I recently joined an arts high school community, and I live in awe of the complexity, depth, and flexibility that the arts school model provides. This year I attended the Arts School Network conference for the first time. The conference attendees were arts school educators from around the country.

Over the course of this conference, I engaged in enlightening conversations, garnered new ideas, and developed understanding and empathy for shared challenges. The most powerful aspect of meeting this group of educators was experiencing the unspoken appreciation and deep understanding we share as arts school educators.

The arts high school model provides that community, and it is a design that should be not only cherished and preserved but further developed.

Arts schools allow our most creative young people in society to feel supported, celebrated, and encouraged to grow. I contend that the confidence, skills, and sense of community students gain from attending arts schools helps them to become the best version of themselves. Without arts school, they may have wasted valuable years suppressing the elements that make them unique.

Read the full article on arts high schools by Ahava Silkey-Jones at Americans for the Arts