"The Creative Schools Initiative has the potential for transformative impact on students, and their teachers and communities"
- Rebecca Holcombe, former Vermont Secretary of Education
The Vermont Creative Schools Initiative is a collection of programs and resources that help students develop the creative thinking skills they need to imagine and chart a better future for themselves and their communities.
In 2013, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 77, the Flexible Pathways Initiative. Act 77 challenges students to take a larger measure of control over their education and to envision their future and map steps to get there.
This envisioning of goals, and planning to attain them, involves at its core creative and critical thinking.
The Vermont Creative Schools Initiative (VCSI) provides resources, professional development, and programming that educators and community partners can rely on to find their own way into this statewide investment.
VCSI programs include the Project Design Lab, Teaching Artist Academy and the Vermont Creative Learning Forum
Finnie's 41 sec. Creativity Pledge from the Vermont Ceativity Learning Forum
Project Design Lab
The Project Design Lab is a learning, planning and programming sequence for K-12 teacher teams who want to work with a teaching artist to develop a cross-curriculum unit with creative engagement as a central priority. Participating teachers receive three graduate credits.
"This has been the best professional development in my 27-year teaching career. The faculty was amazing."
- Teacher testimonial
Check out these snapshots of creative projects developed by teacher and teaching artist teams at the Project Design Lab.
Teaching Artist Academy
Eric Booth, Director
The Academy builds the skills and capacities of teaching artists to work in school and community settings, in both single and multi-day residencies, to lead creative engagement activities that build more just and thriving communities.
The Academy is a multi-day immersive experience where teaching artists work collaboratively in a learning community.
"The Academy has launched forward my career as a teaching artist."
- TAA Participant
Vermont Creative Learning Forum
The Forum brings together Vermont educators, students, community leaders and expanded learning providers with national leaders in creative learning, to explore how creative engagement can support personalized learning.
The 2015 Forum was in partnership with the Flynn Center, with a day in Burlington and a day at the Trapp Family Lodge, in Stowe.
The 2016 Forum was a two-day intensive at the Woodstock Inn, which explored how creatiave engagment can be used to support personalized learning.
"It was incredibly inspiring to spend 2 days with nearly 100 colleagues all thinking about creative learning and engagement with community partners."
- Forum Participant