Aside from the “not enough money for the arts” conundrum, “not enough time for the arts” is the second biggest barrier that most educators face in providing more arts instruction, or even arts integration, for students. But at more than 1,000 schools across the country, this barrier is being erased thorough re-structuring the school day to gain precious minutes, hours, and even days of instructional time for students.
The National Center on Time & Learning publication Advancing Arts through an Expanded School Day offers case studies for five schools that have reorganized their schedules to provide students with more contact hours during the day and larger blocks of time to delve deeply into project-based learning. The publication includes three key traits of extended-day schools:
- Educators consider arts classes to be a core feature of their comprehensive educational program.
- Educators organize their school day and staffing to reflect the central role of the arts and dedicate ample time to their practice.
- Educators value how the arts can leverage engagement and achievement in school.
In Oregon, one outstanding example of these principals is the Academy of Arts and Academics in Springfield. This arts magnet charter school utilizes a core faculty complimented by professional artists to provide students with a robust experience of real-world inquiry. A3 boasts an 87% graduation rate for their four year cohort (compared to a 68% graduation rate state-wide) and 83% of their graduates plan to attend college the following year. You can see their sample schedule online. Read the rest of this entry »