Studio to School

E-Journal #15: Community and the principles

As evidenced through past journal postings from the Harney team, staff turnover has impacted the work in various aspects of the Harney project. From initial steps to final steps staff turnover at the teaching level, the non-profit level, the leadership level and the core team level have issued ripples of change. The Oregon Community Foundation Team made great effort to convince OCF Studio 2 School teams that community involvement was key to sustainability. The evidence is clear that this greatly increases likelihood that arts programming continues. The trip to Sisters where the arts are deeply ingrained in the community and the school system illustrates this. Another example of this can be seen in Harney Schools during the Malheur Bird Festival. Mrs. Altman posted her notices in the community

Despite the high staff turnover is art in fact ingrained within the community? The FTE of arts educators within the communities in Harney County has increased since implementation of the grant. Missoula Children’s Theater has taken place each year of the grant. Art camp has taken place each year within the community by a community organization. All students at Hines Middle School have received arts integration lessons each year of the grant. Exposure in Harney rural schools has taken place each year of the grant from leather working, to puppeteering to Opera. As it relates specifically to the principles of the Oregon Community Foundation the advice for others looking to build quality programs involving equity and potential sustainability includes: a) Involvement at the school board level (community representatives within school) b) Reports to the school board that involve the rubric/logic model and the principles While school boards will change due to elections, the mission of school boards does not. The school board will be there regardless of event or school staff turnover. Using the principles with the board will ensure that a presentation is made to the school board in public, thus potentially involving the community and combating the staff turnover epidemic facing many schools.

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