Training: WSI Annual Institute

SAVE THE DATE! 2014 Annual Whole Schools Initiative Institute : July 14-18, 2014 at The MSU Riley Center for Education and the Arts in Meridian, Mississippi

15th Annual Institute: Getting To The Core Of A 21st Century Education

Thanks to our conference partners:

Mississippi Department of Education The Kennedy Center VSA Riley Center | Mississippi State University

Special thanks to: The Phil Hardin Foundation & The Riley Foundation

The 2013 Whole Schools Initiative Summer Institute was held July 15-18 at the Mississippi State University Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts in Meridian. This annual professional development opportunity gathered more than 300 teachers representing over 50 schools (pre-k through 12 & pre-service), artists, administrators, parents and community arts supporters to learn strategies in arts integration while focusing on “Getting to the Core of a 21st Century Education”. These workshops and arts experiences allowed attendees to engage with presenters from across Mississippi and throughout the nation.

The summer institute began on Monday, July 15th with arts integration definition and documentation presentations by Kennedy Center Teaching Artists, Sean Layne and Melanie Layne. At lunch, Dr. Judith Phillips of the John C. Stennis Institute at the MSU Starkville campus revealed the new findings of a recent research document that provides evidence of positive results from schools who are involved in the Whole Schools Initiative. Tuesday, July 16th Parents joined the institute for a day of introduction to the arts and arts integration to inspire and inform them of their role in continuing student learning outside the classroom. Parents from all over the state joined teachers, administrators and artists to engage in arts experiences, create arts integrated lesson plans and network with artists from their community. The summer institute provided a unique opportunity to learn how to teach critical thinking and problem solving through visual art, dance/movement, music and theatre/drama. Other special guest presenters included Kennedy Center Teaching Artists, Marcia Daft and Lenore Kelner with Sherry and Bobby Norfolk, Julie White and other state and national presenters.

Teachers who work in self-contained classroom teachers who work with students with disabilities received professional learning in a newly created track that provided a hands-on opportunity to engage in arts experiences while exploring principles of Universal Design for Learning. Mississippi Teaching artist, Tom Harmon and self-contained SPED teacher, Tonya Brackett from St. Richard Catholic School modeled strategies that connected to I.E.P. goals, while providing tools to effectively integrate the arts for all students to experience. This program was provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Early childhood care providers who work with 3 & 4 year olds were treated to a two day intense experience that connected early childhood curriculum to the arts. A panel of early childhood education experts began the day by discussing the importance of a complete education through the arts followed by a two day intensive track that focused on theatre and literature in the classroom. This experience was funded by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Featured speakers for this year’s Institute were the stars of Music from the Heart Featuring Kim Carnes, John Ford Coley, Gene Cotton, Lenny LeBlanc, with special guest Greg Barnhill

Click here to learn about the 2013 Annual WSI Institute Presenters

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