orchestra students

Merrillville High School offers a new way for its students to apply their artistic talents and interests toward their diplomas. orchestra

The Indiana Department of Education recently approved the school’s application to utilize the Civic Arts Pathway, giving its students the opportunity to earn their diplomas through a combination of fine and performing arts classes. Students will use this locally created pathway to fulfill the employable skills and the postsecondary-ready competencies for the Indiana State graduation requirements.

Although career fields within the Civic Arts Pathway cannot be defined by high wage or high demand, they are of high value and high passion in the region, according to administrators at the Merrillville Community School Corporation. 

“Our teachers’ conviction that arts should play a fundamental role in boosting the opportunities of all populations throughout our public school curriculum was the driving force of this application to the state,” said Marnita Taylor, executive director of curriculum and instruction. “By connecting students to civic arts programs, their talents are further developed, maintained and supported which leads to future successes in civic arts fields of study and careers.”

Current MHS students primed to meet the requirements can take immediate advantage of this new pathway, which consists of fine arts classes, visual arts and art history, and performing arts classes; band, orchestra, theater and choir. 

This pathway incorporates project-based learning, providing students with a foundation for an e-portfolio where their experiences can be captured, maintained and built upon for future years. 

“Merrillville High School has had a state-recognized fine arts and performing arts program for many years,” said Mike Krutz, MHS principal. “The Civic Arts Pathway will allow us to strengthen our programs and give students the ability to do what they love. 

“Our goal is to always allow our students the ability to express themselves through the arts and to pursue their passion toward the path of success,” he said.

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