Over the past two years, Garfield County School District has completed grant applications to the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP). The BTSALP program provides funding for incorporating arts in elementary schools. Currently 130 elementary schools across the State of Utah receive funding to hire licensed teachers to provide curriculum instruction in music, visual arts, dance, and theater. When districts complete the grant application for the BTSALP funding, we must identify the number of elementary students, number of schools, and specify the desired curriculum program. If districts combine schools to share the BTSALP instructor, we have a greater chance of receiving the funding. Initially, when we wrote the BTSALP in 2014, the district selected music as the curriculum and as such hired or assigned a music teachers for Panguitch, Bryce Valley, and Escalante Elementary. GCSD partnered with the BTSALP program to contribute additional funding and allowing for a full-time teacher to be hired in the district.
In the beginning, the music program enrolled a large number of secondary students in the early morning orchestra and regular music classes. Over the past two years a lack of support for the program has led to early morning class with one student and less than 10 students in the regular schedule. With the mid-year resignation of the BTSALP music teacher at PES and BVES, the district sought suggestion to remedy the situation. A survey was conducted with teachers, school administrators provided suggestions, and the BTSALP specialist at Southern Utah University with each entity coming to the same recommendation, which was to apply for an art specialist instead of music for the 2016-2017 school year. The district has supported this recommendation by completing the 2016-2017 BTSALP application and identifying art as the focused curriculum.
Currently, GCSD is advertising for an art teacher to provide art instruction at PES, BVES, and teach two class periods of art at PHS and BVHS. Escalante Elementary will receive art instruction as well from a high school teacher. The district has requested for funding through the BTSALP grant application to allow $6,000 for Antimony and Boulder Elementary to pay for art specialist to visit their schools on a contracted service basis. In the past, the visiting art specialist have been contracted through SUU. If you have any questions relating to the BTSALP application or the partnership with GCSD, please contact me at the district office. We are looking forward to hiring a new art teacher and providing additional opportunities to all of our students in GCSD.
Garfield County School District