Visual Arts

Arts Education is provided to all students in elementary schools, K-5, in weekly art education classes. In the sixth grade, students participate in an arts education rotation to further explore the various art forms. Additionally, students in middle school may elect to study more visual arts in specific visual arts courses. In high school, students may take a full range of introductory as well as advanced-level courses in the visual arts. Honors classes, Advanced Placement classes, and International Baccalaureate classes provide in-depth learning opportunities in the visual arts.

In the CMS schools, visual and performing arts are recognized as an essential component of our youth. The arts programs provide a basic understanding and unique opportunities for all students as well as students with special interests and talents in the arts. The visual and performing arts department is home to over 500 music, visual arts, dance, and theatre teachers. The visual and performing arts curriculum is the NC Standard Course of Study, which is directly aligned with the National Standards for Arts Education.

The programs maintain a substantive focus by concentrating on student learning, choosing the arts content that includes complex problem solving and higher order thinking skills; serious alignment of curriculum, instruction, assessment and instructional methods; and professional development for teachers that will result in student learning.

  • The arts draw upon a range of intelligences and learning styles.

  • Collaboration between classroom teachers and arts teachers link different lessons and reinforce learning in both the arts classroom and the regular classroom while allowing teachers access to a greater pool of resources.

  • The arts contribute to the culture and community of the school. Performances and exhibitions provide students with a sense of achievement.

  • Our school system is fortunate to be located in a culturally active, diverse community. Partnerships between the visual and performing arts department and community arts organizations allow visiting artists the opportunity to share their expertise and experience in the classroom.

  • Students participate in field trips, on-site endeavors, and workshops provided by local artists and arts organizations.

  • Fully integrated projects such as The World of Oz, Celtic Celebrations and Mountain demonstrate successful partnerships between CMS and the many arts organizations in the community.

  • Community and school leaders share a vision of what the arts can do for students. The vision is grounded in the shared conviction that the arts play an important role in helping children to think critically, to find creative approaches in solving problems, and to stimulate learning across the curriculum.

  • Arts education builds the skills businesses need in their employees. Studying the arts improves communications skills, helps students learn the cooperation essential for today's workplace, teaches sensitivity to cultural differences, and develops a more positive self-concept.

  • Engagement in the arts have significance because these experiences help create brain connections that will have long term impact in the student's adult life.

  • In CMS, arts education is valued both as a means and an end. Students who pursue careers in the visual and performing arts fields will find the support needed to develop critical skills and discipline. Others will use arts education to develop focus and discipline which will then be translated to related academic areas.

  • Whatever the student's dream may be, the CMS's strive to provide the opportunity for all students to excel.

  • "Just as there can be no art without learning, no education is complete without the arts."

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.