A Des Moines elementary school has been chosen for a new federal program that seeks to boost student performance. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds talked about the school at the administration’s weekly news conference.
“Findley Elementary School in Des Moines has been selected to participate in a new art education initiative to help turnaround low-performing schools,” Reynolds says. “It was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council. The Turnaround Arts initiative is a new public-private partnership designed to narrow the achievement gap and improve student engagement through the arts.”
Reynolds says Findley is one of just eight schools nationwide to be chosen in a competitive process for the program. She says the school will receive intensive arts education resources and the help of high-profile President’s Committee artists over the course of two years to support their educational reform effort. Academy Award winning actor, Forest Whitaker, is one of the people who will be working with the school.
Phil Roeder is the spokesman for the Des Moines public schools. “It’s really an exciting opportunity for the school and teachers and students and entire community around Fridley School to get in on the ground floor of this new program,” Roeder says.
Federal officials will do an external evaluation of Findley and the other schools that are involved. “It’s a school that’s beginning to see some marked improvement in their assessments and this’ll be a very interesting thing to track to see what kind of extra boost that gives to the academics for the kids at the school,” according to Roeder.
For more information on the two-year program, go to:www.turnaroundarts.pcah.gov.