An Arts Education Success Story: Moreno Valley Unified School District

The Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) understands the direct impact that parent engagement has on student academic achievement across all socioeconomic groups.

In fact, the Board of Education approved a resolution earlier this academic year in honor of Parent Teacher Association Membership Month to encourage all parents and community volunteers to support district schools through PTA by becoming members.

“We strive to engage and inform parents of our programs, services, policies and plans in a variety of ways as they are the most influential people in their children’s lives,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “We want to ensure they are able to navigate the education system and will continue to do our best to guide them in actively taking part in their children’s lives.”

The Moreno Valley Unified School District offers multiple opportunities to establish strong partnerships with families such as participating in committees, clubs, workshops and meetings. One unique area where the district connects with families is through the district’s music programs, as families understand that participating in the arts increases student achievement in other academic subjects.

“…families understand that participating in the arts increases student achievement in other academic subjects.”

In the past five years, the Moreno Valley Unified School District has added significant resources to its visual and performing arts programs, including a dedicated Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, and additional instructors at schools to ensure students at all 40 schools have visual and performing arts programs. For example, the district added art, music and physical education teachers for grades four and five, and partnered with the Riverside Art Museum to offer arts education for students in grades two and three.

MVUSD is extremely proud to have 41.27% of students participating in the arts – more than two percent higher than the state average’s 39 percent. With the increase in arts education in Moreno Valley Schools, the district decided to host annual events to provide the opportunity for students to showcase their talents to their parents, family and the community. Events include a High School Honor Choir Concert; Elementary, Middle, and High School Honor Band Concert; and a Band and Orchestra adjudicated festival every spring semester.

The future performing arts center at Moreno Valley High School

Due to large attendance and interest in these events from parents and community members, the Moreno Valley Unified School District has made plans to build a Performing Arts Center at Moreno Valley High School. The center will be 26,000 square feet with a seating capacity of 625 and a 2,400 square foot lobby and art gallery. The district is committed to removing barriers and inequities in arts education by including the Arts as part of the comprehensive education provided to all students and increasing opportunities for families to engage with their children by providing state-of-the-art facilities for students to showcase their talents and skills.

Creating these opportunities for parents to be involved in their children’s education allows the district to collaborate with parents in meaningful ways. The district’s ultimate goal is for parents to join the district in fulfilling its mission to ensure all students graduate high school prepared to successfully enter into higher education and/or pursue a viable career path.

Thanks to Anahi Velasco, Public Information Officer at Moreno Valley Unified School District, for this article.

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