A strong arts program is music to the ears of students enrolled in Onslow County Schools.
The district, which has 26,000 students and is growing by about 300 students per year, features 37 educational facilities that include 20 elementary schools, eight middle schools, seven high schools, one early childhood development center and one alternative learning program. District officials are proud that arts-based programs are available to students from the elementary grades through high school.
Band, chorus and orchestra opportunities are open to young people, and the system’s overall arts education program also includes visual arts and drama. Full-time band‚ choral and visual art teachers are on staff in all middle and high schools, and nearly 5‚000 middle school students take band or chorus.
Onslow County Schools also have been on the forefront of a national trend to include orchestra in the instructional repertoire. Staffed by six full-time strings teachers‚ the school system is one of only about two dozen in North Carolina to offer orchestra.
The commitment to arts education can be seen in the bricks and mortar‚ too. Each of the 10 new schools built since 1994 has either an auditorium‚ a multipurpose room or dedicated rooms for music and art education.
In addition, countywide support‚ including the efforts of the Jacksonville Arts Council‚ helps students compete in local‚ regional and state contests to showcase their work and talent.