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GaDOE recognizes four schools with Creative School Arts Integration award

​MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office,
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June 14, 2023 – The Georgia Department of Education has recognized four new schools with its Creative School Arts Integration School of Excellence Award.

This year's winners are DeKalb School of the Arts in the DeKalb County School District, Hasty Elementary Fine Arts Academy in the Cherokee County School District, McAllister Elementary School in Bryan County Schools, and M.D. Roberts Elementary School in Clayton County Public Schools.

The winners are schools where all students have access to arts integration in every subject and there is both rigor and relevance in the arts integration programming. Arts integration professional development is ongoing, the program is well-organized, and the school involves the community in the arts. All K-12 public schools in Georgia were invited to apply for the award.

“The arts are not an 'extra' to be added to students' education – they are an integral part of learning," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I wish to thank and congratulate these four schools for leading the way in providing high-quality fine arts programming that expands horizons and opportunities for their students."

Arts integration allows students to synthesize content and create new meanings, ideas, and solutions. The purpose of the Creative Schools Arts Integration School of Excellence Award is to promote arts integration as a way to increase engagement and learning, in and out of the arts classroom.

"What is truly excellent about the recipients of this award is that they each model arts integration strategies through which multiple sets of standards are taught with fidelity, at the same time, in all classrooms and by all teachers," GaDOE Fine Arts Specialist Paul McClain said. “Successful arts integration works best when all teachers work together to engage students in projects with real-world connections."

School Spotlights
DeKalb School of the Arts – DeKalb County School District
At DeKalb School of the Arts, each performing arts discipline has its own unique curriculum, which is integrated into the student's everyday routine. Students participate in at least two school productions per grade. This both encourages students to be involved in the school community and provides them with valuable experience within a particular field of the arts. Students can participate in both the cast and crew of a production, which allows them to explore different aspects of the performing arts and develop new skills.

Hasty Elementary Fine Arts Academy – Cherokee County School District
Hasty Elementary Fine Arts Academy ensures that each grade level has a thematic focus that ties all content areas directly to visual arts, media arts, theatre, music, and/or dance. Educators design arts-integrated lessons that provide students the opportunity to create and/or perform artistic products while receiving instruction. The school also brings in local arts-based professionals (six artists per unit, per grade level).

McAllister Elementary School – Bryan County Schools
At McAllister Elementary School, every student rotates through 45-minute, weeklong fine arts courses in theatre arts, visual arts, and music. McAllister educators offer several opportunities to apply for yearlong fine arts clubs, including Drama Club, McAllister Musicians, Craft Club, Sewing Club, and Junior Arts on the Coast. Students in grades Pre-K through 5 are given opportunities to explore through arts integration in their classrooms, and students are challenged to give questions more thoughts and look for answers all around them.

M.D. Roberts Middle School​  Clayton County Public Schools
At M.D. Roberts Middle School​, arts integration occurs in all content areas through the implementation of project-based learning. Students are provided with choices within their core and fine arts classes regarding how they present their learning projects for final assessment. Nine fine arts programs are offered through the magnet program: band, orchestra, piano, guitar, vocal music, visual arts, media arts, dance, and theatre. Each of these programs is represented as a viable choice of presentation as students are able to utilize their talents and skills.