Burlington Integrated Arts Academy
In the fall of 2009, Burlington School District opened the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler School - Vermont’s first magnet school focusing on arts integration – as part of an effort to resolve the socio-economic inequity in Burlington Schools. Responding to an extensive survey of Burlington’s parents and other community members, the arts focus for this school was resoundingly supported.
The Flynn Center serves as a strategic partner with St. Michael’s College for the Integrated Arts Academy. Burlington teachers’ enthusiasm for the effectiveness of using drama and movement in their classrooms, as developed through the Flynn Center’s Words Come Alive! professional development program, contributed to strong community interest in this magnet school. Not only have teachers found that the arts deepen student learning and engagement, but that participation in the arts has developed students' confidence, collaborative skills, and critical, interdisciplinary thinking: all skills deemed essential for success in the 21st century. The faculty of the Integrated Arts Academy draws on the Words Come Alive! techniques in creating interdisciplinary lessons connected to drama and movement, and they also continue to develop skills in music and visual arts as they create units of study focusing on broad themes.
Saint Michael’s College and the Flynn Center continue to offer professional development opportunities to enrich school needs including curriculum design, assessment, collaborative models, seminars for educators-as-artists, arts-across-the-curriculum, educational strategies, and current topics.
A grant from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Kennedy Center National Partnerships Program helped support professional development for IAA faculty during 2010-11. With these funds, the following teaching artists presented workshops for the staff and faculty and followed up with in-class demonstrations :
· Stuart Stotts -- Writing the Hero’s Journey: Building Writing Skills Through Storytelling and Oral Language
· Rosalind Flynn: - -Dramatizing the Content: Curriculum-Based Reader’s Theater
· Marcia Daft -- Word Painting : Mastering Reading and Writing Through Music
These workshops and demonstrations were supplemented by the participation of many IAA teachers in the Flynn Center’s signature professional development program Words Come Alive, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.