100 principals and teachers from 16 schools across the state will attend Louisiana A+ Schools’ (LAA+) first annual Pre-Institute to learn more about how to join the LAA+ network on Friday, January 11. LAA+ is a program of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA). Rosalynn Wade, Program Director for Oklahoma A+ Schools, and Bethany France, Director of LAA+, will conduct the Pre-Institute.
The network provides teachers with the essentials to think more creatively about how students can apply learning to the real world, and how they can present curricula to students in ways they learn best. A national trend, arts integration involves infusing some type of art (music, visual art, dance, etc.) into the traditional subjects of math, science, history, etc. in order to fully engage students and enhance learning. Arts integration is achieved through continuous practitioner-led professional development, nationwide support networks for teachers and administrators, and partnerships with parents, community resources, media and universities.
“I have two school-age children,” says Bethany France, Director of LAA+, “and when I close my eyes and imagine the type of school I want for them, I see an A+ School. Plus, as a former classroom teacher, I know schools and educators are under tremendous pressure to perform. The A+ program provides schools with a framework that leads to proven success, and I believe that is why Louisiana schools are excited to come and learn more.”
Every school in Louisiana (pre-k through 12, urban, suburban, rural, public, private, parochial or charter) was invited to begin the application process to become an A+ school in 2013. LAA+ plans to add five to ten schools to the network each year. Schools must have 85% commitment from their faculty to apply and agree to a three-year implementation process involving whole school training each summer and customized professional development throughout the school year.
Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Sheraton Hotel New Orleans, 500 Canal Street, Rhythms Room
A+ Schools started in North Carolina in 1995 as a research-based, whole school professional development program with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner through an arts-integrated school network. In addition to North Carolina, A + Schools has been successfully implemented in Oklahoma and Arkansas and currently has over 120 schools in the network nationwide. The program’s success in other states has prompted GRFA to partner with Oklahoma A+ Schools to bring A+ methods to Louisiana.
Extensive university research in A+ Schools reveals dramatic improvements including:
o Elevated student achievement
o Better student and teacher attendance
o Decreased discipline problems
o Stronger parental and community involvement
o A more creative and enjoyable educational environment
For more information visit www.aplusla.org or contact the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts at 504-324-9614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.