Media Release

July 9, 2020


For Immediate Release

HALIFAX, MAY 14, 2018–The Nova Scotia Art Educators Society is expressing its concern today about the loss of school-based art programs for elementary classes grades 4-6.

“We wonder if kids in Nova Scotia can afford the loss of direct access to learning about creativity,” said Society President Robin Jensen.

Halifax Regional Center for Education plans to provide art education to all students with approximately 11 specialists. That’s a ratio of about ONE specialist per 3000 elementary students.

“When covering 10 different schools, an art specialist does not have the time to focus on the development of an individual student,” said Karen Schlick, a retired teacher and former visual art specialist for the Dartmouth Family of Schools

“Supporting creative learning requires extended one-on-one time with a trained instructor.”

  • Visual art instruction requires hands on time in classrooms provided by trained teachers. No consultation with art educators was behind this decision.
  • Claims that grades 4-6 art should be “integrated into classroom” not supported by the curriculum.
  • Classroom teachers are already at maximum effort and this downloads more responsibility. Only teachers who make time and are able to coordinate with one of these specialists will benefit from this new plan. The world is moving towards a cultural economy and Nova Scotia cannot afford to fall further behind.
  • Art teachers are engagement specialists. They know their students. Early art education builds fundamental skills that help foster confident, creative thinkers through hands-on activities. Delivered effectively, art gives children opportunities to problem solve, express ideas, and to trust in their own abilities.

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The Nova Scotia Art Educators Society is a non-profit organization created by teachers to be an advocate for visual arts education in Nova Scotia. We aim to improve communication between art education communities and strengthen ties between diverse arts organizations.

More information about the NSAES at and on social media.