SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Changes are coming to certain classes for schools all across the state.

This comes after recommendations for higher standards in the fine arts.

Students will now have extra assignments and more in-depth learning in classes like theater, music, dance, and media arts.

Teachers and students, I spoke to say these art classes are very important to them and are often times the only reason students want to go to school.

Breana Kavanaugh at Springfield Public Schools said media arts and dance standards will be added to fine arts.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that school districts have to start offering those things, it’s just that now there will be standards for those areas where they are being offered,” Breana Kavanaugh explained, the fine arts and world language coordinator at Springfield Public Schools.

According to an arts education partnership study, attendance rates at school are significantly higher on days with art classes.

“With some students, their class in the arts, whether it be theatre, choir, band, is the reason they come to school in the first place,” said Daniel Gutierrez, choir director at Nixa High School.

“You know, the school can just drag and you have your English classes and your math classes, they’re important and necessary but when you come here, you get to create art,” said Amanda Obeso, a senior at Nixa High School.

“Even if you have like a six-page final through in lit comp, you would still want to come,” said Seth Hammitt, another senior at Nixa High School.

In addition to increases in attendance, fine arts classes also help students build their self-confidence and express their creativity.

“It’s a great opportunity for someone to for instance sing in front of a bunch of people,” Gutierrez said.

“It’s something I look forward to every day, and a class where I can just feel myself and free, and just really love music and get to sing,” Obeso said.

“I used to be like really overweight, in choir you can just kind of let it all out and just be you, and nobody would judge,” said Hammitt.

The new standards are currently in the public comments period and will be open until the end of January.

After that public comment period, a team will present recommendations to the state board for final approval next Spring.

And Wednesday morning, an organization called “play it forward” will be donating musical instruments at carver middle school.