Tag Archives: In the News

ArtsEd WA’s 2011-2012 Community Report is Available!

We are delighted to share our 2011-2012 Community Report, and would like to thank our members, partners, and funders who make our work possible. We invite you to read about our accomplishments over the past year including the progress of our programs, partnerships developed, and impacts in the public schools. Also included is a powerful […]
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ArtsEd Washington Featured in ParentMap Magazine

ArtsEd Washington Executive Director Una McAlinden was featured in the recent edition of ParentMap magazine.  The article, Who’s Got the Beat?  Music Programs Enrich Schools, discusses how music, as well as dance, theater, and visual art, are essential to fostering creative thinking skills. Yet, amongst budget cuts, these subjects are typically the first to be […]
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ArtsEd Washington’s PAL Program Featured in National Principals Magazine

Following ArtsEd Washington’s participation in the Turnaround Arts Initiative, in which Executive Director Una McAlinden shared best practices from our Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) program, Una and the PAL program have been featured in a special issue of the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ (NAESP) Principal magazine, sponsored by Crayola. The article From Intuition […]
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ArtsEd WA Enlisted by PCAH to Provide Key Strategies for Turnaround Arts Initiative

Statewide Nonprofit Enlisted by the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities to Provide Key Strategies for Successful Delivery of Arts Education in Schools ArtsEd Washington to share its Principals Arts Leadership Program model at the Turnaround Arts Initiative Leadership Conference Seattle-based nonprofit ArtsEd Washington (ArtsEd WA) announced its participation with the national Turnaround Arts Initiative, […]
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In the News: PAL School Excels Through the Arts

As they complete their second year of the Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) program, Black Diamond Elementary has already noticed significant positive change amongst their students: attendance has improved, students are more highly engaged in school activities, there’s been a marked decrease in disciplinary issues and academic achievement is on the rise. When asked what she […]
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Principals Arts Leadership Program Featured in National Teleconference

In Spring 2012, Executive Director Una McAlinden, along with Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) Program Alumni Laura Ploudré and Doug Poage, were featured in a panel during a national teleconference hosted by the Support Music Coalition – led by the  National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). Their discussion, “Principals Take the Lead with Arts Education Planning”, […]
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In the News: Arts Education Month 2012

We would like to thank our friends and partners around the state who have joined us in celebrating Arts Education Month!  Read the coverage on this month-long celebration of the arts in schools: 4Culture: Board of Directors Recognizes Arts Education Month ParentMap: Celebrate Arts Education Month Port Angeles School District: School Board Proclaims May as […]
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ArtsEd Washington Joins Statewide Coalitions

ArtsEd Washington recently became a member of The Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS) and a “Friend” of the Paramount Duty Coalition. In becoming a member of NEWS, we are pleased to join more than 380 organizations across the state – including large and small school districts and a broad base of other civic […]
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ArtsEd Washington Releases Annual Report

We are pleased to announce the availability of our 2010-2011 Annual Report. In follow up to our early-summer Annual Meeting, the report further highlights our organizational achievements over the last fiscal year including our: Policy and arts learning work Principals’ Arts Leadership (PAL) program Art Lessons in the Classroom visual arts curriculum Community participation and […]
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The Movement Felt Around the Community: Arts Education Month

Read more about Arts Education Month awareness and news coverage. Edmonds Beacon HankBlog Henry Art Gallery Maple Elementary National Arts Ed Association San Juan Journal Seattle Mayor’s Office Theater Without Borders Washington State School Directors’ Association
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  • Random Posts

    • PAL Spotlight On: Madrona K-8 School

      Madrona kids picture

      “It was one of the most focused professional development experiences I’ve had as a principal,” Farah exclaims. “PAL brought everybody’s voice together and was a key strategy in our success.”

      The Arts are Alive Thanks to Strong Leadership and PAL

      Throngs of students fill the halls with busy footsteps and the buzz of chatter as part of the daily routine at the Madrona K-8 School in Seattle.

      It’s a familiar scene in schools across Washington state. However, less typical – especially for a school where more than three quarters of its students fall below the poverty line – are the joyful musical strains that fill the air in every corridor.

      At Madrona, the halls are indeed alive with the sound of music and the arts are thriving, due in large part to the leadership of its school principal, Farah Thaxton, and ArtsEd Washington’s Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) Program.

      A Leap of Faith Shifts the Tide

      Prior to Farah’s leadership, Madrona had limited arts programming during the school day. Determined to shift the tide, Farah began to build out core arts classes, community arts partnerships and integrated arts learning opportunities. Farah hired a full time K-5 music teacher and a part-time instrumental teacher to bridge the arts opportunity gap, and build a path for her students into high school music programs. With support from the Central Office she purchased instruments and supplies, and through a Dept. of Education Grant began a 3-year partnership with Arts Impact to provide K-5 integrated arts teacher professional development focused on literacy and mathematics.

      Within a short period of time, the Madrona school day was infused with the arts but Farah recognized resources and strategies weren’t coordinated or leveraged.  She realized that, as principal, she needed to expand her own capacities in arts leadership, if the efforts were to build and sustain. Taking a leap of faith, she then applied to ArtsEd Washington’s PAL Program.

      “We absolutely wanted our commitment and practice of providing arts education to our students to be sustainable,” notes Farah, “which is why I jumped at the chance to get Madrona on board with PAL.”

      Farah paired PAL’s strong support and resources with a new School Arts Team, comprised of teachers, parents, and a community partner from ArtsCorp. Working with their PAL Coach (a PAL Program alumni principal), the team enthusiastically engaged in purposeful arts planning, creating a vision for the arts at Madrona and laying out three-year arts expectations of what the school would provide for students.

      Momentum and Enthusiasm Grows

      “PAL gave us the momentum and framework,” comments Farah. “The program helped us articulate and determine what Madrona should look like around the arts – it was a big achievement.”

      As enthusiasm grew, so did Madrona’s Arts Team, and the group dived into development of the school Arts Plan – including setting actions and benchmarks to achieve the arts vision.

      “It was one of the most focused professional development experiences I’ve had as a principal,” Farah exclaims. “PAL brought everybody’s voice together and was a key strategy in our success.”

      “A-Ha” Moments and Student Benefits

      Efforts are paying off and there are lots of “a-ha moments.” Through the arts, students are increasing their engagement, developing perseverance, and growing in their self-assurance.

      “For students challenged to excel in more traditional learning methods, the chance to shine in their natural abilities is a big thing,” says Farah. “For example with music and poetry curricula, students have to get up in front of their peers and this gives their confidence a boost.”

      Thanks to their work with PAL, Madrona has transformed its climate and culture. Dynamic school-to-neighborhood arts programming now reaches into the heart of the community and includes an Art Walk, showcase of student art at local restaurants, and an Art Room for families at school open houses.

      District Level Involvement

      Farah has also leveraged her PAL involvement to further the arts within Seattle Public Schools. Last year she was one of several district principals involved in the Leadership Work Group. Under the facilitation and guidance of PAL founder and ArtsEd Washington Executive Director, Una McAlinden, the group identified the supports principals need to build and sustain the arts system-wide, leading to vision and planning work at a regional level in the Central Pathway.

      “PAL is really outstanding and I’m proud of what we did at Madrona,” says Farah. “I’m excited about this kind of focused arts planning at the higher district level and committed to see it happen.”

      Madrona Fast Facts

      Location: Seattle, WA
      District: Seattle Public Schools
      Principal: Farah Thaxton
      Grades: PK-8
      Students: 320
      Teachers: 25 Certified

      Student Demographics

      • 76% Free or Reduced-Price Meals
      • 15% White
      • 70% Black
      • 3% Asian/Pacific Islander
      • 8% Hispanic
      • 4% Two or More Races

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