Fine Arts Education in Katy ISD
Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential part of the school curriculum and an important component in the educational program of every student in Katy ISD.
Fine arts education in Katy ISD begins in Kindergarten and continues through the twelfth grade. In each elementary school, students K-5 are taught by certified, degreed music and art specialists. Beginning in grade 6, at the junior high level, the fine arts courses become elective choices. A junior high student in grades 6-8 may choose to study courses in visual art, band, choir, orchestra, and/or theater arts. In all, there are over 80 different fine arts course offerings in the Katy ISD fine arts curriculum.
In the school year 2014-2015, over 62% of all students in grades 6-12 were engaged in fine arts education. This fine arts total (6-12) is approximately 22,400 students. Including the enrollment of the elementary schools in which each student is provided fine arts education by certified music and certified art specialists, approximately 56,000 students were enrolled and participating in fine arts programs in Katy ISD.
The various fine arts disciplines (art, dance, music, and theatre) are aligned in their curriculum by four standards. These are Perception, Creative Expression and Performance, Historical and Cultural Heritage, and Critical Response and Evaluation. The curriculum for each discipline is aligned by grade level to ensure the proper "layering" or "scaffolding" of knowledge and skill development throughout the student’s development and study in that particular discipline. The teaching of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for fine arts is required by the state of Texas and these are well defined and embedded in the Katy ISD fine arts curriculum objectives.
Each year, students graduate from Katy ISD high schools well prepared to enter university level fine arts courses. Many of these students also earn university scholarships to offset their college expenses. Although many fine arts students do not pursue one of the fine arts disciplines as their college degree major, their fine arts participation has provided each with a very strong and disciplined preparation for success in whatever his/her field of study.
"The Basic Academic Subjects are English, the arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign language…Preparation in the arts will be valuable to college entrants whatever their intended field of study. The actual practice of the arts can engage the imagination, foster flexible ways of thinking, develop disciplined effort, and build self-confidence. Appreciation of the arts is integral to the understanding of other cultures sought in the study of history, foreign languages, and social sciences." – Academic Preparation for College, what students need to know and be able to do, The College Board.
The Arts and SAT Scores
In 2014 the national average for the SAT college entrance exam was 1497. The Texas state average score was 1432. The average score for those students who earned a position in the Texas All-State Band, All-State Choir, All-State Orchestra, or All-State Jazz Band was 1844!
This was 347 points ABOVE the national average and 412 points ABOVE the state average. (These are also the students who probably spend the most time practicing their music skill development!)
Katy ISD had 36 students who earned positions in one of the All-State groups mentioned above.
100% of all K-5 students receive fine arts instruction taught by degreed, certified music and art specialists
62% of all 6-12 students (approx. 23,000) have chosen and are actively engaged in a fine arts elective, receiving instruction each class day
Each year opportunities are provided for fine arts students to study with specialists/clinicians in a variety of settings such as music ensembles, master classes, constructive evaluation, and concert settings.
Katy ISD visual arts students participate in many contests and exhibits each year. These include: Fort Bend County, Harris County, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Dog Show, V.A.S.E. state competition, Scholastic state competition, Capitol YAM, as well as the local Katy ISD Spring Art Show
Junior high and high school campuses present theatre stage productions throughout the year, with high schools offering musical productions in a rotation every other year.
A music private lessons program which serves approximately 2000 secondary music students with weekly individual music lessons from 100+ instructors is administered and managed through the Fine Arts Department.
Katy ISD Fine Arts Department is actively involved in the recruiting and hiring of qualified applicants in the field of art, dance, music, and theatre by representing Katy ISD at state conferences in each of these disciplines and participating in their job fairs: Art - TAEA, Dance - TDEA, Theatre - TETA, Music – TMEA and at the Katy ISD Job Fair.
Each year the Fine Arts Department provides over 100 staff development/training sessions (approximately 610 hours) for fine arts teachers.
The Katy ISD Fine Arts Department is comprised of approximately 300 teachers district-wide and a central office staff of six.