September 2019
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PA Arts and Education Network Recognizes BSD Board of Directors with School Leadership Award

This past November, Board members Gretchen Beveridge and Pamela Key were pleased to accept the Pennsylvania Arts and Education Network’s School Leadership Award in recognition of the District’s efforts to include the arts in everyday curriculum.

During the 2013-2014 school year, Burrell School District invited The Arts Education Collaborative, a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization aimed at making the arts central to learning, to meet with art and music staff and create a plan for integrating the arts into traditional learning. The overarching goal of this partnership was and still is, to make sure that all students have the ability to participate in art and music on a daily basis and to foster each individual student’s health and wellness.

“When students are happy and healthy, they come to school and are engaged in learning,” says Beveridge. “The goal is to find ways and activities through collaboration to help all students to become engaged and successful.”

With the help of The Arts Education Collaborative, the District was able to take a closer look at how art, music, theater, dance, physical education, and core subjects like English, math, and science could better collaborate to engage and inspire students.

This partnership was so successful that the District asked The Arts Education Collaborative to come back for the 2015-2016 school year to begin implementing this vision within the health and physical education programs for all students in grades K through 12. One way that The Arts Education Collaborative and BSD staff worked to achieve this mission was by securing a grant used for workshops hosted by Pittsburgh’s Attack Theatre to help physical education teachers find innovative ways to get students up and moving in a theater-like setting.

Physical education teacher Steve White says that the goal is to create “wellness-based physical education that includes dance and movement in a k-12 setting.”

As a direct result of these combined efforts, BSD curriculum now has a roadmap to incorporate dance and movement into traditional learning environments that utilize the “Four Cs” of modern learning: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication.

“Our board members are so proud of our staff and administrators for the partnerships we have made, walking side-by-side with our community to better prepare our students for the global society,” says Beveridge. “I am pleased that our school has again been named as a Top 500 Nationally Recognized Community that supports art and music by the NAMM Organization (National Arts and Music Merchants). But we’re not done yet. Our journey is just beginning!”

Parents and community members can help to support this mission by coming out and enjoying the annual BAM! Burrell Arts and Music Night, which will take place on Friday, April 13th from 5 to 9 pm at Huston Middle School.

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