Arts Access emphasizes the integration of the arts (music, dance, drama, and visual arts) into all aspects of a school's curriculum. Increased test scores, as well as the development of self-esteem, are nationally proven benefits of such a program. There are forms of art that are adaptable to all core curriculum in math, science, language arts, or social studies, or physical education. The goal of Arts Access is not to develop performing artists but rather to enrich and enhance the academic learning of all students in all subject areas.
Casey Elementary has been an Arts Access school since the early 1990s. In 1999, Casey became the first school in Jackson Public Schools to become a Whole School. The Whole Schools Initiative is a school improvement effort promoted by the Mississippi Arts Commission to incorporate the arts fully into all aspects of a school's curriculum. Casey is now designated as a Model Whole School for the state.
More information on Whole Schools can be found at Whole Schools Initiative.