Queen Palmer would like to be an arts-focused school, Principal Priscilla Barsotti said, but until test scores improve, teachers must focus on basic skills such as reading and writing.
Many of the school's roughly 215 students are considered "at-risk," Barsotti
said, meaning families have less money and might move often.The students are often behind in reading and language.Families may not have the money for trips to museums or camps, she
Exposing students to the arts is "a way of tapping into their imagination and creativity," Barsotti
said, and the exposure also helps with math, science and critical thinking skills.
But the school doesn't have even a part-time art teacher, unlike most D-11 elementary schools, she
"I just can't justify that right now," she
The students will get an extra dose of art starting in August, thanks to two teachers who have volunteered to teach art on top of their other duties.Barsotti said they were inspired to add to their workload after working with the Rotarians on the butterfly project.