This week, Midlands Arts Conservatory and Fort Dorchester High School received ABC School Certification for exemplary efforts to provide quality, comprehensive arts education to all students. Designation as an ABC School is achieved through a rigorous certification process.
“Being certified as an ABC School means your school is ready and willing to serve as a model for others across the state and across the nation,” said ABC Project Director Dr. Kim Wilson. “ABC Schools know the ‘why’ to their often unconventional and courageous choices. They can provide the pedagogical rationale, evidence and data to support those choices, and models of practice to clearly communicate the benefits of the arts to others.”
- Midlands Arts Conservatory is Midlands Arts Conservatory (MAC) is a free, public charter school located in downtown Columbia. MAC students spend approximately half of the school day studying core academic courses and half their day in their chosen core fine arts course of study: dance, music (strings), theatre, or visual arts. Midlands Arts Conservatory prepares students for arts-related careers, a lifelong appreciation of the arts, and for high quality postsecondary studies. The school provides an arts-enriched personalized learning environment, integrating academic rigor and quality arts instruction for all students.
- Fort Dorchester High School, located in North Charleston, is one of three high schools in Dorchester District Two. The high school serves a diverse student population of multicultural ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is the vision of Fort Dorchester High School is to prepare students for college and career readiness and make meaningful connections. Fort offers many programs that provide hands-on, real-world experiences: CATE (Career and Technology Education), culinary, visual arts, media arts, theatre, instrumental music, choral music, photography, and more. The Fort Dorchester High School vision is driven by these real-world experiences and the desire to foster awareness and advocacy for the arts.
All ABC Schools must have an approved three to five-year arts education strategic plan. Such commitments require grant-writing, creative partnerships, and specialized professional development.
“ABC-certified schools believe that the arts are an essential component in the basic curriculum and are central to student development. Each school is unique, but all understand how to make meaningful connections to art in all aspects of life and learning, understand how an arts-rich environment inspires creativity, and the role the arts play in defining our students’ diverse cultures but defining a schools’ inclusive culture,” Wilson said.
The South Carolina Arts Commission makes ABC Advancement Grants available to ABC-certified schools who apply for support as they work to implement standards-based art curricula and to make the arts an integral part of the basic curriculum and daily classroom instruction. This commitment is achieved through partnerships with several neighboring companies, organizations, and/or individuals to help the schools meet their vision of being an ABC Certified School.