Teachers from across the Washoe County School District (WCSD) will now have the opportunity to learn about integrating arts into their classroom curriculum as part of an expanding collaboration with the Sierra Arts Foundation. The foundation and WCSD have worked in partnership for the past three years to bring arts-integrated education to WCSD students.
The Partners In Education (PIE) program, sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation to develop and/or expand educational partnerships with their local school systems. The Sierra Arts Foundation is collaborating with the Kennedy Center and WCSD to provide the training to teachers.
"This new initiative will provide professional development in arts integration not only to teachers who are currently being trained under the grant, but to teachers throughout the District," said Martha O'Neill, program director of the Arts Infusion Project, a U.S. Dept. of Education professional development grant. "We expect the transition from a strictly grant-funded program to a Kennedy Center partnership program will be smooth, since we have enjoyed a successful partnership between WCSD and the Sierra Arts Foundation since the grant program's inception in 2009."
More than 180 teachers have already received training during the past three years as part of the partnership. On Friday, Nov. 15, teachers who are interested in participating in the program will learn more about the professional development workshop schedule, expansion of the program, and special activities designed for students and teachers. The meeting, to which the public is invited, begins at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude at 5 p.m. at the McKinley Arts Center.
In addition to the Kennedy Center program, the District and Sierra Arts provide trainings to satisfy the goals of the Arts Infusion Project, which has been part of District curriculum since 2009. These trainings will continue to provide teachers with high-quality, sustained professional development to effectively teach and instruct their students in the arts and arts standards. They also will utilize professional development in the arts to enhance student understanding and engagement in other core academic areas, such as math, literacy/language arts, science, and social studies. There will be two large trainings scheduled over the course of the year presented by Kennedy Center teaching artists being brought in through a combined effort between WCSD and the Sierra Arts Foundation.
"As a Partner in Education with WCSD and the Kennedy Center, Sierra Arts Foundation is committed to introducing WCSD educators to arts integration across all curricula for their classrooms," said Stacey Spain, executive director of Sierra Arts Foundation. "Teachers will be able to apply these tools and techniques to change their teaching practice, raise engagement in their classrooms, and achieve a depth of knowledge for their students using the arts to teach math, science, social studies, and language arts. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with WCSD to provide these opportunities to our educators!"
Interested educators, administrators, parents, and artists are invited to attend the meeting where teachers will learn more about their opportunities to participate in the program:
Date: Friday, Nov. 16
Time: 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: McKinley Arts Center
925 Riverside Dr.
Contact: Martha O'Neill