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Arts Integration

Michigan schools considering a fully integrated and aligned fine arts curriculum now have a new resource at their disposal. School leaders at Concord Academy Petoskey are assisting other Michigan charter schools in the alignment and mapping of fully integrated fine arts curricula, development of a high-quality, comprehensive Internet resource, and implementation of professional development programs for new and aspiring teachers.

Concord Petoskey 


Year Founded:  1994

Administration:  Kim Overton and Rick Branson are co-directors

Locations:  Grades K-6 - 2240 E Mitchell

         Grades 7-12 - 2590 Atkins

Number of Students:  280

Number of Staff:  25 teachers and 4 support staff

Mission Statement:  Concord academy will provide an inspiring and challenging educational environment conducive to critical and creative thinking by integrating a strong fine arts program into the traditional academic curriculum.

Concord Academy-Petoskey opened in 1994 as one of the first public school academies in Michigan.  It opened as a K-8 school while charter school legislation was still pending and received its charter on April 1, 1995.  The following year Concord Academy expanded to include a high school.  Originally chartered by Central Michigan University, Concord is now authorized by Lake Superior State University.

Concord Academy opeates under its own Instructional Plan written by Kim Overton, founder and co-director.  Concord's curriculum integrates the fine arts with academics in a thematic approach.  All students take music, art, dance and drama as part of their regular school days, as well as core academic classes.  Rigorous instruction in English, math, science and social studies is offered to all students, as multi-age classrooms focus on continuous progress.

Each student receives instruction at his or her optimal level and keeps advancing as fast and as far as achievement is shown.  At the high school level, students still take four years of each of the core subjects.  In addition, eleven Advanced Placement courses are available for students to earn college credit, including Biology, Literature, European History, Calculus, Art History, and Music Theory.

Instruction in the arts is considered integral to the full development of each studen't potential.  Different learning styles are addressed through a variety of instructional methods.  Kinesthetic, spatial, and musical learners thrive when allowed to pursue their studies in conjunction with the arts.  Critical to the success of this type of instruction is integrated thematic instruction.

Concord Academy follows school-wide themes that address key curricular topics.  K-8 students study U.S. History one year and World Studies the next.  The high school students follow a four-year rotating theme of U.S. History, Ancient History, World History, and European History.  Through integrated thematic instruction, students studying a particular country in social studies will also read literature, sing songs, dance the dances, and do artwork connected to that country.  This deepens the students' knowldge and makes connections for them across disciplines.


Michigan Department of Education