Last week a select group of 8th grade students toured two art schools here in Phoenix. Most of these students had no idea that an arts high school was even an option. These schools require the same academic work from students as any other high school would, but have fine and performing arts classes built into the day as well. They are great for students who want to work in the arts professionally and for students who want to go into other professions but want to continue exploring the arts through high school. Upon graduation students are ready to move on to any university.
Seeing students' enthusiasm for the arts was touching. As we toured one school a student said, "This school is calling my name." Before returning to Herrera several students had already asked me to print applications for them. One even started filling out the application while waiting for her mother to pick her up from school. I hope to see a number of Herrera students move on to arts high schools on their way to college.