ArtsEd Washington is thrilled to shine the spotlight on Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) program alum Parkwood Elementary! We recently sat down with Principal Laura Ploudré to learn about what changes she’s seen in the school, the staff, and the students since completing the program.
Q & A with PAL Principal Laura Ploudré
How did the Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) program help Parkwood
Elementary change its approach to arts instruction?
Before we enrolled in the PAL program, we had some grassroots energy around
the arts, but we did not have anything sustainable or closely aligned with the
state standards in the arts. The PAL program was a great vehicle for our staff to
solidify intentions, formalize instructional plans, and better prepare teachers in
arts instruction. PAL has my respect because Parkwood accomplished all of
those things. We had an opportunity to learn about and connect with community
resources, large grants, and partnerships. We created a five–year plan for
professional development; a scope and sequence for visual art, movement, and
theater; and engaged in whole-school training. We developed arts curricula that
is now sustainable for years to come.
How does training in arts instruction help teachers in their overall
Our staff actually embeds arts in the instruction in a way that really deepens our
teaching in other subject areas, and we don’t marginalize arts as just an
extension or enrichment. Creating a sustainable arts program also allowed us to
invigorate other curriculum.