Joe Clark begins his sixth year as Spring ISD’s director of performing and visual arts.
What are your responsibilities and duties as head of the performing and visual arts department?
I oversee and support the curriculum, instruction and program assessment for all visual art, band, choir, general music, dance and theater at all grade levels. Our department is also partnering with professional organizations such as the Alley Theatre, the Houston Symphony and Houston Arts Partners to collaborate in professional development for our teachers and to offer engaging experiences for our students. Through these partnerships, I believe we will have more than enough resources when we all come together for our students. My goal is to provide those opportunities for all of us to come together.
What new initiatives or programs have been introduced to the department?
This school year we are implementing our precursor to arts integration [an educational approach where core content is taught through the arts]for our elementary schools. This precursor, arts intragration, allows fine arts teachers to work together and master their integration skills before approaching the core content teachers. In 2019-20, we will fully implement arts integration by allowing our fine arts teachers to lead the integration with the core content teachers. At the secondary level, we’re excited about introducing districtwide, collaborative performances this year, such as a concert that features performances by all band students grades 6-12 and all choir students grades 6-12, or all three high school marching bands performing their shows and then coming together for a collaborative performance at the end. Also this year we are also planning to surprise our community with a major event in May that will involve every program in the Performing and Visual Arts Department, grades K-12.
How does Spring ISD’s fine arts program stand out?
We have been recognized at the state and/or national level in all program areas in performing and visual arts. We’ve reached the University Interscholastic League State Finals in Theatre One Act Play, UIL State Marching Band Contest, Texas Music Educators Association Honor Band and numerous team dance competitions.