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District will offer fine arts program for K-12

Special photo                             
Melvin Blocker, principal of the Fine Arts Magnet Program at Mt. Zion High School (from bottom); Donna Jackson, principal of the School of the Arts at James A. Jackson Elementary; and Charmine Johnson, principal of the School of the Art at M. D. Roberts Middle School.

Special photo Melvin Blocker, principal of the Fine Arts Magnet Program at Mt. Zion High School (from bottom); Donna Jackson, principal of the School of the Arts at James A. Jackson Elementary; and Charmine Johnson, principal of the School of the Art at M. D. Roberts Middle School.

For the first time, Clayton County Public Schools will expand its fine arts magnet program into its middle schools.

“We want to make sure we are giving parents and students in Clayton County Public Schools a choice, by offering quality fine arts magnet programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grades,” said Darlene Guida, head music teacher at Jackson Elementary School.

Guida said the program will now be implemented at M.D. Roberts Middle School, where Charmine Johnson is the principal.

Applications for the program are now being accepted for fall 2012 school year. The applications can be found on the school’s website at, www.clayton.k12.ga.us. Auditions for the Magnet Middle School Program are being held on Tuesday, June 19, at 6:30 p.m., and Tuesday, July 17, at 6:30 p.m., at M.D. Roberts, located at 1905 Walt Stephens Road, in Jonesboro.

School officials are asking for students to bring in their completed application when they arrive at the audition, along with a copy of the student’s last report card. Applications will also be available during the auditions.

Guida said currently the district offers two fine arts magnet programs at the following locations: The School of the Arts at Jackson Elementary, principal, Dr. Donna Jackson, and the Fine Arts Magnet High School at Mt. Zion, principal, Melvin Blocker. However, according to Guida those magnet classes are full.

“The Magnet Programs offer a rigorous curriculum in academic and fine arts classes,” said Guida. “The fine arts classes include dance, chorus, band, orchestra, visual arts and theater. Students will need to decide on one focused area of study in the arts for the middle and high school programs.”

She added students involved in the elementary and high school magnet programs have achieved great strides in the performing arts. “With the addition of the magnet middle school, greater gains are expected,” Guida said.

For more information about the district’s middle school magnet program, contact (678) 479-0100.