Education

Jul 24, 2014 3:27 PM by Dave Fields

Rodrigue Foundation hosts arts integration program for Louisiana A+ Schools

Louisiana school teachers have gathered all week at the University of Louisiana for the second annual Louisiana A+ Schools (LAA+) Summer Institute, seeking expert advice about increasing student engagement through the arts.

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) hosted the event in which 50 facilitators from Louisiana A+ Schools led activities with A+ Schools fellows from Oklahoma as well as 400 educators and administrators representing the following nine schools from across Louisiana.

Natalie Sonnier, an instructional strategist for Ascension Episcopal School praised the program as an opportunity for teachers to network ideas.

The nine Louisiana schools participating in this arts-integrated reform initiative are:

1. South Highlands Elementary Magnet Shreveport Public K-5
2. Grace Episcopal School Monroe Private PreK-8
3. Epiphany Day School New Iberia Private PreK-5
4. The Dufrocq School Baton Rouge Public PreK-5
5. Riverside Academy Reserve Private PreK-12
6. Martin Behrman Academy New Orleans Charter PreK-8
7. Homer A. Plessy Community School* New Orleans Charter K-3
8. St. Helena Arts & Technology Academy* Greensburg Public PreK-6
9. Homer Elementary School* Homer Public PreK-5
*Indicates Turnaround Arts: Louisiana School

GRFA will serve three of the above schools in the state in partnership with the Turnaround Arts: Louisiana initiative.

A+ Schools leaders explain that they hope the program allows these schools, based on the program's success since 1995, are able to attain 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

"I am so excited to see that these schools in Louisiana are willing to embrace the arts as a vehicle for transformation," "because Louisiana is so well known for arts and culture," says Bethany France, Director of LAA+ Schools. France also added a debt of gratitude to Chevron for being the program's title sponsor.

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