Middletown School Says Art is Integral to Education

MIDDLETOWN, Md. – Academic standards and standardized test scores are becoming the norm in today’s classrooms, but one local school is refusing to fit that mold.

The Lucy School is expanding their arts program, while many districts across the country are being forced to cut down on art, music and drama classes.

“The arts are an important component to engineering and math and science, because you can’t excel in those subjects if you’re not creative – if you can’t think outside the box,” said Dr. Victoria Brown, the founder and director of the Lucy School.

Once just a school for pre-K and kindergarten, it now teaches students up to fifth grade, and the staff is planning to include middle school students next year.

Instead of teaching to a rigid set of academic standards, they said their focus is more on meeting the individual needs of their kids – and they believe their creative approach is working. More than 80 percent of students are above their grade level in reading and math.

“Our students want to come to school every day,” said curriculum director and third-grade teacher, Chris Isleib. “They bring that same active participation to math, as they do in drama.”

And the students are taking their unique education to heart.

“If you have someone telling you what to do all your life, there’s never any time to do what you want to do,” said fourth-grader, Maya Irvin. “This is why I love this school, because they give you something to do, but then you can tweak it and make it your piece of art.”

Dr. Brown said that even with the middle school expansion, she hopes to not have much more than 120 kids enrolled, in an effort to keep the close-knit atmosphere going strong.

“All the teachers know all the students here, so it’s really almost like a family.”

The Lucy School is currently enrolling for the upcoming school year. For more information, visit their website.

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