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Fredonia Central School District continues to look for ways for students to succeed and enjoy school, and one such program that will be unveiled next year is the Individual Arts Assessment Pathway.

The program will be unveiled across New York State for the upcoming school year and will provide high school students with a different path to graduation.

“New York State over the past two years has tried to create for students to have different pathways to graduation,” said Superintendent Brad Zilliox. “One of the things they offer is the individual arts assessment pathway, and we’re going to explore that this coming school year.”

Students wishing to take this pathway must attend three courses over three years to complete the pathway program, and they can choose any medium they wish, with pathways offered in visual arts and music at Fredonia.

Fredonia art teacher Brandy Noody, who also teaches in the art department, said the program will provide students with many opportunities for the future.

“We believe the pathway provides students with an opportunity that will prepare them for future professional and educational experiences and opportunities in the arts,” Noody said. “But it will also make it a more marketable candidate.”

Courses will be offered based on student interest, with no minimum number required.

Noody said if even one student benefits from the program, it will be considered a success, although there is no exact limit on the number of students who will be allowed to participate.

“If a student participated, I would be happy” Noody said. “But I think starting small so we can feel it and see what issues we might have. I expect that we will have years when we will have a larger population and years when we will have a smaller population. I think it will come and go like all of our courses do.

Students wishing to enter the pathway will still need to take and pass their four major regents of math, science, social studies, and English, but their fifth regents credit will be fulfilled through this pathway. The exam itself will be more hands-on, not a traditional pen and paper exam.

While for the pilot year the program will start with sophomores from Fredonia, Noody said over time they plan to expand the program to include first year and may even start as early as eighth year.

All students will experience the program in the fall, and it will be a student-chosen path, although the students who will participate in the pilot program are selected by the school. The program also includes courses already offered at Fredonia which are now just enhanced by the program.

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