The State Board of Education has approved new fine arts standards for all students in the state’s public schools.

The new standards for music, theater, dance and other forms of artistic expression in Iowa public schools mirror standards used in 22 other states. Iowa school districts, however, have the option of ignoring these recommendations.

The standards, which focus on promoting the creativity and presentation skills of students from preschool through 12th grade. Advocates say these fine arts standards will promote a lifelong “appreciation for the arts.”

While schools may opt out of these new fine arts standards, the state’s academic academic standards are not optional.