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2-18 Kenmore Middle School Celebrates 20 Years of Arts and Communications


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For Immediate Release:
Feb. 18, 2016
For more information, contact the Dept. of School and Community Relations at 703-228-6004 www.apsva.us
 Kenmore Middle School Celebrates 20 Years of Arts and Communications
Kenmore Middle School is celebrating 20 years as an Arts and Communications Technology Focus school. In commemoration of this anniversary, Kenmore will hold an open house on Fri, Feb. 19 from 7:50 a.m-11:20 a.m.

Parents and community members are invited to stay all morning or drop in for an hour or two. The program will begin in the auditorium which will include an overview of arts integration and some student performances. Visitors will then be invited to drop in on classrooms to see or participate in a variety of arts integration and technology lessons. Exhibits of arts integration lessons done throughout the year as well as student work will be on display throughout the building.

The seventh grade will host their annual Langston Hughes coffee house in the Black box theater from 10-11:20 a.m. and again in the evening beginning at 6:30 p.m.
At the beginning of the 1995-96 school year, Kenmore became an Arts and Communications Technology Focus school in an effort to ease overcrowding in North Arlington schools. The school serves students within its boundaries as well as those outside the boundaries who choose to apply. The program began with approximately 68 transfer students and reached a peak in 2007-08 with as many as 320 students. Currently the school has an average of 200 transfer students.

As part of the focus program, arts and communications technology are integrated into the Arlington middle school curriculum. Kenmore students are actively engaged every day in learning activities which involve dance/movement, drama, visual arts, music, and many forms of communications technology. This delivery method provides students with alternative ways to learn and demonstrate mastery of the curriculum. Teachers are supported through annual professional development programs that help them develop integrated lessons. Exposing students to a variety of arts is an important component of the program.

Annually, Kenmore takes an all-school field trip to the Kennedy Center to see a performance. According to Focus Program Coordinator, Shauna Dyer, “Some students view the annual trip to the Kennedy Center as the highlight of their middle school experience. We try to attend a different performance each year whether it be the symphony, a dance program or an Opera Look-in.” Currently, Kenmore offers dance/physical education classes taught by a certified dance teacher.

Beyond the Kennedy Center partnership, Kenmore students have enjoyed a variety of performances and notable visitors to their school. The school’s main stage has played host to President Barrack Obama during his 2011 school visit, as well as legendary performer Maurice Hines in 2014, and award-winning children’s authors Susan A. Robinson and Kwame Alexander in this year.

Annual student performances are open to the community and showcase a wide array of student talent. Kenmore alumnae performing artists include local recording artist Margot MacDonald and La Voz finalist Samantha Rios. Kenmore’s art students routinely create installations of their work in the community, such as last year’s Table Mania at Ballston Commons Mall. Inclusiveness, a vibrant celebration of the arts, and innovative use of instructional technologies are hallmarks of the school. Kenmore embodies the hope of 21st century public education, and we hope you can join us as we celebrate 20 years of our focus and look forward to the future.

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