In 2016, the Cypress School District built new state-of-the-art classroom facilities on all of our school campuses to support STEM and arts instruction for students in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. The STEM facilities are furnished to support hands-on, project-based learning experiences, while the arts classrooms are acoustically designed for music and performing arts instruction.
These new facilities will support the district’s ongoing efforts to…
What is STEM, you might ask? STEM is an acronym that represents the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. When it comes to being prepared for the jobs of the future, we know our students will have a competitive advantage if they possess a strong background in STEM-related areas of study. While there is no single, universally accepted definition of what constitutes a STEM-specific job, with the advancement of new technologies we know more and more professions encompass elements of STEM, including law enforcement, education, marketing, and even the creative arts. Studying STEM also promotes the development of important 21st-century skills, including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication. Our students’ ability to use these essential skills to solve the problems of tomorrow will not only support their future success in the workplace, but will benefit our society as a whole.
Some have argued that music is one of humanity’s greatest creations. It has the capacity to break down barriers and unite people from different backgrounds and cultures. It can draw people together and uplift them emotionally. On an academic level, researchers have long studied the benefits of music education, recognizing a strong relationship between music instruction and academic achievement. Studying music is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Equally important, music can improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. For all these reasons and many more, music is an essential component of a well-rounded, high-quality educational program, and we are proud to provide music for all students in the Cypress School District.
In August 2016, the district welcomed three new music teachers, who provide our students with weekly music instruction in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. At the primary level, students study the basic elements of music and explore and create music through voice and a variety of rhythm instruments. As students work their way through the program, they will learn to read and play music, using the recorder in fourth grade. Eventually, students will self-select a musical pathway to pursue, choosing to study either vocal or instrumental music during fifth and sixth grade. While we are just in the beginning stage of launching our new program, student excitement and enthusiasm indicates it is already a big success!