Pride isn’t just a feeling or a slogan at Roosevelt Middle School, it represents the foundational principles of the school and the path for students. Says the school’s new Principal Heather Golly, “At Roosevelt Middle, we have P.R.I.D.E., which means that we value Personal Learning, Relationships, Ingenuity, Development of Character, and Exploration.
This PRIDE Promise Statement communicates our mission to provide a safe, nurturing learning environment in which students feel welcomed and supported to succeed in school and in life.”
Mrs. Golly joins the school, which has a rich history of academic performance and inclusion of the arts, at a time when Roosevelt is taking its next step, implementing a new learning model called Artful Learning.
Roosevelt is one of just 17 schools in the country to adopt the Artful Learning model, which was founded by American music icon Leonard Bernstein, to strengthen education by preparing educators to use the Arts and the artistic process to learn across all academic subjects.
Bernstein had a vision that music and other fine and performing arts – in combination with a concept-based, interdisciplinary construct – could be used to improve academic achievement and instill a love of learning in students.
Implementing this approach is a three year process. As for how it affects students on a daily basis, Mrs. Golly says, “Our students engage in hands-on learning through arts-based skills and strategies in all of their subject area classes.
This spring, they will experience a cross-curricular unit of study incorporating project-based learning following the Artful Learning Model in every Pride team on campus.” Mrs. Golly is particularly excited about the ways that students are able to craft their learning paths. “Students will exercise voice and choice in developing a unique product of their choosing during this Artful Learning Unit of Study.”
And just as students are working with this new model, so are teachers. Explains Mrs. Golly, “Teachers are co-planning and collaborating in their Prides to develop this cross-curricular unit of study. They are experimenting with the infusion of arts based skills and strategies and working with our Artful Learning consultants to ensure successful delivery of their unit. And as part of this unit, they are developing Inquiry Centers that will help the students experience, inquire, create, and reflect as part of their Artful Learning sequence.”
The Artful Learning model is seen as an extension of one of Roosevelt’s core strengths through the years. “We have a strong tradition of spectacular arts-based programs,” says Mrs. Golly. “Artful Learning complements this tradition and is helping us to enhance our strengths and increase student engagement and motivation for learning.”
With pride for its history and P.R.I.D.E. guiding its path forward, Roosevelt Middle School is no doubt building on a strong foundation and rich guiding principles to carry it forward through the 21st century.