With a goal of providing a well-rounded education to all students, Garland ISD embarked on a journey to introduce a dedicated art class at all elementary campuses in 2013-14. Nine schools are debuting their programs in 2016-17, inching closer to completion of the district's mission.
“We have students whose passion is the visual arts,” said Superintendent Bob Morrison. “Our job as educators is to open doors to students. I think the more opportunities we provide, the more engaged they become in school, which results in better learning.”
Bullock, Golden Meadows, Heather Glen, Hickman, Roach, Sewell, Stephens, Weaver and Williams join 29 art-enhanced elementaries to bring the program total to 38.
Cooper Elementary School’s art teacher, Usha Cottrell, was excited to be one of the first to expose young students to art and its benefits.
“We want to provide the foundation for our students to become viable candidates in the current workforce and to be college ready. Art is an integral part of that process,” Cottrell explained. “Visual art has been proven to increase vocabulary, raise test scores and decrease achievement gaps between students of higher and lower socioeconomic status."
Back Elementary School Principal Teresa McCutcheon agrees.
“I knew the experiences art would provide our students would be invaluable,” she said. “Art classes give our students another approach to learning that may activate their imaginations and ignite their interests.”
Following the fall 2016 roll out, just nine campuses remain for the 2017-18 implementation.
“We are on our way to establishing a strong program in every school,” Cottrell stated. “Every student in GISD deserves the chance to experience art instruction.”
For more information, watch a video spotlighting new classes at Beaver Technology Center for Math and Science, as well as Carver and Park Crest elementary schools