GA Board of Education approves first ever high school dramatic writing class for film, television and theater

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The Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Film Academy, Technical College System of Georgia, University System of Georgia and Fayette County Public Schools collaborated to create a new English Language Arts course in dramatic writing for Georgia high school students that focuses on digital art content creation. This is the first arts-integrated course that also counts as a fourth English Language Arts unit for high school graduation, and counts as an English unit for USG admission purposes. Based on the recommendation of State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the State Board of Education approved the course on May 3.

In 2017, the film and television industry was responsible for $9.5 billion in economic impact to the state. High school students with aspirations of becoming tomorrow’s Emmy and Oscar winning writers, can now begin their preparation when this program rolls out statewide as early as this August for the upcoming academic 2018/19 school year.

“This brand-new course in dramatic writing, developed in partnership with the film and television industry, is a great example of the direction we’re moving here in Georgia,” Superintendent Woods said. “We’re working in collaboration with higher education, business leaders, and communities to prepare students for future employment and respond directly to industry needs.”

“Georgia is moving like no other state to support the creative industries,” said Jeff Stepakoff, Executive Director for the Georgia Film Academy. “No other state has invested in creating the infrastructure for content producers.”  Stepakoff, himself has “written by” or “story by” credits on thirty-seven television episodes, has written for fifteen different series, and has been a writer and/or writer-producer on eight primetime or first-run cable staffs and is credited on more than two hundred episodes of popular television including The Wonder Years, Major Dad and Dawson’s Creek, where he also served as Co-Executive Producer.

As Georgia paves the path for the creative industries to take hold, GaDOE, TCSG, USG and their partners are revising the state’s educational system to prepare students to be successful in learning, leading, and life. This dramatic writing course joins a growing catalog of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathways that respond directly to business and industry needs for the future.

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