Thanks to The Tribune for covering the possibility that Atascadero Fine Arts Academy may drop the fourth-grade class. I was surprised by this possibility, especially as a parent of a child who attends the school. There were three reasons provided to the parents of students at the arts academy:
1. Developmental maturity of fourth-graders for arts electives.
2. Need for a longer academic day.
3. Strong interest from parents of fifth- and sixth-graders to enroll in the school.
Never miss a local story.
Yet, at the board meeting and in The Tribune, the enrollment was stated to drop and an instructional staff (a teacher) would be cut. The current 180-ish students left would benefit from a smaller community.
A board member asked about fourth-grade academic achievement at the arts academy; the fourth-graders score very high on state exams.
The school board moved to delay the vote.
The arts academy benefits more than Atascadero — students from all over the county attend. The loss of the teacher is not a budget mandate; 202 students is a small community. I’m for keeping fourth grade, keeping a talented arts-based teacher and choice for students to have more arts as young as possible.
Please keep following this issue.