Year one of the four-year Arts Integrated Learning Certificate (AILC) project is wrapping up with a shift from planning to full-on implementation. The $1.3M grant from the U.S. Department of Education is a partnership between Richmond Public Schools and the University of Richmond Partners in the Arts (PIA) program.

The Professional Development for Arts Education grant supports PIA building its innovative teacher-training programs into a sequential 3-course, 3-workshop (180 hours) certificate in integrating constructivist and creative practices into teaching and learning. Participants in Cohort 1 are 34 educators from a mix of resource and content areas selected from the three Turnaround Arts schools in RPS: Binford Middle School, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, and Woodville Elementary School.

The Graduate Education program has played a big part in the project planning with Dr. Tom Shields, Chair, serving on the AILC leadership and evaluation groups and Dr. Dionne Ward and Dr. Kate Cassada contributing their time and expertise to the project in developing the coaching plan.

The Joan Oates Institute: Foundations of Arts Integration serves as course one in the AILC and brought the teachers to campus in August for an engaging week of sessions including:

  • Creative Practices with Noah Scalin
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • Slow Journalism
  • Reading Comprehension through Music
  • Slam Poetry at the Science Museum of Virginia

Teachers in the furst cohort will begin the one-on-one coaching phase this month; data collection and research is being led by external evaluator Dr. Gordon Trump. PIA Director Rob McAdams is the UR Principal Investigator and PDAE Grant Project Director.

This grant will enable Richmond’s teachers to align their teaching practices to how students learn, closing the opportunity-to-learn gap for all RPS students through the arts. It is imperative to the success of our students that we bring arts teachers, academic teachers, community arts and cultural programs together to collaborate in engaging and empowering instruction.

The Partners in the Arts program, overseen by the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies, was founded in 1994 to improve instructional practice, and connect educators and students to the Richmond region’s vibrant arts and cultural community.

Related Campus Units

Education Department