Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
There has always been a debate about exactly what is the primary responsibility of a public school.
Computers have replaced pencils and paper. Technology is no longer a separate class to take in isolation but a tool integrated into the entire instructional program. The world has certainly changed, but there are fundamental skills that are important to attain regardless of how advanced we have become.
Reading, writing and mathematics skills are the foundational pieces needed in whatever career we elect to enter. Beyond those, there are literally thousands of subjects to explore and courses to enroll in at places like Central Nine Career Center or online.
While your core subjects are important, we can never forget how valuable the arts are to our students and their future success. Many of our schools conduct special projects that provide opportunities for students to use their talents in a variety of ways. Over the next two weeks Burkhart Elementary is hosting a nine-day artist-in-residence program, in which Rita Wrighton, a renowned stained glass window artist, will provide intensified instruction on the subject.
Melody Penish, one of our many outstanding art teachers, guides students in the creation of artwork based on the themes of the three windows for this year: art, music and physical education. In August students drew and colored pieces that they hoped to incorporate into their window designs. Those drawings were then used to create the glass pieces within the individual windows.
Parents play a huge role in the creation of this art work. Students come on a three-day rotation to transfer the patterns to the glass and then to score and cut it under the supervision of staff, parents and artists.
Students then apply a copper foil tape to the edges of the pieces of glass. The next step involves students soldering the pieces of glass into place and the creation of beautiful windows. The final product produces three finished windows approximately 24 by 36 inches each. We believe this is a unique cultural and artistic opportunity for our boys and girls.
While fundamental skills of reading, writing and mathematics are extremely important, the artistic opportunities that our staff provides for your students on a daily basis is phenomenal.
As you reflect on your school experiences, you probably remember the special times when you were extended the opportunity to expand your horizons and take part in an activity that was beyond the day-to-day instructional program. Programs such as the artist-in-residence series assist children in determining their talents and interests in life and perhaps even influence what career path to choose.
This is but one example of the many experiences that your children are involved in when they attend school in Perry Township. We are extremely proud of our staff and parents, all of whom combine their talents for the benefit of your children.