Happy Arts in Education Week

I wanted to share a letter I sent to my families today regarding a new chorus program we are implementing. It has a dual benefit – increased arts for children and increased collaboration for adults. Who could argue with its value? : )

Dear Parents/Guardians of 4th and 5th graders,

This week educators across the country are celebrating National Arts in Education Week. The resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives initiating this week states, “…Arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theater, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.” The Arts Education Partnership further articulates the goal of this week being “to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college and career-ready students.”

Here at Keller we will be celebrating this week by offering a new arts opportunity for our 4th and 5th grade students. Beginning Wednesday, September 14th, they will begin to participate in a weekly chorus block. Fourth graders will meet from 1:00-1:45 and 5th graders from 1:45-2:30. We are excited for the students to be able to enhance their arts education in this way.

I encourage you to learn more about the research base that shows the importance of the arts in education by visiting the websites of the Arts Education Partnership and the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. You will find links to both groups on the Keller homepage.

In addition to increasing time on learning in arts education, we are also looking forward to utilizing this block to increase time for teacher collaboration. Research clearly shows that student learning and teacher efficacy are enhanced with increased time for teachers to work in partnership regarding their practice. To this end, while children are working in Chrous, teachers will be meeting to collaborate on a myriad of topics in the areas of teaching and learning. I am greatly looking forward to working with the staff during this time and am confident we will see the benefits from this coordinated planning in the classroom.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Julie Vincentsen



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eric Clark
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 21:48:58

    In a time of budget cuts, I’m thankful for schools like yours that still take the time to celebrate the arts.



  2. Karen Steffensen
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 12:24:13

    Congratulations on your structuring of great arts opportunities for students. Looking forward to hearing about the progression of learning throughout the year in and through the arts 🙂


  3. Steve Goldberg
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 12:57:49

    Hi Julie.

    This is not a comment about the arts (though I am a fan of the arts).

    I could not find contact information for you, so I am posting on your blog …

    If you do share my blog post about “Why you should use Twitter” with your staff, I’d be happy to follow up with them — or even Skype in, if that works out schedule-wise.

    My email is MrGoldberg [AT] gmail (I was told to write emails this way to prevent spam).

    It’s the least I can do to help a fellow Massachusetts-ite — I’m originally from Newton, MA.

    Take care,



    • jvincentsen
      Sep 18, 2011 @ 18:03:31

      Hi Steve,

      I shared your blog post with my teachers in my weekly email this week. I share out “Twitter Explorations” with them each week. I am new to this building and am doing this to share the value of Twitter. At some point down the road, I will do a PD on Twitter and will keep your offer in mind – that is very kind of you!



  4. Gretchen McPherson
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 01:52:22

    Principal Vincentsen,
    That is so exciting! I am an artist, and not only participate in the local theater group, but do all of the set painting, and I am so glad to see a school that is in the midst of discovering the artistic strengths of the students it houses! Kids will take off, given an opportunity to create; their confidence will grow as their voices do. I wish your students luck and most success in the choral groups.
    Including the websites in your newsletter was a great idea. That means parents can get online and get involved. It’s beneficial to have their support and interest in their children’s schooling. You seem to be an innovative, proactive principal, which our school systems need desperately. I hope to work alongside someone with your insight. Good luck to you and your school!

    Gretchen M. McPherson
    EDM 310
    University of South Alabama


  5. Ashley
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 21:41:31

    Hello Principal Vincentsen,

    I think that the implementation of the arts in the schools is a great idea. I went to a magnet school in elementary and middle school, and I loved it! I have played several instruments and taken dance and choir classes. I actually found through this magnet school, that I had a love for dance and chorus. I went on to take additional classes at The Alabama Dance Theater.
    Without this introduction of dance at my schools, I could have easily missed out on this opportunity. However, I did not because of people like you who understand the importance of the arts in our school system. For that, I thank you.
    Through your motivation and hard work I know your school will do great things! From reading several of your post, I can see that they have a great leader whose primary focus is on the students. There are not a lot of principals like you. I commend you for your ability to make a change!

    Ashley Modozie
    EDM 310
    University of South Alabama


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