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GRETNA, LA. OCTOBER 22 - Young Audiences Charter School (YACS), the only arts- integrated charter school in Jefferson Parish, broke ground today on its new state-of-the-art facility at 1000 Burmaster St. in Gretna, which will house middle and high school students. The new $25 million campus will be conveniently located behind the current school located on Virgil St.
Young Audiences of Louisiana CEO Rickie Nutik and Young Audiences Charter School (YACS) Leader Brandon House joined State Treasurer John Schroder, Gretna Mayor Belinda Constance, Jefferson Parish Public School System Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley, JPPSS Board Member Mark Morgan, YACS Board Chair Edna Moore and YACS Board Members, students and parents in celebrating the new campus. They turned shovels as the award-winning YACS Marching Band performed and students cheered them on.
“We are thrilled to expand our arts-integrated curriculum to more students in Jefferson Parish,” said Young Audiences of Louisiana Executive Director Rickie Nutik. “We are proud to be able to offer a high-quality, open-enrollment education for students in Grades K-12.”
The new facility was designed by Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects and is being built by Landis Construction. The school will be situated over an 11-acre area with 177,000 square feet of space, including a black box theater, state of the art classrooms and science labs, green spaces, sports facilities, and art studio space. The building is expected to be completed by August 2020.
"We're excited for this new construction to benefit students and thankful to improve the overall portfolio of Jefferson Parish Schools," said Jefferson Parish Public School System Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley.
This year, Young Audiences Charter High School welcomed its inaugural class of 9th graders to its temporary location at the Salem Lutheran Campus, 418 4th St. in Gretna.
Young Audiences Charter School also serves lower grades at its Kate Middleton Campus, 1407 Virgil St. in Gretna (Grades 2-7) and its Little YACS Campus (Kindergarten and 1st grade) at 3600 6th St. in Harvey.
At YACS, the arts-integrated curriculum reflects recent research from the arts education field that provides significant evidence of the value of the arts in the learning process. Arts Integration combines the arts with the learning of core academic subjects. It supports educational achievement and improved student behavior by giving children both a "springboard" and a "safety net" for learning. The arts allow students to be more engaged in education-focusing on each child's abilities and interests to provide support in academic achievement. The arts also provide increased opportunities for parental involvement in school, a key component to education.
Opened in 2013 as a Type 1 Charter authorized by the Jefferson Parish Public School System, Young Audiences Charter School is currently open to any Jefferson Parish student entering Kindergarten through 10th grade. YACS will add a grade each year to eventually become a full PK-12 school.
Opened in 2013, Young Audiences Charter School is an open enrollment, arts- integrated charter school in Jefferson Parish for grades K-10. Enrollment is open to any Jefferson Parish student. Recent research shows that students at schools with an arts- integrated curriculum scored higher on standardized tests and academic measures than those at other types of schools, including academic magnet schools. (PAIR, 2013) Additionally, students involved in the arts have better attendance, fewer behavior referrals, increased class participation, and are more likely to report a love of learning.