Beverly Evans is bringing the performing arts into her Ballwin Elementary
classroom, helping her first-graders invest and engage in the subject matter by jumpstarting their minds through movement and voice. Art teacher Julie Glossenger is using her time with her Chesterfield Elementary
students to see art through the lenses of social justice and science.
Both are part of this year's Rockwood School District fine arts integration cohort, which seeks to incorporate the arts into the core curriculum in ways that enhance and augment the students' learning.
a different way of teaching," Evans said. "Kids are learning and not really noticing it because, when you’re
talking to one another or facilitating activities where it’s more hands on,
you’re getting into how they interact versus just paper-and-pencil information."
This year, 29 teachers from Babler
, Ballwin, Chesterfield and Kellison
elementaries and Rockwood Valley Middle
are participating in the cohort. They all went through summer training with the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, and they'll meet periodically throughout the school year to learn more, run ideas by each other and see what's working in schools around the district.
"We're helping kids show their learning in different ways," said Megan Meier, coordinator fine arts for the district. "We want kids to feel joyful and happy when they're learning."
The cohort met for the first time during the school year at the Administrative Annex in Eureka on Thursday, moving through different stations of activities aimed at getting the teachers to consider new ways of bringing the arts into their classrooms.
The teachers become learners, and the students benefit.
nice to see people from different parts of the district being able to work together," Glossenger said. "It’s something
where we all have buy-in. We’re all interested and open to learning. That’s so
cool, just to know that everybody here is on the same page and here to support
Assistant Principal Missy Parker accompanied Babler second- through fifth-grade teachers to the meeting. Her hope is that the teachers in the cohort bring innovative ideas back that the whole school can implement.
"We're always looking for ways to reach all of our learners," Parker said. "We want to look for other ways to engage them and to have them experience success and grow in their love for learning."