The Vision of the Valley Arts and Science Academy
Valley Arts & Science Academy’s mission is to provide a culturally andeconomically diverse elementary school population with a standards-based education by implementing project-based learning and integrated instruction with an emphasis on Science and the Arts, in an urban environment.
Valley Arts & Science Academy values a powerful sense of community and a strong, positive school culture to bring together a community that embraces the importance of providing an integrated educational program where every child receives Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Science to scaffold Core Content Instruction and make learning come to life.
The ARTS – Visual and performing arts experiences stimulate non-verbal awareness, create a common bond and make school more human. Works of art serve to stimulate verbal skills through discussions and writing. Singing and/or playing music together, dance and the dramatic arts are shared experiences that both reinforce and enhance an understanding of language, mathematics and cultures.
SCIENCE – Elementary school students are innately curious about the natural world. Research shows that science instruction stimulates and reinforces reading, math and thinking skills.
In addition to the arts and science, the VASA curriculum will offer its students strong programs in history, physical education, thinking skills, and writing:
HISTORY – Children love stories. Historical stories develop character, citizenship, and a recognition of important people and events in the history of the community, California, the United States, and the cultures of the world.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION – VASA will incorporate a program of physical education focusing on fitness, health, nutrition and recreation. Schools with more physically active students tend to rank higher on California’s Academic Performance Index, according to a report published in April, 2005 by the state Department of Education’s “Getting Results” project.
THINKING SKILLS – Creative thinking and problem solving at all ages can be greatly enhanced by using strategies developed by such programs as Odyssey of the Mind or Destination Imagination and Lego Robotics.
WRITING – It is difficult to write clearly without thinking clearly. Writing skills are enhanced by being able to experience the writing of others through listening and reading. Research-based techniques and strategies will be explored in the planning phase and/or developed on-site to accelerate students’ abilities to listen, speak, read and write effectively.
TARGETED POPULATION – The targeted population is students in the downtown core of Fresno. It is the goal of the school’s founders to attract at least 60% of the students from low performing schools in the immediate vicinity of the Ted C. Wills Center. The remaining 40% of the student population is anticipated to be children who are attracted to the school by the strength, variety, and richness of its educational program.