Ashland and Boyd County school systems lead the way in opportunities for students in the arts, according to Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) data.
Ashland offers 16 different opportunities at the high school level and Boyd offers 11. At the middle school level, Ashland offers seven opportunities and Boyd offers 10. Elementary schools vary with two to five opportunities each.
Data from KDE’s School Report Cards shares the type of opportunities available for students at each school in every district as well as the number of instructional minutes in five categories: dance, theater, media arts, music and visual arts.
Opportunities listed include general music and visual arts programs as well as extra-curricular activities and classes in subjects such as photography, theater, choirs, bands and music theory.
The Kentucky Department of Education gives guidelines under standards and content areas on its website for arts in schools and how the base level of knowledge and proficiency should grow from elementary to middle school and on to high school.
“At all grade levels, students should have the opportunity to learn about the arts in the context of creating and performing,” the website states. “As students create and perform, they learn that the arts are basic to human communication and that they can use the arts to communicate specific meaning through their choices in the use of various arts elements and principles of design.”
At the high school level, the number of opportunities ranges from East Carter’s two to Blazer’s 16. Boyd is the only other high school offering double-digit opportunities. Five schools offer five or fewer opportunities, four offer six to eight each.
Only Boyd cracks into double-digit opportunities at the middle school level with 10. Ashland has seven. Two schools have five opportunities, five offer four programs and two have three.
Five is the largest number of opportunities offered at the elementary level with three schools reaching the mark. Eight elementary schools offer three different opportunities, 17 offer two and two offer one.
Below is a look at the opportunities available in arts for each district and its schools in alphabetical order by district.
Paul G. Blazer High School provides 16 opportunities for students to dive into the arts. In addition to general music and visual arts programs, the high school offers AP Art Studio, AP Art Appreciation, AP Music Theory and photography.
Students at Blazer High School can take part in six different bands or ensembles. Blazer is the only local school with a symphonic band. The school has concert band, marching band, jazz band, orchestra, symphonic band and a percussion ensemble. Students can also participate in theater, musical theater, choir and show choir.
Ashland Middle School provides the second most opportunities in the arts for middle school students with seven. The middle school houses a visual arts program as well as choir, photography, concert band, orchestra and a percussion ensemble.
Hager Elementary is tied for the elementary school with the most art opportunities at five, which include general music, visual art, crafts, choir and orchestra. Charles Russell Elementary offers general music, visual arts and theater. Crabbe Elementary provides general music and orchestra. Oakview Elementary provides opportunities in general music and choir and Poage Elementary provides general music and visual arts.
Boyd County High School’s eleven opportunities allow students to explore the arts through bands, media and choirs. Boyd County has a visual arts program and photography. Though it doesn’t have a general music program, the school provides nine other opportunities for the musically inclined.
Boyd County High Schoolers can be a part of choir, show choir, music theory and AP music theory. They can also play in concert band, jazz band, marching band, a percussion ensemble and guitar ensemble.
Boyd County Middle School is just behind its senior school with 10 opportunities for students to take advantage. The middle school has a visual arts and general music program along with photography, crafts, theater, musical theater and choir. The middle schoolers can also jump into concert band, jazz band and percussion ensemble.
Cannonsburg Elementary is one of the three elementary schools tied at the top with five opportunities. This opportunities include general music and visual arts along with crafts, choir and dance. Ponderosa and Summit Elementary Schools both have three. They each have general music and visual arts along with choir. Catlettsburg has general music and visual arts.
No data was available for art programs at Ramey-Estep or Boyd County Central.
East Carter High School offers two opportunities in the arts for students, a general music program and concert band. The high school offers the least opportunities in the arts at the high school level of the ten local districts. However, though the data lists the school as not having a visual arts program, a visual arts teacher is listed on the school’s website and other data shows there are a significant number of instructional minutes in the discipline.
East Carter Middle School also provides three opportunities with marching band, percussion ensemble and general music. Much like its senior school, ECMS doesn’t list a visual arts program in the KDE data, but lists an art teacher and KDE data shows instructional minutes in the subject.
West Carter High School provides three opportunities with visual art, concert band and printmaking. WCHS is the only local school with printmaking as an art opportunity. West Carter Middle School offers four opportunities with general music, visual arts, concert band and choir.
Star Elementary, Olive Hill Elementary Heritage Elementary and Tygart Creek Elementary all provide general music and visual arts programs. Prichard Elementary has dance and visual art. Carter City Elementary provides general music and is tied at the bottom with Lewis Central the least number of opportunities in the area.
Elliott County High School provides three opportunities for students in the arts. The school has a visual arts program, concert band and choir. Elliott County Middle School offers general music and visual arts along with concert band and dance.
There is no data available from KDE on the programs offered at Elliott County Intermediate School. Elliott County Primary School has a visual arts program, crafts and is the only area school to offer composition.
Since Fairview High School includes the middle school students, the data from KDE does not state whether the opportunities listed for Fairview High School are for the high school or middle school grades or all grades in the school.
KDE data lists six opportunities for the school including general music, visual arts, choir, theater, musical theater and concert band. A curriculum map on the Fairview Independent website lists middle school and high school band, choir and arts and humanities. Show choir, general art and advanced art are also listed without a grade level delineation. Fairview Elementary School offer concert band, general music and visual arts.
Greenup County offers four opportunities in the arts at the high school level. Students can partake in visual art, concert band, theater and choir. Both middle schools offer four opportunities each for students. Both offer visual art, concert band and choir. Wurtland Middle School offers orchestra as its fourth opportunity and McKell Middle School offers general music.
Argillite Elementary offers the most opportunities of Greenup elementaries providing general music, visual art and concert band. McKell Elementary and Wurtland Elementary both offer general music and visual art. Greysbranch offers general music and concert band.
Lawrence County High School has the fifth highest number of opportunities among local high schools. The school has general music and visual arts, choir, concert band, marching band and a guitar ensemble.
Louisa Middle School provides general music opportunities as well as concert bands, marching band, choir and musical theater. This ties the school for the third highest number of opportunities for middle schoolers with Raceland-Worthington.
Blaine Elementary provides opportunities in general music, visual arts and dance. Fallsburg Elementary offers general music and concert band. Louisa East Elementary offers general music and visual art. There is no data available from KDE on Louisa West Elementary School.
Lewis County High School is has the third highest number of arts opportunities at the high school level with eight. The school allows students to explore general music, visual arts, music theory and theater. They can also take part in concert band, marching band and jazz band.
Lewis County Middle School provides students with opportunities in general music, visual art, marching band and AP Art Appreciation.
All Lewis County Elementary Schools have visual arts. It is the only listed offering at Lewis Central Elementary and Tollesboro Elementary. Laurel Elementary has choir in addition to the visual arts program. Garrison Elementary provides general music, visual arts and dance.
Raceland-Worthington High School is just behind Lewis County in the number of arts opportunities it provides with seven. RWHS has general music and visual art, photography, choir, guitar ensemble, jazz band and marching band.
Opportunities at Raceland-Worthington Middle School include general music and visual arts, marching band, guitar ensemble and choir. The five offerings places RWNS tied for third with Louisa Middle School in number of opportunities for students. Campbell Elementary School has both general music and visual arts programs.
Russell’s schools have two to five opportunities for students in the arts, according to KDE data. Russell High School has five, which include visual art, orchestra, marching band, choir and music theory. Russel Middle School offers general music, visual arts and choir.
Russell-McDowell Intermediate School offers general music, visual art, choir, orchestra and guitar ensemble. The intermediate school tops the list of greatest number of opportunities for elementary aged student with five. Russell Primary School offers general music and visual arts.
Much of the data for Russell Alternative School is unavailable, but an “other” was marked in the data sheet for art opportunities and programs provided by KDE with a clarification that courses are designed to meet individual students needs.