Richmond Public Schools in partnership with the University of Richmond received a $1.3M grant from the U.S. Department of Education for a partnership establishing the Arts Integrated Learning Certificate Project. Teachers will begin enrolling in the program in Summer 2018.

“Richmond Public Schools values the focus on high quality teaching and learning,” said Interim Chief Academic Officer Vickie Oakley. “This program will expand and energize the Turnaround Arts partnership as well as support teacher professional development to ultimately develop well-rounded students.”

The Partners in the Arts program, overseen by UR’s School of Professional and 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.

RPS has been a steadfast partner since its inception.

“This generous 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,” PIA Director Rob McAdams said. “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.”

Throughout the four years of the grant, up to 100 educators will be provided with the knowledge and skills to integrate arts into the classroom for improved student engagement and achievement. Part of the professional development will connect each academic area to a specific community art event. Examples include exploring the principles of light and sound to inform a play production, as well as doing geometry and algebra to build sets for a play.


Director, Partners in the Arts
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts