Benicia Unified School District

BHS Drama Program Information

Category(s): Latest News

Posted On: April 30, 2024

Benicia Community, 

I hope this message finds you well. 

The Benicia Unified School District supports student programming interest and welcomes productive dialogue to learn strategies to support them. Recently, misinformation has been circulating within our community regarding the Benicia High School Drama program. I want to take this opportunity to address these misconceptions directly. 

Contrary to what has been circulating, the Benicia Unified School District values the Drama program and has committed to investing in its long-term stability through enhanced programming and an upgraded Performance Arts Building. Several misconceptions occurred because the Drama program has experienced a reduction in program sections over the past couple of years.  These reductions are directly related to decreased student interest and enrollment, not the District’s intent to reduce the program.

The Benicia Unified School District operates on a student-centered master schedule, which allocates sections based on the courses selected during course registration. Unfortunately, this year, only seventeen (17) students expressed interest in the Drama 1, Drama 2, and Drama 3 courses combined during course registration, which is typically not enough student interest to operate a class. However, the District recognizes the value and importance of Drama in our community. We are committed to continuing the class through Prop 28 funding and joining efforts to rebuild the program.

Together, the District administration and Drama supporters must identify why the program has been losing interest over the years. Anecdotally speaking, I believe a variety of factors have contributed to this decline, including increased interest in alternative programs, including CTE, Advanced Placement, and other courses that foster CSU and UC competitiveness. We have experienced staff turnover, and continue to navigate the residual effects of the COVID-19 school closures as well.

On Friday, April 26th, I had the pleasure of meeting with a team of Drama program supporters. During this meeting, I reiterated the District’s support for the program as an integral part of our community. I also committed to identifying a multi-year plan to enhance program operations, including expanding course offerings, and strengthening communication and partnerships with administration and boosters. 

I believe it is crucial for stakeholders to focus  efforts on collaboratively developing  a multi-year plan to ensure the success of our program in the future.

Thank you and we look forward to our partnership in supporting a thriving drama program.

Damon J. Wright, Ed.D.
Benicia Unified School District