January/February CCSESA CISC Arts Subcommittee Report – Regional Highlights


January/February 2021-22


Curriculum and Instruction (CISC) Arts Subcommittee

Dr. Gary Waddell, Chair
Assistant Superintendent, Equity & Educational Progress Division & Public Affairs, Santa Clara COE
Email: gwaddell@sccoe.org

Jeanette Spencer, Co-Chair
Senior Advisor for District Support & Educational Leadership, Butte COE
Email: jspencer@bcoe.org

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Statewide Arts Initative

Sarah Anderberg, Director
Email: sanderberg@ccsesa.org

California Department of Education (CDE)

Letty Kraus, Education Programs Consultant
Email: lkraus@cde.ca.gov
Allison Frenzel, Education Programs Consultant
Email: afrenzel@cde.ca.gov

The California Arts Project (TCAP)

Kristine Alexander, Executive Director
Email: kalexand@csusb.edu

REGION 1 Arts Lead
Stacy Young, Humboldt COE – syoung@hcoe.org
REGION 2 Arts Lead
Jennifer Spangler, Butte COE – jspangler@bcoe.org

REGION 3 Arts Lead
Dr. L. Steven Winlock
, Sacramento COE – swinlock@scoe.net

REGION 4 Arts Lead
Bernie Phelan, Alameda COE bphelan@acoe.org

REGION 5 Arts Lead
Sofia Fojas, Santa Clara COE sfojas@sccoe.org

REGION 6 Arts Lead
Amy Bultena, Stanislaus COE – abultena@stancoe.org

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Aaron Bryan
, Fresno CSS – abryan@fcss.org

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Kate Stover, Tulare COE – kate.stover@tcoe.org

REGION 8 Arts Lead
Lisa Salas Brown, Ventura COE – lbrown@vcoe.org

REGION 9 Arts Lead
Pauline Crooks, San Diego COE – pcrooks@sdcoe.net

REGION 10 Arts Lead
Louisa Higgins, Riverside COE – lhiggins@rcoe.us

REGION 11 Arts Lead
Jeannine Flores, Los Angeles COE – flores_jeannine@lacoe.edu

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS – Submitted by the Regional Arts Leads of the CISC/Arts Subcommittee

REGION 1 Humboldt County Office of Education – Stacy Young, Regional County Arts Lead

Del Norte County Office of Education

As California implements the Arts Framework this month, Del Norte County Unified School District also kick-starts their district-wide Arts Education Program Evaluation.  Also, as part of the 2021-2022 school year, our district will offer arts-based professional development.  Our Arts Lead is taking steps to partner with community resources such as that of Del Norte and Tribal Lands to strengthen arts programs in schools and in supporting extracurricular services. 

Humboldt County Office of Education

Humboldt is preparing for a busy spring! Arts & Creativity Initiative, will be collecting data for their final year. HCOE has begun selecting schools for the next DoE grant, ArtSEL. March held the annual Youth Arts Festival at the Morris Graves Museum of Art and the All County Music Festival. March 12 is the Regional Arts Forum “Creative Education Symposium” which will focus on Social Emotional Learning and the Arts.

Youth Arts Festival flyer (English)
Youth Arts Festival flyer (Spanish)

Lake County Office of Education

Lake County teachers are integrating skills gathered from the art training program. Each teacher was given a set of books to support the integration of the arts into their curriculum. Teaching artists are visiting classes to support lesson preparation and full implementation.

Mendocino County Office of Education

Mendocino County’s Get Arts in School Program (GASP) is collaborating with local artists in a number of K-12 classroom projects. Examples include 9-12 students creating a school-wide literary and visual anthology, a multidisciplinary 3-5 project integrating writing, nature observation, spoken word, and visual illustration, and a K-12 collaboration to create a school Alma Mater accompanied with watercolors representing life in and around the community. Our work with the Arts and Creativity Initiative continues and supports K-5 teachers at schools across the county. 

REGION 2 Butte County Office of Education – Jennifer Spanger, Regional County Arts Lead

Butte County Office of Education

Butte County Office of Education Produces Annual Superintendents Juried High School Art Exhibit

113 artworks were submitted from ten high schools in Butte County. The exhibit of all the works plus a short written artist statement are exhibited at the Butte County courthouse. A jury of three community representatives judged the works and determined awards. Awards were made for first, second, and third place in six categories: Paint & Pastel; Ink, Pencil & Charcoal; Digital Media; Digital Photography; 3-D; and Mixed Media.

Shasta County Office of Education

Shasta County Office of Education Presents ONline Showcase of Student Art

The second annual Virtual Arts Alive Showcase is now on-line. Student works in both visual and performing arts from ten Shasta County K-12 schools are featured. Visit the showcase linked here.

Tehama County Department of Education

Tehama County High School Develops Original Theatre Production on the Pandemic

Students contributed their stories and experiences from the past year coping with the COVID pandemic, on-line learning, and isolation as the content for Red Bluff High School’s spring musical, Our Beautiful Mess. Performances will be March 24, 25, and 26, 2022.

This production will also inaugurate new theatre seating provided by the McConnel Foundation. See more in a video (YouTube) linked here.

REGION 3 Sacramento County Office of Education – Dr. L. Steven Winlock, Regional Arts Lead

Sacramento County Office of Education

The Sacramento County Office conducted the POETRY OUTLOUD Region competition during the month of February 2022.  The winner in the region was Samantha Albani, Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove Unified School District. Runner up Mac Stern, Natomas Charter School, Sacramento County.  All of our students who presented were selected from their schools, which resulted in all of our students being recognized for their outstanding delivering of poetry.  

The production of the regional Poetry Outloud is produced through the collaboration of many organizations in the region.  These organizations include 916 Ink, who provided coaching to all participating schools, SCOE Communication office who guided the virtual broadcast and is hosted by Mr. Tim Herrera, SCOE communication Director, SCOE Technology Services, SCOE School of Education, Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium, City of Sacramento, Office of Arts and Culture and California Arts Council and of course our Districts and Charter Schools in the region.  The collaboration of all these organizations produced an outstanding platform for our student poets to present outstanding poetry. 

REGION 4 Alameda County Office of Education – Bernie Phelan, Regional Arts Lead

Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara County Offices of Education

Arts as Life!

On February 2nd the Arts as Life virtual professional development was held and was a great success.  This opportunity was open to teachers, administrators and K-12 students and was co-produced with San Mateo County Office of Education, Alameda County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Office of Education, Stanford Live, Young Audiences of Northern CA, KQED, and the San Mateo County Office of Arts and Culture.

There were over 220 participants and that number grows when you add the fact that teachers also brought their students.  In addition, there were 36 presenters covering topics for all grade levels and disciplines.

REGION 5 Santa Clara County Office of Education – Sofia Fojas, Regional Arts Lead

Monterey County Office of Education

The 2022 CISC Symposium proudly presented student visual art representations from across the state in a stunning in-person and virtual exhibit. #CISC2022

LIBERATE: Our Voice, Our Time – A California Student Art Showcase

Monterey Ocean Arts Festival

Monterey Ocean Arts Festival invites young artists, age 10-25, to create original ocean-themed works of art in all genres (visual art, dance, music, theater, spoken word, etc). Our goal is to utilize the power of creativity to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards and environmental activists. An event flyer is linked here.

The submission deadline is March 10, 2022.

Monterey County VAPA Collaborative Network

Come join our VAPA Collaborative Network opportunity to share promising practices in order to support the CA Art Standards for grades PreK – 12.

Monterey Bay CUE Student-Powered Film Festival

Submissions opened January 2022 for the 5th annual film festival for students in kindergarten through high school living in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties.

This year’s theme is Earth Day, videos focused on conservation and the environment.

Watch this Zoom recording to learn about ways to incorporate the Film Festival into YOUR grade level curriculum and standards linked here. You can view the 2021 film festival linked here.

2022 Poetry Out Loud Competition

Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Participants master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. California’s Poetry Out Loud is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and has grown steadily since its inception. The 2018 competition series encompassed 46 counties, 261 schools, and 783 teachers, reaching nearly 73,000 students statewide.

Monterey County Office of Education’s 2022 Poetry Out Loud competition was held on February 5, 2022. For more details, click here.

Santa Clara County Office of Education

Young Artist Showcase

The Winter edition of the Artspiration E-Blast featured the Young Artist Showcase. Submissions closed Feb 25, 2022. The showcase is open to public school students grades pre-k to grade 12 in Santa Clara County. Students will be showcase their artwork at a virtual celebration on Sunday, March 13 as a part of the Philosophy of Education Annual Conference. ​​

The conference is a partnership between the Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University and the Santa Clara County Office of Education. It will take place on Sunday March 13th (from 11-2:30pm). The headliner is the three-time Grammy nominated hip-hop group the Alphabet Rockers. They will be providing a workshop for teachers on how to use hip-hop in the classroom for social change.

The conference also provides poetry performances and workshops by former Santa Clara County’s Poet Laureate, Janice Sapigao, and the county’s Youth Poet Laureate and Vice Poet Laureate – Anouk Yeh and Mahder Aklilu respectively.

UDL and the Arts in Palo Alto Unified!

Sofia Fojas and Gena Pacada joined their coordinator colleagues in delivering arts-focused UDL instruction to music, visual arts, and theater teachers in Palo Alto Unified School District.  It was such a success that we are returning to complete another training later this month. Variation is the norm!

The ArtsEdConnect Grant is in its second round funding this year. We were able to fund an additional 90 applications for teachers to work with artists in their classrooms, purchase arts materials, or provide arts experiences in the community. The grant period runs from January to June this year.

​​Santa Cruz County Office of Education

Join us for an Arts Integration Community of Practice. We will work together to discover ways to integrate the arts disciplines int our curriculum and instruction. We will use an equity lens to examine the principles and explore the connections between the arts and social-emotional learning.

We will meet on the following Thursdays (the third Thursday of the month): October 21, November 18, January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Registration is linked here.

UCSC’s Monterey Bay Area Math Project Monterey Bay Science Project 15th Annual Winter STEAM Conference
Suggested Audience: K-12 Educators

Registration will opened on January 10th for this flexible zoom conference. Sessions will include:

  • Lessons Study
  • Math Games and Math Movement
  • Math Science and writing
  • Science for K – 12 teachers and students
  • Environmental Literacy and Science

March 5, 2022 – To register, click here.

fashionTEENS Santa Cruz 2022

Students are beginning to design and create their recycled and reused clothing for Fashion Teens 2022 on May 1, 2022 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Learn more about this event linked here.

Applications Due: March 18 (applications coming soon!)
Runway Show: Sunday May 1 (more information coming soon)
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium (COVID permitting)

Watch the fashionTEENS Santa Cruz 2021 Virtual Fashion Show (YouTube) linked here.


Once again, the Santa Cruz COE in partnership with the Arts Council Santa Cruz County brought our community POETRY OUT LOUD 2022 on February 2, 2022. Congratulations to our county winner, Marina SteinKamp, who will be going to state virtually this year.

Arts Council Santa Cruz: Virtual Classroom in All Art Forms
Suggested Audience: Teachers, Students, Families

Welcome! Here you’ll find lesson plans, activities, and video tutorials in visual arts, dance, music, and theater with our talented Mariposa Arts, SPECTRA, and Artist Teacher Partnership teaching artists. We hope that these pages engage you, students, and families to learn about the arts at home until we can be together again in the classroom.

More info is linked here.

Bring Classical Music Into Your Classroom

No cost and no teacher preparation
Support for students’ Social Emotional Learning: Listening to Music
5 minutes/day
Easy to access online
Ready to start? APPLY HERE
Need more information?
Contact Audrey Sirota, COE Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator
 or Lee Duffus, Symphony Volunteer CMC Coordinator

The Orchestra SWINGS

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education in collaboration with the Santa Cruz Symphony and Carnegie Hall offers our county’s 4th and 5th grade students Link Up Youth Concert “Orchestra Swings.”

This program is for students in 4-5th grade. Students learn selections such As the fourth installment of their 2021 – 2022 concert season, the Symphony is excited to partner with Carnegie Hall’s Link Up program, which introduces students to the orchestra by helping them to become a part of it. Through this highly participatory program, students learn to sing and play an instrument in the classroom and perform with a professional orchestra from their seats at a culminating concert.

San Benito County Office of Education

Melinda Nakagawa from A Spark In Nature 

Melinda Nakagawa will offer a Nature Journal Workshop Virtual  series on Jan 20, Feb 3, and March 3, 2022. This series will focus on Environmental Literacy and the foundations of Nature Journaling Educators will learn ways to integrate Nature Journaling into the classroom. This workshop is open to educators, teaching artists, community members and San Benito County’s ARTS Region V partners. Sign up here: OMS Registration

San Benito Arts Council – San Benito County’s Strategic Arts Plan: Arts Forward is in the final editing stage and was adopted by the SBCOE School Board in December 2021.

SBC Arts Collaborative
Join our SBC Arts Collaborative to engage in professional development focused on standards-based arts integration strategies and processes with content and arts educators.

Join us for a special series:
**The Arts of SEL for English Learners series by Peggy Burt: Dec 7,  Feb 3, March 22, April 19, and May 17 from 4-5 pm

Registration is linked here.

This year’s San Benito County Office of Education STEAM Expo is going virtual and is open to all county students grades K-12. Students & families are invited to submit a traditional science fair entry or explore a STEAM theme & create a project.

The submission deadline is March 12th. Click on the zoom link on Thursday, March 18th to participate in the live event.

For info & to learn more about how to enter visit HERE.

Join the San Benito County Arts Showcase Feb 9, 4:00 -7:00 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Building, sponsored by the San Benito County Office of Education and the San Benito County Arts Council.

Student art, live performances, interactive arts and food.

REGION 6 Stanislaus County Office of Education – Amy Bultena, Regional Arts Lead

Stanislaus County Office of Education

Stanislaus County Office of Education is accomplishing the following:

  • Designing a shareable edition of their strategic arts plan
  • Beginning work to write a strategic arts plan with county districts
  • Working with Patterson Unified School District to provide year-long arts integration training
  • Working with Salida School District to provide year-long arts integration training
  • Working with Amador COE to deliver arts integration professional development
  • Working with Paradise School District to provide ongoing arts professional development
  • Sending a monthly arts newsletter to 1800+ recipients of Region 6
  • Offering three virtual fieldtrips to local Region 6 businesses that integrate the arts
  • Hosting the March Region 6 Student Art Showcase and Reception
  • Hosting the April Emotional Art Show
  • Hosting a free, Saturday, making event for the community; called Maker Hoopla
  • Offering free arts workshops on Social Emotional Learning and the Arts
  • Stanislaus COE is offering the following workshops to all of Region 6:
    • Social Emotional Learning and the Arts x 2
    • Fall Y’all Arts Integration
    • Winter Wonderland Arts Integration
    • Spring Thing Arts Integration
    • Digital Applications for Student Creativity x 2
    • Sketchnotes x 2
    • Writing and Teaching Integrated Units
    • Visual Literacy x 2
    • Universal Design for Learning and the Arts Integration x 2

Stanislaus COE designed and maintains a guidance document for county and district leads and teachers about how to safely conduct arts classes in the era of COVID-19.

Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools

Tuolumne COE sends a monthly arts newsletter.


REGION 7 – Tulare County Office of Education & Fresno County Superintendent of Schools – Kate Stover & Aaron Bryan, Regional Arts Co-Leads

Fresno County Superintendent of Schools

FCOE Lobby Concerts – The Fresno County Superintendent of Schools’ is celebrating Arts Education Month with a new concert series for secondary musicians! 7 ensembles from across Fresno County will be featured in 30-minute concerts in March and April in the 3-story atrium/lobby of the Fresno County Office of Education. The concerts will be recorded and shared online via the FCSS YouTube channel. Here is the line-up of student performers:

  • March 11 – Free26 String Quartet
  • March 18 – The Woodward Quartet
  • March 25 – Kerman High Schools’ Mariachi León
  • April 8 – Clark Intermediate Schools’ Sotto Voce chorus
  • Performances from the Clovis North Jazz Combo, Buchanan High Jazz Band, and University High School Chamber Choir are still being scheduled!

Spanish-Language Arts Education Outreach – As part of a grant from the Hewlett Foundation, the FCSS has created media spots for Spanish-language radio and television, as well as social media, that highlight the impact of arts education on student success in school and beyond! The “¿Sabia Que?” initiative will encourage parents to get involved in their school’s LCAP process to ensure that their child has access to the arts every day! For a preview of the television spot, visit bit.ly/3HASKDG.

Kings County Office of Education

Check out the March edition of Kings County Arts in Action for more of the amazing arts taking place in schools throughout Kinds County (www.smore.com/yrupq).

Tulare County Office of Education

Children First – All About the Arts! – Students, educators, community partners, and arts programs from Tulare County and across Region 7 were featured in the December edition of “Children First” on local ABC-affiliate station KFSN Channel 30. Sponsored by the Tulare County Office of Education, Valley Children’s Healthcare, and Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU). Children First is a year-round effort focusing on challenges and opportunities among our youth in Central California. The program shows how the average person can make a difference in a child’s life and highlights local organizations working with children. The Children First campaign includes half-hour programs, thirty-second public service announcements and special stories on Action News.  Watch the All About the Arts special.

Student Art Exhibition Best of Show Honors Awarded – 214 Tulare County students were recognized with Best of Show honors in this year’s virtualStudent Art Exhibitions. Open to students in grades PK-12, the annual exhibitions showcase the county’s young artists who create two- and three-dimensional pieces utilizing a variety of mediums. This year for the first time, the show also features digital media – including student produced film and animations. The Gallery features the work of more than 477 artists in grades PK-12 from 44 Tulare County schools. Visit the Virtual Gallery.

REGION 8 Ventura County Office of Education – Lisa Salas Brown, Regional Arts Lead

One focus of timeline number two has been to hold a formal meet and greet with the Region Members.  On 2/23/22 Kai, Jessica (new to the Region from Kern), and myself were able to meet via Zoom. Brent was unable to attend due to a family emergency.

I shared with them a document that I had created with the tools on the Power of RE” to help promote the March 1st initiate to attend the webinar and also to connect those messages to promote the CABE art campaign. That document was used by the other region members to cascade to their educational partners. We also brainstormed other ways to get the word out.  I shared with them that I had created a county-wide list serv.  The difficulty in their positions was how to get the word out in a larger scale.  Kai and Jessica were going to meet with their supervisor to see how they can share items for the larger county emails.

Target audiences were discussed:  District lead, principals, content leads, Arts TOSA’s, and teachers who respond to google doc expressing interest.

We agreed that a doodle poll will be created, and we will intentionally place three formal meetings on our calendars to connect in advance to help build our regional community.  Another topic that will be a standing item is sharing regional events to add to this report and/or the newsletter.  I reviewed the report format and shared the newsletter criteria.

Santa Barbara County Office of Education – Kai Tepper @imadonnarisb

After two years in a virtual format, the Italian street painting festival and fundraiser for Children’s Creative Project will be in-person.  Planning and gathering sponsors is a focus area through May 2022

Kern County Superintendent of Schools

Jamie Viveros is the new regional partner and joined us on our Zoom. Her background is as a science and art  teacher. Jamie leads the STEM work at Kern. http://www.science4kern.org/.

Kern County Superintendent of Schools is hosting a virtual Cultural Arts Showcase. The Cultural Arts Showcase incorporates students’ art expressing their culture, environments, and views of their world. The Cultural Arts Showcase is for grades Kindergarten through twelve grades. Students’ visual art pieces are displayed through the Canvas platform for the rest of the school year. Student visual art pieces are currently being collected and uploaded to the Canvas platform.

San Luis Obispo County Office of Education

Brent Moser was unable to attend, but has our next meeting on the calendar.  He also had been out of the office for some time, but we are getting back to regular emails to check-in https://www.slocoearts.org/

Ventura County Office of Education

Lisa Brown – The focus has been our Equity Conference coming up on March 22, 2022. Last year 2021, we held our conference, which included an Art showcase in a virtual format. We only had two submissions.  This year we have a full video show of 77 art submissions collected county wide that will be the opening show of our virtual event which has over 300 educational partners registered to attend. This is a part of our Social Justice Taskforce, in which I am a member. Ventura County Museum – Partnered with the museum who are hosting an event on Friday, March 18, 2022.  Kern, SLO, and Santa Barbara received invitations.  20 spots are hard to fill with the substitute shortage, but we are moving forward. Flier

REGION 9 San Diego County Office of Education – Pauline Crooks, Regional Arts Lead

Imperial County Office of Education

Virtual Instructional Materials Fair for Arts Education for Region 9 (San Diego, Imperial County and Orange County) Wednesday, March 9, 8:30am – 1:30pm. FREE registration is linked here.

Theater and SEL: Strategies to Support English Learners. 

Peggy Burt introduced 18 participants to 4 powerful Theatre Practices or “Guided Drama Experiences”, expertly connecting the SEL Competencies to each activity. Peggy and Queana Givens-Jarvis worked together to call out elements of the ELD standards and practices that can accelerate language development. Session 2 is April 5th.

Orange County Department of Education

Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)

Virtual Instructional Materials Fair for Arts Education for Region 9 (San Diego, Imperial County and Orange County) Wednesday, March 9, 8:30am – 1:30pm. FREE registration is linked here.

OCArts4All Student Art Showcase “Portraits of Orange County” 

This art show is intended for students in public, private, charter, and home school. All submissions should originate from school teachers or administrators and be based on school/district art programs. Students art work due by March 11, 2022.

YOU are Harold Hill – “The Music Man”

Join this informative FREE Zoom workshop on March 15 at 4:30 p.m. Participants will hear about proven strategies to recruit and retain students in their arts programs from James Hahn, a veteran teacher who grew and sustained a program long-term.

Annual VSA Festival Call for Art!

Students who have a disability are invited to submit artwork and/or apply to perform in a countywide celebration of Arts and Disability. The deadline to submit artwork and performance entries is Monday, March 21, 2022. 

The Orange County Music and Arts Awards Nomination Form, is ready to receive your nominations for teachers, administrators and advocates. Nominations are due Friday, March 25, 2022. Award winners will be announced on Monday, April 18, 2022

Award winners will be honored on Wednesday, May 17, 2022, 5:00 p.m. If current guidelines allow, this will be held at the Samueli Theatre.

Creative Edge Lecture – “Culture Clash: Creativity, Curriculum and Chaos in the Millennial Classroom” Donn Harris explores the contradictions, confluences and challenges of a creative agenda in today’s schools.Tuesday, March 29 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. We have an educationally-relevant topic and keynote speaker Donn Harris, former Chair of the California Arts Council and a follow up Private Arts Educator Q&A specifically for educators this year. Register free at this link (max two people for each reservation and you can reserve multiple groups of 2) or, to RSVP groups of 10 or more, email Karen Ahola at: kahola@artsoc.org.

OCArts4All – OCDE has launched a social media campaign to spotlight and celebrate the great things that students and teachers are doing in the arts in Orange County. Follow us on Facebook, and Twitter @Arts4Oc #OCArts4All

Arts Now Communities – OCDE is partnering with Arts Orange County to bring the Create CA’s program called “Arts Now Communities” to Orange County. The program supports parents and other community members to partner with district leadership to support arts education through LCAP planning, advocating for the creation of district leaders and strategic planning. If you know someone who would like to be involved, please contact Shanin Ziemer at ArtsNow.Shanin@gmail.com.

Orange County Music and Arts Administrators Districts and Arts Organization Education Departments meet together and separately each month.

San Diego County Office of Education

San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)

Arts Education Twitter Chat – Join @PCrooks_VAPA, @VAPAJeannine, and arts education experts from across the state for a Twitter Chat every Wednesday from 4 to 4:30 p.m. We are growing a statewide virtual professional learning community for educators, artists, and others passionate about arts education. Let’s chat about the new state arts standards and framework, best practices, and the great things happening in your classes. 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.   

Arts Education Curriculum Units – Whether you are looking for new units to use with your students, plans to share with a substitute, or curriculum to get you started as you design lessons using the new California Arts Standards and the California Arts Education Framework 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. The units are available here: https://bit.ly/SDCOE-Learn 

Arts Empower San Diego – Arts Empower San Diego is a collective impact working to improve and support arts education in San Diego County. The mission of Arts Empower is to ensure a high-quality arts education for every student, supported through the collective impact of a motivated community of arts advocates. The vision is for every student in San Diego County to be engaged in a personally relevant, equitable, standards-based arts education. 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. Share the social media posts using the hashtag #ArtsEmpowerSD and #theArtsMatter, and encourage your community to do the same!

Instructional Materials Fair Virtual Instructional Materials Fair for Arts Education for Region 9 (San Diego, Imperial County and Orange County) Wednesday, March 9, 8:30am – 1:30pm. Registration is free at this link.
Introduction to Arts Integration Professional Learning – 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 with funding provided by the CCSESA Arts Initiative. This free course has already been taken by seventy educators and teaching artists and is available upon request using this link.

REGION 10 Riverside County Office of Education – Louisa Higgins, Regional Arts Lead

Riverside County Office of Education

Riverside County Office of Education is underway on the second annual Virtual Music Festival.  The Instrumental Festival is led by Dr. Gregory X. Whitmore, with adjudicators Dr. Jacob Sustaita and Dr. Rickey Badua.  The Choir Festival is led by Dr. Kellori Dower, with adjudicators Dr. Nichole Andrews and Drew Lewis.  All participating solo and ensemble performances will receive written and video feedback from the adjudication teams.  Additionally, all participating students will receive a Certificate of Recognition and a commemorative patch.  We are pleased once again to provide this free opportunity to students from all over Riverside County.

In March, we will have a professional learning opportunity for Choir Directors called “We are not in Kansas Anymore:  How to Rebuild Your Choral Program in the New Oz”, led by Dr. Kellori Dower.  In April, we will host a professional learning opportunity for Band Directors and their student called “A Conversation with Composer Kevin Day”.  Both of those opportunities are free, and you can learn more about them by checking out our website at RCOE VAPA or by emailing Louisa Higgins at lhiggins@rcoe.us.

REGION 11 Los Angeles County Office of Education – Jeannine Flores, Regional Arts Lead

Los Angeles County Office of Education

OLEA Grant awarded to LACOE
It is with great excitement that we announce an Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) five-year federal grant award to the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s (LACOE) Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) and Multilingual Academic Support (MAS) units!

The Engage California! English Learners through the Arts (ECELA) grant proposal was selected from among hundreds of nationwide proposals. We are so pleased to deepen English Learner instruction, family engagement, Social Emotional Learning through the Arts in Los Angeles county, Merced county, and statewide.

The ECELA Project provides research and evidence-based professional development (PD) and family literacy programs that integrate arts in the content areas with strategies that increase literacy for English Learners (ELs) and support Social Emotional Learning (SEL). ECELA will provide a PD program to support improvement in classroom instruction for ELs. In addition, this project creates greater equity and inclusion for ELs to participate in the arts aligned with the California (CA) English Learner Roadmap, CA Standards for English Language Arts and English Language Development.

On March 2, 2022, the ECELA Year-1 Symposium engaged educational leaders from participating districts in person and virtually. The in-person event happened at the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center in Inglewood, CA. Inglewood Unified School District, Rosemead School District, Merced County Office of Education, (MCOE) and Los Angeles County Office of Education participants gathered to learn about grant deliverables, timeline, and to be inspired by the Arts as a way to develop language in students across the state! Los Banos Unified School District and MCOE participated virtually via Zoom. Photos provided by CDOL show the events of the symposium.

2022 Los Angeles County Poetry Out Loud Highlights
The 2022 Los Angeles County Poetry Out Loud competition took place on February 9th on YouTube. The interactive event premiered at 6:00 P.M. with a warm welcome from Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo, two rounds of poetry recitation, announcements of the runner-up and winner, and judge’s commentary. This recitation contest was sponsored and presented in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Thank you to the Greater LA Education Foundation, the Center for Distance and Online Learning team, and the Communications Division for their support to bring this event to an online platform.Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great classical and modern poetry through memorization and performance. Ten students, schools and organizations were represented this year. The diverse panel of judges from the entertainment and literary world are active creatives in LA County. The student performances were of such a high caliber, it was not an easy task to judge. The judges were diligent to study and practice the judging process to ensure a valuable experience for the students. We appreciate their expertise, time, and service to our students.

The winning student, Mia Ronn is a junior at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles. She will be competing in the state Poetry Out Loud finals virtually in March 2022. You can watch the full Los Angeles county competition here and more information about LA’s Poetry Out Loud can be found at https://poetryoutloud.lacoe.edu/.


Counties on the Move – Publication for Download

Click here to view and/or download a copy!


Knowing that the visual and performing arts contribute to effective schools, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Arts Initiative continues to build capacity for arts education at the national, state, region, county, and local levels. As part of this effort, we continue to publicize examples of county superintendents’ support for arts education in an engaging informational booklet entitled Counties on the Move Toward Arts Education for All Students.  This CCSESA publication includes submissions from counties across California and provides a snapshot of the wide variety of arts education projects, programs, planning strategies, and collaborations provided by county offices of education.



The goals of the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC) are to provide leadership and high-quality services to school districts by:

  1. Supporting academic achievement and continuous improvement.
  2. Developing collaborative leadership approaches that are equity focused and culturally responsive.
  3. Providing leadership for California initiatives impacting instruction and student achievement:


Go Top