News

Announcement - Message to Parents

1.10.2017

Dear TeSA Parents/Guardians:

Today we announce that Texas School of the Arts will no longer enroll students in grades 7 and 8. This decision has been approached thoughtfully and after weighing all options, just as we do when making any decision that affects student experiences.

The short answer to the question “Why?” is that our school is simply not large enough to provide the depth and variety of opportunities we believe create the most powerful and successful Middle School experience.

We would certainly prefer to grow our Middle School enrollment to allow for the expanded course offerings and specialized instruction that would give our students a more dynamic and challenging TeSA education, but due to the limitations of physical plant size and academic resources, we cannot.

So, beginning in the fall of 2017, we will not enroll students in grades 7 and 8. This is a change we are confident will be in the best interest of the student body as a whole. Please note that we are not abandoning our current 6th and 7th graders. We are currently preparing an information session to be held in the next few weeks that will aid you in preparing your student to transition from TeSA to another school this fall. The further information in this message will clarify aspects of the decision and its timing, rationale, and next steps.

TIMING
We are continually reviewing the effectiveness of our programs at Texas School of the Arts, just as at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts and within our other programs. Continuous improvement is critical to our unremitting pursuit of excellence. Over the past year, we have had extensive conversations among staff, administration, and the academic committee of the Board of Directors.

When TeSA was founded, we began as an Elementary school. As we prepared to construct and move into our current facility, the Board and staff heard our families’ desire for a safe, small-school environment founded on our tested principle of excellence to extend to Middle School. In Fall 2012 we began enrolling students in grades 7 and 8. Now, after four-and-a-half years, it is clear we are not meeting our own standards for the quality of experience we want to provide to our Middle School students. Therefore, we have determined to suspend instruction at the Middle School level in order to focus our efforts and resources on our Elementary students in grades Kindergarten through 6.

RATIONALE
Our rationale for this important change is we need to continue the pursuit of excellence in each area in which we provide education and training. We believe in giving our students a solid foundation built upon diverse, engaging experiences in the arts, with a strong academic focus, to prepare them for whatever education and career paths they choose. Our small classroom sizes allow our teachers to provide more individualized instruction, and the small-school environment creates a safe and nurturing place for young people to thrive.

With a student body the size of our Middle School program, we do not have the numbers to support an expansive and dynamic educational experience for these students, and the current program cannot empower students to achieve academic excellence as our mission requires, despite the successes of our students and faculty.

WHAT’S NEXT
Disappointment and confusion are to be expected, as with any transition like this. We hope to focus on the future, so here is what to expect:

  • Students in grades 6-8 and their parents will be invited to attend a Transitions Meeting to be scheduled in the next 2-3 weeks. This will equip you with necessary information to begin preparing for enrollment at another school this fall.
  • Mrs. Manney, Mr. Morrow, I, and the rest of the staff will be available to answer questions and provide support as you prepare for this change.

Please know that we will continually and carefully evaluate all areas of study so we may serve our fine student body well and strive to exceed the high expectations of our students, their parents, and the schools and training programs where our students wish to continue their educations.

We are honored to have a remarkable student body, an amazing staff and faculty, dedicated parents and leadership, and an engaged community. Thank you for your support.

Clint Riley
Executive Director