To: Frederick Foresteire
Superintendent of Schools
Everett Public Schools
121 Vine St.
Everett, MA 02149
Dear Mr. Foresteire,
On Sunday, July 7, The Boston Globe published an article titled “Students protest drama cutbacks: Schools chief says other priorities must be met first” by Kathy McCabe. In it, you articulate a plan for the cessation of theatre as a curricular option for Everett High School students.
We, the undersigned, urge you and the School Committee to reconsider the elimination of theatre classes.
By reinstating the theatre curriculum at Everett High School, and carrying forward the gains made in said curriculum over the past years, you offer students the means by which they:
• engage in the arts, and participate in the cultural life of their community and nation
• foster good citizenship by learning to empathize with people beyond their own experiences
• increase practical skills like teamwork, public speaking, project management, and personal accountability
These skills are key in creating a well-rounded educational experience, and in preparing teenagers for the rigors of college and their professional lives, regardless of whether they pursue a career in the arts, sciences, or business.
The American Alliance for Theatre & Education lists quantitative benefits of theatre education for high school students, including results from a study which show that students participating in theatre courses outperform their non-arts peers on SATs; have higher rates of attendance; and that classes in performance help to bridge achievement gaps for academically and socially at-risk students.
According to the reporting in the Globe, you believe, “Drama was always meant to be an extracurricular, after school and on weekends.” However, it’s clear from the petition signed by nearly 15% of the student body – theatre participants and audience members alike – that regular theatre classes are a valued part of the curriculum at Everett High School.
With this petition, we, the undersigned community members, support the students in their efforts and ask you to reinstate Everett’s theater curriculum. We want to thank you for all that you do on behalf of Everett students and families and appreciate you taking the time to receive these thoughts. We hope you and the school committee will earnestly consider the positive impact you can make by continuing to include theater education in Everett High School's class offerings.