CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE TEACHING
The Center for Innovative Teaching (CFIT) is a teaching and learning destination unique to Barrow County that provides professional learning opportunities to teachers and innovative learning experiences to students through multiple programs and partnerships. The highlight of CFIT’s 2017-18 academic year was the Teacher Pilot Program, facilitated by non-profit partner ArtsNow Learning. The pilot program featured a year-long series of standards-based lessons integrating theater, dance, and visual arts. Utilizing innovation through collaboration, the pilot program simultaneously engaged 26 teachers in professional learning and nearly 650 fourth through eighth grade student in content mastery. No longer a pilot program, this process will continue into the 2018-19 school year with many returning pilot program teachers being joined by additional teachers who will be experiencing the program for the first time.
For the upcoming school year, CFIT’s instructional spaces will more than double in order to not only continue the existing arts integration program, but also to launch Barrow County School System’s first ever Arts & Innovation Magnet Program where over 100 fifth and sixth grade students will experience CFIT’s innovative approach to teaching and learning every day of the school year. Expanded learning spaces and partnerships will include Farm to School experiences in the new CFIT Learning Garden, part of a USDA grant-funded program called “Know It, Grow It” through the UGA Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.
An expanded robotics laboratory will breathe new life into the system’s existing partnership with the UGA College of Education and Korean-based company, Roborobo, through a new project focused on developing student’s computational thinking through robotics and programming.
The most expansive renovations to the Center are the dedicated arts integration spaces that include a 1000 square foot dance studio, a black box theater and green wall studio, a well-equipped Makerspace, and computer lab for digital art creation. These spaces, when paired with our Barrow BOLD teachers and the transformative expertise of our partners at ArtsNow, make CFIT the premier teaching and learning destination of Northeast Georgia.