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Strategic Communications with District Leadership: Creating Arts Champions!

Guest Author: Peggy Burt, Senior Advisor, Arts Planning Initiative

The Challenge: How to communicate strategically with district leadership to demonstrate progress in arts education.

The Strategy: Structured, reflective, brief monthly reports to leadership, turning district leaders into arts champions!

The Story: The coordinators of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA coordinators) as well as other arts leaders and arts educators in school districts often find that their work is well known by some in the district, but almost “invisible” to others.

In an environment where information is often “information overload,” how can we be strategic about getting the facts and the stories to decision makers who have influence around arts education for all students in the district?

Building Relationships with School Leaders in San Benito County

Arts Now Community: San Benito County

Guest Author: Amanda Chiado, Program Manager, San Benito County Arts Council & San Benito County Arts Education Alliance

The Challenge: How to build on collaboration between a school district and community organization

The Strategy: Developing 1:1 relationships with key school leaders

The Story: The San Benito County Arts Council is a key community partner in providing arts education programming to their county’s largest and most underserved school district, Hollister Elementary School District (HESD). For the last four years, they have garnered district support and funding for their comprehensive Arts in Education Program, which they have translated into direct programming at each of the district’s 11 schools. 

In 2016-17, the Arts Council’s goal was to sustain and increase district funding for arts education from HESD and to begin to build their local Arts Education Alliance. With a new superintendent, the San Benito County Arts Council was concerned about the security and continuity of their ongoing partnership. Not only did they want to maintain previous levels of funding and support, they were eager to garner active district participation in the newly founded Alliance. This is where the importance of developing 1:1 relationships with key individuals became a crucial factor in building the Alliance and sustaining arts education advocacy.

Letter on Title I Funding to Support Arts Education

The California Department of Education (CDE) released last month an updated letter to county and district superintendents outlining the appropriate uses of federal funding, in particular Title I funding to support arts education, signed by Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley.

Murrieta Valley Unified Joins Arts Now Communities

Murrieta Valley Unified School District joins the Alliance's Arts Now Communities program, a statewide network of districts and counties working to increase access to arts education in local public schools. This month, Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, Murrieta Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) Superintendent Patrick Kelley, and Miyamoto Music Studio Director Susan Miyamoto hosted a group of 50 parents, teachers, school leaders, arts organizations and local businesses to launch the new effort. Carol Hernandez, MVUSD's Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Coordinator, presented on the amazing arts programs currently underway and invited attendees to participate in the district's upcoming strategic arts planning process, which aims to ensure that all students in the district have access to the arts.

The Arts Now Communities program offers coaching and training, communications tools and field-tested strategies for advancing arts education in California schools. Start a coalition.

Bringing Arts into the Lives of All Students: Burton School District Strategic Planning Success Story

The Challenge: How to bring equitable access to arts education to a rural school district

The Strategy: Use a strategic arts plan to provide a framework for arts education throughout the district and community

The Story: Teacher Mentor Hector Marquez is highly motivated, and he has been promoting the arts within the Burton School District for some time.  But he realized that in order to provide equity and access to the arts for all students, he was going to need a team, and a plan!

With the support of the California Alliance for Arts Education’s Arts Planning Initiative, Hector gathered a team of district and community members in October of 2016 to make arts education history in a small school district in the Central Valley of California.

Bringing Arts Masterpieces to Life for All Students: A Pasadena Strategic Planning Success Story

Guest author: Peggy Burt, Senior Advisor, Arts Planning Initiative

The Challenge: How to create a greater impact in arts education by connecting to your local arts organizations and city 

The Strategy: Use a strategic arts plan to provide a framework for arts education throughout your district and city

The Story: How many times have you driven by a piece of public art or a local museum without taking the time to stop and really see the work? 

Pasadena is a special place - rich with arts and creativity. But we asked ourselves, “How do we share these riches with the school district? 

In 2003, the Pasadena Unified School District began a strategic planning process to strengthen arts education district-wide.  The team came together to create a comprehensive arts plan to provide dance, music, theatre and visual arts education to all students, K-12 within the school day.  In partnership with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission: Arts for All and the California Alliance for Arts Education, the district received a coach and planning assistance. As the comprehensive arts plan moved into implementation, the team asked “How can we create an authentic connection between the school district, our city, and our arts organizations in support of arts education?”

Classroom Guide for Student Voices Campaign Available for Download

January 11th Webinar: Student Voices Campaign Classroom Guide. Slides.

In California, students are guaranteed a voice in planning and budgeting for their local school district. The Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, requires that districts consult with students, parents, teachers and community members each spring to create an official plan for the coming years. The Student Voices Campaign is a creative way for young people to make their voices heard in their school district.

THE STUDENT VOICES CLASSROOM GUIDE IS HERE! Click icons to download. The Classroom Guide structures the Student Voices Campaign as a project-based learning opportunity. It uses California Social Studies Standards, National Core Media Arts Standards, and Common Core Anchor Standards.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Arts Education Data Project is Live!

November 16th Webinar: Arts Ed Data Project for Advocates. Slides.

All students in California deserve to have access to high quality arts education that will provide them with important skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive workforce. But up until now, we lacked the tools to show us where (and how) arts education is offered across the state.

CreateCA, in partnership with the California Department of Education and the Arts Education Data Project, launched a first-of-its-kind suite of tools designed to help increase participation in arts education across California. The tools include the California Arts Education Data Project, which analyzes and reports school-level data on arts education courses and middle and high school enrollment across the state. It is designed to enable leaders at the state, district and school level – as well as parents and advocates – to identify and address education inequities across the state.

Proposition 55, California General Election 2016

By majority approval from the Alliance's Board of Directors and Policy Council, the Alliance announces its endorsement of Proposition 55, the Children's Education and Health Care Protection Act.

Prop. 55 prevents billions of dollars in funding cuts for public education and other vital services. The initative requires strict accountability and requires funds to be spent in the classroom. We hope you will join us in supporting essential funding for our schools.

ProtectingCalifornia.com

California Secretary of State Voter Guide on Prop. 55

 

BREAKING: Governor Signs SB 916, AB 2862

Today, Governor Jerry Brown corrected a longstanding injustice in California’s arts education delivery system, and set the course for a brighter future for California’s students by signing SB 916 (Allen) into law, legislation that will establish single-subject teaching credentials in dance and theatre.

Press Release

Reinstating Single Subject Teaching Credentials for Theatre and Dance: Background and History

This is an issue that has burned in the hearts and minds of arts education advocates since 1970, when dance and theatre credentials were eliminated by the Ryan Act. Since then, teachers could only teach dance after obtaining a credential in Physical Education, and an English credential to teach theatre. Twice, legislative efforts to create these credentials were vetoed by the governor at that time.

Earlier this year, Senator Ben Allen (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, decided to take up the issue and introduced Senate Bill 916, the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!). This effort picked up many vocal allies along the way, including actress Annette Bening, who testified on behalf of the bill in the Senate Education Committee. SB 916 made it through both houses of the legislature without a negative vote, buoyed by the support of the California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, and a multitude of organizations and individuals across the state, including 750 advocates who responded to the Alliance’s advocacy campaign and sent letters to Governor Brown in support of the bill!

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