Who We Are: What is a Model Whole School?

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Model Whole Schools

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Statement of Purpose

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is committed to dissemination of the philosophy and processes of the Whole Schools Initiative. The establishment of sites where the work of WSI may be observed is seen as essential to the dissemination process. For this purpose MAC intends to establish a minimum of three geographically diverse WSI Model Schools.

Application Process

Schools that have participated in the Whole Schools Initiative for a minimum of three years may apply for designation as a WSI Model School. Steps in the process are outlined in the application posted on the MAC website. Applications are due March 1.

Contractual Agreement

Schools that become a WSI Model School will enter into a contractual agreement with the Mississippi Arts Commission that reflects the following obligations:

  • The school will designate a contact person for site visits.
  • The school will compile an information packet for distribution during site visits.
  • The school will file a mid-year and final report of site visits with MAC.
  • The Mississippi Arts Commission will provide assistance with the development of the information packet.
  • The Mississippi Arts Commission will award an annual fee of up to $5,000 to each school that is selected to become a WSI Model School.
  • The contract shall be issued on an annual basis.

Basis for Non-renewal

The Mississippi Arts Commission reserves the right to review the status of all WSI Model Schools on an annual basis and to non-renew contracts based on the needs of the Whole Schools Initiative.

Approved by the Mississippi Arts Commission: March 8, 2002 Date

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Teacher with students

Overall Goals of the Whole Schools Initiative:

  • To improve student academic achievement through the integration of the arts into the core curriculum.
  • To enrich the lives of students by increasing their skills and knowledge in all arts disciplines.
  • To assist the professional and personal growth of teachers and administrators through the arts.
  • To use the arts to increase parental and community involvement in schools.
  • To build a sustainable system for supporting arts infusion.

The purpose of designating model school sites is to allow other school teams and those interested in the Whole School design to observe learning through arts integration and infusion lessons and to be able to take away from the visit replicable materials.

The Panel Review Process

Panel review will include evaluations of each school based on application, surveys and interviews conducted over the past three years.

Panel members are asked to evaluate each school based on specific strengths of their education and experiences.

The panel looks for evidence of the following:
*Information posted to school and/or district website.

  • A relaxed, friendly and overall welcoming appearance.
  • A casual and friendly response to visitors by students and staff.
  • Strong leadership by Principal, Project Director, Arts Specialists and National Board Certified teachers.
  • Responses to interview questions that were informative about the use of arts in the curriculum.
  • Discussions that showed specific learning goals and not activities.
  • Teachers excited about the use of arts integrated lessons to teach specific benchmarks.
  • Students excited about arts integrated learning.
  • A Curriculum mapping plan.
  • Staff development geared toward arts learning experiences.
  • Creative partnering for learning of arts specialists and teachers.
  • Adequate planning time.
  • The use of technology to share the school’s successes through the Whole School model.
  • The availability of printed materials (brochure, power point, handbook).
  • Documentation of arts integrated lesson plan models for all grade levels.
  • A plan in place for orientation and mentoring of new staff.
  • Community partnerships and the use of local resources.
  • Parental support and evidence of involvement.
  • The use of other grant resources.
  • Plans to staff and maintain arts specialists in dance, art, music and drama.
  • Evidence of district level support to staff certified arts specialists(minimum 2).
  • The use of the local media to publicize the Whole Schools Initiative.
  • Participation of Principal and Project Director in the Whole School Summer Institute, Retreats, meetings and special training.
  • Positive communication with the Mississippi Arts Commission staff and use of its resources.
  • Specific documentation of the projection of the grant, the mid year report, the final report and the “change journey” process.
  • Documentation of timeline specifics.

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Expectations and reporting requirements

  1. Maintain a notebook for visitors to sign when they visit that includes a place for recording their contact information(these pages should be included in your mid-year and final reports).
  2. Provide a Model handbook of your school for visitors to take home or review while on-site.
  3. Provide dvd/powerpoint “over- view” of school or a written brochure.
  4. Provide guided tour of school and allow for observation of classrooms, the use of curriculum mapping guides and arts specialists in action.
  5. Allow for a Q & A period with leadership team.
  6. Advise WSI director of schools interested in becoming whole schools via e-mail.
  7. Provide leadership and model teaching at institute, retreats and peer sessions.
  8. Partner with selected schools to improve implementation.
  9. Advise new schools on navigating the process of change.
  10. Develop lessons using UbD for inclusion on the WSI website.
  11. Set a date with the MAC administrative assistant for a presentation of the Model School Award asap following designation.

Reporting to MAC

Final report due May 15, current year. This report should include details of work and how monies were spent. A log of the visitor contact information for the year should be included.

Include copies of brochures, newsletters, websites, dvd’s, handbook, etc. news items and any other promotional material generated by your school to MAC with the reports.

Re-applying for Model Status

Model school applications are online. Schools must re-apply on an annual basis.

A review and leadership team discussion on how MAC/WSI can best continue to support and serve your school will be set with each model during the annual fall retreat.

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Model school sites

Casey Elementary School
2101 Lake Circle
Jackson, MS 39211-6699
Phone: 601-987-3510
Jackson Public Schools
Take a look at the Casey School Newsletter

Madison Avenue Lower Elementary School
1199 Madison Avenue
Madison, MS 39110
Phone: (601) 856-2951
Madison County School District

Nora Davis Magnet School
1305 Martin Luther King Dr
Laurel, MS 39440
Phone: 601-428-7782
Laurel School District

Oak Grove Primary School
70 Leaf Lane
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
Phone: 601-264-9764
Lamar County School District

Poplar Springs Elementary School
4101 27th Avenue
Meridian, MS 39305
Phone: (601) 484-4450
Meridian Public School District

Sacred Heart Catholic School
608 Southern Avenue
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Phone: (601) 583-8683
Diocese of Biloxi

St. Anthony Catholic School
1585 Old Mannsdale Road
Madison, MS 39110
Phone: (601) 607-7054
Diocese of Jackson

St. Richard Catholic School
100 Holly Drive
Jackson, MS 39206-4037
Phone: 601-366-1157
Diocese of Jackson

Thomas Street Elementary School
520 South Thomas Street
Tupelo, MS 38801
Phone: (662) 841-8960
Tupelo Public School District

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