We had a similar situation at our school two years ago (We have K-8). Up
until then we saw middle school students all year, one day a week and
everybody got art. New principal, big on technology, wanted more time for
computers (2 periods each day, one during the electives) and made
"specials" elective. During one period a day students could choose
between computer, art, music, band, tv production, media center, study
skills and life skills. Each student could elect 2 specials a week plus PE
during a six day rotation. Some of the teachers could only take 10-12
students due to equipment and space limits. Band was limited to students
who could supply their own instrument. The band teacher wanted to keep
the same students all year to build her program....
Here's what happened. About 15 kids total (out of 200 who had to be
"covered") signed up for band. Of the remaining kids about 90% wanted art
and tv. TV could only take 12 and only wanted them for a quarter. Most of
the students were then placed in the other choices. Art and computer had
to take twice as many kids as the other classes to cover everybody and
some kids ended up taking media twice because there was no room in the
popular choices. About 40 kids didn't get art at all. Kids complained,
parents complained and now this year they went back to having everybody
take everything (except band which still makes kids pass on everything but
computers). But we stayed with the one period a day, meeting twice in a
six day rotation for one quarter. As a result I see each middle schooler
for only 14 CLASSES - which means I have to squeeze an entire art
curriculum into that time. My solution is to offer a major UNIT - in 6th,
Maskmaking/Identity, in 7th Linoleum block/printmaking, in 8th
Drawing/Collage. And so we go. We thought agreeing to electives would
eliminate the kids who didn't want to be there but that never happened.
The reality was that the kids all had to be some where and most kids would
rather be in art than the other choices.
Sorry, I know this was long...hope it will help.