Performing Arts Credits Program to be Created

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Poughkeepsie City School district has been preliminarily awarded a New York State Department of Education Smart Scholars Early College High School grant of $825,000.

Partnering with Dutchess Community College and the Bardavon, the grant will allow Poughkeepsie High School students to earn up to 24 college credits toward an associate degree in the performing arts, advancing both the district’s comprehensive arts education efforts and Pathway Transformation Initiative.

The five-year grant award has an enrollment target of 30 students per grade level, beginning in ninth grade. The program will enroll one cohort per year, beginning in the 2024-25 school year, and will add one grade level each year, up to the 12th grade.
Student recruitment will start April 2024. Recruitment activities will include parent presentations targeted to eighth graders and a presentation during the April 6 Superintendent’s Fireside Chat.

Collaboration with school counselors will help identify and recruit students who are eligible for this program and meet the enrollment criteria. Teachers and school counselors will also help identify and recommend students who are interested in a Performing Arts Career Pathway.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to grow talent within the Poughkeepsie city community while allowing students to earn college credits at no cost to their families,” said Dr. Janety Encarnanción, director of college readiness and workforce education.

Phillip Grusenmeyer, supervisor for secondary education, said he is “elated to see that our grant was approved and that our students will be eligible to pursue a possible career in the arts and earn credits that can be utilized in college.”

Dr. Charles Gallo, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said the district is “very grateful to have been preliminarily awarded this NYSED grant and look forward to collaborating with school and community stakeholders as well as parents to ensure our students take full advantage of this opportunity.”

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