July/August 2021-22 CCSESA CISC Arts Subcommittee Report – Regional Highlights


July/August 2021-22



Curriculum and Instruction Arts Subcommittee (CISC/Arts)
Dr. Gary Waddell, Chair
Assistant Superintendent, Equity & Educational Progress Division & Public Affairs, Santa Clara COE gwaddell@sccoe.org

Jeanette Spencer, Co-Chair
Senior Advisor for District Support & Educational Leadership, Butte COE – jspencer@bcoe.org
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Statewide Arts Initiative
Sarah Anderberg, Director sanderberg@ccsesa.org
California Department of Education (CDE)
Diane Crum, Education Programs Assistant dcrum@cde.ca.gov
Letty Kraus, Education Programs Consultant lkraus@cde.ca.gov
Allison Frenzel, Education Programs Consultant afrenzel@cde.ca.gov
The California Arts Project (TCAP)
Kristine Alexander, Executive Director 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 Co-Lead
Armalyn De La O, San Bernardino CSS – adelao@sbcss.net

REGION 10 Arts Co-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 Teachers spent time this summer gaining new skills for incorporating music, creative movement, and theater arts in their classrooms this school year.  A few teachers attended two online workshops hosted by UCLA Arts & Healing, which link the use of percussion and dance with SEL objectives.  Additionally several teachers were trained through Focus 5 in the Acting Right methods during a two-day intensive.  They worked with the county lead to prepare their classrooms and practice these skills in late August. One of the county’s objectives for the 2021-2022 school year is to further integrate SEL with theater skills this year, in particular by aligning objectives with the local peer-led Sources of Strength program.


Humboldt collaborated with five other region leads to develop trainings in the CA Arts Standards. Humboldt co-presented with Tulare COE in June and August. They are continuing to develop standards trainings and anticipate building framework trainings in the spring. HCOE also trained in Ukiah and Eureka 65 teachers in the 3rd year of the Arts & Creativity Initiative. This training focused on Social Emotional Learning through the arts and featured Melanie Rick and Sean Layne of Focus 5.


Lake is excited to send our teaching artists into the schools to support our integrated arts participant teachers in implementing the strategies they have accumulated over the last year. Focus will be put on integrating performance arts into their teaching and learning practice. Lake County is hosting the Fall integrated arts training in September making it even more accessible to our teachers to access the quality training offered through the arts grant.


Mendocino continues to support students and teachers in visual and performing arts through various ongoing projects. Within the Arts and Creativity Initiative (ACI), Mendocino County was thrilled to host a 2-day in-person summer institute providing participating teachers with an opportunity to engage in the ‘Acting Right’ theatre arts program. As part of the Arts and Creativity Initiative (ACI), educators also receive support and regular classroom visits from a teaching artist specializing in theatre arts. 

The Get Arts in the School program (GASP) is excited to provide both virtual and in-person opportunities for students and teachers this year. In partnership with the Arts Council of Mendocino and Mendocino County COE, GASP supports artist workshops and live performances to infuse the arts in the core curriculum and to deliver quality, educational, curriculum-based artistic experiences to K-12 students. Examples of projects from last year include poems and dances exploring students’ thoughts and feelings through movement and using collaborative mural art to document experiences of the past year. GASP will soon be inviting proposals for K-12 arts enrichment activities and is looking forward to connecting local arts professionals with teachers and their students.


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

North State Districts Utilize ESSER (Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief)
Funds for Arts Education
The Quincy School District in Plumas County created a new multi-year position of District Elementary Arts
Teacher with ESSER funds. Prior to this, there was no arts specialist employed at the elementary level. Also
utilizing ESSER funds, Butte County Office of Education retained teaching artists for residencies for K-12
classrooms for the school year. Trauma Informed Teaching Artists provide arts based or arts integrated
lessons and are trained in Social Emotional Learning and Arts Integration.

Stanislaus and Butte COEs Collaborate on Professional Learning in History SS/Arts integration

The new Creativity at the Core Module 24 was co-developed by Regional Arts Leads from Stanislaus and Butte counties last year with support from CCSESA Arts Initiative. The first of two free professional learning webinars
centered on the module will be held on October 25th. The module that provides instruction and model units in Visual Arts and History/SS for grades K-12 utilized the expertise of staff with backgrounds in studio art and art history and were vetted by both visual art and history teachers.

For more information and/or to register CLICK HERE.


Kennedy Center joins with Butte County School Districts

Three Butte County school districts, Oroville City Elementary School District. Palermo Union School District, Thermalito Union School District, and the Butte County Office of Education have been selected by the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to become an Any Given Child site. Kennedy Center consultants will work with district representatives and members of a Community Arts Team to plan and implement expanded arts
education in these schools. Butte County will be the newest Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child program site and only the fourth in California.


Butte County Office of Education joins Arts Partner to Celebrate Cultural Diversity

The work of contemporary Hmong-American artists from the North State is on view at the Museum of Northern California Art in Chico. The first of its kind, the exhibit explores the complexities of Hmong-American identity through the art of contemporary artists. BCOE is providing outreach to schools for field trips and helping to underwrite expenses.



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



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


Vision and focus for 2021-22

As we move into full swing of the 2021-22 school year, teachers, staff and students find themselves returning to in-person instruction.  This transition brings additional challenges created by the ripple effect of the pandemic.  Arts education will play a key role in in the success of this transition.  Statewide, it is the fundamental belief that instruction aligned with standards-based arts education provides greater opportunities for students—not only to achieve academic goals, but also to drive engagement, connect parents and community, enhance school culture and climate, and ensure equitable arts learning for all.  We will work to instill this belief through our work at all levels.

  • Bernie Phelan, Region 4 lead, will convene Region 4 county arts leads meetings in October, December, February, and April with dates to be determined.
  • A Professional Learning series is in development to support K-12 arts educators and administrators on the following topics:
    • Newly adopted arts standard and framework 
    • SEL alignment with arts
    • ELL and Art Integration

San Mateo COE is proud to be integrating the arts and social emotional learning as well as restorative practices through teacher professional development and leadership coaching and support. We are also focused have thriving community partnerships and will be producing our 4th Annual Arts Institute on February 2, 2022. This statewide conference weaves together the arts, social justice, and SEL. Please SAVE the DATE! We are also planning an ambitious “Art in the Hallways” multi-phase project that will both honor the legacy of Dick Sperison, return art to former high school grads, and celebrate the culturally relevant work of current students. 

San Francisco Unified School District Arts Department is working hard this year to ensure that all programs continue to run smoothly through a global pandemic and follow SFDPH guidance for schools each time they are adjusted.  We are also continuing to focus on antiracist arts instruction and how to apply that to the CA Arts Standards for all five arts disciplines.  On Aug 9, 2021, we had the opportunity to present Arts & Creativity 2025: SFUSD’s Arts Equity Plan to the Curriculum Committee of the Board of Education as well as what is needed to fulfill the Arts Equity Resolution  increasing elementary Arts FTEs districtwide. We are excited to see this fulfilled this year and we will continue to work to make it happen!


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




Welcome back to a new school year! I hope you were able to get the rest and relaxation you needed to begin the year with a renewed sense of purpose.  It will be critical to work together this year and be a support for one another as we navigate the dynamic landscape of our school system.  Please stay connected to the California Department of Public Health Guidelines found on our main SCCOE COVID-19 page. Our new Artspiration website will also have updated guidance for the arts in schools in the Announcements section on the landing page. As we look to a new school year, I wanted to share some updates. ​​

Young Artist Showcase
You will also find updated information about the 2022 Young Artist Showcase. This year’s theme will be Contact Zones:  Places Where We Meet. It is an opportunity to show experiences or places and/or events in which differences meet and interact. Contact zones can be any place where humans are! They include places such as schools or neighborhoods. They include nature with or without animals. They include playgrounds, stores, and places that are community based which may be free or cost money to enter. Contact zones can also be where people share a common language, a culture, or an interest. They are places where you feel like you belong; places where you feel like you don’t belong; places where you want to belong.  What are these places like? Your challenge in this theme is to express what did, does, and/or could happen in places where we meet. We will be partnering with San Jose State’s Creative Arts classes for an in-person event. In March. We will also have a virtual celebration in May. Details will be shared soon!

Save the Date: 2021 Marion Cilker Conference
The Marion Cilker Conference for Arts in Education 2021 will take place online again this year on November 5-6 from 8:00-1:00.  Like last year, we will have an engaging group of presenters who will show the ways the arts can be a vehicle for understanding across content areas, a source of healing, and a connection to self and community. Registration will open on October 1, 2021.


Come and join us this Fall 2021 for our first Community of Practice series of the school year!

This four-part series will center our efforts towards building community in our classrooms. 

How can we support each other, as educators during the ongoing challenges of the pandemic? How can we utilize art-integrated practices to prioritize the well-being of our students, their families and each other?”

All are welcome: teachers, administrators, teaching artists, arts organizations, and arts allies serving the young people in Santa Clara County.

Dates for this Community of Practice: Wednesdays @ 3:30-5pm
September 22, 2021
October 20, 2021
November 17, 2021
December 8, 2021

LOOKING BACK 2020-2021

November 2020 Marion Cilker Conference

Cilker Conference Archive

Young Artist Showcase and SV Reads 2021 Virtual Celebration

We had a successful celebration of the student artwork that was submitted by our youth artists in Santa Clara County. To view the gallery of student work, go to https://www.sccoe.org/arts/yas/Pages/2021.aspx. To see
student statements of their work, go to this link.

May 2021 Artspiration Community of Practice

We had an amazing discussion  on Decolonizing Black Art and Culture,
thoughtfully curated by Tyson Amir.

We completed a successful year of brainstorming and networking with our
amazing group of arts educators and arts leaders with our closing meeting for this year on May 11.  It truly takes a village to continue to build equitable arts in our county. We are grateful for your support and your incredible energy!


First, we would like to do a “Shout Out” to all our teachers!

We extend HUGE APPRECIATION to all our VAPA Teachers for persevering last year to bring the ARTS to our students! Welcome back to the 2021-2022 school year!

We have many partnerships for the Arts at the Santa Cruz COE. We are honored to partner with our Arts Council Santa Cruz to continue supporting virtual and in-person teaching.

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.


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 Santa Cruz Symphony, Carnegie Hall, and the Santa Cruz COE bring you Link Up: The Orchestra Swings

For the  2021-22 School Year

This program is for students in 4-5th grade. Students learn selections such as “It Don’t Mean A Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing” – Duke Ellington and “Juba” from Symphony No. 1 by Florence Price.


This year, we are delighted to bring Peggy Burt to Santa Cruz to teach 4 sessions focused on Dance and the English Learner.

Dance and the English Learner: Promising Practices

Suggested Audience: For K-8th grade teachers and administrators; the professional learning can be adapted for high school students

In these experiential professional learning workshops, Peggy Burt offers 4 sessions exploring the connections between standards-based dance/creative movement; the ELD domains of speaking, listening, reading and writing; and the components of social emotional learning. Based on research currently underway, these practices hold the promise for more actively engaged students across the curriculum.

All Sessions – 2:00-3:30pm

Session 1: Sept 15, 2021 – The Dance of Identity 

Session 2: Oct 20, 2021 – Dancing with Others 

Session 3: Nov 17, 2021 – The Dance of Cultural Awareness

Session 4: Dec. 15, 2021 – Storytelling through Dance

Under the leadership of Dr. Faris Sabbah, we are continuing our Student Voices and Leadership Initiative by beginning our student groups.

Call for Students! Join the Youth Led Leadership Alliance! Deadline: August 31

Suggested Audience: District leaders, site leaders, teachers

Please share this information with students and adults who support them! Santa Cruz COE’s countywide Youth Led Leadership Alliance’s mission is to empower youth with the data and tools needed to implement solutions to the problems they care about. Use this announcement for social media and the links below to more information on the Youth Led Leadership Alliance website which includes application links for each group:

Contact Celeste Gutierrez at cgutierrez@santacruzcoe.org for more information.Contact Audrey Sirota at asirota@santacruzcoe.org for more information about Youth Artists Taking Action


From April through August, 2021, a team of educators, administrators, artists, community members and community-based organizations came together to form a Strategic Planning Team to ensure equitable access to the Arts for all students in San Benito County. Led by  Krystal Lomanto, County Superintendent of Schools, the team completed the draft of the San Benito County Office of Education Strategic Arts Education Plan Arts Forward 2021-2026. This plan will be presented to the San Benito County Office of Education’s School Board in an upcoming meeting this fall. The three year implementation of the Arts Forward 2021-2026 plan will be supported by the soon to launch SBC Arts Collaborative.


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


  • Stanislaus COE collaborated with five other region leads to develop trainings in the CA Arts Standards. Stanislaus co-presented with Los Angeles COE in July. They are continuing to develop standards trainings and anticipate building framework trainings in the spring.
  • Stanislaus COE is in the planning stages of creating a strategic arts plan; over 40 community members are involved.
  • Stanislaus COE is working with Patterson Unified School District to provide year-long arts integration training.
  • Stanislaus COE is working with Salida School District to provide year-long arts integration training.
  • Stanislaus COE is working with Butte COE to offer a free webinar unpacking CCSESA Creativity at the Core Module 24.
  • Stanislaus COE sends a monthly arts newsletter to 1800+ recipients of Region 6.
  • Tuolumne COE sends a monthly arts newsletter.
  • 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.
  • Stanislaus COE collaborated to create three virtual fieldtrips to local Region 6 businesses that integrate the arts.
  • Stanislaus COE is planning for four, region-wide, student art showcases this year; at least one of which will be virtual.
  • 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



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


Region 7 is working on partnering with Fenceline Media Group, LLC (Fresno) to produce a video series highlighting the Hwy 99 Arts Initiative. These videos will spotlight the growth in arts education opportunities in each county, celebrating the rich diversity that makes up our region, and highlighting areas for future growth. Each COE will receive one film highlighting the work in their county in addition to a video that pull zooms out to show the picture of the entire region. These productions will be asset-based pieces that can be used to leverage funding opportunities to support arts education within the region and across the state.

After an initial year full of growth and excitement, the Hwy 99 Youth Arts Council is jumping back into their work to center youth voice in the conversation around arts equity and access. This group of dedicated arts students are working closely with Cara Goger (Mariposa Arts Council and Mariposa COE) to set goals for this year and move their work forward.

Teachers in Tulare County are invited to submit student work for virtual student art exhibitions– TCOE’s annual Student Art Exhibitions will be held online this year. Open to students in grades PK-12, the annual exhibitions showcase the county’s gifted young artists who create two- and three-dimensional pieces utilizing a variety of mediums. Instead of hosting two shows in the lobby of the Mooney Boulevard administration building, this year event coordinators will produce one online show held December 1 through February 28.

A panel of local artists will judge all entries submitted to the virtual exhibition. Those pieces receiving a Best of Show award will be recognized in a special exhibition in March during Arts Education Month. Best of Show artwork will also be eligible for additional recognition as Best of the Best in Tulare County.Teachers interested in participating in the exhibition should pre-register by October 1. All artwork is due to event coordinators by November 1. For more information on the Student Art Exhibitions, visit bit.ly/TCOE-SAE. Teachers needing support on integrating the arts into their curriculum are encouraged to contact to Kate Stover, Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Specialist, at kate.stover@tcoe.org.

ARTS + SEL Virtual Workshop Series – Did You Know? Visual and Performing Arts integrated lessons can support the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning needs of every child. Aligned to California’s new Arts Standards and the CASEL Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies, ARTS + SEL will help educators discover how to utilize the visual and  performing arts as a tool for promoting student health and wellness and for improving school climate and culture.

This fast-paced and interactive professional learning series will highlight a wide range of hands-on activities and research-based strategies to engage learners of all ages and all abilities. Participants will walk away with tools and resources they can use immediately to integrate the arts into their classrooms to impact student creativity, self-awareness, self-expression, decision making, and positive relationships.

Join Us Virtually for This Two-Day Series!
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Zoom (Link will be emailed after registration)
Cost: $120.00 for the two-session virtual series
Audience: PK-12 Educators

Register for the Arts + SEL workshop series HERE.

For more information contact: Kate Stover at kate.stover@tcoe.org or 559-741-0809


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


This month has been focused on learning more about the local county Arts partners and gathering as much historical information as possible. The county lead has changed almost annually over the last five years. Dr. Consuelo Hernandez Williams, who is now our Associate Superintendent of Student Services, used to hold this position as a Director in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

In June of 2021, the Curriculum and Instruction Department was considerably downsized through a restructuring effort due to revenue issues.  I entered the position of Associate Superintendent on June 1, 2021, so my efforts on ensuring all Local Control Accountability Plans were adopted and county approved. (Along with other COVID-19 related matters)

After Dr. William’s, I learned that the C & I department aligned content specialists to the VCOE Arts Network instead of a director. I entered as the interim VCOE Arts Network lead.

On 8/31/2021, I held a meeting with our Region 8 Directors. Brent Moser from SLO, Kai Tepper from Santa Barbara attended. Kern’s lead did not attend.  We discussed the efforts that SLO and Santa Barbara are offering and Kai being new to the position. I also shared the opportunity of the Hewlett Packard grant and the shared opportunity we might have to build a website or toolkit for the region.


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


Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE)

Project ArCh: Arts for Culture and Healing 

With the additional Stuart Foundation Rural Arts Grant, ICOE will be hosting a blended learning (2 face-to-face and 2 Zoom) series with Merryl Goldberg. Dr. Goldberg’s focus will be Arts Integration and SEL in the elementary/middle school classroom.

Autumn and the Arts

ICOE’s Foundation for Education will celebrate student art and the amazing talent of our local youth during its first Autumn & the Arts fundraiser on Thursday, October 7, 2021.  The Foundation for Education is inviting Imperial County Art Teachers and their students to submit their best artwork for the Student Art Showcase & Auction. 


Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)

“My Name, Face and Story,” the second annual summer professional learning event hosted by OCDE, took place on August 1-3, 2021 focused on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies (CSP) in Arts Education. Our opening speaker was Bob Morrison, a nationally recognized leader in the field of SEL in the Arts. A presentation on these topics and their alignment to the VAPA Framework was then followed by “Voices from the Field” sharing practical implementation of these practices. Presentations were delivered by teachers from Anaheim Union High School District,  and Santa Ana Unified School District as well as a teaching artist from the Arts and Learning Conservatory. We also enjoyed keynote speaker Dylan Russel from Laguna Playhouse. We plan to maintain our focus on these same themes this year, including a fall professional learning session on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, so mark your calendars and be on the lookout for registration information.

2021 OCArts4All Student Art Showcase was a great success this past spring. University Art Gallery Directors recommended artwork for public display, and Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach then selected works for their show. Students and families enjoyed an afternoon at Festival of Arts to see their artwork and for the K-12 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners to be recognized.

OCArts4All is the 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, Twitter @Arts4Oc #OCArts4All and our website https://tinyurl.com/ocdevapa 

Arts Now Communities – OCDE is partnering with Arts Orange County to bring the Arts Now Communities program to Orange County. This is a great opportunity for community members to partner with their local school districts to support arts education. If you would like more information, please contact Shanin Ziemer at ArtsNow.Shanin@gmail.com.

OCMAA & Arts Organization Education Departments – Each month OCDE hosts collaborative meetings to support programs and providers of arts education. All districts and arts organizations meet together to receive updated information from OCDE, share updates on their programs and collaborate regarding annual events such as the OCMAA Awards and the OCArts4All Student Art Showcase. Both districts and arts organization education departments also meet with OCDE separately to discuss issues specific to their work. 
Orange County Cappies – OCDE has a long history of partnering with the Orange County Cappies, a writing and awards program that trains high school theater and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders. We look forward to the return of this annual event in 2022.


San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)

Arts Education Twitter Chat – Join @PCrooks_VAPA, @VAPAJeannine, @aaronbryan, 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, 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 – The San Diego County Office of Education Curriculum and Instruction, Multilingual Education and Global Achievement, and Innovation Departments have collaborated to design 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, provide flexibility and choice. The units of study connect content in the following areas: ELA, ELD, Mathematics, Science, History/Social Science, Arts, Computer Science, and Physical Education through integrated study in K-5 and thematic units in grades 6 through high school. 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 districts to use them with their 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, in partnership with The Southern Counties California Arts Project (SouthCAP), assists districts throughout San Diego County in writing and implementing Strategic Arts Education Plans.  Fourteen school districts, serving sixty seven percent of the students in the county, have written strategic plans since Arts Empower first began this work in 2012.  Arts Empower facilitates all phases of the strategic planning process including advocating for a district plan, guiding districts in preparing and executing strategic planning, and supporting a district’s internal evaluation of its plan and subsequent actions. Please share your stories of how the arts empower you and/or your students by visiting the Arts Empower website and if you’re on Twitter, please connect with @ArtsEmpowerSD and use #ArtsEmpowerSD. 

Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO)

AERO is currently in the process of creating a new strategic plan to better assist with the mission of building bridges between schools and the arts community to ensure an arts-inclusive education for all students.  Once the new strategic plan is in place, members of AERO are eager to share their experiences and best practices by connecting with other arts organizations across the state.  Learn more about AERO and view a directory of the arts organizations who are involved and the programs they offer schools by visiting the AERO website

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 twenty five educators and teaching artists and is available upon request using this link

California Arts Standards Introduction Professional Learning

The California Arts Standards Introduction 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, 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 professional learning session has already been shared with participants in 36 counties across California.  Additional dates will be available soon as well as new professional learning sessions on the California Arts Standards and the California Arts Education Framework.  Please contact your CCSESA County Arts Lead for more information. For more information and/or questions, email Pauline Crooks at pauline.crooks@sdcoe.net


Region 10 San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools & Riverside County Office of Education
Co-Arts Leads: Armalyn De La O (San Bernardino CSS) & Louisa Higgins (Riverside COE)


Mono County Office of Education had its first ever Create Eastern Sierra Summer Arts Institute this past June 21-22.

The Create Eastern Sierra Summer Arts Institute (CESSAI) provided arts training and tools that meet the California Arts Standards and address Social-Emotional Competencies for teachers to integrate into their classrooms. The first conference was a tremendous success and planning is already underway for this coming summer.  For more information, please check out their website HERE.


Riverside County Office of Education is kicking of the school year with a new training and a new event!

The “Demystifying the Framework” training is now available four different times between now and the end of the year. Arts Consultant Peggy Burt and RCOE Arts Administrator Louisa Higgins will be sharing their learnings during this 3 hour-long, action-packed training. After the four sessions, this will be made available on the RCOE VAPA webinars page.

Also, RCOE is unveiling the inaugural Teen Poet Laureate program. Kicking off with an announcement in September, the Teen Poet Laureate for Riverside County will be announced at a ceremony at City of Riverside’s City Hall on November 5th. The Poet Laureate along with finalists will be published in a special edition chapbook, which will be available in Riverside County Libraries.  We invite you to peruse the event site – CLICK HERE


San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools

The Arts Education Network (AEN) in partnership with RIMS California Arts Project and the Arts Connection: Arts Council for San Bernardino County, will begin the first of four meetings on September 22, 2021, from 3:30 – 5:00 PM. The network will provide updates on national, regional, and local arts education professional learning and initiatives related to arts education. It includes discipline specific breakout conversations on topics related to teaching and learning in the arts disciplines throughout the RIMS region. The network meetings will be held virtually during the 2021 – 2022 school year and is open to all TK – university arts educators, administrators, and community arts partners. Registration will open September 3, 2021.


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


Media Arts Integration Professional Learning Series
Media Arts is the newest artform recognized in the California Arts Standards. There are Media Arts standards for PK through grade 12. But where is a teacher to start? In this series, teachers will gain confidence and skills to integrate media arts into their classroom. Standards for the Arts, English Language Development, and the Common Core will be foundational to the learning.

With outstanding partners from PBS Learning Media, Soundtrap by Spotify, and Las Fotos Project, teachers will learn about media arts, develop skills, see connections to standards (ELD, ELA, SEL, and more) and apply them in meaningful ways that can be used in the classroom tomorrow.  This course is supported with TEAL online modules that are available 24/7.

The Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Center for Distance and Online Learning is proud to develop Creativity at the Core Module 23- Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms.  This module brings together high-quality arts integration professional learning to support Media Arts across the state. The Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms Module provides foundational skills and instruction in various Media Arts contents. Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL) is featured in the module providing a blended model of online and virtual professional development. Outstanding industry partners provided foundational skills and instruction along with TEAL experts.

Since the adoption of the California Arts Standards for Public Schools and the California Arts Framework for Public Schools, there is a need for a practical introduction to Media Arts at the elementary level. Students are learning from home on devices and are consuming, creating, and sharing media online. Educators are eager to develop media skills to support student content that is both current and standards aligned. Media Arts is a natural fit to the modern elementary classroom where students can express their voice and ideas in creative ways.

Visit the Module 23 Resources HERE.

Visit all of the Creativity at the Core Resources HERE.

This series highlights the CCSESA Creativity at the Core Module 23 and is made possible through a partnership with CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative.  

Interactive flyer with links is HERE. PDF flyer HERE.

The Los Angeles County Office of Education’s (LACOE) Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) in the Division of Curriculum and Instructional Services is in its second year of this 3-year grant project. The project, entitled the Promising Learners Project (PLP), supports Baldwin Park, Keppel, Monrovia, and Norwalk-La Mirada school districts in Creating Positive Learning Experiences Through a Multi-Tiered System of Support Using Social-Emotional Learning and the Arts! at a total of 11 school sites and 125 classrooms. This grant was awarded through the California Department of Education’s Learning Communities for School Success Program (LCSSP) in the fall of 2020.

The Promising Learners Project presents teachers with the opportunity to create engaging environments and learning experiences to provide students the ability to achieve academic and social success, focusing on TK-third grade youth in foster care and youth that are homeless. This project’s unique aspect is its ability to provide Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Arts Integration strategies to lead students to achieve greater depth of knowledge and a supportive environment where they are given confidence through a personalized appeal to art. The first year of the project focused on youth in foster care, and this year we will scaffold best practices to help our district partners widen that lens to include youth that are homeless to ensure LCAP alignment. The project goals will be accomplished by providing the district teachers, administrators, family, and community access to teaching artists, mental health professionals, LACOE Foster Youth Services (FYS) staff, and LACOE Homeless Children and Youth through CDOL’s high-quality learning model and Collective Impact Partnerships.

Please visit our Promising Learners Project website for more information.

CCSESA Statewide Arts initiative in partnership with the Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, is pleased to host the webinar Supporting English Language Learners Through the Arts.

September 22, 2021 |3:00-5:00 p.m.

This interactive webinar will share best practices, strategies, and systemic supports developed through TEAL (Technology Enhanced Arts Learning) and TELA (Teaching English Learners Through the Arts).These strategies emphasize how the Arts are a vibrant and relevant strategy to nurture English Language Learners.





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, with a focus on closing the achievement gap:
    Strengthen county office of education capacity to support districts, schools, and county programs in fully implementing Common Core State Standards and preparing for SBAC annual state assessments in order to
    improve student achievement, with particular focus on underserved student populations, English learners, early learning, and college and career readiness.
  1. Developing collaborative leadership approaches that are future‐focused, and responsive to changing conditions: Take steps to build strong working relationships with CDE and state leaders, with CCSESA Steering Committees, COE superintendents, and leaders in districts; seek collaborative approaches that support districts in their improvement efforts while continually building CISC’s internal leadership capacity.
  2. Addressing national initiatives:
    Provide leadership that supports California in developing and implementing plans to address federal initiatives, including Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and ESSA.
  3. Providing leadership for California initiatives impacting instruction and student achievement:
    Work in collaboration with other key stakeholders and CCSESA steering committees to provide leadership in the areas of key statewide initiatives such as implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula, Local Control Accountability Plans, the Quality Schooling Framework, and other statewide initiatives.
  4. Providing leadership for technology‐based curriculum and instruction approaches:
    Work in coordination with other key stakeholders and CCSESA steering committees to provide leadership in areas related to technology and
    innovation including virtual schools and courses, online professional development resources and tools, electronic textbooks, and other technology-based areas that influence and accelerate teaching and learning.


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