“I’m not so scared of change,” Luke said, “because I don’t really have a set way of doing things.”
Thirty-two-year music teacher Marty Lindvahl said even longtime staff were embracing the new concepts.
“There have been a few skeptics, but for the most part people are really jumping in,” she said. “I think we’re going to work more together as a staff and it will be exciting to see the whole House incorporating it. We’re not changing curriculum because we have the same state standards that have to be met.”
Phil Cox, DHS assistant principal and ACE House director, said connections between teachers, who overwhelmingly voted for the House structure, had grown stronger as the fall semester nears and teachers finalize new lesson plans. He, too, took the Artful Learning training.
“There’s an element of trust that develops and an element where (teachers) have to step out of themselves a little bit,” he said. “Now we’re going to ask students to do that. This is not a classroom transformation — it’s a whole school transformation. We’ve taken the first step.”
“This (concept) gives an opportunity for everybody’s experience to come shining through,” said Bolek, a former director at the GRAMMY Foundation-Leonard Bernstein Center for Learning. “They really internalize it. I loved the buy-in here.”
He said few U.S. high schools had adopted the concept and he and his trainers were excited at the opportunity to expand and tailor it to DHS.
“This doesn’t happen overnight,” he said, adding the decision by school leaders to make such massive change was impressive. “We see the value here and know we can build this up. It’s a laboratory of sorts at the same time. We think it’s a perfect fit.”