(This photo was taken pre Covid.)
School has started for many kids across the world by this time. Some people are pleased with the way that their districts have risen to the challenge of reinventing education over a very short summer break. As Encore prepares to start the new school year on September 14, I am very proud of the work and the plans that we have put into place for the new school year. If you have a friend that is not pleased with the academic rigor put into place for their child or the omission of their elective classes this school year, I would like to ask you to invite them to have their children become a part of our school this year. We have a virtual student interest meeting this Thursday, August 27 and we would love to have them there. They can also enroll today by going to https://www.encorehighschool.com/enroll and starting the enrollment process. You do not need an interdistrict transfer to attend Encore and you can live anywhere in California to enroll.
But what is the Encore difference?
- We believe that Encore should be a place of choice for young people to learn how to plan for their life after high school in a medium sized school setting where academics and arts play a vital role in creating a well-rounded individual.
- We believe that the quality and service of a private school can be offered at the public school level as an option to tailor make a program that is right for the individual students.
- We believe that developing deep critical thinking skills through art-based projects for project based learning, teaches discipline and work ethic to our students.
- We believe that every student should be valued and respected.
It was very important for us when we realized that the Friday the 13th closure in March was going to be a lot longer than spring break, that we needed to take stock in school and education as a whole. While none of us knew that the pandemic was going to place us on restriction for what seems like the entire lifetime of the movie "Groundhog Day" we also didn't factor in how much the world would change in 4 months. Technology has stepped in and there are changes that have been made in the last 4 months that will forever change the fabric of the world and of education.
Encore recognizes this change and this is why we have laid so much importance on the creation of our new education platform. The reason that this platform is important is not because we have created and compiled a strong plan for academics this fall that will help our students learn at the same level, formalization, and pace as they did prior to the pandemic. This is absolutely true and our students will continue to have a strong academic program.
The platform is important because it also continues the marriage of arts and academics in the growth of our students. We took the time to make sure that we were not overlooking the electives and arts programs for our kids from day one. The creativity that stems from a well-balanced education in academics and arts has been our success for our college bound alumni since we opened in 2008. We needed to make sure that technology and pandemics didn't change the fabric of who we are.
How has Encore changed during this enormous time of education transformation?
In the process of building arts programs that may or may not be in person, we took the time to formalize our arts programs into career technical education. While we had already started this transition about two years ago, the last 4 months have given us time and necessity to complete the process. When students come into their arts classes this fall, the way the courses are designed are going to stimulate the thoughts and plans for careers after high school and expose students to ideas on what doors are open for them as they venture into the real world. Whether they choose a career in arts or not after high school, the groundwork that is being created for them will help them think like a successful working adult. Those skills are unmatchable.
Encore has more than 135 courses available to students grades 7 - 12. Almost all of these courses are available both as in person and as independent study classes. In the career arts classes this fall, students will be able to start to work toward a certification that is awarded at graduation for completion of a career pathway while they are in high school. Career pathways are offered in:
- Arts, Media, Entertainment
- Business and Finance
- Fashion, Costume, and Interior Design
- Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
- Education, Child Development, and Family Services
- Marketing, Sales, and Services
Students will have an umbrella course that covers the 11 Anchor standards for their career pathway, no matter how many "arts lab" classes they take. This course exposes students to the types of jobs available in their pathway and colleges that offer degrees and training in those career pathways. This course also teaches students how to prepare resumes, portfolios, and other profession specific tools to get a job.
As students choose a centered course offering under the umbrella of one of the six pathways offered at Encore, they will have an online portion to their course that will cover the substrand standards that are specific to the strand of arts classes that they take. This substrand helps master specific skills for a profession based on the Career Technical Education standards. Our students will get a more in depth look at mastering a career path based on their electives. As an example, your hip hop class will be tied into a Professional Choreography online course that you will complete as part of your regular course.
Once our students have chosen an umbrella pathway and a substrand career course, they will finally have a LAB section online that helps them log completion of rehearsal hours completion of technique specific critiques and viewing of projects and timelines of things that have to be completed during their year long arts class.
We have always put a lot of weight into our elective classes as being an important part of building skills like teamwork, work ethic, creativity, and critical thinking. It may seem confusing at the get go, but the formalization of the career training process is going to be unmatched. With the changes in how lessons can be delivered since the pandemic and the changes in the importance of college and career readiness based on Dashboard, our team here at Encore has put a lot of work into the process of teaching our kids how to be successful adults. That is the Encore difference.
We are excited for a great year. Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.
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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.