Challenges are always opportunities

Portland Public Schools decision to create middle schools from K – 8 configured schools deeply impacted Peninsula – Caldera’s program and direction with its Studio 2 Schools project. In Hood River, our team gained clarity and insight in our program.

We realized and identified the following assets:

• Buy-in at Peninsula is high.

• Caldera’s distinctive way of combining youth mentoring, and arts and environmental learning is an asset to teachers and schools.

• The power of the arts is that it meets students where they are at making arts integrated curriculum a powerful approach to equity.

• Peninsula’s desire to be a school that engages its families and neighborhoods and be a resource for families and the community is being achieved by successful community engagement of arts activities by Peninsula.

In moving forward, we are looking to focus on arts integration and community engagement. Our model for arts integration is one we can use at other Caldera partner schools along with in different community engagement projects. Julie and Caldera will develop for Peninsula integrated curriculum, a team of arts integration mentor teachers at Peninsula, and models for community engagement projects. Julie is attending Young Audiences Teaching Artists Studio to refine and expand her knowledge of arts integration. In year three, Caldera will monitor and assess developments of middle school student placements and understand if it will be possible to follow students for evaluative purposes.

By focusing on arts integration and community engagement, we will leave a sustainable project at Peninsula due to the following:

  • Cameras will be purchased in Year 3. This will leave the supplies behind necessary for continued arts integration.
  • Peninsula teachers will have access to services available for continued arts integration after Year 5.
  • Developing a mentor team at Peninsula will increase permanence of Caldera arts integrated lessons for students.