RenArts’ overall instructional objective is powerful literacy in all subjects, as set forth by Patrick J. Finn in Literacy With an Attitude: Educating Working-Class Children in Their Own Self-Interest. Rooted in the pioneering research of Paulo Freire, this concept distinguishes between the ‘functional literacy’ of a domesticating education and the type of ‘powerful literacy’ that can expand political and sociological horizons.
All RenArts students participate in accelerated academics, mixed-age instructional groups, integrated curriculum, and disciplined arts training. The shared curriculum and schoolwide arts participation create a cohesive culture that supports success for all students.
All RenArts graduates complete University of California A-G requirements. Coursework includes math, science, history, English and Latin every year for every student.
Arts curriculum includes music or dance focus, plus music theory, sight singing, percussion, movement lab, and art theory every year for every student. In addition to its in-school music and dance curricula, RenArts provides a tuition-free afterschool Conservatory with multiple orchestras, choirs and dance companies. Music students have unrestricted use of school-purchased instruments and daily group lessons. Dance students have daily studio classes in technique, physiology, and choreography.
An experienced arts faculty trained at Yale, Curtis, New England Conservatory, Oberlin, CalArts, USC Thornton, and UCLA guides students from diverse ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds in the development of individual and collaborative skills needed to achieve shared artistic goals. RenArts’ entire faculty works together to help students actively apply artistic self-discipline and collaborative experience to build success in all aspects of their lives.
Although there is no audition process or prior experience required for admission, arts training is integral to the program -- every student commits to working toward specific performance goals. Successful completion of grade-level coursework requires commitment to the Performing Arts portion of the educational program, including after school ensembles.
All scholars study the same subjects, with challenge levels differentiated by depth and complexity aligned to instructional need. There is no formal distinction between elementary grade levels or between 'middle' and 'high' school. All groups focus on accelerated learning goals and developing the skills of autonomous scholarship.