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Keeping Safety in Mind, PCPS Students Will Continue Expressing Their Creativity in 2020-21

Keeping Safety in Mind, PCPS Students Will Continue Expressing Their Creativity in 2020-21

For Schools, News, Reopening
Winter Haven High band practicing outdoors

With safety procedures in place for the upcoming school year, Polk County Public Schools is ready for students to continue exploring their creativity through the arts.

“We are happy that we can still offer high-quality experiences in visual art, music, dance and theatre for our students,” said Beth Cummings, PCPS director of fine arts. “We spent the summer researching best practices for maintaining a safe learning environment, where our students can be creative and express themselves in their desired art form.”

“Our visual arts educators will continue to concentrate on teaching fundamentals of art and developing a student’s voice in their artwork,” she said,  “while our courses which traditionally center on ensemble performing will focus on developing individual students’ skills and knowledge.”

At this time, public performances will be delayed to keep everyone safe and reduce the possibility of spreading illness, Cummings said.

“Traditional public performances will need to be put on hold,” she said. “For now, our students in music, dance and theatre will hone their skills as we seek creative alternative ways to perform for our families and the public. We eagerly look forward to the time when we can once again safely offer traditional public performances.”

Here are some other precautions being implemented into the fine arts curriculum for 2020-21:

– All classes will be properly physically distanced.

– All students and teachers will wear face coverings. For details on acceptable face coverings, click here.

– Modified face coverings for students who play wind instruments may be used at the director’s discretion, but these are only for use in the band classroom when students are practicing with their instruments.

– Bell covers (which serve as a mask for the bell of an instrument and help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets) are recommended for all wind instruments. A set of covers has been provided to each band program.

– Singing will take place outside.

– Secondary vocal students will be provided a face shield in addition to their face covering.

– Band and string instruments in secondary classrooms are not to be shared. Through a combination of community partnerships and district funds, every effort is being made to meet the needs of our students by providing instruments to those who cannot rent; this applies to Campus Learning students, as well as Campus eSchool students.

– All elementary students will have access to art and music in both Campus Learning and eSchool Campus settings, with safety precautions in place.

– In visual arts courses, every effort is being made to limit the sharing of art supplies through the pooling of resources.