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Riverside Unified School District embraces Community Partnerships!

Guest author: Peggy Burt, Arts Now Program Director

The Challenge: How to engage and gather input from the community for school district arts planning

The Strategy: An invitation to a meeting at the Mayor’s office!

The Story: On a lovely day in Riverside, August 15, 2017, a passionate group of arts education providers and supporters gathered in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Chamber at Riverside City Hall. As soon as you stepped into the room, you could feel the buzz of excitement! This was a moment of collaborative opportunity and an invitation to contribute to the work of enhancing and strengthening the arts in the Riverside Unified School District. Holding it at the Mayor’s office underlined the value placed on the community’s input.

Annemarie Guzy, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, warmly welcomed the attendees. “This is a very momentous time for Riverside Unified. With renewed support for the arts from our incredible Board, our school district is very excited to be building a future for the arts, and helping all of our students to reach their highest creative potential in drama, dance, visual arts, media arts, instrumental music and vocal music.”

Update to Action Alert: Support the Arts in ESSA Plan

Thank you to everyone who sent letters to the California Department of Education requesting the inclusion of language about the Visual and Performing Arts in the state plan to implement Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We have been in touch with the California Department of Education to raise our concerns about this issue and received the following response from Barbara Murchison, ESSA State Lead at the California Department of Education:

Update to Action Alert: Support the Arts in ESSA Plan

Thank you to everyone who sent letters to the California Department of Education requesting the inclusion of language about the Visual and Performing Arts in the state plan to implement Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We have been in touch with the California Department of Education to raise our concerns about this issue and received the following response from Barbara Murchison, ESSA State Lead at the California Department of Education:

Update to Action Alert: Support the Arts in ESSA Plan

Thank you to everyone who sent letters to the California Department of Education requesting the inclusion of language about the Visual and Performing Arts in the state plan to implement Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We have been in touch with the California Department of Education to raise our concerns about this issue and received the following response from Barbara Murchison, ESSA State Lead at the California Department of Education:

A Guide for Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What if you could help students create change? And what if there was an established program and a guide to help you through the process step by step?

Each year, the California Alliance for Arts Education hosts a Student Voices Campaign (SVC) that empowers students to communicate their creativity and passion for the arts with their elected officials. Students take part in a video advocacy campaign that offers them a real-world 

opportunity to author content, communicate creatively and practice civic engagement. This year, hundreds of students in 7 California counties created 59 videos for submission to their local school board. Students submitted their vision for change ranging from the need for arts education and updated computers, to securing safe bathrooms for transgender youth. Take a look at some of last year's videos here.

California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) guarantees students a voice in planning and budgeting for their school district. SVC provides a pathway for students to realize the role envisioned for them in LCFF community engagement guidelines.

To help facilitate this as a learning tool, we’ve worked with the California Arts Council to create a Student Voices Campaign Teacher’s Guide to teach the Student Voices Campaign as a classroom based project. Last year, teachers in middle and high school classrooms across California piloted the use of the guide. 
 
As a result, a record number of students took part in the 2016 Student Voices Campaign (link: ttp://www.studentvoicescampaign.org), generating persuasive two-minute videos that were sent to their respective local school boards, and impacting their district’s annual Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) planning process. The feedback were outstanding. 

Winning Student Voices Videos Announced at Summit

 
Statewide Advocacy Campaign Provided Opportunity for Student Input and Real Change
 
San Francisco, California (May 9, 2016) - Students today care about a lot of things, from the need for arts education and updated computers, to securing safe bathrooms for transgender youth.  The 3rd annual STUDENT VOICES CAMPAIGN, presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education, gave California students an opportunity to use video technology to communicate what matters to them and share their vision with their local school board. This year, one local school board listened and responded quickly, proving that student voices truly can create change.
 
Hundreds of students representing 7 California counties participated. 20 finalists were selected and the three top submissions were announced at the recent Student Voices Summit & Screening, held at the San Francisco Art Institute on April 30.
 
 
“The Student Voices Campaign is a creative way for young people to make their voices heard in their school district,” said California Alliance for Arts Education Director of Communications Sibyl O'Malley.

ALLIANCE PRESENTS SERIES OF REGIONAL CONVENINGS ON ARTS Education and TITLE I

The California Alliance is hosting regional convenings planned to help California schools and districts understand the appropriate use of arts strategies within the Title I program.

In the coming months, we will travel to Sonoma, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Sacramento to share strategies for increasing student engagement, academic achievement, parent involvement and other Title 1 goals through the arts. School principals, district administrators, financial officers, school site council members and categorical funding experts are invited to attend and will receive information on best practices and research that can be used to support these efforts including a step-by-step walkthrough of how arts strategies can be included in a school site plan.

The scheduled convenings are the following:

  1. Alameda: Friday, April 25, 2014 1-3p.m., Alameda County Office of Education, 313 W. Winton Ave, room L2 Hayward, CA 94544 Register. Event Flyer. 
  2. Sacramento: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Sacramento County Office of Education, 8:30 AM: Breakfast and Networking 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM: Meeting Register. 

* The admission to all the listed events is FREE

Arts Education and Title 1 Funding: What you can do

A primary mission of the California Alliance for Arts Education is to ensure that every student, not just those who are fortunate to live in affluent communities, receives the benefits of arts education as a component of a comprehensive high-quality education. This commitment led to our involvement in Title I funding for public education.

Decision on Dance and Theatre Credential Postponed

In late September, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) will hold its next meeting where it was expected to render a decision about whether to add a single subject credential for dance and theater. That decision has been delayed until the Commission’s December meeting. Although the state's education code requires instruction in four artistic disciplines, California is currently one of only a handful states that does not offer a credential for dance and theater teachers. In June, the California Alliance and other organizations supporting the new credential sent letters of support to the Commission. We will report back on the results of these efforts after the December meeting. 

 

Speak Up about How the Local Control Funding Formula Gets Implemented

Regional Meetings Held This & Next Week 

In June, California passed historic reforms to our school financing system. In the coming months, the State Board of Education (SBE) and California Department of Education (CDE) will be formulating how the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will be implemented at the district level. Community and stakeholder engagement is critical to this process.
 
Speak up at regional meetings about the positive impact of the arts on students, especially high needs students. The SBE and CDE are holding a series of regional meetings to gather stakeholder input and ideas to inform implementation of LCFF. Sessions begin at 9:30 AM and end at or before noon at each location.
 

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