VALDOSTA — Scintilla Charter Academy begins its fourth year of operation Wednesday with a new arts-focused curriculum.

The standards will intertwine with the school’s regular English, math, social studies and science content, according to school officials.

“We’re actually taking a math standard, for example, and pairing it with a music standard and coming up with learning targets for our children so that they are actually learning arts standards at the same time they’re learning math,” said Amanda Miller, director of academic enhancement.

The new curriculum began last December, Miller said, when Scintilla partnered with ArtsNow, a learning organization that works with schools to incorporate arts in education.

For six months, Scintilla staff has been training with the new curriculum to put theater, visual arts, music and dance in its existing instruction.

“It taps into 21st century skills: creativity, collaboration and all of the things we feel are extremely important for our children to learn and be successful with at this age,” Miller said. “It also appeals to a wide range of learners and can tap into different interest levels.”

Fourth-grader Aeryal Hall said she appreciates the unique approach to education she receives at Scintilla.

“I love how it’s so different than public schools,” Hall said. “It’s nice to have a fresh breath of air out here.”

Hall is mostly anticipating how her English classes — her favorite subject — will change due to the new curriculum.

The charter school is located on Park Avenue, not even two miles away from the new Valdosta High School.

Despite the traffic situation that occurred on the high school campus, Scintilla wasn’t affected as much as they had anticipated.

“Year four has started with a bang,” said Mandy Avera, dean of students. “All traffic went as smooth as possible with the opening of the new high school. We were up and running and had all our kids in the building by 8:12. Seven minutes behind is not too bad for the first day.”

Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.

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