Model schools are the result of a high implementation of arts integration in a school that has received extensive training through the Mississippi Whole Schools.

Schools that have committed to arts integration and changed their school’s culture through the arts are invited to apply as a Model Whole School. Those interested in applying are required to complete at least three years as a MWS school prior to applying for Model status.

Please note: With the implementation of our new eGRANT system, MAC will no longer accept paper applications. Instructions on how to register with the eGRANT system are available herePlease contact MAC staff if you have questions.

Menu Of Services MAC May Provide To Model Schools (Valued Up To $2,000)

On-site professional development workshops presented by teaching artists, arts specialists and teachers that explore the arts disciplines and connections to the school’s academic goals and state standards. Note: Teaching Artists must be chosen from the MAC Roster or another adjudicated roster.

Professional development for staff through the Mississippi Whole Schools Summer & Winter Institutes.

If funding is available, MAC will host a Model school professional development series that begins with the institute, includes a retreat and provides one-on-one coaching from a nationally-known teaching artist.

Expectations For Schools Participating In Model Status

The School will:

  • Provide a cash match for the amount of agreed upon services (value up to $2,000) Please see the cash match section for a list of qualified sources. Contact the Arts Education Director if you have challenges identifying matching sources.
  • Send an agreed number of the school’s staff to attend the MWS Summer & Winter Institutes.
  • Schedule time during the school year for teaching artists and consultants to work with staff and model strategies with students.
  • Schedule time after each off-site professional development workshop to share information and arts integration strategies through hands-on experiences with the rest of the staff.
  • Plan and conduct at least five MWS Project Team meetings at the school during the school year.
  • Submit required project documentation (including the final report) upon request.
  • Participate in MWS related teleconferences and meetings.
  • Identify a leadership team which includes the principal, lead teachers (from each grade level), arts specialist(s), etc. to plan the efforts and map the progress of the school in the MWS journey.
  • Host site visits for Arts in the Classroom, MWS schools and other guests. A three-hour visit includes: Observation of model arts integrated lessons, walk-through of the school and conversations with administrators and teachers. All visits will be coordinated through the Arts Education Director.
  • Be available to present strategies at future MWS professional learning opportunities.
  • Make the school available for hosting local, regional or statewide MWS events such as workshops, exhibits, or other related events.
  • Collaborate to create a professional development plan that identifies the source of income and a plan for professional development during the current school year.*
  • Include MAC and MWS logos on the school’s website and other pertinent print pieces

*Note: Arts Education Director will work with staff to determine which options will work best to implement at your school.

Model School status is awarded for two years. MAC reserves the right to review the status of all MWS Model schools on an annual basis and to deny renewal status based on the fulfillment of the contract.

Services awarded to schools applying by the March deadline will be available for the next school year (see “Important Dates” section at the end of the guidelines).

List Of Services That The School May Provide:

  • Registration fees for the MWS Summer & Winter Institutes
  • Staff travel to the MWS Summer & Winter Institutes, Model School site visits, etc.
  • Presenting fees for workshops by teaching artists, etc.
  • Art supplies (that pertain to the teacher’s exploration of new arts integrated strategies)
  • Fees that were spent on substitute teachers hired to relieve classroom teachers during their MWS professional development opportunities.

Eligible Forms For The Cash Match

Note: Please work with your school district’s fiscal officer (public schools only) to review the following information.

  • Title funds (for professional development, travel, etc.)
  • PTO/PTA funds (including funds from fundraisers, donations, or other income streams)
  • School fundraisers (Note: Please contact school district business manager to review rules for school fundraisers in advance.)
  • School or district funds (to support purchase of supplies, contracting professional development, or reimbursing travel)
  • Contributions from individuals or local businesses

Eligibility Requirement

Schools may apply if they are a Mississippi public school or a school that has been incorporated in Mississippi as a non-profit organization with IRS 501(c) 3 status in place.

Applicants must have completed at least three years as a MWS school prior to applying for Model status.

All final reports for current MAC grants (including supplemental materials) must be turned in and complete from the previous fiscal year before services for the upcoming fiscal year will be awarded.

Review Criteria

Model Whole School applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  1. Improving Academic Achievement (0-10 points)

The applicant should provide:

  • A plan to implement arts integrated strategies which connect to the school’s academic goals (must include their involvement in MWS)
  • A clear understanding of arts integration from administrators and teachers and has incorporated the strategy into their teaching philosophy
  • Lesson plans to demonstrate mastery of an arts integrated strategy, element(s) of a discipline by the teacher and students
  1. Increasing Students’ Skills in and Knowledge of All Arts Disciplines (0-10 points)

The applicant provides:

  • a description of how arts integration promotes student growth in  the school
  • MWS Growth Planner to show evidence of student growth
  1. Professional Growth for Teachers and Administrators (0-10 points)

The applicant describes:

  • An internal in-service professional development schedule that includes time set aside to disseminate information after the MWS professional development training.
  • How arts integration and MWS are an integral part of the professional growth for teachers and administrators
  • Administrators and teachers strengths and weaknesses in arts integration and the four arts disciplines.
  • A plan to address staff’s weakness in upcoming professional development opportunities
  1. Increasing Parental and Community Involvement (0-10 points)

The applicant describes:

  • How the school’s PTO/PTA is involved in the arts (during and after-school)
  • The tools provided to the parents to continue artful conversations at home
  • The community involvement at the school (including local cultural institutions)and the school’s involvement in the community demonstrates shared goals
  1. Building a Sustainable System for Arts-Integrated Learning (0-10 points)

The applicant describes:

  • MWS Co-project directors who are qualified, interested and represent the majority of the staff
  • The Arts Leadership Committee with defined roles and responsibilities who meet on a regular basis
  • A financial commitment from the school/school district to match the $2,000 service award
  • The administrator’s clear vision of how arts integration is part of the “fabric” of the school
  1. Site Visit (conducted during site visit) (0-50 points)

The applicant demonstrates the following:

  • A plan that outlines how and when teachers and art specialists meet to collaborate on arts integrated lessons
  • A curriculum map or planning tool that shows arts connections
  • A school-wide expectation to integrate the arts on a consistent basis
  • A schedule of visual art and performing classes that give opportunities to all students to learn through the Mississippi Visual and Performing Arts Frameworks
  • Documentation of the results of visual and performing art instruction displayed or demonstrated through photos, videos, or short performances
  • A schedule of events (performances, workshops, model lessons, etc.) at the school for the upcoming year that include visual art exhibitions or performing art performances
  • Examples of how students are learning in and through all four art forms
  • An explanation that addresses the school’s current year test scores and how the arts are part of the solution
  • A realistic plan to send staff members to MWS professional development opportunities
  • The quality of arts integration strategies implemented in the classroom and how this is evaluated by administrators and other colleagues at the school
  • New arts integrated techniques implemented into the classroom on an annual basis
  • The training for the parents in arts integration and the four disciplines
  • How the school promotes their involvement in MWS (model school banner, information on the website, or other activities)
  • Minimum of 85% showing results of arts integrated lesson plans with documentation representing arts and subject area standards (should include images of the process and student reflections)
  • Results of lesson plans from arts specialists are shown with documentation representing arts and subject area standards (should include images of the process and student reflections get bonus points!)
  • Student artwork is unique and does not come from a copied outline
  • Arts Integration definition by the Kennedy Center is displayed in each classroom (including the specialists classrooms)
  • The elements of the four arts disciplines (visual art, theatre, dance and music) are displayed in each classroom (including the specialists classrooms)
  • A commitment to supporting newer MWS schools through hosting arts integration retreats, providing presenters for professional development opportunities, etc.
  • A commitment to hosting Model school site visits to new schools
  • MWS Model school banner is hung in the front entrance
  • MWS and MAC logo is on the school’s website

How to Apply

Please note: Apply online using MAC’s eGRANT system. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications are not accepted. If you are new to eGrant, please refer to MAC’s video guides on how to create an account. Please contact MAC staff if you have questions.

  1. Read through the guidelines and review the application with your school team.
  2. Prior to beginning work on the application, contact the Arts Education Director (contact information below) to discuss your school’s interest in the program and the details for applying and participating.
  3. Pull together data,  collect support materials (see list below) and fill out the application using MAC’s eGRANT system.
  4. In 2022, the federal government transitioned from the use of the DUNS Number to a new Unique Entity ID (UEI) as the primary means of identification required to apply for and receive federal funding. Due to federal regulations, MAC will be unable to award any funding to organizations that fail to provide this information. It is 100% free for an organization to request a UEI, and you need not complete the full registration in order to obtain your ID. Follow the steps outlined in this guide to obtain your organization’s UEI. For further assistance in obtaining a UEI, you can reach the help desk by calling 866-606-8220 to speak to a registration specialist.
  5. The Arts Education Director will set up a day in March/April that is convenient for the applicant school to bring in a small group of panelists (3-4) that will meet with the staff, observe model arts integrated lessons and walk through the hallways to learn how the arts has transformed the school.

Required Items For Model School Application Package

Please submit the following information through the eGRANT system:

  • Narrative in which you address the questions listed on the application form
  • An overview of the dissemination plan for professional development on your school campus
  • An overview of your plan for parental and community involvement for arts integration
  • Sample lesson plan copies
  • A copy of your current MWS Growth Plan to show goal planning
  • Personal Statement Letter from the school principal
  • Letter of Support from the school superintendent
  • Letter of Support from the school PTO
  • A copy of the Arts Leadership Team chart
  • Sample copy of school newsletter highlighting arts experiences and/or arts integrated lessons

If your school is applying to be a Model School for the first time or a Year One, please also submit these additional items:

  • One sample arts integrated lesson plan from each grade level at the school (include the College and Career-Readiness Standards and College and Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards)
  • One sample lesson plan from each of the school’s arts specialists (include the College and Career-Readiness Arts Learning Standards). (Optional) Include 2-3 images of students working on the lesson and 2-3 images of the final product.
  • Curriculum Map (with art connections highlighted)
  • Personal statement from the principal describing their desire and purpose their school to apply to be a Model School (Year One only)
  • If a private school, a copy of your IRS 501(c)3 determination letter

Important Dates

February 1 – Submit letter of intent to apply

March 8 – Model Whole Schools application deadline

March/April – Full day site visits are set up with each applicant

June – MAC Board meets and makes final decisions on all applications

July 1 – Applicants are notified regarding acceptance

TBD – MWS Summer Institute (typically June)

TBD – MWS Winter Institute (typically January/February)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who should the Co-Project Directors be?
    A set of teachers who are looked upon by the staff as leaders. At least one of the directors should be a classroom teacher.
  2. Why do you need the Co-Project Directors’ personal contact information?
    During school breaks (especially the summer) it is important to have additional contact information in case there are questions or changes in upcoming events. This information will not be shared with any outside parties.
  3. Who is the Authorizing Official?
    This is the person who is designated to sign contracts on behalf of the school. Public schools should list their superintendent and private schools should list the school principal or other appropriate appointee.
  4. Who are considered “inclusion” students?
    Any student identified as having a disability who receive specialized instruction within a general classroom environment.
  5. Who are considered “self-contained” students?
    Any student identified as having a disability who receives specialized instruction within a classroom specifically designed for their needs.
  6. What is considered the Average Daily Attendance?
    An average of a daily count of students in attendance in an entire school year.
  7. Who should we plan to send to the MWS Summer & Winter Institutes?
    The project director, principal, lead teachers from each grade level, curriculum coordinator and the art specialist(s) is an ideal group of attendees. Send a variety of new and returning staff members. Except for the project directors and administrators, each event should bring together a different team in order to spread the opportunities throughout the staff.
  8. Who should be on the MWS Project Team and how should it be organized?
    The committee should be comprised of administrator(s), project directors, arts specialist(s), lead teachers and perhaps a parent. Be sure that each person on the committee has a role and responsibility…this includes the project directors and administrators.
  9. How do we create an organizational chart for the Arts Leadership Committee?
    See the sample organization chart for an example of the roles to be assigned. The names of the roles, quantity of positions and structure will vary for each school. When submitting the organizational chart, please be sure to list the name and role of each person involved with the committee. Please make an attempt to add a parent to the committee.
  10. What happens during the site visits?
    See the Model School Visit Sample Agenda.

For detailed information, contact Charlotte Smelser, Arts Education Director – 601/359-6037 or