Frequently Asked Questions
What is arts integration?
A national trend, arts-integration involves infusing some type of art (music, visual art, dance, etc.) into the traditional subjects of math, science, history, etc. in order to fully engage students and enhance learning.
Is A+ a one-time project?
No. The best way to describe A+ Schools is as a marriage. As long as a school commits to the eight A+ Essentials, they have access to the entire network of A+ resources.
Is A+ a curriculum?
No. A+ can work with any curriculum already in place at any school. Additionally, with over 100 schools in the A+ Network nationwide, A+ Fellows are already trained on how to incorporate the A+ Essentials into the most popular school curricula.
Is A+ a model to train the trainers?
No. A+ is a system to train the entire school staff on how to nurture creativity in every learner. Research has proven that faculty engagement on a whole school level is crucial to student success.
Is A+ the only thing schools can do?
No. A+ is a framework supportive of any other tools and community partners that schools adopt. Schools are encouraged to seek out resources in their community that complement the A+ Essentials and provide better opportunities for their students.
Is A+ only about arts integration?
No. While arts-integration is an essential component of A+ Schools, the power of the A+ model is in ALL eight of the A+ Essentials working together to produce successful schools.
Are all A+ Schools the same?
No. Every A+ school looks different and interprets the A+ Essentials in their own way. However, all A+ schools commit to providing quality education, everyday, for every student.
Does A+ ensure overnight success?
No. While the A+ network gives a school the framework and tools needed for success, it is not an overnight answer. Full implementation of the A+ Essentials is a three-year process, requiring a significant commitment from the leadership and faculty of a school.
Also, while in theory every school in the state could be an A+ school, this situation would be impractical and is NOT the goal of the A+ network. The model only works when a school itself seeks to be A+ and is not mandated to join the network by a higher authority. However, school districts, teachers and pre-service teaching institutions can learn from the success of A+ member schools and should seek to implement some of the A+ best practices in their methods.
What results should we expect from A+ in Arkansas?
Research has definitively shown that students in Oklahoma A+ schools outperform their counterparts in non-A+ schools in all categories on state standardized tests. Qualitative data and reports from principals, teachers and students are even more convincing. We’ve seen similar results in Arkansas:
- Higher Student Achievement
- Better Attendance of Students and Teachers
- Decreased Discipline Problems
- Stronger Parent and Community Involvement
- A More Creative and Joyful School Climate
How does a school join the A+ Network?
Schools must go through our application process and get at least 85 percent approval of their faculty to apply.
What grade level and type of school can be an A+ School?
Any pre-K through 12 school in Arkansas is eligible. That means ANY urban, suburban, rural, public, private, parochial or charter school is welcome to apply.
What happens when a school joins the A+ Network?
Every spring, AR A+ will announce which new schools will be welcomed into the A+ Network. Following the announcement, a team from A+ Schools will visit each new member school for a consultation to understand what resources the schools already have in place and to work with the school to plan the type of professional development that A+ will provide.
Then, during the summer, at least 85 percent of the school staff receives training at the five-day Summer Institute.
During the year, two more on-site professional development sessions also occur. Then, as long as a school remains committed to the A+ Essentials, they will receive professional development both during the summer and during the year.
How much does it cost to join the A+ Network?
Specific costs for Arkansas A+ Professional development training are different for each school, as they are determined by location and size of the school. However, generally speaking, a school with a staff of 30 teachers can expect to pay $60,000 for three years of implementation. Each year, AR A+ provides 3-5 day trainings in the summer, as well as two onsite trainings and other available training options upon request.
How many schools is AR A+ seeking to add every year?
We estimate that we will be adding 5-10 schools to the AR A+ network every year.
How are schools selected to join the A+ Network?
Arkansas A+ Schools is assisted by a selection committee made up of individuals representing Arkansas A+ Schools and the National A+ Schools Consortium. The AR A+ Selection Committee will review all completed applications and select schools to join the network based upon leadership, passion for the project, evidence of collaboration, evidence of commitment, opportunity for the school, geographic location, representation of Arkansas population and sense of community. The number of schools accepted is determined by the quality of the applications and the resources of Arkansas A+ Schools to effectively meet the needs of schools added to the network. Schools that are not accepted are encouraged to continue communication with AR A+ and to request assistance in applying in a future year.