The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

The Solution

January 14, 2023

According to Stockhaus and other arts teachers at BSM, administration can reverse this trend by adjusting their focus and schedule to accommodate the arts. To start, they should consider requiring a full year of the arts in Junior High and bringing back wellness. 

“I know why they did it after the pandemic, but it was extremely detrimental to the music department. That’s one thing that could be looked at again… making room for the arts in student’s schedules. And making room for the arts in student’s schedules. Taking away wellness completely obliterated the high school choir,” Stockhaus said. 

One option could be changing STEM to STEAM. This gives a place for the arts in curriculum and encourages students to pursue them.

“They’ve added so many science classes and engineering classes. I get that [BSM] sees the benefit in those, but I just feel bad that they don’t see the benefit in music,” Stockhaus said. 

Promoting the arts will also help students with their academic success. “Fine arts are a key ingredient to innovation. Without creativity and inspiration that comes from the arts, you can never be successful,” Steidel said. 

Another potential option is adding new courses that incorporate the arts in different ways. The visual arts program at BSM has remained popular among students. Department head Kelli Rahn attributes these strong numbers to the new courses offered.

“Last year, we were given the opportunity to add some new classes…that gained some attention from students that has helped,” Rahn said. 

Outside of the administration, the entire BSM community can cultivate the arts by showcasing and appreciating them. This year, the marketing and communications department is making a more conscious effort to show the arts on social media and with the admissions team.

“We [showcase] visual arts and performing arts. What we’ve been doing with visual arts is showcasing them on social media and… talking with the students to do an interview [about their piece]… With the performing arts… it’s been to identify what they are doing and then how to promote it,” Marketing and Communications Director David Lucs said. 

This approach is also tied to admissions at BSM. If the marketing department can showcase the arts well, then prospective arts students might choose to attend. Sharing pieces in local media brings awareness to their art programs. “It also heightens awareness…it helps the admissions process,” Lucs said. 

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