DISCUSSING THE ARTS: Kansas City artist Sean Starowitz talks to students during an art class at Madison Consolidated High School recently. Madison Schools will be expanding its curriculum, offering more advanced placement and fine arts classes. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
DISCUSSING THE ARTS: Kansas City artist Sean Starowitz talks to students during an art class at Madison Consolidated High School recently. Madison Schools will be expanding its curriculum, offering more advanced placement and fine arts classes. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Madison Consolidated Schools officials are planning some big changes to the curriculum for 2014-2015.

Director of Learning, Dr. Katie Jenner, said the school corporation will add more Advanced Placement (AP) courses, more Project Lead the Way classes and more Fine Arts Academy courses.

"We're constantly keeping in mind college and career readiness, making sure students are as complete as possible, whether they're going straight into the workforce or into college," Jenner said.

Jenner also said the school corporation planned to expand Project Lead the Way classes and the Fine Arts Academy into the junior high school. It also plans to add pre-AP courses for junior high school students ready for more advanced classes.

"We're cranking it up another notch," she said.

There also are plans to bring advanced classes into the elementary schools.

Jenner said moving those types of classes down through the education levels keeps students engaged and offers them a chance to know what they might have an interest in before arriving at high school.

Aaron Kelsey, the Fine Arts Academy director, said he hopes that's the case.

The academy is adding AP art history, AP studio art, 2D art portfolio and a dance class.

Piano lessons and a band ensemble class for band members also will be offered.

Kelsey said the classes also teach students how to work in the arts field.

"Sometimes people ask if you study art, what are you going to do as a career. There is actually career research to help point them in the right direction," he said.

"We want to make sure when they get to high school they have all the tools needed," Jenner said.

"By allowing students the opportunity to take courses at the junior high school level, it opens up their high school schedule to add dual credit courses and AP courses, that can again open more doors for post graduation," she said.