Smith Renaissance School of the Arts

  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Web site: http://smith.dpsk12.org/
  • Principal: Joyce Simmons
  • Featured teachers: Sylvia Bookhardt, music teacher; Kelly Harbolt, drama teacher; Suzanne Hewitt, visual art teacher
  • Grades: K–5
  • Number of students: 530
  • Number of faculty: 37
  • Demographic information: Student population is 70 percent African-American, 25 percent Hispanic, 3 percent Caucasian, and 2 percent other. Ninety percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Annual mobility rate is 118 percent.

Smith Renaissance School of the Arts is a magnet school focusing in the arts. The arts education program design was implemented at the start of the 1997–98 school year. Smith employs arts staff members who work with classroom teachers in a team approach. Lessons are consistent with state mandates and are tied to national standards.

Smith's mission is to develop each student's abilities, nurturing both higher academic achievement and personal development, through exposure to the arts. The school's goals are to improve academic performance, increase parent-community involvement, and infuse the arts into all aspects of the curriculum to improve achievement. The curriculum is designed around the performing and visual arts. Students explore programs in each of the arts through third grade. Fourth- and fifth-grade students can develop their areas of choice while continuing their education in other areas.

Because Smith is a magnet school, students who have been accepted come from within and outside of the normal school boundaries.

Smith is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The school has partnerships with many organizations that provide support, such as the Denver School of the Arts, the Colorado Children's Chorale, Ready to Succeed, the Shaka Foundation, and the Colorado Youth Symphony.

Information provided by Smith Renaissance School of the Arts. Current as of February 2002.