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A note from Superintendent Bassanelli: Celebrating arts education

Good afternoon,

March is Arts Education Month and recently our Board of Education adopted a resolution supporting the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) programs and staff here at San Juan Unified. We strongly believe that a well-rounded education, including the arts, helps to fully prepare our students for college and career. 

Arts education and enrichment program opportunities increase student engagement, promote leadership, enhance creativity and intellectual skills, and support literacy and numeracy. In San Juan Unified, we have leveraged our arts programs to help support district initiatives such as social-emotional and trauma-based teaching and learning, as well as social justice and educational equity.

We currently have approximately 25,000 students in our district participating in an arts program, supported by 140 dedicated arts educators. Our students benefit from a quality arts education in the classroom, and art, music, theater, dance and media experiences on a daily basis on campus and in the community. 

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary School, where I met with Jenna Huff, music teacher and choir director, to talk about the upcoming San Juan Sings event and the impact arts education has on students. Watch this short video about our conversation and to meet a student leader from the Dewey Choir. 

I encourage our community to attend an upcoming event to experience our students in action this spring:

  • San Juan Sings Choir Festival on three dates from 7-9 p.m. (arrive at 6:15 p.m.):

    • Wednesday, March 15 (schools in the western region) at Arcade Church

    • Tuesday, March 28 (schools in the central region) at San Juan High School

    • Wednesday, March 29 (schools in the eastern region) at San Juan High School

  • San Juan Unified Theater Festival: Thursday, March 30 at American River College from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Kids Art: Saturday, April 29 at Fair Oaks Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In community,

Melissa Bassanelli