Arts Integration Vision Statement
As an arts integration learning community, we will learn in, about, and through the arts to enhance academic, social-emotional, and artistic growth in all students, thereby educating the whole child. Through critical thinking, inquiry, creativity and appreciation of the arts, students are able to connect to themselves, each other, all cultures, and the beauty of the world.
What is Arts Integration?
The Kennedy Center’s Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program gives this definition of arts integration:
Arts Integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.
The arts, including dance/movement, theater/drama, music, and visual arts, are integrated into the curriculum in all grades and classes. Curricular objectives from all subject areas are integrated into music, art, and PE classes as well.
What does it mean to be an Arts Integration Model Elementary School (AIMS)?
Kensington Parkwood Elementary is one of three schools in Montgomery County Public Schools that was selected as part of a three year United States Department of Education Arts Education and Dissemination grant from 2003-2006. In 2007, the school received the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award. The school was one of five schools selected from across the nation to receive this honor. In 2009, KP received the Arts Schools Network Exemplary Arts School Award. We are presently in our eighth year as an arts integration model school providing many opportunities for our teachers and students to learn in, about, and through the arts.
Kensington Parkwood Elementary has partnerships with many area arts organizations. These partnerships provide professional development for staff members and opportunities for our students to visit and participate in art forms inside and outside of school. One partnership is with the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) program. KP is the only CETA Model School in MCPS. This unique program allows our staff members to receive high-quality professional development from master teaching-artists. Teachers learn new and interesting ways to integrate the arts into the curriculum thus positively impacting student learning.
Arts integration is evident throughout the school in each classroom and hallway displays, showcasing how the arts are integrated with math, reading/language arts, social studies, and science. You will see many examples of the creativity and strength of the program as you walk through the hallways.
What does this mean for our students?
Students are exposed to a variety of arts including dance/ movement, theater, music and visual arts. They learn about problem solving, use thinking skills and learn more in depth about each particular art form. Perhaps most important, they are engaged in making connections between real life, the curriculum and the arts.
Artists-in-residence are also a part of the program. The residencies vary in art form and provide opportunities for students to interact with real poets, artists, musicians, storytellers, dancers, etc. making the arts come alive. In many cases, permanent art installations have been added to the school, which enhance the environment for students, staff, and the community. Students have a greater appreciation for the arts because they are involved in the creation of these permanent works in addition to participating in the arts in their daily lessons.
Arts integration is integral to the School Improvement Plan and ties directly to developing 21st century skills for student learning.