Month August 2013

How the Arts Impacts Lives (Survey)

In Orange County, FL, over 8 billion dollars have been cut from the public schools budget since 2009. There are more budget cuts being planned for 2014. As art and music classes are always the first to go, these budget cuts have led to many students being left without any form of arts education in their school curriculum.  Orange County, FL has been fortunate to have at least one type of arts teacher, be it music or visual arts, in every school. This has been a result of the property tax increase that was implemented to resolve this issue of budget cuts affecting the school district.

Some counties like Orange County, FL have planned for budget cuts affecting their district. Children in other schools have been less fortunate. As some do not have the arts in their schools at all, some children are not receiving the benefits in their lives.

Practice of the arts is vitally important to the development of socioeconomic skills for a child. Children can learn many skills to help them transcend into adulthood, such as confidence, decision-making, focus, receiving constructive feedback, non-verbal communication, and creativity.

Please allow this survey to be a way to voice your opinion to talk about the arts in your life. Feel free to talk about your past arts experiences or even recent experiences. Do you remember any of the ways that art impacted your life as a child into adulthood? If you have children, have you seen any ways that the arts have affected them in their lives?

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Scott Evans: Fine Arts Coordinator for Orange County Public Schools

Scott Evans has been the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Public School District of Orange County, FL for the past three years since September 2010.

Evans manages a group of resource teachers who work directly with the arts teachers of the Orange County school district.

“The resource teachers are there to help the teachers that are in the district to help them in their classrooms; help them become better teachers, help them improve what they do,” said Evans.

He is also directly involved in the process of writing the curriculum for the arts educators. This curriculum acts as a guide for the standardization of the how to educate children on the arts for the entire district.

The Orange County district also provides training programs for teachers in visual arts, music, dance and drama to set the tone for what is expected for the standardized curriculum. These training programs also help teachers to be aware and have a better knowledge of what is expected for the state standards of arts education.

“That’s our main role, is to really monitor the fidelity of arts education in our district,” he continued.

Evans also stated that Orange County did not get hit as hard as some of the other counties in Florida after the budget cuts went through about five years ago. He said that Orange county students are very fortunate to have at least one type of arts teacher, be it music or visual arts, in each school.

Moreover, Evans received a Master of Education degree in Music/Administration from the University of Central Florida. Prior to this, he attended the University of Massachusetts at Lowell where he received a Bachelor of Music and Education.

For more than 10 years he has taught as an arts educator for the Orange County public school district as a Choral Teacher. Evans has received two different awards in two different schools for teacher of the year in 1999 and in 2006. He received his National Board Certification in 2005.

Evans served as a guest presenter at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference and the choral Directors Association Conference. In addition, he has been a panelist in the State of Florida textbook adoption panel and for four Florida counties Evans has also been the guest clinician for honor choirs.

With his team of resource teachers, Evans and his team are setting the tone and vision for over 500 arts educators in the Orange County public school system.