|Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School is the only public arts focus elementary school in Portland Public Schools (PPS). Its innovative arts- integrated curriculum nurtures and challenges the whole child- nourishing the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and artistic development of each student. Buckman students achieve academic excellence as they develop a lifelong love of learning and creative expression. This innovative approach to teaching and learning needs community support to continue.
Through music, art, drama, and creative movement, our award- winning teachers make classroom learning come alive. The school's highly trained full-time arts specialists provide concentrated instruction in drama and music, fine art, and dance. These arts specialists also collaborate with the classroom teachers to integrate arts into the core curriculum, resulting in flexible and creative thinkers who are ready to succeed in school and beyond. Buckman received a rating of Outstanding from the State of Oregon in 2009 and 2010.
Oregon School Funding Crisis
For the last several years, PPS has faced a severe budget crisis. This year, our superintendent considered cutting physical education, English language learning classes, or music from the schools to meet the budget shortfall-but ultimately relied on final-hour emergency federal funds and spent $25 million more than the district will take in. Despite these measures, almost all Portland public schools lost a teacher or two. Buckman, for example, lost a 1/2- time reading specialist, a 1/3 -time math specialist and a paid SMART reading coordinator. Next year, our principal anticipates that the budget situation will be even bleaker.
Notably, Buckman receives no additional financial support for arts instruction from PPS. Buckman has sustained its arts focus through fundraising efforts and contributions from families and community members. Without this extra funding, our unique, successful arts program would not survive.