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2017 VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference

Posted Sunday June 18 2017 at 10:31 pm

2017 VSA Intersections Conference

Are you invested in equitable access to art-based and arts-integrated instruction for students with disabilities?

If so, this conference is a must for you.  VSA Intersections convenes all involved in this venture: general and special educators, arts specialists, teaching artists, principals, nonprofit administrators, education program managers, university professors, policy makers, researchers, and school administrators.  You will find this conference invaluable to your work supporting students with disabilities!/p>

August 6-7, 2017 in Austin, TX.

Learn more and register.



Employee of the Quarter - Teaching Artist Jodi Schmidt

Posted Sunday June 18 2017 at 4:55 pm

Jodi Schmidt

Jodi is a delightful recent addition to the COOL Schools family.  She embodies the essence of what makes COOL Schools successful: she is a strong collaborator and endeavors to teach and inspire ALL students.  When asked how her COOL Schools experience was, a third grader said, "Working with Ms. Jodi changed my life."  This student now wants to teach other students and friends more about art.  Jodi's years of experience as a classroom art teacher and as a teaching artist are ideal.  In fact, the principal and teachers at Ellison Parks Early Education School have been highly impressed with her collaboration skills and ability to engage children collectively and individually.  Jodi ensures that students discover the joys of physically making art, especially in the digital age.



Meet the Teaching Artist - Mia Branco

Posted Sunday June 04 2017 at 11:23 pm

Mia Branco in the classroom

As a performing artist I use music and stories as a way to create space for interaction, inspiration, and expression.  I enjoy working on projects with unlikely partners and seeing what the arts can unearth.  I believe that by learning how to imagine together, we are better able to create an inclusive reality.

With strong encouragement from a teacher, my own initiation to art began when I reluctantly joined the backstage crew for a sixth grade musical.  This teacher's encouragement changed the course of my life, and has also made me passionate about providing arts education opportunities for today's youth.  After graduating from American University with a BA in Musical Theatre, in addition to working as an actor and singer in the DC area, I began teaching with Imagination Stage - a wonderful nonprofit for children's arts education.  Through opportunities with Imagination Stage, I began to develop programming for students with disabilities.  Such programs included developing a summer program for students with autism to devise a theatre production, implementing drama programming in 4 different schools serving students with disabilities, as well as becoming the Access Program Coordinator for Imagination Stage.

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