A+ School

Northwoods Fine Arts Academy is an A+ Oklahoma School.

A+ Schools adhere to a set of commitments that include daily arts instruction, experiential learning and enriched assessment. The schools collaborate around curriculum, mapping the instruction so that interdisciplinary concepts emerge that encourage cross-curricular integration, and the use of multiple intelligences to structure learning opportunities for students. Ongoing research documents changes in the climate of A+ schools that foster an engaging learning environment. The infrastructure in A+ schools supports common planning time, shared vision, and faculty commitment to the goal of schools that work for everyone.

Leading the way, preparing Oklahoma youth with skills for the 21st century workplace, this system develops schools that encourage creativity, innovation, and critical thinking. The research results are clear.

Systematic and creative use of the A+ Essentials leads to higher achievement, joyful, engaged students, teachers, and community, and more creative, focused instruction.


In A+ Schools curriculum is addressed through the use of:

  • mapping that reflects alignment

  • thematic webbing

  • development of essential questions

  • creation and use of interdisciplinary thematic units

  • cross-curricular integration


In A+ Schools multiple learning pathways are:

  • used within planning & assessment understood by students and parents

  • studied, and new research is explored by teachers

  • creating balanced learning opportunities


In A+ Schools collaboration:

  • is intentional

  • occurs within & outside of school

  • occurs during planning time: classroom teachers with arts teachers

  • occurs with teachers, students, families, the community, & local businesses

  • includes broad-based leadership


In A+ Schools climate improves because:

  • teachers can manage the arts in their classrooms

  • stress is reduced

  • teachers are treated as professionals

  • morale improves

  • excitement about the program grows

  • A+ whole school reform is invigorating


In A+ Schools the arts are:

  • taught daily

  • inclusive of drama, dance, music, visual art and writing

  • integrated

  • valued as essential to learning

  • included in planning

  • practiced

  • a part of personal experience


In A+ Schools experiential learning:

  • is grounded in arts-based instruction

  • is a creative process

  • acknowledges entry points

  • includes differentiated instruction

  • provides multi-faceted assessment opportunities


In A+ Schools enriched assessment:

  • is on-going

  • is designed for learning

  • is used as documentation

  • is a reflective practice

  • helps meet school system requirements

  • is used to self -assess by teachers and students


In A+ Schools infrastructure supports the philosophy by:

  • addressing logistics, such as schedules that support planning time

  • providing appropriate space for the arts

  • continually developing faculty commitment

  • creating a shared vision

  • providing related professional development

  • continual team building