Abbotsford School District’s only school for the integrated arts (ASIA) has received a double honour from a North American organization. The middle-secondary school on Sumas Mountain has been designated an Exemplary School by the Arts Schools Network (ASN), North America’s largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools. As well, ASIA Sumas Mountain has received ASN’s Community Partnership Award. Intended to recognize arts schools and/or businesses that implement unique artistic and/or educational partnerships, the award is presented to a school or business that embraces the community by utilizing the arts and education as a vehicle for fostering artistic and educational understanding and community enhancement.
Community mindedness is a strong focus at ASIA Sumas Mountain. The school teaches its students the importance of being community minded by inspiring and modeling actions of integrity. While this tenet shows a desire to build community within the campus, the school also models this behavior through its community partnerships with the Abbotsford Arts Centre Theatre and the Run for Water Society. Staff have also installed student’s visual art pieces; developed a student-led arts integration workshop team, and have had students perform at local businesses.
“These acknowledgements of ASIA Sumas Mountain re-enforce our District and Board of Education’s focus on a Strategic Plan that includes flexibility and access to programs for students, and community engagement,” said Board Chair Cindy Schafer. “This reflects our ongoing work to fulfill our district vision of a world-class, innovative, and individualized educational experience for every student. We congratulate Principal Marlene Funk, her staff and students at ASIA Sumas Mountain on this well-deserved recognition.”
“(We are) pleased to recognize the achievements of this amazing school and congratulate the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts, Sumas Mountain Campus for its high quality instruction in arts education,” notes The Arts Schools Network in the announcement for Exemplary School Designation.
Dedicated to excellence and leadership in arts education, Arts Schools Network is a non-profit professional organization founded in 1981, with a mission to provide leaders in arts schools with quality resources, support, and networking opportunities. The Community Partnership Award will be presented during the annual Arts Schools Network Conference in October in Denver, Colorado.