Clayton Valley Charter High School

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Clayton Arts Academy: 20 Years In The Making

     Elizabeth Abbott has been involved with Clayton Valley Charter High School’s ClaytonArts Academy for more than eight years. As one of six instructors, she joins a dedicated team of teachers who keep the academy relevant for our inspired and artistic students.

     Abbott says art is also intertwined in core course offerings, which is critical to the academy. “Our students are in a cohesive environment where they learn to creatively solve problems,” Abbott said.

“They learn how to make a difference globally and impact lives through various forms of art.”

     The academy promotes group work and activities such as the all-academy projects that require each grade level to participate. This gives students experience with the type of tasks and group situations they will encounter in college. Abbott can share countless stories of students returning to campus long after graduation to tell how the academy prepared them for life after high school.

     Technology now plays a vital role in the academy, and it’s likely one of the biggest changes from year 1 to year 20. CVCHS wants all students to be prepared for entry into the professional world, so the ClaytonArts Academy teaches students to find artistic uses in any career setting and to positively engage their creative side in problem-solving. These skills are an important part of student success on and beyond the CVCHS campus.

     The school will hold a celebration on Jan. 12 to honor the anniversary of the oldest academy at CVCHS, with academy leaders reaching out to all students, alumni, families and former teachers. If any group can throw a great party, one imagines the ClaytonArts Academy can.

     “We would love for all of the current and former students and teachers to get together to celebrate how they helped grow this academy,” Abbott said. “There have been a few curriculum changes over the years, but the overall emphasis has always been on art and that’s what makes this academy so special.”

     Like every year, the students of the ClaytonArts Academy have big plans in addition to the 20th anniversary party. They will be involved with the Arts Expo in the spring, and the drama team is busy working on a production led entirely by students. They do the acting, directing and all of the behind-the-scenes activities to
deliver an outstanding performance.

     The ClaytonArts Academy is a dynamic and longstanding tradition at CVCHS, and it is bound to have many anniversary celebrations to come.