Promising Practices

Ideas from winners of 2013-2013 Champion Creatively Alive Children Grants
Principal Supplement, September/October 2013

Arleth Elementary School
Parlin, New Jersey

Timothy J. Byrne, Principal
Students used the lens of multimodal design to brainstorm, prototype, problem-solve, and to connect art to core curriculum standards. Students and the creative leadership team collaborated to share best practices with professors and future educators.

Arts School
Newark, New Jersey

Lynn Irby-Jackson, Principal
The creative leadership team partnered with Montclair State University to help students explore societal issues through art. Students formed thoughtful conclusions and connected projects to Common Core Standards.

Bedwell Elementary School
Bernardsville, New Jersey

Amy Phelan, Principal
Grade-level creativity teams were organized to collaborate monthly on designing and implementing theme-based learning environments for arts-infused, schoolwide learning.

Cherry Valley School
Polson, Montana

Elaine Meeks, Principal
The creative leadership team focused on increasing classroom teachers’ understanding of art as a central integrating factor in the curriculum. Extensive professional development was provided in collaboration with Native American arts specialists and Salish Kootenai College.

Deerfield and Beechwood Schools
Mountainside, New Jersey

Kimberly Richards, Principal
Focused on assessment and professional development, the creative leadership team demonstrated to language art literacy teachers how to develop arts-integrated curriculum and promote creative problem-solving via art, music, and movement.

Edgewater School
Pincourt, Quebec, Canada

Liz Rivard, Principal
Students studied South American art, connecting directly with students at a sister school in Peru. The partnership involved an exchange of literacy-based visual arts.

Emma G. Whiteknact Elementary School
East Providence, Rhode Island

Nadine Lima, Principal
Students learned about “math in our world” as they researched and built models of significant art forms, such as the Rose Window of Notre Dame Cathedral, and discovered the cultural contributions of the peoples who created them.

Flocktown-Kossmann Elementary School
Long Valley, New Jersey

Michael Craver, Principal
The creative leadership team focused on “Attitudes of Creativity” for professional development. The school now offers more open-ended assignments, goals with unpredictable outcomes, and problems that foster innovative solutions—with a focus on time for personal reflection.

Hope Academy Charter School
Asbury Park, New Jersey

DaVisha Pratt, Principal
Students combined art and research with their original digital stories, inspired by local artists. The creative leadership team held professional development workshops.

Irving Elementary School
Derby, Connecticut

Jennifer Olson, Principal
Partnering with the Yale Center for British Art, Irving Elementary focused on using art to increase students’ literacy skills. Students shared their visual decoding and interpretation skills during the school’s literacy night.

Jackson Elementary School
Jonesboro, Georgia

Donna Jackson, Principal
Success at Jackson Elementary is measured as “100 percent of our teachers creating and implementing authentic, arts-integration lessons.” This schoolwide commitment was delivered through coaching and co-teaching collaboration between fine arts teachers and classroom teachers.

Jane Phillips Elementary School
Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Sandra Kent, Principal
The “Art Smart” curriculum helped parents and students explore the question, “How Am I Smart?” The grant deepened the partnership between art and classroom teachers, particularly on arts-literacy links.

Madrona K-8
Seattle, Washington

Farah Thaxton, Principal
Working with partners, teachers collaboratively developed a curriculum that is richly infused with the arts. Professional development strengthened classroom teachers’ capabilities and confidence.

Meadowview Elementary School
Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Delesa Boley, Principal
Using Common Core English Language standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy, this school created arts-rich literacy lessons that reflected the community’s cultural diversity and was the focus of the school’s professional development.

Public School 174 – William Sidney Mount
Rego Park, New York
Karin Kelly, Principal
This school created diverse student teams and examined the narrative behind a range of art forms linked to social studies. Teachers collaborated on inquiry teams that shared best practices and reflections.

Ridgeway Elementary School
Columbia, Missouri

Ben Tilley, Principal
The Ridgeway Boys Writing Project, developed in partnership with the University of Missouri Art Education Department, employed art and visual thinking strategies to help close the gap between boys’ and the girls’ basic literacy assessment scores.

Ridgeway Elementary School
Hamilton, Ohio

Kathy Wagonfield, Principal
A tree is the symbol of this school, iconic to its belief that when students know their roots, it enables them to branch out. The branches include professional development on using art to build 21st century skills and helping families branch out by using art as a link to literacy during family reading nights.

Sacred Heart School
Lake Worth, Florida

Candace Tamposi, Principal
Sacred Heart collaborated with the Norton Museum of Art, the Marshall Foundation’s environmental center, and the local science museum to explore how humans’ relationships with animals and nature are portrayed through art.

Silverton Paideia Academy
Cincinnati, Ohio

Susan Bunte, Principal
Silverton embraced the “museum school” concept and built partnerships with a dozen museums in Cincinnati. Students dove into content and built a historical and community context as they used art to convey meaning. The creative leadership team delivered arts-infused, cross-discipline professional development.

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School
Greenville, South Carolina

Catherine Noecker, Principal
St. Anthony students studied Civil War history through the lens of black and Native American storytelling, poetry, and visual arts. Student journals recorded their personal reflections as they researched history through art.

Summit Elementary School
Smithfield, Utah

Mark E. Daines, Principal
Students linked art and literacy by creating a souvenir art project for each story they read. Then their art traveled around the city on bus placards. The Art in Transit program engaged the entire community in a deeper understanding of how art builds critical literacy skills.

Tomoka Elementary School
Ormond Beach, Florida

Julie Johnson, Principal
Using design thinking and visual-lingual interpretations, students collaborated with peers and other schools to design literacy-learning games that were enjoyed at a schoolwide carnival.

Traverse Mountain Elementary School
Lehi, Utah

David Stephenson, Principal
The school’s collaboration with Brigham Young University design and technology students resulted in the creation of 112 books that are available as free downloads on iTunes.

Valley Elementary School
Eden, Utah

Dave Hales, Principal
This school was transformed into a museum. Students created exhibits, murals, architectural reconstructions, and archeological publications as they explored ancient and modern civilizations. Students engaged in “visual debates” where art replaced spoken language.

Valley Park Elementary School
Valley Park, Missouri

Bryan Pearlman, Principal
Students were introduced to Chinese culture through art, music, reading, history, language, and writing in both English and Chinese. Artist trading cards were shared when they connected with a school in China.

Westmore Elementary School
Orem, Utah

John Shelton, Principal
This Title I school serves families with significant financial needs. Yet, they adopted a school in Pachuca City, an impoverished community in Mexico, to establish a meaningful connection built on cultural awareness.

Copyright © National Association of Elementary School Principals. No part of the articles in NAESP magazines, newsletters, or website may be reproduced in any medium without the permission of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. For more information, view NAESP’s reprint policy.