Arts-integration is a method of instruction that involves integrating curriculum standards in math, science, language arts, social studies, etc. with curriculum standards in an art form (visual art, music, theatre, dance, literary arts, etc.). LAA+ Fellows train teachers to design lesson plans that have evolving dual-learning objectives and methods of assessment for both the art form and non-art subjects.
Is A+ a one-time project?
No. A+ is a commitment to change. As long as a school commits to implementing the eight A+ Essentials, they have access to the entire network of A+ resources and training.
Is A+ a curriculum?
No. A+ can work with any curriculum already in place at any school. Additionally, with over 100 schools in the A+ Network nationwide, A+ Fellows are already trained on how to incorporate the A+ Essentials into the most popular school curricula.
Is A+ a model to train the trainers?
No. A+ is a system to train the entire school staff on how to nurture creativity in every learner. Research has proven that faculty engagement on a whole school level is crucial to student success.
Is A+ the only thing schools can do?
No. A+ is a framework supportive of any other tools and community partners that schools adopt. Schools are encouraged to seek out resources in their community that complement the A+ Essentials and provide better opportunities for their students.
Is A+ only about arts-integration?
No. While arts-integration is an essential component of A+ Schools, the power of the A+ model is in ALL eight of the A+ Essentials working together to produce successful schools.
Are all A+ Schools the same?
No. Every A+ school looks different and interprets the A+ Essentials in their own way. However, all A+ schools commit to providing quality education, everyday, for every student.
Is A+ the silver bullet for overnight success in all Louisiana schools?
No. While the A+ network gives a school the framework and tools needed for success, it is not an overnight answer. Full implementation of the A+ Essentials is a three year process, requiring a significant commitment from the leadership and faculty of a school.
Also, while in theory every school in the state could be an A+ school, this situation would be impractical and is NOT the goal of the A+ network. The model only works when a school itself seeks to be A+ and is not mandated to join the network by a higher authority. However, school districts, teachers and pre-service teaching institutions can learn from the success of A+ member schools and should seek to implement some of the A+ best practices in their methods.
What results should we expect from A+ in Louisiana?
Research has definitively shown that students in Oklahoma A+ schools outperform their counterparts in non-A+ schools in all categories on state standardized tests. Qualitative data and reports from principals, teachers and students are even more convincing. What works in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas will work in Louisiana. We can expect to see:
- Higher Student Achievement
- Better Attendance of Students and Teachers
- Decreased Discipline Problems
- Stronger Parent and Community Involvement
- A More Creative and Joyful School Climate
How does a school join the A+ Network?
Schools must go through our application process and get at least 85% approval of their faculty to apply.
How are schools selected to join the A+ Network?
Louisiana A+ Schools is assisted by a selection committee made up of individuals representing Louisiana A+ Schools and the National A+ Schools Consortium. The LAA+ Selection Committee will review all completed applications and select schools to join the network based upon leadership, passion for the project, evidence of collaboration, evidence of commitment, opportunity for the school, geographic location, representation of Louisiana population, and sense of community.
The number of schools accepted is determined by the quality of the applications and the resources of Louisiana A+ Schools to effectively meet the needs of schools added to the network.
Schools that are not accepted are encouraged to continue communication with LAA+ and to request assistance in applying in a future year.
How much does it cost to join the A+ Network?
Schools selected to join LAA+ will be asked to provide a $75,000 payment that can be distributed over three years. Full and partial scholarships are available on a needs basis.
Schools that are not able to pay are encouraged to apply because scholarships and sponsorships are available. Our goal is to work with schools highly motivated to become A+ regardless of financial ability. LAA+ has identified sponsors in many parts of Louisiana that wish to have an A+ school in their area and we plan to do all that we can to match schools with sponsors in order to satisfy school's financial obligations to us.
What grade level and type of school can be an A+ School?
Any pre-k through 12 school in Louisiana is eligible. That means ANY urban, suburban, rural, public, private, parochial or charter school is welcome to apply.
How many schools is LAA+ seeking to add every year?
We estimate that we will be adding 3-10 schools to the LAA+ network every year.
What happens when a school joins the A+ Network?
Every spring, LAA+ will announces which new schools will be welcomed into the A+ Network. Following the announcement, a team from A+ Schools will visit each new member school for a consultation to understand what resources the schools already have in place and to work with the school to plan the type of professional development that A+ will provide.
Then, during the summer, at least 85% of the school staff gets training at the five-day Summer Institute.
During the year, two more on-site professional development sessions also occur. Then, as long as a school remains committed to the A+ Essentials they will receive professional development both during the summer and during the year.