MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT
N.B. Cook Elementary School of the Arts is committed to providing a positive learning environment which integrates the creative and technological abilities of children into the academic curriculum. Our mission is to provide children with learning experiences that will enable them to become productive members of society, of worth to themselves and others, by encouraging academic, technological, and social growth while developing aesthetic values in the creative and performing arts.
OUR MAGNET PROGRAM
Our personnel believe a creative and performing arts program offers the emotional, social, and academic enhancements that will provide for the development of well-rounded, self-confident, motivated, and socially conscious individuals. We also feel that the arts are a natural way for children to experience success while learning. We know that children love singing, moving, drawing, and pretending. We want to capitalize on these avenues as a way of enhancing the academics.
In the late 1980's, N. B. Cook experienced a drop in enrollment and faced the same challenges as other inner-city schools throughout the nation. During the spring of 1990, the faculty and staff began to study the possibility of N. B. Cook becoming a magnet school. After many visits to other magnet schools and much research, the faculty and staff chose to offer a fine arts magnet program. School committees for marketing, curriculum, community involvement, materials, building and facility needs, and personnel studied, designed, and then implemented the plans for the fine arts program.
On August 19, 1991, over 150 new students joined with former N. B. Cook students to attend the new arts magnet school. The racial goals that had been planned were achieved. The integration process was smooth. New friendships formed quickly. The halls were alive with the sounds of music, dancing, and the voices of happy children!
Today N. B. Cook's enrollment has grown from about 200 students to about 600. We are proud of the great strides we have made in the integration of arts, technology, and the academic curriculums, and continue to fine tune those skills. We have thousands of volunteer hours from parents and the community. The faculty and staff continue to be strongly committed to excellence and maintaining a positive learning environment with emphasis on meeting the individual educational needs of each child.
Students must apply for admission to N. B. Cook Elementary School of the Arts. Placement will be based on random selection. The application period runs from mid-February to mid-March. Applications are available online through the Office of School Choice or through a link on our homepage. The random selection is done by the school district and applicants are usually notified about the selection by the end of March. Registration is in early April. If you have any questions about the application process, please call the Escambia County Public Schools Office of School Choice at 850-469-5448.
FAQ ABOUT OUR SCHOOL
1. Is there a PTA?
Yes, Cook has an active PTA membership. Parents are encouraged to be involved members of this organization. The goal of the N.B. Cook PTA is to promote the welfare of all children. The PTA is a very active and award winning organization and has accomplished this goal through parental participation, fund raising, and community involvement. Some of our projects have included a Book Fair to raise funds to purchase library books, a school arts festival for the students, school beautification work days, fund-raising to purchase needed items for the school, teacher appreciation luncheons, student awards, the Reflections Art program, a Manna Food Bank drive, hosting various speakers for parent education, and many other activities.
2. What about a School Advisory Council?
N.B. Cook School Advisory Council was established in August, 1992, and is made up of parents, teachers, school staff, and community representatives. The committee meets frequently here at the school to keep abreast of school progress.
3. Is there a volunteer program?
Volunteers have been an important part of our school for many years. N.B. Cook has received Florida's prestigious 5 Star Award for parent and community involvement since the awards inception. Our volunteers serve in many areas such as chaperoning for field trips, tutoring, reading, and supporting special projects. Parents are welcome and encouraged to become active volunteers at Cook. We presently have a number of volunteers from the community and Partners in Education, Rocking Readers, Youth Motivators, and a host of parents and friends.
4. Does Cook have any Partners In Education?
Our first partnership started in December of 1986 when the accounting firm of Saltmarsh, Cleaveland, and Gund adopted our school. Since then we have added other partners including the The First United Methodist Church, WUWF Radio Station, CiCi's Pizza, Apple Market, Rosewood Manor, West Pensacola Optimist Club, Plant & Flower Boutique, Florida Restaurant Association/Jackson's Restaurant, LE Shontz Surveyor and Mapper, Pensacola Association of Realtors, and McIlwain Memorial Presbyterian Chruch.
5. Are there after school child-care programs available?
Yes, N.B. Cook has had an on-site program since the Fall of 1991. The after school program is contracted by the district. It runs every school day from 2:10 till 5:50 in the school cafeteria. There are also a number of child-care centers that pickup here at the school. Information may be obtained from the school office.
FAQ ABOUT THE ARTS
1. Why did you choose a fine arts Magnet Program?
The Cook personnel believe a creative and performing arts program will offer the emotional, social, and academic enhancements that will provide for the development of well-rounded, self-confident, motivated, and socially conscious individuals.
We feel that the arts are a natural way for children to experience success while learning. Children have a natural love and talent for singing, moving, drawing, and pretending. We want to capitalize on these avenues as a way of enhancing the academics.
2. What grades participate in the arts programs?
All of the students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in the arts programs. All students can reap the benefits from a creative and performing arts program; namely improvements in student self-esteem, attendance, school interest, and academics.
3. Do your teachers have special training in the arts?
The dance, drama, music, and visual arts teachers all have strong training and performance experiences in their art area. Our classroom teachers are certified in elementary education and many have some personal interest in the arts areas.
4. Will my child become an accomplished performer in dance, drama, music, or visual arts?
Our school goal is not to make professional performers but to allow every child to develop to his or her potential creatively, to increase student self-esteem and self-confidence, to provide a high level of motivation for students to enjoy and respect school and learning, and to instill an appreciation for the arts and what they can offer in life.
5. Will there be school performances and productions?
Yes, each individual grade level offers one morning performance each year and there will be three major, cross-grade level, evening productions coordinating our arts programs. In addition to school performances, we have many opportunities to "showcase" our young artists! Past occasions include the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival, Junior League Marketbasket, Chapter I Annual convention, PTA Founders Day, Foster Grandparents Day, School District functions, and many others.
6. Will the students receive grades of A, B, C, D, or F in the arts areas?
Students in second through fifth grade will receive a satisfactory or an unsatisfactory on their report cards. Each art curriculum is based on the Florida State Standards as well as the National Standards and periodically students will receive a formal assessment based on these standards.
7. My child has never had any training in dance, drama, music, or visual arts, can he still attend?
Yes, there is no previous training or talent criteria. Our students will be encouraged to develop their natural creative abilities by participating in the arts programs. There are no auditions or talent expectations.
8. If my child doesn't seem to develop a "real talent" for dance, drama, music, or visual arts, will he be withdrawn from the program?
Our program is designed for each child to achieve success at his personal ability level. The goal of the program is not to create accomplished performing artists, but rather to provide exceptional opportunities for creative, personal growth for each child. No one will be withdrawn because of talent ability.
9. How much will it cost for my child to participate in the arts programs?
The arts programs are being offered in a public school curriculum and there is no cost to the student.
10. If my child attends Cook, does that mean I won't have to send them for private lessons?
Our art programs do not take the place of private, individualized instruction.
11. What is the goal of your dance program?
The goal of our dance program is to offer exposure to a variety of dance styles, including creative movement, ballet, tap, and modern dance, to develop physical coordination and skill, and to encourage self-expression through movement. A variety of dance teaching techniques will be used to accomplish these goals: jazz stretches, modern relaxation exercises, rhythm footwork, and student, as well as teacher, choreography. We integrate the teaching of academic and dance skills often.
12. What will my child learn in drama?
Creative Drama encourages children to listen attentively, follow specific directions and work as part of a team or as an individual. Ideas and self-expression are encouraged through participation in plays. Role-playing helps memorization, enunciation and correct usage of grammar. Improvisation, theatre history, social graces, cultural awareness, the development of small and large motor skills are but a few areas covered in drama. All of these areas help build self-esteem and self-confidence in the student. Academics are incorporated in the drama lessons continuously.
13. What makes your music program special?
Our music room houses a Yamaha keyboard system. The curriculum, specially designed by Yamaha, encourages development of every child's natural musical ability. It also includes playing by ear, note reading, improvising, composing, and creating. No student has to wait his or her turn to play an instrument--each child has their own keyboard space at every class! Our musical goal is to show children music is fun and something in which they can succeed, to help them develop a love for music so their lives will be enriched, and to incorporate academics into the music curriculum so children can learn in a way that is natural, instinctive, and fun! The music curriculum will also emphasize playing rhythm instruments and singing as well as basic keyboard skills.
14. What is involved in the visual arts program?
This program seeks to involve the students in perceiving the world they live in, reacting to things they see and feel, and interpreting their emotions, feelings, and insights through the use of artistic mediums. Basic technical skills are taught in various mediums so that works of art can be produced. Art history and appreciation are included in the visual arts program.