In July, the two-day virtual iAspire Summit brought together 70 participants from four Sonoma County school districts to deepen their knowledge of arts integration and pivot to distance learning this fall.
“We are all so fortunate to see distance teaching modeled. I have benefited greatly from iAspire, and feel not only competent to teach new content in a new way, but also inspired to start the year.” – Teacher Participant
At the Summit, Big Idea’s Robert Bullwinkel and Professor Kim Morin created and facilitated sessions for teachers and principals from McNear Elementary, Taylor Mountain Elementary and West Side Elementary. This 2nd annual Summit, designed to continue arts integration training for teachers in the Windsor Unified School District, utilized lead teachers from WUSD. Local museum educators joined as well. These sessions were enhanced by offerings from local teaching artists including Janet Greene, Jessica Martin, Hannah Keefer (LBC) and Ana Ingraham (Charles Schulz Museum) as well as Windsor’s Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Elizabeth Robertson.
This year’s Summit was planned in partnership with the Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance as the iAspire initiative builds traction in new school districts. The iAspire Summit builds on work from a $1.7M grant to Windsor Unified to create an innovative model for arts education that will be featured in the new Stanford Research Institute study on the state of arts education in California. Led by Big Idea Arts and Education Consulting, iAspire created 52 arts-integrated units of instruction in all arts disciplines which will now be in their second year of classroom implementation by Windsor teachers.
This fall, as other Sonoma County teachers begin to teach the arts integrated curriculum, a third day of professional learning is planned to help teachers synthesize their new skills and knowledge. For now, teachers are excited to begin distance learning with new tools and resources. As one new iAspire teacher said, “I have a deeper understanding of the multitude of ways I can integrate arts into my classroom, and I am looking forward to getting started on planning for the year with my new arts integration lens.”
If you are interested in learning more about participating in this 3rd day, please contact Robert Bullwinkel