Boston Public Schools students dance at 2017 annual Martin Luther King day celebration at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester. (Photo by Mark Pijankowski)
Michael Jonas, CommonWealth
May 10, 2021
A NEW STUDY says an effort to increase arts programming in the Boston Public Schools has helped boost student attendance and promote student and parent engagement with schools, outcomes that arts supporters say provide added rationale for maintaining or enhancing the role of arts in the schools.
For students receiving arts programming, the study found that school attendance increased by roughly one-third of a day over the course of the school year compared with students not in art courses. The gains were greater for students with individualized education plans (IEPs) and those who had previously been chronically absent, defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days. For students with IEPs, arts programming was linked with increased attendance of 0.7 days, while for those with a history of chronic absenteeism the gain was about 1.1 days per year.
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