Town Hall meeting to discuss the implications of this change for our and for future students, and to support parents and students who want additional Art instruction during the 2019-2020 academic year and beyond. Requests for additional supports include: Adding more after school Art Clubs, prioritizing admission to Art Club for 6th grade students, and implementing Art Enrichment during recess for interested students (student voluntary). Further, we want to ensure that significant future proposed changes to the curriculum - such as this - are communicated to parents and students with sufficient advance notice for dialogue. Thank you!

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