Friday, April 25, 2008

Arts Extravaganza!!!!

“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” Daniel Pink

At Chets Creek we believe that unfolding the creative imaginations of young children through art is equally as important as the high academic standards we employ in our classroom instruction. Our art education program is designed to masterfully integrate these academic standards along with the creative and critical thinking standards found in the art curriculum. The support of this program is of such importance to our school’s overall performance and to the preparation of students that any and all resources needed to provide the optimal arts education for students are provided without question.

From the very moment you step foot inside our school the fingerprints of our program can be seen. First, there is a mural of children holding hands around a united world that graces our second floor balcony welcoming each visitor to our school. Then there is the hand painted “stone” wall that supports student academic work. This is nicely complimented by the numerous display cases that hold hundreds of artistic creations fashioned by our students in the art lab. Re-creations of artwork originally created by the world’s masters beautify our lobby and are used to spark the imaginations of the next Van Gough or Monet. These share space with one of our most recent creations, a “picture” made up of hundreds of individual glazed and fired tiles that were colorfully personalized by students. Creative expression can be found at every turn and in fact there are many places within our walls that look more like an art gallery than a school.

Focus on relaying the importance of art in our everyday lives has heightened our awareness and helped to define the cultural identity of our school. This connection is even celebrated every year with a weeklong Arts Extravaganza event which is designed to expose students to a number of experiences with professional artists and provides our families with an opportunity to participate in hands on art activities at our culminating night event. Each and every one of our 1210 students has a special piece of artwork on display during this event for all to enjoy.

The arts influence our learning community in every way imaginable. From the beautiful artwork that adorns our hallways to the profound impact it has on strengthening the minds and extending the experiences of our students. Our goal is to help all our students, even the most hesitant ones, create a lifelong relationship with the arts and reap the rewards of life’s greatest joys. The art education program at Chets Creek Elementary truly prepares students for success in the future as Daniel Pink envisions it.

See you at the Extravaganza tonight!!!!

Believing is just the beginning...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Making Professional Connections

As a professional development school we have helped to train 1000s of educators from around the globe. This week alone we hosted visitors from Neptune Beach, New Mexico and even China! We do this because we have a responsibility to share the great work that happens inside your classrooms with others - and hopefully impact learning for students that we may never even meet. The next logical step in our collegial learning journey is to share on the web, only this type of sharing can work to our advantage too. The internet provides a simple avenue for us to share information and get ideas in return. Setting the Standard is a website that has been setup to provide this type of networking for educators, willing to share, like us. Check this out from your home computer (as usual we are a little ahead of the curve - it's blocked at school) and consider sharing the great things you are doing with the world and see what your colleagues have already added.

Believing is just the beginning...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hurray for Superhero Haley!

What a perfectly fitting tribute each of you provided to our most extraordinary Teacher of the Year, Haley Alvarado, yesterday! I've known for an awfully long time how truly special Haley is, as a teacher and more importantly as a human, and it was perfect that we unmasked her greatness and exposed her powers to the world. It was no different last night when a group of 20 celebrated her achievement at the prestigious EDDY Awards. We were of course the loudest as we cheered for our Superhero Haley and also reveled in the grandeur of this event with all the teachers of the year from aross the county. I was proud yesterday and last night to be an educator and I am honored to know and work with our Haley. Congratulations on this most deserved honor!

It's bird, no a plane,'s Haley Alvarado (Jello Up!)

Believing is just the beginning...