Way to go, DASH!

Data reported yesterday by Miami Dade County Public Schools, the nation’s fourth largest school district, provide a snapshot of DASH student performance. As an art school, we’re especially proud of our district academic rankings!

Percentage Rank Among All   Schools Rank Among High Schools
Reading   Satisfactory or Higher 95% 12 out of 3127 5 out of 451
Math   Satisfactory or Higher 99% 4 out of 3124 1 out of 447
Science   Satisfactory or Higher 95% 27 out of 3127 16 out of 451
Four Year   Graduation Rate 100% N/A 1 out of 417

Why Florida Educators Want To Change Arts Accountability In Schools

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Reblogged from State Impact Florida / December 15, 2013 by Sammy Mack

When Allison Rojas looks at a painting by Alice Neel, the high school junior sees more than a seated woman in a purple sari.

Allison-Rojas“She uses very bold lines as you can see,” says Rojas. “Very fleshy paintings.”

Rojas has an eye that’s been trained in fine arts classes at Miami’s Design and Architecture Senior High. DASH is an arts magnet—consistently ranked among the country’s top public schools—and every year, Rojas and her classmates have taken a fieldtrip with the school to Art Basel, where she gets to see works like Neel’s Woman.

It’s a unique opportunity for these students—especially as so many of their peers don’t get this kind of exposure.

Research published by the Center for Fine Arts Education shows that the more arts courses Florida students enroll in, the more likely they are to take the SAT and score well on standardized tests. And conversely, students who appear to be struggling academically generally take fewer arts courses than their peers.

“We really want to have a report—like a school report card,” says Dr. Kathleen Sanz, president and CEO of the Center for Fine Arts Education.

Sanz is supporting state legislation that would require schools to report arts access the same way they report information like graduation rates and demographics.

“I think it will help heighten the importance of the fine arts in the schools,” says Sanz.

Arts educators aren’t the only ones who are troubled by the downward trend in arts enrollment.

“Not everybody is academically inclined—because, you know, there are people who can lead a full life without having to touch a paintbrush,” says DASH senior Aaron Alonso, but he worries that other students may not get the chance to discover a passion in the arts.

“It’s all about keeping that so that sort of thing doesn’t happen,” says Alonso.

What’s Up With National Honor Society?

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For freshmen wondering why they did not get a chance to sign up for National Honor Society at this year’s Club Day, fear not– NHS invitations go out at the end of each school year to students who have a minimum 3.6 grade point average along with excellent attendance, community service, and teacher recommendations.

The honor in National Honor Society predominantly comes from service projects completed throughout the year. The recent sophomore ice cream party was a thank you for participating in the yearly NHS food drive that benefits the Shelter For Women and Children near DASH. Right now, NHS has partnered with the junior class to get a toy drive rolling. As always, support from the entire school is needed, so bring a toy to the front office, get a candy cane from Ms. Cileli, and make a child happy this holiday season. ALERT: We are short on toys this year! Please consider picking up an inexpensive new gift such as a toy from Walgreens to contribute. THANK YOU!

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Film Review: Frozen

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by Mariana Galecki

The holiday season is in full swing, and what better way to get you in the mood than Disney’s new movie Frozen. To the untrained eye, it may seem like a typical Disney flick with princesses, magical powers, catchy songs and “true” love. However, when one takes a closer look, it’s a whole new world.

This is the first time ever that a woman, Jennifer Lee, has directed a Disney animated film. Although she shared the responsibility with Chris Buck, it is still a monumental step towards gender equality in the film world. It’s not that women are better filmmakers or simply better than men, but when a film is made by a balanced group of individuals, a more real and genuine movie will come to fruition.

It is incredible how different Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) are from Snow White and Cinderella! Princess Merida from Brave was definitely a step towards the creation of a full-fledged independent female character like Elsa, but her plot was not as strong as the one in Frozen. Elsa was originally supposed to be an evil snow queen, but because there was a balanced writing team, a whole multidimensional character was created. Elsa loves her sister and ultimately wants what is best for her people, but she is afraid and that leads her to do things that she shouldn’t.

This is the same team that gifted the world with Wreck-It-Ralph (2012), so expectations were very high for this movie and I do believe they were delivered. I’m not an expert in animation, but there was nothing terrible about it that popped out. Frozen had that familiar Disney style that everyone loves so much and has been missing for a while.  Wednesday, the day I went to see the movie, was not a very good day for me, but watching this movie made me happy and giddy and made all my troubles go away. Furthermore, the songs are all beautiful and memorable; in fact, I could not stop singing Let it Go all weekend.

Frozen is not extremely revolutionary, but it does break several barriers and it should be celebrated for that. Not only that, but it’s a classic and superb Disney movie that is enjoyable to all audiences.

December Feature Portfolio: Luma Louzada

LumaCongratulations to Luma Louzada, our December feature portfolio. Luma is a senior in the DASH Fashion Design program and is also a 2013 Young Arts finalist in two categories this year: visual arts + design.

Art – to me – is a way to understand. A way to ask questions. Try to answer them and usually formulate new ones. I produce my work to study and comprehend specific relationships. Individual stances and anything that can relate two separate subjects and create an interaction between the two. I look to deepen my knowledge of what makes each one of us different, and so far, I’ve come to the conclusion that the differences are only about perspective and perception and that is what I want the viewer to be aware of when regarding my pieces.