The Irvington Public School District recognizes that Arts Education, including dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, is an integral part of a comprehensive curriculum and are essential for learning in the 21st century. An arts education enables students to develop an appreciation of the arts as well as their critical and creative thinking skills. It is also recognized the arts build bridges and help pupils broaden their perspectives and understand their world and the diverse cultural influences that surround them To this end, it is the policy of Irvington Public School District to ensure that all students have regular, sequential arts instruction throughout their Pre K-12 education.

Program Overview


Cultivating the art within every student every day so they can perform, produce, and appreciate the richness of our visual culture.


The Performing and Visual Arts Department seeks to build and enhance 21st Century Skills and to encourage students, teachers and parents to view themselves as life-long-learners who are inspired by the arts and act as creative participants in our school communities.

Program Goals

To improve student achievement and development in and through the arts.
To provide standards-based art curriculum to ensure high quality arts programs throughout the district.
To provide professional learning opportunities to develop highly qualified arts educators.
To provide opportunities for students to interact with professional artists during instructional experiences and performances.
To provide opportunities for teachers to collaborate with professional artists in developing a meaningful arts curriculum that is integrated into core curriculum and instruction.
To collaborate effectively with district staff, families, arts organizations, community and higher education to increase access to quality arts learning.
To create internal systems and advocate for policies that support equitable arts programs.

Art Education Facts

The facts are that arts education…

  1. makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries (Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Americans for the Arts Monograph, January 1998)
  2. has a measurable impact on at-risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in afterschool and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention

(YouthARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts)

Businesses understand that arts education…

  1. builds a school climate of high expectation, discipline, and academic rigor that attracts businesses relocating to your community
    strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success
    helps students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond
  2. can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning
    provides another opportunity for parental, community, and business involvement with schools, including arts and humanities organizations
  3. helps all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the world around them
  4. helps students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done

(Business Circle for Arts Education in Oklahoma, “Arts at the Core of Learning 1999 Initiative”)

Did You Know?

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
  • Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to: attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
  • Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often

(“Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations,” Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts Monograph, November 1998)