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Great answers

to frequently asked questions

Question: Do fine arts courses have extra fees or costs?

Answer: Yes, many of our fine arts courses have additional fees whether they are participation fees, instrument or other rentals, field trip costs (optional), and other extra costs. Please check with the specific instructor prior to enrollment to discuss expectations.

Question: Can my student earn a letter in fine arts?

Answer: Yes. Most of the arts classes offer opportunities for students to letter in the course. Receiving a letter is at the discretion of the instructor and is based on character, talent, dedication, integrity, perseverance, and commitment.  For more information on how to earn a letter in a fine arts content area, please direct specific questions to the teacher.

Question: Does my student need a fine arts credit to graduate?

Answer: Technically, no. However, according to Forbes Magazine, colleges and prospective employers tend to give opportunities to fine arts students for a number of reasons. First, a student in fine arts demonstrates that they are more than just an academic student. Second, fine arts students have demonstrated the ability to improve personally for the betterment of the collective. And finally, arts students are trained to develop creative ideas. According to numerous sources, including Rasmussen and Psychology today, students who are trained for innovation and creativity and possess the skill to take an idea from conceptualization to actualization will be the leaders in the 21st century global marketplace.

Question: Are there a lot of extra after-school and weekend commitments?

Answer: This varies by the class. Marching band is an extracurricular ensemble and students rehearse after school, weekends, and even during the summer. However, Chorus and Orchestra have rare/occasional after school practices that are scheduled near quarterly performances. If you have any concerns, please check with the teacher prior to enrollment.

Question: Are there any honor societies or other opportunities for fine arts students?

Answer: The answer is unequivocally yes! There are numerous opportunities within each pathway from District Honors opportunities, Solo & Ensemble, All-State auditions and performances, Literary Meet, Thespian Conference, Governors Honors, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and other opportunities within the leadership of each of these pathways. For more information, please email the specific teacher.

Question: What if we enroll and we decide we don't like it after a few weeks?

Answer: While this rarely happens, it's important to understand that schedule changes are one of the most rarest of occurrences in high school. Some classes are semester based, but most are year long. If you are concerned about being "stuck" in a class for an entire school year, please direct questions to the teacher prior to enrollment.

Question: What is the big deal about cords and stoles?

Answer: At graduation, each of the cords and stoles represents a level of student achievement. The faculty, staff, parents, community, and students all recognize what the cords and stoles represent when graduates participate in commencement. You are allowed to wear a Fine Arts cord if you have three years in fine arts, and you wear the stole if you have dedicated your four years to one ensemble or program.

Question: While the fine arts are incredibly valuable, I don't know if I want my student spending that much time on something that they may not be able to work into a viable career after college. What advice do you have for parents whose children want to be artists, dancers, painters, musicians, actors, etc.?

Answer: Creativity is an undeniable passion. Students who thrive in creative environments are always going to seek creative outlets, whether through their chosen profession or recreationally. While creativity and innovation are the two most sought after skills for today's graduates, there are many ways that students who are truly seeking a career in the fine arts can work toward that goal. It is important to have this conversation with both the teacher and the guidance counselors to assure that your student is on the best path towards success. Training for students who wish to pursue this path in life is significantly enhanced compared to students who are unsure about whether or not the fine arts college and career path is right for them. Most fine arts instructors, unlike core content instructors, choose to work beyond the parameters of their teaching job in their profession in many other ways. The WHS Fine Arts Educators all have experience working as professional musicians, writers, private lesson instructors, curators, songwriters, producers, and leaders outside of their teaching profession.

Question: I don't see a specific music theater class. Is there a specific music theater class?

Answer: If you are looking for a true music theater production experience, then make sure that your student looks for the Whitewater Spectacular information, most lovingly referred to as "Spec." Susan Simich and Dana Lamb work extremely closely to select and produce a show that best highlights the aggregate annual talent. Spec is open to anyone at WHS, but tends to draw most of its cast members from Drama and/or Chorus classes. For more information, please contact Susan Simich or Dana Lamb-Schaubroeck.

Question: Can I volunteer?

Answer: Absolutely! All fine arts areas look for parent support on occasion. Be sure to let your  student's teacher know of your interest in helping and they will ensure that you process the volunteer application and find the perfect place for your talents and interests. We love parents support!!

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