As Superintendent of Schools for Windsor Unified School District, I have had the pleasure of observing a variety of Performing Arts Academies across the state, in both private and professional settings. The Nueva School for the Performing Arts easily exceeds the caliber offered by programs that many parents pay thousands of dollars for their children to attend. This program reaches out and provides a safe and academically rigorous setting, while encouraging students to pursue their personal passions.
While the various modalities of performing arts are explored in this program, it is also done so with a focus on academic rigor. This program embeds Language Arts and Social Science into the arts, resulting in the students having an indepth educational experience while learning about themselves, the world around them, and how to express themselves in an academically challenging manner. The instruction is taught with an emphasis of "Honors" level rigor. The demanding curriculum combined with the high expectations of the teachers creates a setting where critical thinking is not requested, but demanded. While differentiation occurs throughout the program, for those needing a different level of instruction, students are taught at the highest level first, and if they can't quite perform to that level, instruction is modified in a manner that gives them access in a meaningful way.
The integrated nature of this program expresses itself in major theatrical productions that lends itself to students being able to be creative in their approach. There is a place in this program for dancers, for artists, for musicians, for actors, for set designers, for poets, for rappers, for all. The collaboration across the program creates a unified student body where students over two years are able to participate in an intense academic and artistic experience that prepares them for college, for work, for life, for adulthood.
NUEVA is a model program within Windsor High School, a model among private Performing Arts Academies, and a model for charter schools. Not only do they work well with other programs within the high school, but they have amazing community partners. That collaboration results in local artists, theatrical professionals and other experts coming IN to the school to share their professional expertise - increasing the caliber of this already rigorous program. Students who graduate from NUEVA are WELL-PREPARED to succeed in college and professional level artistic programs.
It would not be possible without the time, the talents of dedicated instructors who collaborate together, as teaching partners to create an environment where all students are able to succeed.
A Message from the Principal
Nueva School of the Arts is a CPA Academy within Windsor High. I believe this visionary teaching team will be a model for 21st Century Teaching. These teachers practice the concepts of 21st Century teaching by emphasizing student creativity, utilizing the latest media and technology, embedding critical thinking skills, and most of all, exposing students to exciting possible career options. Also intrinsic in their teaching is building a skill set for the workplace. 21st Century teaching means being open to change that will be inevitable in these students’ futures. Nueva teachers embrace and welcome professional development opportunities such as SCOE’s 21st Century Summer Institute. Consequently, I could not recommend this team more highly.