Q: What is the learning environment like at Booker High School?
A: Booker is proud to offer the most diverse community of learners in the district, with students coming to Booker High from all different backgrounds, which offers a cultural melting pot and a tolerant learning environment. Additionally, as the smallest comprehensive high school in Sarasota, Booker offers the lowest student-to-teacher ratio, fostering personalized learning and differentiated instruction.
The Booker campus is a $58 million state-of-the-art facility that features beautiful dance, art, and digital design studios; large rehearsal spaces for music and theatre students; and a gorgeous, 436-person capacity performance space replete with modern technology expected in a professional theatre.
Q: What makes the VPA different from other arts offerings at other schools?
A: The VPA is an intensive curriculum designed for pre-professional studies for students hoping to major in the arts in college. Students have three classes every day in their chosen discipline and study with teachers who are also practicing professionals. The arts curricula are rigorous, hands-on, and designed to develop well-rounded students of the arts. Also, students have plenty of performance and exhibition opportunities in our state-of-the-art theatre facility and around town.
Q: What academic programs does Booker High School offer?
A: Booker is thrilled to offer the Cambridge University AICE Program, a diploma-seeking, college-preparatory program. Additionally, Booker currently offers College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as Dual Enrollment courses through an articulation agreement with the State College of Florida. Our VPA Music and Visual Art department’s AP students score well above the global norm.
Q: Why are arts classes important for my student? What if my student does not pursue a career in the arts?
A: Research has shown that arts education makes for better learners, in and out of an “art classroom.” These learners have creative problem solving skills, mental flexibility and excellent interpretation skills, all important for the workforce of the future in the arts and beyond. Studies also have shown a link between students of the arts and cognitive ability, likely because arts classes involve several of the multiple intelligences (aural, spatial, linguistic, kinetic, etc.), oftentimes at once. Finally, students tend to feel confident and happy in VPA classes, important qualities that bode well for whatever endeavor they choose, whether art-related or not.
Q: How are VPA teachers different from any other art teacher?
A: Every VPA teacher is a practitioner of the craft he or she teaches. Thus, they are lifelong learners of their disciplines, constantly honing their own skills and keeping up with trends in the arts, which they impart to their students. Also, they are all affiliated with various professional arts organizations, from the Ringling College of Art and Design to the Sarasota Orchestra to Moving Ethos, and everything in between, which may offer students connections to arts organizations in the area a