Arts Expansion Initiative

Secretary Duncan visits a classroom at Orchard Gardens K-8 school in Roxbury, Mass.
Secretary Duncan visits a classroom at Orchard Gardens K-8 school in Roxbury, Mass.

The arts are helping to improve schools.
The Boston Public Schools’ Arts Expansion Initiative launched in 2009  is a multi-year effort to expand arts education within Boston Public School(BPS). Focused on providing equity and access to quality arts learning experiences to every BPS student. The initiative seeks to expand arts instruction, build the capacity of the system to support school-based arts programs, and to enhance partnerships between schools and arts and cultural groups and higher educational institutions.

Orchard Gardens is a K-8 school in Roxbury, Mass. deemed a low performing school, when it joined the Arts Expansion Initiative in 2009, since then the school has seen improvements. Students’ math proficiency scores have improved from six percent to 34 percent. English scores improved from 13 percent to 43 percent proficiency, from 2009 to 2013.

The Orchard Gardens school is also part of the Turnaround Arts Initiative a public-private partnership designed to help narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts.