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budgets and class sizes, thanks and hope


From: Eric & Kris Holsen (holsenek_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 23 2002 - 14:48:54 PDT

Hey all,

Thanks for the great bus ideas! I'm still waiting to hear if I get
it...wish me luck!

As I hear all the troubles others are having with huge classes and non-arts
administrators, it makes me realize how lucky I am to work where I do. I
work at a charter high school for the arts in Rochester, MN with about 115
students. We are all complaining this year because our budget cuts have
pushed our classes which were 10-15 students up to 18 students!

However, I promise to stop complaining. Right now!

Anyway, I just want to encourage you to look at what we're doing in the
charter school movement. It's not a bad life.

We have classes like: stained glass, jewelry, clay, video production,
drawing, painting, science of art, sci. fi literature, mural painting,
playwriting - and all the math and science and social studies basics, but
with art integrated into them.

We have one sport. Ultimate Frisbee!

We have more funny hair and body piercings than any school in town - and the
most accepting, enthusiastic highschoolers I've ever met.

There is hope for our schools, people. Hang in there.

And thanks a million for the ongoing support and great inspiration! I keep
a database of "keepers" that has been an incredible resource!


p.s. Okay, one little complaint. Our budgets are messed up because our
amazing legislature "solved" their budget problems by increasing the amount
of money they hold back from the schools until the next fiscal year from 10%
to 17%. Yeah, that's good planning. Maybe next time they'll just put it on
their Visas!

Kris Holsen
Studio Academy High School
Rochester, MN