arts infographic

If we were to make a word bubble of what our students say about their arts classes and clubs, these words would be the largest: acceptance, family, laughter, confidence-building, where I can be myself…

The arts are truly powerful. With 24 classes at Kelso High alone this year, we’re proud to offer a robust selection of offerings to enhance the learning and lives of our students.

Here’s some information, by the numbers, about the arts at KHS.  (Here’s a printer-friendly pdf of the May issue.)


  • 200: students enrolled in 2018/19 music classes
  • 5: teachers
  • 10: music classes offered
  • 3: after school bands
  • 64: musical performances this year
  • 29: students went to state competition this April
  • 5: students made all-state honor groups
  • 180: hours marching band practices for 9 performances
  • 30: leadership positions in KHS music offerings


  • 139: enrollment in 2018/19 theater classes
  • 2: theater classes offered
  • 5: theatrical shows this year
  • 25: active members in the Theatre Club
  • $3,500: average cost to put on a musical theater production
  • $2,000: average cost to put on a theater production
  •             (rights, posters, programs, sets, lights, advertising)
  • 9: fundraisers this year to support productions


  • 1200: enrollment in 2018/19 visual arts classes
  • 4: teachers
  • 12:  art classes offered
  • 2,700: ceramics pieces per year fired in the KHS kiln
  • 8: pieces of art from KHS students have hung in the U.S. Capitol
  • 100+ pieces of art framed for the Spring Art Show each year

Arts in Education Matters

  • Sustained learning in music and theater correlates strongly with higher achievement in both math and reading.[1]
  • Not only does music improve skills in math and reading, but it promotes creativity, social development, personality adjustment, and self-worth.[2]
  • Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.[3]
  • Curricular and extracurricular art studies and activities help keep high-risk dropout students stay in school.[4]
  • High school students who earned few or no arts credits were five times more likely not to have graduated than students who earned many arts credits.[5]
  • Students who had intensive arts experiences in high school were three times more likely than students who lacked those experiences to earn a bachelor’s degree. They also were more likely to earn “mostly A’s” in college. [5]
  • Performing arts students show greater flexibility and adaptability in thinking than their peers.[6]
  • Students who participate in the arts develop leadership skills, including decision-making, strategy building, planning, and reflection. [6]
  • Students who have had an arts-rich education volunteer more often and exhibit greater civic engagement than other students. [6]
  • Students with higher involvement in the arts scored better on measures of persistence than their peers with lower arts involvement. [6]

We Are Kelso Spotlights:


[1] Americans for the Arts. “Summary of Key Additional Arts Education Research and Facts.”

[2] Weinberger, Norman M. “The Music in Our Minds.” Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California.

[3] National Endowment for the Arts. “Re-Investing in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.”

[4] National School Boards Association. “Prediction: Identifying potential dropouts.” The Center for Public Education.

[5] National Endowment for the Arts. “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth.”

[6]  Arts Education Partnership (AEP). “Preparing Students for the Next America.”