This is story about a Title 1 urban school with a high number of minority students and a dance teacher who believes dance is for everyone. This story is important because across the nation our poorest students are frequently the most deprived of arts education. This is a story about a district and a high school who has committed to supporting dance education in sustainable and valuable ways. Fontana Unified School District supports the Dance Collaborative Pipeline which provides dance education for students in A. B. Miller feeder schools grades PK-8.
Key components to the successful implementation of arts education at A. B. Miller are:
- Highly trained credentialed arts educators who have strong, effected pedagogical practices
- Committed support from site and district administration to support and maintain arts course offerings
- An understanding of arts as an academic subject and support for these courses as part of the academic day.
- Connection of arts education courses to Career Technical Education and development of CTE pathways in arts education programs.
- Dedication to providing professional development for art education teachers.
- Inclusion of Dance in the LCAP budget.
Click here to see the KPCC story on the Dance Collaborative in Fontana Unified School District.
The dance program at A. B. Miller started in 1995. The Dance Collaborative Pipeline program began in 2012.
A. B. Miller’s High School mission is: To provide a challenging standards-based curriculum, in an environment conducive to learning, that prepares students from all backgrounds to become productive and responsible members of society.
A.B. Miller High School is one of five comprehensive high schools in the Fontana Unified School District. At this time we have a total enrollment of approximately 2576 students in grades nine through twelve. The student population is a rich mixture of 84.9% Hispanic, 8.5% African American, 4.1% White, 1% Asian, .6% Filipino, .5% American Indian, and .4% Other ethnic backgrounds. To learn more data information about A. B. Miller High School, click here.
Nicole Robinson, Teacher and Dance Director at A. B. Miller High School has been the central character in the program’s development. Throughout her 22 years as a dance teacher at A.B. Miller High School, Nicole Robinson has inspired her students to develop a passion for dance while providing them with guidance, encouragement and individual confidence to challenge themselves at each level of their education.
While at A.B. Miller, Robinson introduced the Conservatory of Dance for students who have little training in the performing arts. Its popularity prompted Robinson to develop a Districtwide dance and arts education curriculum, called the Dance Collaborative, that promotes life skills, collaboration, and positive self-expression through the arts.
To learn more, visit the following links:
- Teacher Taking the Lead to Spread Dance in Fontanta Unified – KPCC
- Everyday Heroes Video
- Dance Teacher Wins Prestigious Award
- Dancing with the Common Core, CTA Educator (page 8)
- Inspired Dreamers, California Educator (page 21)
Throughout her 22 years as a dance teacher at A.B. Miller High School, Nicole Robinson has inspired her students to develop a passion for dance while providing them with guidance, encouragement and individual confidence to challenge themselves at each level of their education. The A. B. Miller Dance program educates 200 students per year, has two full time credentialed dance educators and two adjunct instructors and two college interns.
While at A.B. Miller, Robinson introduced the Conservatory of Dance for students who have little training in the performing arts. Students in the Conservatory of Dance have an eight period day and three of those periods are devoted to dance courses. The Conservatory of Dance focuses on identifying dancers with potential for trainable growth and those with a vested interest in developing skills which contribute to growth as a performer and scholar.
Its popularity prompted Robinson to develop a District-wide dance and arts education curriculum, called the Dance Collaborative, which promotes life skills, collaboration, and positive self-expression through the arts. The Dance Collaborative provides dance education courses for students in grades PK-8 at selected A. B. Miller feeder schools. The program is supported by LCAP funding. The Dance Collaborative is a part of a unique program which guides students from elementary to a capstone course in dance at A. B. Miller High School. Standards-based teaching and assessment is incorporated at all levels with all educators working from the same course of study.