COOL Schools (Creative Outlook on Learning)  partners teaching artists and classroom teachers to develop arts-integrated learning experiences that promote inclusion, support students’ academic, social/emotional and artistic growth, and deepen engagement through drama, dance, visual arts, music, and media arts.


COOL Schools provides inclusive arts education to over 1700 students, grades PreK-12 in 10 schools across Massachusetts.  
That means 3000 hours of learning, creating, engaging, and collaborating in our COOL classrooms!

COOL Schools Outcomes and Impact

Black icon of an open book on a white background

73% of students
demonstrated academic growth
in language arts, science, social studies or mathematics

Black icon of a paint palette and brush on a white background

85% of students
demonstrated artistic growth in visual arts, music, drama, or multimedia arts

Black icon of a heart on a white background
Black icon of an apple on a white background

72% of students
demonstrated social and emotional growth including communication, self-expression, and team-building skills.

77% of teachers
reported growth in their confidence to incorporate and integrate the arts into their own instruction

Collage of self-portraits of young children, made with black and white photos decorated with bright colors
Self-portraits by students at Adams Elementary


COOL Schools (Creative Outlook on Learning) is a program that partners with schools to provide inclusive arts instruction to students of all ages, all levels of experience, and all learning styles. COOL Schools pairs highly skilled teaching artists with classroom teachers to develop art-integrated learning experiences that support students’ academic, social/emotional and artistic growth, and deepen engagement through a variety of art forms.  Check out our Logic Model to find out how COOL can transform schools or learn more from our COOL Schools FAQs.  

VSA Kennedy Center Logo

OUR cool schools

Close up of four children's art work of colorful insects made with pastels

Adams Elementary School (East Boston)
Visual Arts
PreK - 5th grade

Teenage boy reaches towards a guitar that is held by an adult female. Several people are seated in the background.

Boston College Campus School (Chestnut Hill)
PreK - 12th grade

Stitched construction made from various pieces of fabric in various colors. Some have small writing on them.

Boston Green Academy (Brighton)
Visual Arts
9th - 12th grade

Teenage girl sitting, watching and reaching her hand towards her female teacher, who is playing the guitar

Charlestown High School (Charlestown)
9th - 12th grade

Collage of stitched fabric. One appears to look like a sun, one appears to be on a t-shirt

Comm. Academy of Science and Health (Dorchester)
Visual Arts & Fashion Design
9th - 12th grade

Colorful pastel drawing of a house with a colorful background.

Ellison Parks Early Learning School (Mattapan)
Visual Arts
PreK - 1st grade

Young child playing with a handmade puppet of a person. In the background is a mural with houses made of collaged paper.

Elm Street Elementary School (Gardner)
Visual Arts
2nd grade

Two students face each other and raise their arms to connect their hands

Higginson Elementary (Mattapan)
Music and Dance
PreK - 2nd grade

Artwork collage of a house and people over a yellow background

Trotter K-8 (Dorchester)
Visual Arts
PreK - 6th Grade


Young child sitting on a rug playing a pink ukulele

West Zone ELC (Jamaica Plain)
Pre K- 1st Grade


Woman curly light hair styled to the side, wearing dark-rimmed glasses and smiling

Ali Blake
Visual Arts/Fashion

Man with short, wavy hair, smiling and wearing a black t-shirt.

Andy Holiner

Alexander Conley

Woman with wavy light hair, smiling, wearing sunglasses

Maureen Finnerty
Drama & Movement

Woman with short blond hair and bangs, smiling

Donna Folan
Drama & Movement

Kara Fili

Woman with short light hair, wearing cat eye glasses

Jodi Schmidt
Visual Arts

A woman with wavy dark brown hair smiles slightly

Zoe Nadal

Mone't Ledbetter-Glaude

Woman with her hair pulled back, smiling

Polina Protsenko
Visual Arts

Zahirah Truth
Visual Arts

Woman with straight brown shoulder length hair, with a serious expression

Alissa Voth


Teacher at Adams Elementary

“My students transferred the skills learned in COOL Schools and applied them to other opportunities for making new artwork. Students are more comfortable in their artistic ability.”

Teacher at Adams Elementary

Teacher at Ellison Parks Early Education School

“I can't tell you how many times I heard encouraging words from peer to peer!

Teacher at Ellison Parks Early Education School

Special Education Teacher at Elm Street Elementary

“Having COOL Schools has given me a variety of tools and methods in which I can use literacy and arts to teach a lesson. The program taught me that art is one way in which many students can comfortably express what they have learned about a given topic.”

Special Education Teacher at Elm Street Elementary

want to be a cool school?

Your school could be the next COOL School! We're here to answer your questions and customize the experience to meet your school's unique needs and desires.

Have more questions? Check out our COOL FAQs

Young students standing and reaching with their arms up