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Drama for Schools facilitates programs not only throughout Texas, but also in its hometown of Austin. In the Austin area, DFS has partnerships with local schools and the creative cultural arts community.
Austin Discovery School
Since 2010, Drama for Schools has partnered with the Austin Discovery School (ADS), a tuition-free charter school located on the east side of Austin, TX. The school opened in 2005 and serves children in grades K-6, with an enrollment of just under 400 students. ADS designs its curriculum by prioritizing students' prior knowledge and pro-social instruction. The curriculum features hands-on math and science, literacy across the curriculum, fine arts instruction, and a Junior Master Gardener® program.
In the fall of 2010, DFS conducted a needs assessment and pilot program at the Austin Discovery School in preparation for a practical research partnership. In Spring 2011, graduate student teaching artists partnered with teachers in 10 classrooms at ADS. This cadre attended trainings and co-created and implemented new drama-based lessons in their classrooms.
In July 2011, several ADS teachers attended the DFS Summer Institute where they continued to learn and develop drama-based strategies for use in their classrooms. For the 2011-2012 school year, DFS is conducting trainings, partnering on lesson planning, and co-facilitating drama-based lessons with both returning teachers and new teachers to the program. For the future, DFS envisions creating a sustainable presence at ADS, offering consulting and support for teachers using drama-based instruction in their classrooms.
DFS is part of The Creative Classroom, a collaboration with mindPOP, Austin ISD, the Kennedy Center, and other arts and cultural organizations working to develop a model for “arts-rich schools” in elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. Beginning in the summer of 2011, mindPOP and collaborators produced action plans for schools of the McCallum High School vertical team, the pilot schools for the project, with the goal of articulating characteristics of an “arts-rich school.”