Taos Integrated School of the Arts (TISA), a new charter school partnering with parents and community, will provide K-8 students in the Taos Municipal School District with the opportunity to reach their maximum potential through a standards-based, multicultural, thematic, and arts-integrated curriculum. TISA’s design is a response to the Taos community’s expressed desire for a school that brings together current national standards for education with a strong early childhood emphasis in the arts. This district mission necessitates a smaller size classroom to allow for careful fostering of communication and relating skills. Located inside the municipality, enrollment will be complete with 180 students.
The goal of an integrated school is to link diverse streams of intelligence. Creative teaching methodologies will serve the commitment to meeting NM state standards and professional development while deliberate emphasis on love of learning is firmly maintained. Introduction to contemporary tools like the computer will be included as the child’s education progresses; there will be hand tool training as well. New and old ways to access powers of observation and creativity are included in our design because the next generation’s challenging future depends upon all the intelligences: intellectual, emotional, physical.
Taos is a multicultural community steeped in artistic tradition. We wish to found a dynamic school that provides students with a multicultural worldview while utilizing thematic units and the arts to facilitate academic learning. Arts integration creates more meaningful learning through using the expressive arts—visual art, drama, music, dance—as a catalyst to create broader and deeper learning experiences. Performance opens the door to expression, communication skill is enhanced by a variety of settings.
The Taos community is rich in resources for art and craft mentoring, as well as traditional and/or sustainable land relationships. TISA plans to engage in direct dialogue with the attributes of this specific community, designing ways to nurture interaction for young children with service and nature. This linking approach suits the young learner and supports our commitment to the philosophy that teaching is an art.
Every child can learn. Some children thrive in a smaller school where multi-faceted creativity is emphasized. It is convenient if a child’s education is close enough to the norm that transferring to another location is reasonable. These are some of the most basic, practical aspects of TISA’s program.