It may be the most unique public school in Miami-Dade County: no sports, but tons of art. In fact, Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts is one of the few public arts conservatories that covers grades 6 through 12 anywhere in the country.
“The unique thing about Mays Conservatory of the Arts is that your child will learn the balance between academic excellence, as well as the beauty of the arts," said Principal Martin Reid.
The school in Southwest Miami-Dade, near Cutler Ridge, offers dance, drama, visual arts, television production, chorus, and a lot of music including symphony, jazz, and marching bands.
“One of my personal philosophies is, music makes the world go round, you really can’t have a world without music," said band director Arthur Scavella.
Everyone at Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts agrees. Principal Reid said combining middle and high school in a full-immersion arts environment where teachers can work with kids for seven years is a huge advantage for the student.
The band director said there's no question that the school draws highly motivated students because they're doing what they love to do.
“I believe that, especially music; it’s a driving force for the kids to do well, not just in music, but it motivates them to do well in their other academic classes,” Scavella said.
The visual arts classes, in painting, drawing, and sculpture, showcase work being done by young artists, work which looks gallery-ready. This place is loaded with talent, and don’t let anyone tell you art isn’t vital for society.
“The products that you buy at the store, everything that we see or touch has been designed by an artist, so for people to say it’s not important, it’s actually the opposite," said art teacher Gerald Obregon, reminding us that STEM classes aren't the only important subjects.
If you think your child would flourish at Mays Conservatory, sign up, but do it before January 15th. That's the deadline to register for magnet programs in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The deadline for Broward's magnet programs is February 11th.