Date: 03/18/2009

Arts Education - Bristol Elementary School


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

07:36 AM -- Arts Education - Bristol Elementary School

Tom Fleecs, representing Colorado Springs School District 11, introduced Steve Ferguson, the principal of Bristol Elementary School, and discussed the success of the arts program at Bristol, where 74 percent of its students are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. Mr. Ferguson shared handouts with the committee (Attachment A). He explained that Bristol is a Title I school that educates children through the use of arts education. Mr. Fleecs shared an article from Stanford University that discusses how musical training helps language processing (Attachment B). He explained that studying a tuned instrument improves language skills. He noted that the Suzuki program at Bristol has resulted in improvements in student achievement in math and reading, in addition to having a positive impact on the community.

090318AttachA.pdf 090318AttachB.pdf

07:44 AM

Mr. Ferguson introduced Janice Ruybal, Bristol's physical education teacher, explained her role in the arts program, and discussed some of the after-school activities that keep the children involved in the school. She noted the self confidence that students gain from participating in the arts program. Mr. Ferguson then introduced Michael Hanson, the school's Suzuki teacher, who discussed the importance of having students being workforce ready, and that arts education plays an important role in that preparation. Mr. Hanson reviewed a typical day for a Bristol Elementary School student.

07:50 AM

Representative Benefield asked about the physical education curriculum. Ms. Ruybal explained she teaches typical skills training, integrates what the students are learning in the core curriculum, and provides nutrition lessons. Mr. Ferguson discussed a handout pertaining to the school's assessment data (Attachment C). Representative Solano asked if there is a middle school or high school in the area that provides a similar arts program. He explained that the middle school and high school connected with his elementary school have excellent programs, and that the schools perform for each other.


07:56 AM

Representative Schafer asked what the school uses to assess a student's performance in music and art. Mr. Ferguson introduced Emily Sorensen, the school's music teacher, to address the question. Ms. Sorensen explained that she conducts informal assessments, noting what progress students make from year to year. Representative Merrifield noted that it is difficult to have an assessment tool that adequately measures arts competence. Representative Benefield asked if music theory is taught. Ms. Sorensen replied that she does, and that the second graders are writing songs as part of a school lesson. She added that when teaching the students how to read music, she compares it to reading a book. Representative Solano asked how the instruments are purchased. Mr. Ferguson explained that they were able to purchase the violins with Title I funds, but there are community partners that assist with other aspects.

08:01 AM

Mr. Ferguson introduced Michelle Stellick, a parent and the school's PTA treasurer, to discuss the National Take Your Family to School Week grant. Ms. Stellick explained that the grant was used to purchase art supplies and to invite the community to participate in the arts event hosted at the school, including invitations to local elected officials and businesses. She discussed the support that the PTA provides to the art team at the school. Mr. Ferguson noted the importance of getting parents involved, and the steps the school took to get parents more involved. Mr. Ferguson introduced Susan Lapioli, the school's second grade teacher. Ms. Lapioli stressed the importance of the partnerships between the general education teachers and specials teachers.

08:07 AM

Katie Robinson, the school's art teacher, reviewed the elements of the Africa night, which included drumming, Suzuki, literacy integration, storytelling, and African culinary art and tasting. She explained that next year's cultural night will focus on Hispanic arts. Mr. Ferguson concluded the presentation by stating that a school cannot be measured by its CSAP score alone, that kids learn when they are in a positive safe environment, and the arts are a means to get children interested in learning. The committee discussed how the teachers integrate the curriculum. With that, the Bristol Elementary presentation concluded.