Visual & Performing Arts


    Current program: “Music 'N Motion” provides district-funded dance instruction for all 3rd graders. “Ballroom Madness” provides instruction for 5th graders at 10 of the 11 elementary schools, funded by grants and PTA's. John Adams Middle School (JAMS) and Santa Monica High School (Samohi) offer “for credit” dance classes. The Santa Monica Education Foundation funds the Robert Gilliam dance program, providing once-a-week instruction during P.E. at JAMS, Lincoln, Malibu High, Olympic, and SMASH.

    Performances: Ballroom Madness, JAMS, and Samohi present dance showcases each year.


    Current program: All 3rd grade students are taught General Music once a week for 40 minutes. All 4th and 5th graders choose either choir, string instruments, or wind instruments and are taught twice a week during the school day. Classes are 40 minutes each. The ten elementary music teachers are credentialed and are funded by the district. A wide range of music classes is offered at all the middle and high schools.

    The Santa Monica Education Foundation, the Gail Dorin Music Foundation, and the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation fund the Dream Strings, Dream Winds and Dream Voice programs at the four Title I elementary schools and at two of the middle schools to support students whose families cannot afford additional music instruction. 48% of all K-12 students participate in the district's music program!

    Performances: In addition to winter and spring concerts at all schools and the annual district-wide “Stairway of the Stars” concert, Malibu High and Samohi also present choral "Masterworks" concerts, and the Samohi Viking Marching Band participates in competitions and tournaments. Our student musicians have garnered many awards and honors over the years.

    Honors: Many district students are selected each year for honor choirs, orchestras, and bands on the regional and state level. District students have been chosen as finalists in the Los Angeles County Music Center “Spotlight” Awards and have been selected for the ACDA national honor choirs, the ASTA National High School Honor Orchestra, and the GRAMMY High School Jazz Band and Jazz Choir.


    Current program: P.S. ARTS, a non-profit foundation, provides theatre instruction at Edison and Rogers. The Morgan-Wixson Theatre provides opportunities for elementary students to attend theatre performances. Santa Monica Playhouse offers workshops for students and classroom teachers. The Santa Monica Education Foundation funds after-school "non credit" drama programs at JAMS and Lincoln. Malibu Middle, Malibu High, Olympic High, and Samohi offer “for credit” drama classes.


    Current program: P.S. ARTS provides art instruction for all K-5 students at McKinley, Muir, and Rogers. The PTA's at most of the other elementary school fund visual arts instruction at their sites. A wide range of "for credit" art classes is offered at all the middle and high schools, including drawing/painting, photography, ceramics, film/video and digital design.

    Honors: Malibu High and Samohi offer AP art classes, and students from both schools have competed successfully in the Los Angeles County Music Center “Spotlight” Awards.