By Nick Opsanic, staff writer
For more than a century, theater, music and the arts have been an historic staple in the American school system. As an opportunity to grow the imagination, expand the horizons, and encourage a better academic discipline, theatre and the arts have been an invaluable part of our high school education system, giving students the opportunity to apply their own ideas, insights, and values gained through these priceless programs.
Studies have shown that students who play a musical instrument or perform in school plays do better in all other core subjects as well as having better creativity, problem solving, and social skills; still, there has been an increasing decline in the number of music and theater departments at schools.
All across the country schools of every level are experiencing budget cuts that result in cuts to classes and programs. In most schools, the first classes cut are art classes and programs such as music, dance, and theatre. Subjects like math and English cannot be cut, so it does not matter whether the teachers are effective or not. However, the arts face the challenge of proving themselves to justify their inclusion in the curriculum; and in many cases, the standard of proof is set at a level that cannot be reached, and the arts programs are cut.
Now more than ever, we stand the real chance of having such important programs as theater, music, and art stripped away from our educational system because of budgetary cutbacks and what would seem to be an ever-increasing focus on sports.
Unfortunately, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School is no different. Since the curtain coming down on the production of “Hollywood Hillbillies” in 2015, our school’s theatre has remained dark, with no plans to launch any new productions, or any plans to fund new productions reflected by the PENNCREST 2020-2021 budget published on the PENNCREST website.
In a public forum of School Board Candidates convened in October 2019, candidate Michael Muckinhaupt said, “Education is more than just math and science, It’s also about art and theater and music — all that stuff.”
Are you concerned about the potential loss of the “arts” in our School? Would you like to see the curtain rise on another theatrical production on the Saegertown stage? Share your opinion, let your voice be heard, and save our arts programs.
NewsMedia Program of Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School