I am a part-time visual arts teacher at Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School (Co–op), an inter–district magnet high school. I teach Photoshop and Graphic Design classes. These classes mix visual arts and technology as well as Art History, Graphic Design/Advertising and simple animation. Approximately 65% of the students are from the city of New Haven and 35% come from surrounding towns. The students are accepted to the school via a lottery system, at Co–op and choose an area of the Arts to study. The students may choose from music; choral or instrumental, visual art, theater, creative writing, or dance.
Students come from the surrounding districts as well as New Haven to attend Co–op rather than their local public high schools. Co–op has approximately 624 students enrolled in grades 9-12. The student population is 65 % of female and 35% male, 49% Black students, 24% Hispanic, 26% White and 1% Asian American students. The main languages spoken are English and Spanish with 1% English language learners (ELLs). The school has 7% students with special education needs. The proportion of students eligible for free or reduced price lunches is 66%, which is higher than the state average.
Co–op is located one block from two of Yale University’s museums, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art. Teachers often take their students on mini field trips to the galleries. Co-op also has a working relationship with Yale University and the Shubert Theater.