VAPA Arts in Action header art
Oct. 19, 2021
Equity, access, and inclusion are themes you have likely heard a great deal about, but have you given much thought to what this looks like in arts education? As arts educators, we are used to talking about the power of arts education and the benefits it can bring to everyone. To this point, I’m wondering if when you look around at the students you serve, do you see an equitable cross section of the school population? Are students who are English learners, students with disabilities, students living in poverty, students experiencing homelessness, students who are advanced learners, students who are migrants, ethnically and culturally diverse learners, and students who identify as LGBTQIA+ included and welcome in your learning spaces?  

I remember a particular school where I was teaching where none of the students with disabilities were in my classes. Puzzled by this, I went to speak to some of the special education teachers at the school and came to find out the previous teacher discouraged students with disabilities from signing up for music classes. Once I understood this, I was able to work with my colleagues to ensure my classroom was a welcoming and inclusive environment for this student population. This change impacted the students, their families, and the community, as well as the rest of the students in the music program.  

Did you know the new California Arts Education Framework can be a guide for you in implementing differentiated approaches free from bias in arts classrooms for these diverse student populations? Next month we are going to take a closer look at steps you can take to increase equity, access, and inclusion in arts education. In the meantime, please get to know your school population as a whole as well as the students you teach. I think you will be pleasantly surprised what a difference getting to truly know your students will make for the learning environment as well as you as a person.

Please remember I am here as a resource for you. You can reach out with your questions via email or phone and if I don’t have the answers I will do my best to connect you with someone who does. 

If you’re on Twitter, connect with me @PCrooks_VAPA and others passionate about arts education on our weekly #CaArtsEdChat chats every Wednesday from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Whether you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before or are an expert, use this link to see the questions and learn how to join the conversation. 
VAPA Coordinator, SDCOE
VAPA arts in action professional learning subhead
Leveraging English Learner Assets through Arts
This virtual professional learning session for middle school arts and middle school ELD teachers will focus on using the arts as a lens through which we view the importance of the cultural and linguistic connections English Learners make to the arts. Participants will receive lessons to pilot in their classrooms and provide feedback on the content and structure. The participant’s role in this project will play an integral part in leveraging student assets and building into and from the content to provide full and meaningful access to 21st century skills, resulting in attaining high levels of language proficiency and mastery of grade-level standards in the arts and across other content areas. Participants utilizing the lessons and completing the accompanying reflection form will receive free books, teaching supplies, and/or arts supplies.  Registration is available here.
California Arts Standards Introduction
The California Arts Standards Introduction professional learning is designed for arts educators, multiple subject teachers, school and district administrators, and teaching artists to deepen their understanding of the 2019 California Arts Standards for Public Schools and explore strategies for implementation. This professional learning is offered by Fresno, Humboldt, Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, Stanislaus, and Tulare County Offices of Education as part of the collective work of CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative Creativity at the Core Module 22. This two-hour virtual professional learning will be offered two times this fall. Please select one professional learning session to attend. Registration is available here.
Arts Instruction and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) 
The California Arts Standards and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) professional learning is designed for arts educators, multiple subject teachers, school and district administrators, and teaching artists to deepen their understanding of the connections between the 2019 California Arts Standards for Public Schools and UDL in addition to strategies for implementation. This professional learning is offered by Butte, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and Tulare County Offices of Education as part of the collective work of CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative Creativity at the Core Module 20. This two-hour professional learning will be offered virtually three times this fall. Please select ONE professional learning session to attend. Registration is available here.
Introduction to Arts Integration
Build an awareness of how arts integration using theatre strategies can activate your curriculum in any content area. This online, asynchronous course developed by the La Jolla Playhouse will guide educators through a deep understanding of the value of standards based arts integration, how to develop an ensemble mindset in the classroom, assessment through the arts, and ways to connect community arts organizations to schools. Course includes example lesson plans, teacher testimony, and resources to guide arts integration into standards based curriculum. 
This course was designed in collaboration through the Kennedy Center Partners in Education partnership between the La Jolla Playhouse, the Chula Vista Elementary School District, and the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) with funding provided by the CCSESA Arts Initiative. Please use this link to sign up for this free course today.
View the latest VAPA professional learning opportunities on the SDCOE Visual and Performing Arts website.
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Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO) Arts Pack
AERO has created a digital version of the Arts Pack for the 2021-2022 school year with program opportunities for you to incorporate into your curriculum. The AERO website has also been updated with a directory of programs that you can filter by type of event or program and when the program is available for your students. You can view or download it on the AERO website today.
Arts Education Curriculum Units
Whether you are looking for new units to use with your students, plans to share with a substitute, or curriculum for students in quarantine due to COVID-19 you will want to check out the SDCOE distance learning units of study in grades K-12. Focused on grade-level essential learnings in each content area, these units were purposefully designed to integrate content (including the arts), and provide flexibility and choice. These open-source units are being developed in Google to ensure maximum flexibility for teachers to use them with their district’s preferred instructional platform.
Nominate an Outstanding Teacher for SDCCU Classroom Heroes
SDCCU and SDCOE are recognizing three local "Classroom Heroes" every quarter. Winning teachers will be featured on all SDCCU social media platforms and will receive a $250 SDCCU Visa gift card.
Teachers, students, parents and the community are encouraged to nominate a deserving teacher by visiting the SDCCU Classroom Heroes website.
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Equity, Access, and Inclusion in Arts Education — Steps You Can Take Today
According to the new California Arts Education Framework, “The arts are a necessary and required component of each and every California student’s education towards developing well-rounded, life-long learners who contribute to the prosperity and quality of life for local and global communities. An education in the arts — dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts — develops engaged, creative, expressive, responsive, and artistically literate citizens." 

Every time you add content to your website, send an email to parents, create a program for an event, write a newsletter, or post on social media, you have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the power of arts education. The more people know about the benefits of arts education, the more people will support arts education and that means more students experience the arts. For teachers, more students in the arts means more engaged, creative, problem-solving students. For administrators, more students in the arts means a more positive school climate and greater family engagement. For students, more arts means they are more likely to graduate high school ready for a career and college. More arts means more creative problem solving, more civic engagement, and more ways in which the world is beautiful. 

Arts Empower San Diego wants to make it easier for you to take action in support of arts education. Each month you will find a new set of weekly social media posts as well as a short paragraph supporting arts education for other types of communication when you visit our website. Include #ArtsEmpowerSD and #theArtsMatter in your social media posts to connect with your community and encourage them to do the same! For more information about supporting arts education in your community, contact email Pauline Crooks.
Call for Poetry: Resiliency Through and Emerging from the Pandemic
SDCOE, Arts Empower, Write Out Loud, and David’s Harp Foundation would like to invite all San Diego County students in grades K-12 to Let Your Voice Be Heard! Teachers, please encourage your students to write and submit their poems inspired by pandemic experiences, real or imagined. A limited number of classroom workshops are available for teachers wishing to have a teaching artist from Write Out Loud guide their students through reading, discussing, and exploring poetry writing techniques. The submission deadline is Dec. 30. For more Information call 619-297-8953 or email [email protected]. Guidelines and the submission portal are available.
Classics 4 Kids Music of the Desert and Forest
This event will be livestreamed on YouTube to view from your classroom. Join Conductor Dana Zimbric and Classics 4 Kids musicians for a musical hike! Together we will explore the sounds of the trail and learn how composers have used nature as inspiration.

This educational program is designed for students in grades K-6. Registration required by noon on Oct. 29. All registered teachers will receive the YouTube link via email on Nov. 1. Visit the Classics 4 Kids website for more information or to register your class.
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month — Somos Amigos: Songs on Common Ground Virtual Field Trip
In Poway OnStage’s Virtual Field Trip, friendship is at the heart of this joyful collaboration between Mexican songstress Sonia De Los Santos and the Americana folk duo The Okee Dokee Brothers. This bilingual program includes songs that span the musical traditions of North America and illustrate the collective power of singing together with a common vision of peace and understanding. Pre-show learning modules and extension activities included. Visit the website to learn more about this virtual field trip and to sign up.
The Nutcracker Virtual Field Trip
Southern California Ballet will perform narrated show excerpts of The Nutcracker and provide extension activities in choreography and costume design such as the Nutcracker Time Machine and World Tour through the Land of the Sweets. Programming is available in both English and Spanish. Visit the website to learn more about this virtual field trip and to sign up visit.
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