Pilot Program Brings More Art, Innovation, and Collaboration to Schools
Survey data show it is what students, families and teachers want.
Our survey data showed that parents and students want more art and hands-on learning in schools. Teachers want more time for planning and collaboration to bring effective and engaging instruction to students.
We heard you, and launched the Arts & Innovation Collaboration pilot program this year at two schools, Blackford and Rosemary, then expanded it to some grade levels at Lynhaven. Our team of talented Innovation Specialists facilitate engaging innovation and art experiences with students, giving classroom teachers time during the school day to collaborate as professional learning communities.
Teachers at both Blackford and Rosemary report that the ongoing collaboration time has been crucial for planning next steps for targeted instruction to support students’ learning. According to the survey provided to participating teachers, "It has given us time and a structure to really dig into our data so we can make strategic instructional choices that will move students forward.”
“We are building ongoing access to innovation and the arts for and with our community,” said Coordinator of Innovation, Teaching, and Learning Julie Goo.
Two Innovation Showcases in April highlighted the work at the two elementary schools. Students and parents were happily problem solving and discovering solutions to such challenges as coding mini robots to travel a path, building prototypes with raw materials, making freehand digital art, collaborating with Minecraft, and more. Displays of student work included their reflections about what they learned in the process.
“Innovation is one of our Profile of a Graduate competencies, and we focus on tapping into students’ natural curiosity and desire to learn,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Their future workplaces will demand our competency skills of self direction, critical thinking, collaboration, empathy and innovation, and this is part of preparing them for success now and in their future.”
Plans to Expand
With the overwhelmingly positive feedback from our two-school pilot this year, we are planning to expand our Innovation Specialist team to bring the program to more schools. We are building teams to provide experiences of arts, innovation and music. We are planning to provide these experiences for K - 5 students and through lunch clubs for our 6-8 grade students.
Learn more about what students have been up to in the Innovation program this year on the Innovation Blog.