John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School
John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School is a public magnet school for the fine and performing arts in Downtown Augusta, Georgia, which draws students from grades six through twelve from all parts of the Richmond County Board of Education School district. In addition to a basic curriculum of college preparatory and Advanced Placement academic courses, Davidson offers academic and fine arts courses in areas such as visual arts, music, chorus, dance, and theatre.
In 1998, Davidson moved from its original structure to a new campus a block away between 12th Street and 13th Street, Walton Way and Telfair Street. Prior to this, the campus had been split across the original building, a converted police substation, several portable classrooms, and a renovated iron works building, spreading across three city blocks. At the time, it crossed the Augusta Canal's second level. Moving to the new location granted a nice view of the third level, which actually had water in it. The new location also has a large professionally fitted theater for art performances.
Due to student demand, the original stained glass windows created by the class of '83 were also moved to the new location.
Admission to Davidson is based upon school grades and an audition to determine interest and aptitude in the fine arts. Middle school students audition in a few of the fine arts areas and high school students are auditioned in up to two fine arts areas. Additionally, classes admitted to Davidson are admitted selectively so that the racial composition of the class reflects the racial composition of the county. The composition is equally balanced between minority and non-minority status: 45% African-American students, 45% Caucasian students, and 10% Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern students. Overall, there are usually about 700 students total from 6th-12th grade.
Unlike many other public schools in the state of Georgia, Davidson created a world centered on academics and the arts. Initially, instead of having a mascot to represent the school every grade is deemed a color. When all the colors combine, some believe they form a rainbow that symbolizes the unification, diversity, and creativity of Davidson. The "rainbow" theme has caused many complications and conflicts between the student body and other students in Richmond County on what the rainbow symbolizes; some students used the term "Flaming Rainbows" in reference to the school's centering around the arts, which some deem as a property of homosexuals, thus the school transformed the unofficial rainbow theme for the mascot and changed it to the Davidson Fine Arts Titans. Although the official mascot theme is the Titans, each grade still has a class color. The colors for each grade are listed below in order of grade level:
6 - light green, 7 - light blue, 8 - orange, 9 - purple, 10 - green, 11 - blue, 12 - red
It should also be noted that the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are members of sister classes to the 10th, 11th, and 12th graders respectively. The 9th graders' sister class were formally 5th graders, but since the school had 5th grade removed, they no longer have a sister class.