DELRAN — Students who are learning English as a second language at the Millbridge Elementary School will soon be the beneficiaries of a new arts integration program.

“This grant is going to be used in a host of ways in order to integrate the arts more into our instruction,” Superintendent Brian Brotschul told the Board of Education on Monday evening.

The grant, which runs from Feb. 1 to July 30, will help districts “explore and investigate how arts education can be applied as a strategy to assist Title I students in meeting New Jersey’s academic achievement standards,” according to the New Jersey Department of Education.

Districts are expected to integrate lessons on dance, music, theater and visual arts into other curriculum areas, such as science and language arts, so students can get a better understanding of both, the department said.

The state received $1 million from the federal government to distribute to 10 schools through an application process. Delran was the only one from Burlington County.

“We’ll be using it to engage our English language learners in immersive language programs,” Brotschul said.

About 40 students, or 5 percent of the population, at Millbridge were English language learners, according to the district’s 2014-15 school performance report.

The money will also go to providing professional development for teachers to learn how to engage arts and theater more in their instruction, as well as funding for a few iPads for the program.

The school wants to accomplish three main goals with the program, according to Kari McGann, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction: Increase the kindergarten-through-second-grade level of achievement in all subjects; increase family participation and engagement through programming; and build research strategies that teachers can use to add more arts lessons into other curriculum areas going forward.

“We’re hoping to do some great things,” McGann said.

 

Kelly Kultys, staff writer
Burlington County Times

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