With the Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach Pilot Program (RCPP) in action at all of our 16 partner schools across the state, we are so grateful for the myriad of opportunities to work strategically, collectively, and collaboratively with organizations whose missions and methods are so aligned with our own. This month, we convened RCPP representatives from Alameda County Office of Education, Integrated Learning Department, Collaborations: Teachers and Artists (CoTA), North Coast Arts Integration Project, Orange County Department of Education, P.S. ARTS, and Sunset Center to reflect on where we’ve been as a learning community, what our school sites need most heading into the last few months of this school year, and how we can refine our practice in the weeks to come.
We recently interviewed Program Director Danielle Reo and Lead Artist Reneé Weissenburger from CoTA, which provides regional coaching at Burbank Elementary School (San Diego), about their experiences in the RCPP thus far.
By Jacob Campbell, Program Manager for Turnaround Arts: California
I recently made a trip out to Santa Ana, CA, to see how Sierra Preparatory Academy’s first year as a Turnaround Arts: California partner school has been going, and I was blown away by the infusion of arts projects and instructional strategies that have begun to permeate all areas of this special school.
The Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach Pilot Program (RCPP) is up-and-running in our 16 partner schools across the state, and we are learning so much as we work collaboratively with local partners to align coaching, arts integration, and artist residency resources to target school-identified goals for growth. Recently, we convened our statewide network of coaches at the Turnaround Arts Local Program Staff Retreat generously hosted by Loyola Marymount University. Representatives from Alameda County Office of Education, Integrated Learning Department, CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists), North Coast Arts Integration Project, Orange County Department of Education, P.S. ARTS, and Sunset Center joined forces with Turnaround Arts teams from across the nation to discuss best practices in program implementation with an eye towards sustainability.
Following the retreat, we interviewed Dr. Kristen Paglia, CEO of P.S. ARTS, which provides regional coaching at six Turnaround Arts: California partner schools in LA County and beyond: Avenal Elementary (Avenal), Barton Elementary (San Bernardino), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary (Compton), Warren Lane Elementary (Inglewood), Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary (Watts), and Franklin S. Whaley Middle School (Compton).
By Heather Heslup, Implementation Coordinator
Honoring the rich history of their culture and community, the Arts Leadership Team (ALT) at Hoopa Valley Elementary School (HVES) recently led students and teachers on a journey to produce their first annual Acorn Festival. What began as a simple sharing of the story of the acorn’s significance to the local Hupa, Karuk, and Yurok tribes of northern California resulted in a wonderful display of community pride and creative exploration.
By Shelese Douglas, EdD, Arts Integration & Dance Specialist at Fremont/Lopez Elementary
A “Dance, Care, Share” event happens when a catchy song, “When You’re Smiling” (the Leftover Cuties version), gets rooted in your brain and later spills out of your body in the form of a dance that is shared with nearly 300 kindergarten through second grade students…. or something like that! This event — part performance, part fall family festival, part pep rally — was inspired by an effort to support our school’s behavior intervention program. Originally, I was looking for a fun way to encourage kids to take care of each other. I felt that a little bit of dance, music, and fun could help our young people learn to connect with their classmates while giving older youth an opportunity to use leadership skills and foster empathy.
By Natalie Hentze, First Grade Teacher at King Elementary
What is Focus 5’s Acting Right?
For our first year as a Turnaround Arts: California partner school, King Elementary School in Seaside decided to implement Focus 5’s Acting Right, which uses drama as a classroom management tool, school-wide. Acting Right is an arts-based strategy that provides students with the tools to remain calm, focused, and balanced.
An interview with Dan Donovan, Digital Media Arts Teacher at Willard Intermediate
What is the Arts Leadership Team (ALT)? How did you form Willard’s team?
The ALT is a core group of teachers and administrators charged with leading a positive shift in school culture and building staff capacity to utilize arts-based teaching strategies and arts integration to boost student achievement. Following the 2016 Turnaround Arts Summer Leadership Retreat, which I attended with our principal, Amy Scruton, and our 8th grade Science teacher, Laura Compton, we were energized to share this amazing program with our Willard Intermediate School community. Part of being a Turnaround Arts: California partner schools involves developing a Strategic Arts Plan (SAP) to identify our school’s short- and long-term goals and guide our use of the arts to move toward those goals. With the development of this living document in mind, we set out to create an ALT that was representative of all grade levels and content areas.
An interview with Principal Sonia Arámburo
What is the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)? What kinds of things does it measure
In the transition to the Common Core State Standards, California selected the SBAC as its statewide assessment tool. Unlike the former California Standards Tests (CSTs), which were made up of multiple choice questions and answers, the SBAC is a computer-based test that measures students’ knowledge of English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards. The SBAC uses multiple sources of information to assess a range of skills, including listening, reading, speaking, writing, research, inquiry, problem-solving, modeling, and data analysis. By answering in paragraph form vs. selecting multiple choice options, students are tasked with analyzing a given problem and demonstrating their understanding of it by citing evidence.
By Deirdre Moore, Arts Specialist at Burbank Elementary
It was 20 minutes before the event. Inside the Multi-Purpose Room, a team of dedicated volunteers was busy covering tables and putting out art supplies while outside a line was forming down the sidewalk of families eager to get started. It was Burbank Elementary’s first-ever Family Art Night in collaboration with P.S. ARTS*, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles. As I stood at the door and took the tickets for entrance, I witnessed the smiles on the faces of the dads, moms, grandparents, teens, and toddlers who’d come with their Burbank students to enjoy a night of making art together as a family.
By Charlotte Borgen, Primary SDC Teacher at F. G. Joyner Elementary
On October 11th, the halls of Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School were transformed into a vibrant, colorful art gallery. Every inch of wall space held a student-created self-portrait in the style of a famous artist. Mothers, fathers, siblings, and grandparents streamed through the front door in droves, stopping to admire the work and talk to their children about the process of creating their masterpieces. Everywhere you turned, a student was shouting “Look at my art!” or explaining their inspiration to friends and family. Parents stopped to write “Artist-Grams,” to be delivered to classrooms later in the week, for their children telling them how proud they were. Outside, families posed for their own portraits taken by a professional photographer. It was our school’s first art show, and our first event as a Turnaround Arts: California partner school, and it all started at the Turnaround Arts Summer Leadership Retreat.