What is Creative Arts & Sciences (CAS)?
Newton Public Schools Creative Arts and Sciences, an organization within each school’s PTO, brings high-quality, highly relevant and carefully planned arts and sciences programming to students in Newton’s schools. CAS was founded in 1960 when a group of dedicated parents recognized the need to make quality enrichment programming more accessible to Newton students. In the 55 years since, CAS has provided hundreds of special programs to students in our schools through the combination of contributions from each school’s PTO, a part time director on the NPS staff, occasional grants, and countless hours of parent volunteer time.
- CAS is hands-on learning. Programs engage students by getting them involved in exploring, analyzing and creating. These experiences are powerful, sparking students’ curiosity with unique, participatory and exciting experiences.
- CAS is cross-curricular. Students can explore the concepts of geometry while creating a functional piece of cultural art. A theatrical reenactment allows students to intellectually engage with history, issues of human rights, and the concept of justice. This approach engages and inspires the whole student.
- CAS is culturally diverse. Programs expand students’ knowledge of cultures other than their own, their appreciation of the diversity of human expression, and engage them in cross-cultural activities.
During an average year, schools spend almost $250,000 on CAS programming in Newton’s elementary and middle schools. The parent community funds Creative Arts and Sciences through yearlong PTO fundraising efforts. In addition, Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS Residencies and The Harmony Foundation regularly provide grants to help support specific programs like civil rights icon Ruby Bridges, poetry writing residencies with Andrew Green’s Potato Hill Poetry, muralist David Fichter, and Alash Ensemble, throat singers from the Republic of Tuva.
As a committee of the PTO in each school, CAS parent volunteers meet with teachers and principals to choose from over 200 vetted programs described in the CAS Resource Guide. The citywide director meets with CAS representatives from each school several times a year to provide updates, gather feedback, and support each school’s efforts to ensure consistency and excellence.
Annual Concert Series
In addition to programs chosen by each school, CAS presents an outstanding performing arts program that tours all schools. The Concert Series allows students to experience performances by artists who have played at major national and international concert halls. Click on the link above to learn more about this year’s programs.
Every program, more than 200 available for use by schools, has been carefully reviewed by the citywide director and committee members for its quality and alignment with NPS curriculum. The citywide director is responsible for vetting all programs in the Resource Guide, ensuring that programs meet Newton schools’ standards of excellence and align with curriculum and instructional goals.
Do you want to help?
Do you know of a presentation that is relevant, curriculum-aligned, sophisticated and inspirational? The CAS parent volunteers in your school welcome recommendations for new programs.Do you want to be part of the CAS Committee in your school? Volunteering can mean contributing a small amount of time or playing a significant role in bringing programming to your child’s school. Each school designs their CAS committee differently so volunteer positions vary from school to school. What is consistent throughout Newton is the quality of programming and the opportunity to be part of a collaborative effort that has enriched student experiences in Newton Public Schools for over 50 years. Contact your school’s PTO for more information.