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Fostering Creativity Through the Arts –
Encouraging Innovators of the Future

Our Vision

Our vision is to nurture the whole child in a safe and inclusive environment, spark their creativity through the arts, inspire confidence and a love of learning so they will positively impact the community.

Our Mission

As an arts-integrated community of learners, we will learn through the arts to enhance academic, social-emotional, and artistic growth in all students, thereby educating the whole child. Through critical thinking, inquiry, creativity, and appreciation of the arts, students are able to be self-reflective, to connect to each other, and with communities and cultures of the world.

Defining Elements of Our Program

  • Our students are expected to complete high-quality work, but our focus is as much on the learning process as the product.
  • We believe that students need to feel safe and empowered in order to take risks necessary for learning, and for growth to occur.
  • Our teachers integrate the arts as a serious path to broader learning.
  • We provide opportunities for students to develop their artistic intelligence both by infusing the arts throughout the curriculum. As our students engage in creative work in the arts, it develops their ability to think critically, generate multiple solutions to problems, and pursue long-term goals.
  • We foster the growth of the individual, as well as community building.
  • Our students develop their communication and leadership skills as they work together to raise questions, solve problems, and build a cohesive, productive learning community.
  • We support and encourage a strong connection between learning at home and at school for students to develop and achieve academic and personal goals.

Why Choose Otay Ranch Academy for the Arts?

There is a misconception that focusing on the arts only prepares students for success in the arts. Our goal is to prepare for success in the arts, but understand that learning the arts teaches important skills that are necessary for all students.

The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts states, “Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area . . . to gain greater understanding in both.” 

Our students create and construct meaning, and are prepared to analyze, make connections, find patterns, work in groups, and find solutions where it seems that none are possible.  Learning through the arts also leads to students who question, think creatively, and develop their critical thinking skills and experiences. Students make connections between real life, the curriculum, and the arts.

Research clearly demonstrates the critical role the arts play in education:

  • Improve student problem-solving and communications skills;
  • Address the needs of all students including English Language Learners, gifted and talented students, and exceptional and different learners;
  • Improve student behavior, attendance, and achievement; 
  • Provide an alternative method to assess student success; 
  • Increase community involvement.

Restorative Practices and Community Circles

Restorative Practices help to build community and can restore the integrity of the community when it is challenged by harmful behaviors. 

Restorative Practice is a philosophy that allows students and staff to take greater responsibility for their decisions while building empathy for others. Being restorative is about building relationships and connections, which will positively impact academic performance and social-emotional learning. All students and staff are given clear expectations for behavior, and high support is given to help them reach these expectations. If a student or staff member makes a harmful choice, the staff and leaders can use a variety of restorative practices to help them learn to make better choices. 

Restorative and community circles and conversations are an integral part of our classrooms, allowing the children to learn to connect with others, build empathy, respond to harmful actions, and to understand their role within a larger community.  

Restorative practices do not mean that there is no accountability. We strive to be restorative in all of our practices, by restoring relationships and building empathy. One option within restorative practices is to hold a restorative meeting where all parties must agree to participate. If there is no agreement to participate, a meeting cannot be held, and alternative restorative or discipline methods will take place.

Parent’s Code of Conduct

Otay Ranch Student Center seeks to encourage positive character-building traits in our students and families through the demonstration of respect for others, responsibility, fairness, caring, good sportsmanship, and good citizenship. We ask that parents and their guests when on campus or attending ORAA-sponsored events help us by reflecting on these character traits at all times.

We’ve put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may answer other questions you have.

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