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Mississippi School of the Arts earns Arts Schools Network Exemplary School Designation


For Immediate Release: May 24, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. – The Arts Schools Network (ASN) Board of Directors has designated Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) as an Exemplary School in recognition of its commitment to excellence. The five-year designation is awarded for 2022-2027.

ASN, the nation’s largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools, awards Exemplary School designations to members that follow A Guide to Assessing Your Arts School in strategically evaluating their school’s purpose, operations, and educational programs. The Guide is a collaborative effort by ASN and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). ASN will honor the school at the Awards Ceremony during the ASN 2022 Annual Conference, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

MSA was established by legislation in 1999. The MSA is a public, residential high school for 11th- and 12th-grade Mississippi students specializing in intensive arts training in dance, literary art, media art, theatre, visual art, and vocal music. Students at MSA are selected through a highly selective audition process. Students receive high school academic classes required for graduation and arts classes in selected disciplines of study. On average, approximately 125 students from 51 Mississippi counties are represented in the population of the school. MSA is governed by the Mississippi State Board of Education and funded by the Mississippi legislature. Located in downtown Brookhaven on the historic campus of Whitworth College, MSA provides a centerpiece for activity to the downtown community offering a vibrant environment for youth to create, imagine, and realize.

“The Mississippi School of the Arts serves a special population of artistically gifted juniors and seniors from across Mississippi. The school’s success academically and artistically in 18 years is remarkable,” wrote Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Mississippi School of the Arts staff and students have consistently been recognized at state and national levels for exemplary achievements. We see repeatedly some of the highest ACT scores and graduation rates in the state for their students. Internal and external accrediting agencies such as Cognia, have found that the Mississippi School of the Arts is exceeding requirements to create an exceptional environment allowing talented students to grow and thrive.”

Dr. R. Scott Allen, Managing Director for ASN, said, “We offer guidance, inspiration and incentives to arts school leaders who strive for excellence in their schools. When they demonstrate outstanding efforts toward this goal, as they do by following A Guide to Assessing Your Arts School, we recognize and reward their achievements with this designation.”

Dedicated to excellence and leadership in arts education, Arts Schools Network, a non-profit association founded in 1981, provides arts school leaders, innovative partners and members of arts education institutions with quality resources, support and networking opportunities.

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Media Contact:

Jean Cook, APR
Director of Communication

Shanderia Minor
Public Information Officer