Consistent with the view that the performing arts are critical to the economic development of our region, I and a group of parents/teachers are planning to establish a Charter High School for the Performing Arts, located in Carson City and serving students in the surrounding areas.
The CHSPA will focus on: (1) theater,(2) dance and (3) music -both vocal and instrumental. Although at this point we do not intend to exclude any students, we will audition students to determine levels: beginning, intermediate and advanced. Attitude, desire, and discipline will be critical to a student's success. We expect CHSPA to open in the Fall of 2012 with at least 200 students and eventually expand to 500 students.
CHSPA students in the performance arts classes will spend four hours per day, three/four days per week in actual performance classes. Performance classes will be a combination of the history and development of the particular art form, practice exercises/techniques and individual and group performances in front of live audiences. Professional artists/performer teachers will provide the instruction. There are numerous talented performers in the community and environs from which to recruit.
The Charter High School for the Performing Arts will deliver the high school academic program through a contract with a private vendor. The vendor will provide an approved hybrid distance learning program (approved by the Nevada Department of Education); the distance learning program will meet or exceed all Nevada curriculum standards. CHSPA students will be required to meet all graduation requirements, pass all proficiency and competency tests and matriculate to post secondary institutions.
Students also will be able to structure their own time for academic work with the help and support of parents/teachers. For students who are moving quickly through the course of study, there will be opportunities to take advanced courses at WNC or the University of Nevada, Reno. For those who need additional assistance with their course work, CHSPA will provide tutorials at the school with licensed academic teachers to help students meet course requirements.
Special student needs will be met. All students will be provided with lap-top computers. Over time, the school itself will be completely wired for state-of-art, controlled Internet access.
The mission of the school will be to provide a rigorous academic high school program within the context of the performing arts. We expect all CHSPA students will develop higher education academic competencies as well as cultivate career opportunity skills in the entertainment industry that are satisfying and well paying. Our students will contribute to the economic development in Carson City; their work will be integrated into the economic development goals of the City and region.
• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.