Commentary by Eugene Paslov: Realizing your dreams

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The purpose of the Performing Arts Charter High School (to open in the fall of 2012) is to provide those high school students who have an interest and talent in theater, dance or music to pursue their passion. The school will provide its students with a demanding performance instructional program with an emphasis on the literature, history, and philosophy of the particular performance art, as well as several hours a day in practice exercises and periodic performances before live audiences.

The academic program will be achieved through a blended program of distance learning and on-site tutorials conducted by licensed teachers. Students will also have an opportunity to take courses at Western Nevada College or University of Nevada, Reno as they are qualified.

The Charter High School for the Performing Arts will have a strong vocational - career emphasis. Students will work with local and regional performing art organizations. They will have an opportunity to work with business and industry officials who are interested in developing the arts as an economic driver in the community and region. Students will receive instruction from professional performers as well as highly qualified academic content teachers in all of the core subjects and in a rich array of electives.

Carson City in particular, and Northern Nevada in general, have a deep pool of professional talent and a strong desire to cultivate more. However, during this period of economic distress there has been interest in developing new opportunities associated with the entertainment industry, while at the same time diminishing possibilities. Many area high schools are cutting back on their already minimal performance programs.

The school will help fill a void in the region and will enhance economic development opportunities in and around the entertainment industry. A successful performing arts charter high school will encourage commercial film schools, animation industries and technology-related businesses. The entertainment industry is rich in career opportunities.

The purpose of this school is to assure student success in both performance and academics. We expect all of our students to be successful and to go on to post secondary education institutions. We hope that many of them will return to this area and find high paying, satisfying jobs in the entertainment industry.

Care will be given to the management and operation of the school. It is axiomatic that the quality of a charter school will be determined by the clarity of its vision, the power of its teaching/learning mission, the skill of its management and the attention it pays to fiscal management. The school has a clear vision, a powerful mission, access to a good management and a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility. We intend to create success for our students.

• Eugene Paslov is a board member of the Davidson Academy at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the former Nevada state superintendent of schools.


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