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A+ Essentials

Our essentials are designed to guide your development.

These eight core areas work together to advance a quality, whole-school experience to nurture creativity in every learner.

Student artwork hanging on a wall

In A+ Schools, the arts are:

  • Experienced daily through instruction, integration and exposure
  • Inclusive of drama, dance, music, visual arts, creative writing and media arts
  • Included in curriculum planning and design
  • Integrated in all content areas
  • Valued as essential to creativity, learning and personal experiences
  • A part of the school’s internal and external identity

In A+ Schools, curriculum is addressed through:

  • Developing teacher skills in creating effective and engaging instruction
  • Ongoing curriculum exploration and planning
  • Intentional two-way integration of the arts and other disciplines
  • Horizontal and vertical alignment of standards
  • Enhanced conceptual connections
  • Collaborative development of integrated lessons and units

In A+ Schools, multiple learning pathways include:

  • Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory and practice
  • Brain research and brain-based philosophies
  • A focus on building 21st century and higher-order thinking skills
  • Creating and balancing learning opportunities that support the whole child
  • Intentional opportunities for students, families, community to develop understanding of how people learn

In A+ Schools, experiential learning:

  • Creates student engagement
  • Is grounded in arts-based and hands-on learning experiences
  • Provides integrated and authentic connections to real-life application
  • Models the creative process and inquiry-based instruction
  • Allows for understanding of entry points and differentiated instruction
  • Provides multifaceted assessment opportunities

In A+ Schools, enriched assessment is:

  • A reflective practice that is designed for learning
  • Inclusive of arts and multiple learning pathways
  • Ongoing, integrated, experiential and collaborative
  • Used both as a self-assessment tool by teachers and students and to help meet school system requirements
  • Instrumental in creating a comprehensive picture of student understanding

In A+ Schools, collaboration is:

  • Valued and intentional
  • Fostered by administration and faculty
  • Prioritized through designated time for classroom and special area teachers to plan together
  • Experienced throughout the day and in many ways
  • Utilized to build relationships within and outside the school community

In A+ Schools, infrastructure:

  • Supports the A+ philosophy
  • Fosters supportive and shared leadership
  • Addresses daily logistics to allow for collaboration
  • Provides time, space and resources to support implementation
  • Continually maintains a shared vision and develops faculty commitment
  • Provides relevant professional development and mentoring
  • Is reflected at all levels

In A+ Schools, climate is enhanced through:

  • Building collaborative skills that create an environment of respect and support
  • Developing a creative community that is fun and engaging for teachers and students
  • Focusing on lifelong learning for the entire school community
  • Working towards a common vision and shared decision making
  • Sharing and celebration