At Chester Park Elementary School of the Arts (CPESA) we are helping students develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by providing our learners with differentiated instruction through the integration of arts in our core curriculum. We introduce our learners to multiple genres of art which include dance, strings, visual art, and music. Through such experiences, we tap into various learning styles to present the content in an engaging and meaningful way. To ensure effective infusion, our teachers participate in differentiated professional development that is geared toward integrating the arts into the core curriculum. The aforementioned professional development is offered in the form of learning labs, peer observations, professional learning opportunities, professional book studies, external consultants, and teacher-led trainings. We are proud to be have been an Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) School for a number of years and have successfully undergone the rigorous recertification process in 2020-21, allowing us an additional three years of essential grant funding and support to continue these learning experiences for our students and faculty.
We have established a collaborative culture which is embedded into our school's instructional practices. Our teachers are engaged in weekly professional learning communities (PLCs) where they analyze and discuss data, examine the South Carolina State Standards, and share creative instructional strategies. In turn, our teachers provide ongoing opportunities for our students to collaborate in solving real-world problems. The use of technology is encouraged throughout the building to support our collaborative culture.
Our Pre -Kindergarten classes are equipped with at least three to four technological devices. In grades Kindergarten through fifth, students have access to 1:1 technology. In addition, our school houses two computer labs and every classroom is equipped with an interactive Promethean board. Technology in our school is used to assist students as they access materials needed to support their learning.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our family events this school year were reduced to only Teacher Meet and Greet and the Family Literacy and Math Night drive-thru which gave families an opportunity to engage with teachers and staff. Teachers were creative in meeting with parents/guardians for conferences, including virtual conferences, phone conferences, or curbside conferences. Parenting and family engagement materials were replenished in the Parent & Family Engagement Resource Center. Each month, families could also participate in School Improvement Counsel (SIC) and Title I meetings virtually. A quarterly newsletter is sent home and additional information is available via the school website, Facebook, and automated phone messages through Blackboard Messenger.
Shana Harper, Principal Clay Waldrip, SIC Chairperson