Coupeville Elementary pulls plug on art classes

In an effort to further reduce expenditures, the district is eliminating Elementary art classes.

In an effort to further reduce expenditures for the 2024-25 budget and restore the fund balance, the Coupeville School District is eliminating art classes at the elementary school.

According to Superintendent Steve King, whose last school board meeting was Thursday evening, these classes mainly include developmental fine arts, with “music opportunities” added on occasion. These classes were attended by all of the approximately 450 students in the school as part of the weekly class schedule.

With this decision, the district would be saving $100,000, which is the salary and benefits of one teacher, King wrote the News-Times.

While the news was received with concern and disappointment by some, King said in a message to the community that it was a difficult but necessary decision to make.

“This is not something that any of us want to do,” he wrote.

The district is on a financial watchlist and is poised to make budget reductions amounting to $1.66 million.

The decision follows a board resolution passed in April which approved the elimination of one elementary specialist program, with the possibility of eliminating either the Art/Music or the STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math — program.

Specialist classes are non homeroom classes, which at Coupeville Elementary include PE, art and STEAM.

According to King, students can still have access to art opportunities as they are incorporated in the STEAM classes, which would also be harder to restore.