Partners in Education
Since 1992 Bethel School District has participated in the Partners in Education program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, our nation’s performing arts center in Washington DC.  This partnership is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation to develop and/or expand educational partnerships with their local school systems, establishing or expanding professional development programs in the arts for teachers.

Bethel’s Partnership Team includes Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Performing Arts and neighboring school districts – Tacoma Public Schools and Puyallup School District.  Our Partners in Education team provides professional development programs in the arts for our teachers, follow-up consultation and annual meetings to assist teams in their continued development.

Arts Impact
Over seventy-five Bethel teachers have participated in a staff development opportunity called Arts Impact. This program provides training to elementary teachers in curriculum integration. Classroom teachers involved with the Arts Impact Team help to motivate their students to attain high levels of academic achievement and creativity. During the summer, teachers attend the Arts Impact Summer Institute where they attend 30 hours of hands-on arts immersion and receive training in assessment and ways to apply artistic skills to the curriculum.

These teachers are then partnered with local dance, theatre, and visual artists, continuing to work together to create lessons that encompass an appropriate balance of basic skills and creative activities. The teams also focus on creating lessons that are well paced, developmentally sequential, and student centered. A visit to an Arts Impact classroom might find students dramatizing a favorite story or presenting a culminating visual arts integrated project. Each teacher, being mentored by a teaching-artist, will actively involve students by creating hands-on activities that address various learning styles while integrating the arts.

Arts Impact provides opportunities for teachers to gain knowledge about the arts and to be more comfortable using the arts in their classrooms. Current teachers participating in this program have seen the positive impact the arts have provided to students in Arts Impact classrooms, and a new round of teachers are seeking that same enrichment for their students based on Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements. The experience of working with a professional artist to learn skills and create quality art will be invaluable.

Principals’ Arts Leadership
Several Bethel principals have participated in ArtsEd Washington’s Principals’ Arts Leadership (PAL) program, designed to support school teams, led by the principal, in the development and implementation of school arts plans to increase arts education.  Each school’s arts plan builds on and reflects the unique pathway appropriate to that school, using existing and new resources.

PAL schools participate for three core years.  During Year 1, schools concentrate on planning; Year 2 focuses on implementation; and Year 3 is devoted to creating strategies that will lead to sustainability.  In the following years school teams become Alumni with opportunities to remain active in aspects of the PAL program.


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