It’s a long weekend for Missoula County Public School District One students. There will be no school on Monday as teachers prepare to learn more about integrating art in the classroom. According to Superintendent Mark Thane, the focused training is courtesy of a grant.

“We are actually in the third year of a three year grant with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,” said Thane. “We are looking at art from three different perspectives. Art is exposure. For example, we bus all our forth grade students annually to hear the Missoula symphony. In addition to exposure to the arts, there is the arts for arts sake. It is our opportunity to enhance our music, our visual arts, and performing arts.”

During Monday’s training session, teachers of core subjects that aren’t usually arts focused, will learn to add new teaching methods to their repertoire.

“Help them understand how to utilize art as a modality to teach content in the regular core area,” Thane said. “The example I would site, teachers are being taught how to teach some science concepts, like the anatomy of a tree through movement and song. Watching them implement that, it was amazing the recall the students had of those critical elements.”

There will be no dancing around the fact that the long weekend ends Tuesday, when students are expected back in class.