The IMS panel of experts recognized PVSchools’ creative approach to adopting and implementing Quaver K-6, an innovative cloud-based music curriculum.
“At first, we were honored just to be among the 25 finalists for these awards,” explained Dr. Keith Preston, the PVSchools director of Fine Arts. “IMS Global is the ‘go to’ organization for standards in education technology and there were numerous applications from around the world describing some very impressive projects. Now to be one of the eight selected for this award is truly special.”
In 2014, PVSchools selected QuaverMusic.com to deliver its music curriculum completely online. In describing the basis for the decision, Dr. Preston said, “We wanted to give our teachers the most current and responsive system available, one that would deliver sound pedagogy using 21st century technology. Quaver met our requirements in 2014 and has worked with us to expand and refine its offering – in many cases in response to our specific requests.”
With competition for recognition by IMS Global coming from organizations with the latest technology applied to education, PVSchools emphasized how it employed simple and sound change management practices to allow music teachers to integrate the program in accordance with their level of comfort with the new technology. Dr. Preston issued general guidelines on implementing the new systems, not foisting it on his teachers. He then worked with the Quaver implementation team to provide in-person and online training in both basic and advanced program features.
After two years, the Quaver curriculum has been roundly embraced by all 28 music teachers at PVSchools, a fact testified by a year-end survey where the teacher ratings of the program were overwhelmingly positive. As Dr. Preston points out:
“Music teachers are creative, independent, and passionate about their field. They are also challenged with the task of teaching hundreds of students a week in a political/fiscal environment that seldom gives them the financial support they need. We felt that by being sensitive to these challenges and the everyday pressures of the job, we were able to implement 21st century technology gracefully, efficiently, and effectively.”
In fact, since IMS Global began selecting programs for its Learning Impact Awards, PVSchools is the first music program to be so recognized. For Dr. Preston, the award comes at an opportune time as he retires after eight years as the PVSchools Fine Arts director. He leaves an awarding-winning program to successor Norm Pratt, who looks forward to carrying on the progressive music education program established at PVSchools.