We celebrate Arts in Education Week in Flagler Schools during the second week of September each year. This year, that falls on September 11 – 17. Our School Board signed a proclamation last month declaring just that. But in reality, we know the importance of the Arts in our schools all year long.

I’ll borrow a few lines from the board’s proclamation: “Arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline and collaboration, alternative ways to communicate and express feelings and ideas, and cross-cultural understanding, which support academic success across the curriculum.”

As an educator, what, in that list can I not support? As a parent, what is there not to like? The arts are tied to reading, writing, and arithmetic. We have seen where students connect with the arts and it changes their academic outlook. The lessons in a textbook jump off the pages when they are tied to the arts. We have seen students who have a difficult time expressing themselves in words come to life when they find a connection in the arts.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education found that classroom instruction is more effective when teachers work creative activities into their lessons and make them the center of those plans. They also argue when students are encouraged to use their imagination, that helps them discover new connections between ideas and engage in new concepts.

We are fortunate to have thriving arts education programs in our schools here in Flagler County. Our fine arts teachers are opening up new pathways to students every day. We also have the support of various arts programs in our communities that look for ways to partner with and support our students’ pursuit of the arts. If you are ever on one of our campuses, the odds are very high that you will see a small sampling of what our students have accomplished through lessons in fine arts in our schools.

As evident by our School Board proclamation recognizing September 11 – 17, 2022 as Arts in Education Week in September, I want everyone in our community to know the arts are alive and in our schools EVERY week. The community support of the arts enables us to continue to Elevate Excellence in Flagler Schools.


Working Together,

Cathy Mittelstadt
Superintendent, Flagler Schools