As I have mentioned before, I and a group of parents and teachers have been working to develop a new charter high school/middle school with a strong focus on the arts. After two years of hard work, the Public Charter School Board Authority approved our application on Oct. 19. We anticipate that the school, the Nevada Performance Academy (the NPC), will be located in Carson City, will have approximately 140 students in its start-up year and will eventually grow to 300 students. Students will be recruited from Carson and surrounding counties. We anticipate opening in August 2013.The Nevada Performance Academy offers a unique, arts based and arts infused, academic program that provides a distinct option for students looking for a challenging curriculum, leading to strong educational outcomes. The Nevada Performance Academy promotes academic excellence and student success by identifying and developing each student’s individual interest and talents. Utilizing an emphasis on active engagement and product-based learning, students at the Nevada Performances Academy build essential skills and knowledge related to thinking critically and creatively, communicating effectively and excelling academically and intellectually.Nevada Performance Academy proposes to offer a distance-education program in a flexible blended format that is arts-based and arts-infused in grades 7-12. Students will be issued computers or tablet devices as learning tools to interact with their teachers and provide independent learning opportunities under teachers’ supervision and direction. The school proposes to use a variety of distance-education curriculum, but will also allow students the opportunity to engage in face-to-face instruction with highly qualified, licensed teachers, tutors and artists on a daily bases. The arts-infused curriculum does not yet fully exist, but the Nevada Performance Academy will undertake its full development during its first six years of operation.Students interested in art performance also will have an opportunity to work with local artists, take appropriate course work (juniors and seniors) at WNC and engage in school performances — theater, film, music, dance and visual arts. In the future, the school will be a home for other types of performers as well. From gymnastics to poetry, motocross to competitive skiing and all points in-between, the Nevada Performance Academy will offer specialized performance electives that focus on the practice and process of performance and help students turn their passion into success wherever their lives take them.There will be more information about the school shortly after the first of the year when we will establish a Nevada Performance Academy website and conduct a series of public information forums in the area. In the meantime, we are well aware that there is a rich pool of artistic talent in Northern Nevada and considerable interest in a school of this sort. We also recognize the economic development aspects of the NPA. Students will work with local businesses and art organizations to develop entrepreneurial opportunities. Student will work to illustrate the creative problem-solving capabilities of the arts, and to create life-long learning skills that will lead to productive careers.A dream becomes reality.Governing Board: Natalie Berger, Denise Gillott, David Papke, Eugene Paslov, Molly Walt.• • •As a part of the above planning team, I have decided to terminate my weekly column. I have been doing the column for almost five years and am very appreciative of both my supporters and my critics. Lively debate is necessary for a Democratic Republic to survive. I thank you. • Eugene T. Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools. Endorsements are Paslov’s and not those of the Nevada Appeal.
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