Good student behavior, a PTO mum sale and plans to welcome teaching artists from Akron-based ArtSparks are part of what Principal Kim Johnson calls “a great start” to the school year at Woodland Elementary School.
“It’s been wonderful, a great start,” Johnson said Thursday. “The kids know our expectations. They come in excited to learn. They’re helping each other too. The older students are showing the younger ones how to behave in the hallways and cafeteria and how to listen to their teachers.”
Staff greeted new and returning families at the school’s open house on Aug. 17, four days before the start of school.
ArtSparks will continue Woodland’s integration of the arts into its curriculum. The innovative approach to learning began last year when Tom Evert, a nationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer from Cleveland, taught students for a month in a program called “Weather Dances.”
Working in conjunction with classroom teachers, Evert taught dances that represented a variety of scientific lessons, including the earth’s rotation and movement around the sun. the speed and direction of wind and the water cycle. Students demonstrated what they had learned in a dance program that drew a standing-room-only crowd of families to the Woodland gym.
“This year we will have ArtSparks of Akron, thanks to a grant from the Richland County Foundation,” Johnson said. “ArtSparks musicians and dancers will work with our teachers and students. The dates have yet to be determined but, again, the presentations will be tied to our curriculum.”
ArtSparks’ web site, which includes the profiles of several teaching artists, says in part, “ArtSparks professional teams of dance instructors and musicians spark a joy for learning in participants’ hearts and minds by engaging them in innovative dance programming designed to complement core academic learning.”
On Friday, the Woodland PTO will begin its first fundraiser of the year, selling fall mums known as The Mumkins. The mums come in a variety of colors and containers, many of them jack-o’-lanterns. “The kids will be taking order forms home on Friday,” Johnson said.
For more information, call the school at 419-525-6325.