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Wed May 1, 2013, 11:45 PM

Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers and transforms elementary school

http://dailynightly.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/01/18005192-principal-fires-security-guards-to-hire-art-teachers-and-transforms-elementary-school

The community of Roxbury had high hopes for its newest public school back in 2003. There were art studios, a dance room, even a theater equipped with cushy seating.

A pilot school for grades K-8, Orchard Gardens was built on grand expectations.

But the dream of a school founded in the arts, a school that would give back to the community as it bettered its children, never materialized.

Instead, the dance studio was used for storage and the orchestra's instruments were locked up and barely touched.

The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was rank in the bottom five of all public schools in the state of Massachusetts.

That was when Andrew Bott the sixth principal in seven years showed up, and everything started to change.


They got rid of the security guards and reinvested the savings into the arts.

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Reply Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers and transforms elementary school (Original post)
antigop May 2013 OP
defacto7 May 2013 #1
BrotherIvan May 2013 #2
JDPriestly May 2013 #5
BrotherIvan May 2013 #7
antigop May 2013 #12
BrotherIvan May 2013 #13
antigop May 2013 #11
ANOIS May 2013 #3
mountain grammy May 2013 #4
Iwillnevergiveup May 2013 #6
HiPointDem May 2013 #8
BrotherIvan May 2013 #14
savebigbird May 2013 #15
AdHocSolver May 2013 #9
Sherman A1 May 2013 #10

Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:10 AM

1. Big Kick

This is the way! If you teach kids fear and distrust, that's exactly what you get plus push back. Give them creativity and hope and life... that's what comes back plus humanity.

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:18 AM

2. This is the most wonderful education story I've read in ages

Students NEED the arts. They need it for self-expression, learning different ways to think, and becoming a full individual. Historians have always said the arts are a reflection of the health of a society. We so need this right now.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #2)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:54 AM

5. +10,000.

I agree with you. But in addition, the arts benefit the individual student. They reward focus, give a sense of accomplishment earned by hard work and self-discipline. And music, in particular, teaches linear thinking (reading music) and often, teamwork.

We need to make sure every child in our school system either plays an instrument, sings in a choir or participates in art classes -- every child. They don't have to do it every schoolyear, but somewhere along the way, each child should participate in the arts.

And it would be great if every child got to experience participating in all the arts.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #5)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:32 AM

7. The arts also leads to less dropouts

In my short foray into teaching, I taught at a continuation high school, basically a last chance for students with academic, behavioral and attendance problems. It was an inner city school with bullet holes in the windows! These students had failed in school their entire lives and believed they were stupid--many had been told this by teachers as they were growing up.

On my lunch hour, I created a drama club at the students' request. All of a sudden students who hated school, who were only there because it was a condition of their probation, were so involved and enthusiastic. They were verbal/oral/tactile learners. Sitting still in a desk and learning from a lecture or reading a book is for visual/verbal learners, so they had consistently failed. But they took to theatre like ducks to water, learning all their lines easily, coming up with blocking and costumes. I had a rule: miss one class and you're out because it lets your group down. Not one student was ever absent and their attendance improved in all their classes. All their teachers noticed their academic improvement as well. It was because these students finally felt like school was a place where they could succeed, where they belonged.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #7)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:52 PM

12. although I'm not a teacher, I have experienced this firsthand. I volunteer for community arts

programs. A lot of kids "find themselves" once they get involved in theatre.

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Response to antigop (Reply #12)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:05 PM

13. That sounds very interesting

Teaching was not my calling, especially not in the era of standardized testing, but I sure did enjoy that.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #5)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:50 PM

11. + 100 great post. Studies have been conducted how music affects the brain.

Music training helps with language skills and mathematics.

PBS did a program on this not too long ago.

Yes, every child should be able to experience participating in the arts. Sadly, it's the arts programs that are cut in the schools (at least in my neck of the woods). But football reigns supreme.

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:24 AM

3. This is such a great story

I saw it featured on the evening news also.

As a former teacher, this story, & the autistic boy & his prom date give me such hope, among so much other dreary news!

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 12:50 AM

4. We watched this tonight. Fantastic.

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:19 AM

6. The kids....

they look so HAPPY! 'Cause they got the right principal. YAAAAAAAY!

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 01:36 AM

8. "kids need more than test prep" = indeed. actually, they don't need test prep at all. if they

 

learn, they can pass the test. duh.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:06 PM

14. Standardized tests do not test knowledge or learning

They measure how well the student takes standardized tests. Full stop.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #8)

Sat May 4, 2013, 09:27 AM

15. Kids need less test prep, and more life prep.

They still need to acquire test taking strategies (I mean, we all take tests from time to time), but they need not be the center of education!

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 02:46 AM

9. He motivated the students to want to learn.

Motivating students to learn. Such a quaint educational concept.

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Response to antigop (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 05:12 AM

10. K&R

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