One hundred principals and teachers from 16 schools across the state attended Louisiana A+ Schools’ first pre-institute on Jan. 11 to learn more about how to join the Louisiana A+ network.

Louisiana A+, a program of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, provides teachers with the essentials to think creatively about how students can apply learning to the real world and how they can present curricula to students in ways they learn best.

A national trend, arts integration involves infusing music, visual art, dance, etc. into the traditional subjects of math, science, history and so on, in order to fully engage students and enhance learning. Arts integration is achieved through continuous practitioner-led professional development, nationwide support networks for teachers and administrators, and partnerships with parents, community resources, media and universities.

Every school in Louisiana (pre-k through 12) was invited to begin the application process to become an A+ school in 2013.

Louisiana A+ plans to add five to 10 schools to the network each year. Schools must have 85 percent commitment from their faculty to apply and agree to a three-year implementation process involving whole school training each summer and customized professional development throughout the school year.