Saluda Elementary School is part of the A+ Schools Program. As an A+ School, teachers integrate the arts into all subjects, and students are exposed to all art forms (dance, drama, music, visual arts and creative writing).
The A+ Schools Program is a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning in all subjects. Since 1995, A+ Schools have been using the arts as a catalyst for creating connections and making school an engaging, meaningful and enjoyable place to teach and learn. Researchers have consistently found that A+ Schools are able to respond to accountability standards in both effective and creative ways, meeting standards in N.C.'s high-stakes testing program without narrowing the curriculum. This is done through the combination of interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning, and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state's mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts continuously woven into every aspect of a child's learning.
Arts education at Saluda School is approached in three ways:
The program is ground in eight A+ Essentials. The A+ Essentials were created by a network of teachers, coordinators, principals, and A+ Fellows and serve as a set of core commitments woven into practices throughout A+ Schools.
Teachers and teacher assistants at Saluda Elementary School attended a two-day arts institute, in August, provided by the A+ Schools Program of the North Carolina Arts Council. Some topics included Storytelling with Shadow Puppets, Art and the Environment, Music in Culture, and 1, 2, 3 Design with Me. These workshops provide staff with multiple avenues to inspire students to learn the curricula.