KILGORE — As area teachers gear up for upcoming school year, they are invited to attend the first-ever Region 7 Kick Off for the Arts event August 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Region 7 Education Service Center located at 1909 N. Longview St. in Kilgore.
Region 7 ESC, in partnership with Young Audiences of Texas, ArtsView Children’s Theatre of Longview and Gwen Springerly from Sunshine Art Studio, is offering the event free to district and charter school employees in the Region 7 service area. The conference will feature several sessions on arts integration in the classroom, graphic design and video production, integration of arts and science, elementary and secondary music and art, and theater arts, and sessions will cover all grade levels.
Registration can be completed online by clicking on the “Kick Off for the Arts” image located under “Upcoming Conferences” on the Region 7 website at www.esc7.net. The session number is 041374, and the deadline to register is August 18. For questions or help with registration, contact Betty Steele, Region 7 curriculum coordinator, at email@example.com or at 903-988-6821.
Steele said the event is designed to provide art teachers with professional development opportunities that are aligned with their Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which is the state mandated curriculum objectives provided for public school teachers, and is in hopes of it becoming an annual event.
“This event was created to provide teachers of the arts and general classroom teachers interested in arts integration an opportunity to engage in high quality arts-centered professional development,” said Steele. “We value the role of the arts instructors and feel this event represents our vision for increasing support and offerings for them.”
Randy Barron, who is trained by the Kennedy Center for Arts Integration, will present at the general session for all attendees in the morning. Sessions will cover all areas of the arts as well as offer selections for general classroom teachers interested in promoting arts integration. A presentation for secondary music teachers will be presented by student composer Jace Mankins under the supervision of his instructor Tristan Roberts, Strings and Orchestra instructor at Kilgore High School, and instructor at Kilgore College. Mankins will lead teachers through his journey of composing and conducting and will share digital apps used for composing to demonstrate how all students can engage in higher level thinking and creative design that transcends the traditional approach to classroom instruction.
“I’m excited about this event because I’m hoping to get some new and fun ideas for the upcoming school year,” said Cheri Spivey, a teacher in Eustace ISD who registered to attend the event. “I want to get excited and motivated for the new school year, as well as make connections with other art teachers who I can share ideas with throughout the year.”
With the passing of House Bill (HB 5), which outlined new graduation plans for students entering the ninth grade this school year, districts and charters will be required to self-assess and report to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), as well as to their local communities, their district and campus ratings for fine arts programs, including course offerings, art events, and teacher involvement through the bill’s Community and Student Engagement component.
Steele said this event will help districts and charters in this area.
“HB 5 requires our schools to become intentional and focused regarding arts instruction, as well as in providing opportunities for students to be involved in high quality arts programs,” she said. “In order to ensure these opportunities for students, we want to be able to provide them with examples of criteria that might be built into their assessment tool, including alignment of the arts standards, combined with instruction of content standards. Some of our sessions will help guide our educators in achieving this.”
For more information, visit www.esc7.net.
About Region 7 Education Service Center
Region 7 ESC is committed to district, charter and student success by providing quality programs and services that meet or exceed customer expectations. One of 20 regional education service centers statewide, Region 7 ESC participates in the planning development, coordination, implementation and evaluation of innovative educational programs for 96 school districts and 10 charter schools in the counties of Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Nacogdoches, Rains, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Panola, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.