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Arts Academy Displays First Program
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LA MESA -- All week, the participants in the new La Mesa Arts Academy moved from class to class, learning industrial arts, visual arts, music and the performing arts.
By week's end, they were already ready to show what they had learned, taking their parents through a displays of drawings, mini-construction projects and performing -- some for the first time -- some show tunes on stage.
It was a first run for the educators who are hoping to open a new arts-based charter or magnet school at the La Mesa Middle School location in the fall of 2014.
"It exceeded all my expectations,'' Jon Hayman, one of the Arts Academy creators said. "There is such a hunger for this -- all these things that have been pushed out of our schools.''
More than 60 families paid $250 for the week long arts conservatory, which also served as a recruiting demonstration to families who may be among those who will be sending their children to the new school program in 2014.
If all goes well, the new program will begin enrolling students as early as November for admittance to the program in September of 2014. Enrollment procedures and entrance requirements will be determined, in large part, by whether the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District designates the new school as a "charter" or a "magnet.'' Charter schools have more control and independence in determining much of its operation, including the application and admittance process.
Mark Arapostathis, who heads Peter Pan Jr. Theater and is a district teacher as well as an LMAAC organizer, said the program's eventual status will be part of the on-going planning for the new program, which will serve students from grades four through eight.
This week's program ended with a short performance of tunes from "My Fair Lady" and "Damn Yankees" and certificates for each of the 60 students.