Costume design and stagecraft classes shut down


Photo rights belong to LVUSD

Due to unfilled job positions at CHS, administration has closed the Stagecraft and Costume Design classes for the rest of this school year.

Students in Stagecraft and Costume Design, two electives in the CHS Performing Arts program, helped with the school’s plays, creating sets and costumes for productions. However, without a teacher who has proper experience in the theatrical field, the classes are unable to run. 

“We have had a job opening since the beginning of the year,” said Assistant Principal Courtney Johnson. “But we need someone with a Career Technical Education (CTE) credential [to teach the classes].” 

Previously, Adrian Noack, a CHS staff member in the Social Studies department, acted as a substitute for the Stagecraft class. Despite his interim leadership, his substitution was temporary, as students cannot receive their grades without a certified teacher. 

“Ultimately, [using a substitute] doesn’t work because technically [we] have to have a credential teacher giving a grade, and if [we] don’t have a credential teacher giving a grade, the credits can’t count,” said Johnson. 

For the final weeks of the fall semester, students in these classes have been working as Teacher Assistants or switched into other classes. These students will still receive art credit for this semester but will have to change their schedules for the spring semester.  

“Next semester, [students] will need to choose another class,” said Johnson. “That can be another art class, or if they’re a junior or a senior and don’t need another art class, it could be a free period.”

Particularly because the Stagecraft and Costume Design classes are electives, scheduling these courses has been a big problem, considering low student demand and open teaching positions. 

“We try to staff and build a schedule based on student demand, so that’s where it starts,” said Johnson. “Once we see student demand, and we see numbers, then we see who the people who can run these classes are.” 

These scheduling disruptions have created mixed opinions among students previously enrolled in the Stagecraft and Costume Design classes. 

“It definitely feels unfair,” said sophomore Liam Doyle. “I was really interested in taking [Stagecraft], and having that class taken from me and other interested students didn’t feel fair.”

While the Stagecraft and Costume Design classes will no longer be available for students this year, they could still make a return for the 2022-23 school year.