On April 11th, the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association/Foundation for Educational Administration hosted a workshop entitled – Achieving Title 1 Goals: The Role of Arts Education.
Invited to attend were: Principals, Supervisors and Teachers of the Arts, Curriculum Directors, Superintendents, School Business Administrators, Title I Administrators and representatives from Arts Education Organizations.
Presenters included Karen L. Campbell, Director, NJDOE, The Office of Supplemental Ed. Programs, Dale Schmid, Ed.D., NJDOE Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator and Laura Smyth Ph.D., Lead Consultant, Title 1 Initiative, California Alliance for Arts Education.
This workshop came about in large part due to California’s success in demonstrating how a robust arts education program is an effective and extremely powerful way to meet the Title 1 goals: Student Achievement, Student Engagement, School Climate and Culture, and Parent Involvement.
The California Alliance for Arts Education has been most willing to share their work in this area and NJ has had the benefit of working as a partner state with California on the American’s for the Arts State Policy Pilot Program (SP3).
The workshop on April 11th was filled with information and examples from the NJ Department of Education representatives. Karen Campbell provided an overview of the program including new regulations, the concept of supporting vs. supplanting, what potential barriers need to be overcome, unearthing resources, creating a needs analysis and opening up new possibilities.
In addition to providing background and a history of the Title 1 program, Dale Schmid led the group through an overview of the extremely informative website created by the California Alliance – title1arts.org.
Participants had an opportunity for small group work on needs analysis and ways to leverage various types of resources. To view the workshop materials go to tinyurl.com/Title1-Arts.
In all, it was an extremely informative and valuable workshop on how Title 1 goals and Arts Education goals can be aligned to improve the overall education of our students. According to Laura Smyth and Joe Landon of the California Alliance, “Four years in, we’re delighted to see that the initiative has taken root around the state, as well as resonating with some other states pursuing similar agendas, particularly in anticipation of ESSA’s devolution of much decision-making power to the state level.”
Dale Schmid of the NJ Department of Education noted, “It is important to note that it is not about how Title 1 can be used to support arts education but how the arts can be used as an intervention strategy to improve school climate and bolster student success. This is a major shift in education policy.”
Judging from the comments of a few of the participants, the workshop was a success.
“The half-day format was perfect. The information disseminated was thorough; review of guidelines & application process for Title I, research based information, practical application of examining data. Cannot praise FEA/NJAEP enough for providing this opportunity for stakeholders to gain first-hand information regarding the important aspects pertaining to applying for funding. I am so pleased to see the way NJPSA/FEA is becoming the “go-to resource” for administrators that did not exist when I stepped into my first administrative role so many years ago & had to rely on a “hunt-seek-find” approach with colleagues who could share information about their experiences. Bravo!”
“It was informative. I definitely learned more about Title 1 funds than I knew before attending the workshops.”
Those are certainly the type of comments we want to hear. And according to Dale Schmid, “I was delighted with the turnout and impressed with how ready the participants were to dive in to examine new pathways to school improvement strategies.”
Thank you to our partners at NJPSA/FEA. There is certainly more to come on this topic as we start to create our own models here in New Jersey and continue to work with other states who are leading the way in collecting research, examples and data on how arts strategies successfully address Title 1 goals.