Round Rock ISD 'paints a pretty picture' in art-focused elementary schoolsRound Rock ISD 'paints a pretty picture' in art-focused elementary schoolshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=122582016-02-26T06:00:00Z2016-02-26T22:00:00Z

​​​​ROUND ROCK - Two elementary schools in Round Rock Independent School District are set to transform traditional curricula. 

Beginning in fall 2016, Wells Branch Elementary in North Austin and Berkman Elementary in Round Rock will be transformed into visual and performing arts academies, incorporating the arts into every subject. 

Trustees recently approved $135,000 for a new cafeteria stage at Wells Branch as part of the project.

Corey Ryan, Round Rock ISD executive director of communications and community relations, said both campuses would also receive new dance facilities.

The district has strong arts programs in its high schools, and it aims to spread the programs into its elementary and middle schools, he said.

Students from schools outside of the Wells Branch and Berkman attendance zones will be able to transfer into one of the arts academies, but Ryan said he does not foresee many students transferring out of the schools for a more traditional elementary education.

In the spring, representatives from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' professional development program will visit teachers on both campuses and help them integrate arts into the core curriculum, Ryan said.

The opening of Joe Lee Johnson Elementary School on Sauls Dr., which will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, will cut the student population at Wells Branch nearly in half, according to the district.

Ryan said lower enrollment at Wells Branch will make it easier for students in other attendance zones in Round Rock ISD to transfer into the academy.

The district chose Berkman for its other arts academy because of its proximity to downtown Round Rock. Ryan said the City of Round Rock is working to create a downtown arts district, which would open the door for partnerships between the city and the school.

Ryan said the district is trying to introduce new education models at schools across the district so parents have more options for their children.

Community Impact Newspaper
Austin-Round Rock
http://communityimpact.com/austin/education/2016/02/19/wells-branch-berkman-elementary-to-become-arts-academies/Read more at the {Source}

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