We’ve all heard the quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” but I would add that if your plan doesn’t contain some accountable actions, it will never happen at all. An action plan is critical to the success of any program, but especially to arts integration. If you’re going to put this into place, you’ll need a specific, action-driven plan for how this will be implemented and assessed. Otherwise, people will never do it. People can talk a good game, but when it comes down to actions, that’s where the rubber meets the road. Okay….I think I’ve exhausted the cliches now….
Today’s resource is another part of our presentation for the Eastern Division MENC conference. This one is a sample action plan that you can use as a model for your own building. Notice I said “model”. Every school is different and has unique needs and personnel. Please use this as a guide, but avoid copying it completely. Make this document work for you and your staff so that it truly responds to the needs in your school.
Action plans like this one are so important because they provide a clear vision for the program, as well as a sense of accountability. What gets written gets done (sorry for another cliche – but it’s true!) and if this program survives in your school, it must have a written component. We went so far as to send this with our school improvement plan to our board of education, thereby making it an overall goal for the school. In fact, it’s still in there! We find that this allows our staff and community to understand that this is an important part of our school culture, climate and focus for learning.
You can modify this sample plan to fit your needs – not just for arts integration, but for any innovative, new teaching strategy you are implementing in your school. Let’s make this the year that we take action in our dreams for a new school reality!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.