OMA (Opening Minds through the Arts)


 students acting
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kids opera 


OMA (Opening Minds through the Arts) is an arts-integrated program to support student achievement in reading, writing, math and social studies. An arts-infused curriculum has been developed for each grade level which is currently linked to State Standards in these subject areas.

Community artists (instrumentalists, opera singers, dancers) work in collaboration with classroom teachers and OMA Arts Integration Specialists to design and execute lessons which support and extend learning through arts integration.

Van Buskirk is an OMA Gold School! We are one of 13 certified OMA Gold schools in the Tucson Unified School District. Read more about the OMA Model at TUSD’s website.

We have a full-time Arts Integration Specialist (AIS) as well as professional teaching artists who collaborate with teachers on a daily basis in order to integrate the arts into our curriculum. The OMA. Model’s goal is to improve student achievement through the infusion of arts in the areas of reading, math, science, writing, and social studies, as well as 21st century skills.

Teachers at OMA Gold schools are trained by the Design Team and professional artists to create and implement lessons using the arts to help students become more engaged, master curricular objectives, and have fun! Every summer, selected Van Buskirk staff members attended IDeA, Instructional Design for the Arts Summer Institute. They attended lectures, participated in exploratory classes, planned as a team, and even took part in performances in the areas of dance, opera, and visual arts.

Students are exposed to a wind duo in kindergarten, opera in first grade, dance in second, recorders in third, violins in fourth, and band and orchestra in fifth grade.

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