Strategic Foundation Building

Strategic Foundation Building retreats are day long gatherings in which a school’s faculty and staff-- including teachers, principals, teachers aides, librarians, parents, and others-- meet with their colleagues from their partnering cultural organization—such as administrators, program managers, program directors and teaching artists. 

Under the guidance of a trained facilitator, participants in a Strategic Foundation Building (SFB) retreat engage in a series of exercises and discussion topics tailored to the partnership.  As a group, participants collectively develop a long range vision, discuss goals for the partnership, and address “nuts and bolts” issues.


The goals of the retreat are:
  • to articulate a school-based vision
  • to cultivate a shared commitment
  • to build a trusting relationship among partners
  • to empower teacher leadership.

To learn more about SFB retreats, download the SFB Chapter of the ESP Resource Handbook, click here.
(You can also download the entire ESP Resource Handbook here.)

You may need to scroll down to view Facilitator bios.

Amy Chase Gulden
Visual Thinking Strategies

Amy Chase Gulden is the NY Regional Director for Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) where she supports teachers, schools and museums learning to use this powerful research-based, art-viewing method and curriculum. Amy was director of Studio in a School’s Long Term visual-arts residency program for seven years before she began consulting to the arts education field in 2005. Her projects include visual arts curriculum writing, professional development design, and documenting teaching & learning in the arts as a way to capture, reflect on, and share inspiring practices with teaching communities. In her role as Senior Researcher at the SchoolWorks Lab, she has worked on several federally funded arts education research studies, and serves as researcher, faculty and facilitator for numerous initiatives of the New York State Council on the Arts. Most recently this involves supporting partnerships using the Evidence of Teacher and Student Learning template. She is a frequent presenter of Visual Thinking Strategies workshops, including as adjunct professor at Brooklyn College. She also enjoys sharing approaches to exhibiting student artwork (especially methods for telling the story of the learning), and using sketchbooks as a bridge between the art studio and the classroom. She is a visual artist, serves on the board of the New York State Alliance for Arts Education, and writes a weekly column, The Gallery, which celebrates emerging artists for apartmenttherapy.com.

Consulting Areas

  • "Evidence of Teacher and Student Learning Template"
  • Documenting Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment & processes for looking at student work
  • Planning and developing curriculum
  • Program evaluation
  • Exhibiting student artwork

Amy Chase Gulden
Visual Understanding in Education, Inc.
119 West 23rd Street, Suite 905
New York, NY 10011
amychase1@earthlink.net
(212) 253-9007
(917) 488-2958