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September 2020
"Is the WiFi Out?"

I don’t know about you, but this is one of the most common questions asked in my home these days. Our oldest is now going to college virtually from a converted walk-in closet, and our youngest is attending 1st grade from the living room. My husband splits his time between the school band room where his drumming won’t disturb the neighborhood and the living room. I am working at a desk that used to hold my craft supplies. This is definitely not how I expected things to look when I thought about the 2020-21 school year. 

For my own health and well-being, I am working on noticing and celebrating the positive, such as more time with our college freshman and learning new ways to engage with people virtually. I have also been working on reaching out to others and asking for help when I need it. It’s been tough for me to find the vulnerability needed to say, “I’m struggling,” since I’m usually the one helping everyone else. 

When things feel uncertain and there are a lot of unknowns, it’s helped me to stay grounded in the things I know, like why the arts in education is critical for student learning and how relationships matter so much to our own well-being. I would encourage you to revisit the reasons why you became an arts educator and why sharing this education with others is important. I would also encourage you to connect with friends and colleagues through a weekly phone call or virtual coffee break, joining a discipline-specific arts education organization, or following an educators group on social media. 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.   

We may be apart with physical distancing, but that just makes it more important to be part of a community of educators who can support each other. Together, we can best meet the needs of our students and take care of ourselves at the same time. That’s what the Arts Empower San Diego Mega Rally is all about. For an hour on Oct. 15, we’ll come together to lift each other up in a time that’s been pretty challenging and isolating. I look forward to seeing you there. 

VAPA Coordinator, SDCOE
VAPA arts in action professional learning subhead
View the latest VAPA professional learning opportunities or click the dates below for the registration page. 

Register Today!

Arts Empower San Diego Mega Rally on Oct. 15
It's been a long, strange, tough year with the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of relegating the annual Arts Empower Mega Conference to another event canceled by the coronavirus, we invite you to get pumped up for the opportunities ahead of us with the free one-hour, Arts Empower Rally on Oct. 15. Be inspired by your peers and the beautiful and powerful student artwork and performances that came out of quarantine and in response to racial injustice. Explore ways to teach dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts virtually and at a distance. Get energized to advocate for the arts in education at a time when students need all the ways to express their feelings and experiences. And be reminded of the importance of arts education with the new state framework. Register now to attend the 2020 Arts Empower San Diego Rally.

San Diego Area Arts Leadership Community
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) and the Southern Counties California Arts Project (SouthCAP) partner in facilitating the San Diego Area Arts Leadership Community. This community of TK-12 school district arts leaders investigate arts education topics and current research, to maintain awareness of issues and policies impacting arts education in California. The community provides a system of support for arts leaders to share, reflect, problem-solve, and learn from each other, especially in our current circumstances with shifting contexts in face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid models of instruction. Fall sessions will take place Sept. 18, Oct. 2, 16, and 30, and Nov. 13.
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Arts Education Curriculum Framework and Instructional Materials
At its July 8 public meeting, the State Board of Education approved the California Arts Education Framework for Public Schools, Transitional Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve revision, which includes instructional materials evaluation criteria. At this same meeting, the SBE approved the Schedule of Significant Events for the 2021 Arts Education Instructional Materials Adoption. These actions authorize the adoption of instructional materials.

The California Department of Education (CDE) and State Board of Education (SBE) are seeking reviewers to participate in the Arts Education Instructional Material Adoption. Applications must be received by 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Arts Education Curriculum Units
The SDCOE Curriculum and Instruction, Multilingual Education and Global Achievement, and Innovation departments collaborated to design distance learning units of study in grades K-12 that are 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. The units of study connect content in the following areas: English language arts, English language development, mathematics, science, history/social science, arts, computer science, and physical education through integrated study in K-5 and thematic units in grades 6-12. Assessment opportunities (formative and summative) and student feedback are embedded and intentionally developed. These open-source units are being developed in Google to ensure maximum flexibility for teachers to use them with their district’s preferred distance learning instructional platform.
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National Arts in Education Week
The second week of September was designated by Congress in 2010 as the week to celebrate and recognize the essential role the arts play in a complete and balanced education for all students. We know a well-rounded education includes the arts, which empower students to become the best versions of themselves. Arts education prepares students to be global citizens who are ready for the future, including college and career. National Arts in Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education. Join the social media campaign on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube by using #ArtsEdWeek and #BecauseOfArtsEd.
Get up-to-the-minute information about what's happening at SDCOE and in our districts across the county.