Students learning with the Arkansas A+ curriculum at Pike View Elementary School in North Little Rock. (Photo: Meredith Mitchell, THV11)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.(KTHV) - Arkansas A+ Schools has gained tremendous momentum since it was first implemented in 2012. The model that integrates the arts into everyday learning has proven successful in the 11 Arkansas schools who have taken it on.
Thursday, teachers from Clarendon learned a thing or two from students at Pike View Elementary in North Little Rock and studied the work that teachers and students have done in the past.
"There's a lot of interest, a lot of excitement. We've had several school districts across the state that have expressed an interest in pursuing it further," said Melanie Landrum, Pike View Elementary School Principal. Landrum said it's no longer about memorizing facts, but rather a deeper style of learning. "The things that they're learning in books are not just on the page they're all around the room and they are things that they created themselves."
"I would love to have an A+ School. I would love to see the energy of all the things they have going on in the school. The excitement of the teachers and the students," said Ruby Ellis, principal at Clarendon Elementary in East Arkansas. She's hoping to make her school part of Arkansas' A+ Schools Network. Ellis said observing the program in another school is part of the process in achieving A+ status.
Instead of seeing pictures of a one room school house, these students are actually building one.
"Art just really makes it last in their minds," Landrum said. She concluded that this program engaged students creativity. Landrum also said discipline referrals at Pike View Elementary have been cut in half since the Arkansas A+ initiative was implemented.