Us­ing the arts to help stu­dents achieve

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Steve Buet­tner, Baltimore The writer is head of school at Baltimore Lab School.

As an ed­u­ca­tor it has been re­ward­ing to see the power of the arts fi­nally re­ceive the at­ten­tion and sup­port it de­serves (“Re­gion’s in­no­va­tive arts ed­u­ca­tion and pro­grams give out­let, ex­pe­ri­ence,” Aug. 19)

No­tably ab­sent in your re­port, how­ever, was the Baltimore Lab School, which ed­u­cates boys and girls with learn­ing dif­fer­ences in grades 1-12.

Nearly 50 years ago, vi­sion­ary ed­u­ca­tor Sally L. Smith founded an in­no­va­tive learn­ing com­mu­nity, the Lab School of Wash­ing­ton. In 2000, Ms. Smith brought her widely suc­cess­ful pro­gram to Baltimore City. The school’s method­ol­ogy com­bines multi-sen­sory and ex­pe­ri­en­tial pro­grams to ac­com­mo­date dif­fer­ent learn­ing styles and strengths.

For over a decade, we’ve seen first-hand how pow­er­ful arts ed­u­ca­tion can be. Baltimore Lab School ed­u­cates a vastly un­der-served pop­u­la­tion of stu­dents strug­gling with ADHD, dys­lexia and other learn­ing dif­fer­ences.

In ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing a va­ri­ety of cour­ses such as Ad­vanced Place­ment classes, an art sem­i­nar, and classes in de­sign, pho­tog­ra­phy and the­ater, the Baltimore Lab School prac­tices art­sen­hanced cur­ricu­lum and arts-in­te­grated cur­ricu­lum daily.

Our arts-en­hanced cur­ricu­lum dives deep as drama, mu­sic, cre­ative move­ment and visual arts teach­ers work with class­room teach­ers to de­velop songs, move­ment tech­niques and visual art ex­pe­ri­ences that help re­in­force aca­demic skills.

Our arts teach­ers col­lab­o­rate with class­room teach­ers to use the arts as a ve­hi­cle for meet­ing learn­ing ob­jec­tives in aca­demic sub­ject ar­eas. In a mid­dle school lan­guage arts class, for ex­am­ple, an English and drama teacher col­lab­o­rate to en­sure stu­dents are meet­ing writ­ten lan­guage ob­jec­tives as they learn play writ­ing.

Many schools and or­ga­ni­za­tions are just catch­ing up to what our founder knew im­plic­itly back in the 1960s. I en­cour­age par­ents to learn more about the arts at the Baltimore Lab School by sched­ul­ing a tour and vis­it­ing our web­site.

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