July/August CCSESA CISC Arts Subcommittee Report – Regional Highlights


July/August 2022-23


Curriculum and Instruction (CISC) Arts Subcommittee

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

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

Letty Kraus, Director
Email: lkraus@ccsesa.org

California Department of Education (CDE)

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
REGION 2 Arts Lead
Jennifer Spangler, Butte COE

REGION 3 Arts Lead
Dr. L. Steven Winlock
, Sacramento COE

REGION 4 Arts Lead
Bernie Phelan, Alameda COE

REGION 5 Arts Lead
Sofia Fojas, Santa Clara COE

REGION 6 Arts Lead
Amy Bultena, Stanislaus COE

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Aaron Bryan
, Fresno CSS

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Kate Stover, Tulare COE

REGION 8 Arts Lead
Brett Taylor, Ventura COE

REGION 9 Arts Lead
Pauline Crooks, San Diego COE

REGION 10 Arts Lead
Louisa Higgins, Riverside COE

REGION 11 Arts Lead
Jeannine Flores, Los Angeles COE

CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative Update

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Statewide Arts Initiative believes that the visual and performing arts are an integral part of a comprehensive curriculum and are essential for learning in the 21st century. All California students—from every culture, geographic region and socio-economic level—deserve quality arts learning in dance, music, theatre, and visual/media arts as part of the core curriculum.

Welcome Back to School!
School is in session and that sense of renewed energy and commitment that comes with fall is once again permeating conversations among educators. There are many things to be excited about in arts education this year. Regional and county arts leads were busy over the summer engaging in professional learning and now Fall calendars are full as efforts continue to support educators and lean in to the goal of equitable access to arts education for each and every California student. One notable and promising development on this front is the funding opportunity in the 2022–23 state budget that is the Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant. With careful planning, this funding can be a great resource for strengthening and increasing access to arts education. Look for guidance on these funds to come from the California Department of Education soon.

The CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative
The focus of the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative is on implementing the goals of two grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Grant funds support the efforts of regional arts leads in the 11 CCSESA regions to build leadership capacity for arts education in their regions; provide curriculum and professional learning support and technical assistance for arts educators; and increase student access to arts learning throughout California through advocacy, partnership building, and collaborations. Collaboration among county offices and with other state organizations continues to be vital to this work. Through these many and varied activities the Statewide Arts Initiative is able to leverage effort and partnerships and increase the profile of arts education while also meeting diverse local needs.

Standards and Framework Implementation Collaboration
CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative and the CISC Arts Subcommittee are partnered with The California Arts Project and the California Department of Education on a three-year effort to roll out and support implementation of the California Arts Education Framework for Public Schools, Transitional Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Arts Framework). Representatives from each of these organizations form an Executive Committee which has oversight of the work. The Arts Framework was adopted in 2020, amid the pandemic, and plans for a series of in-person roll-out events had to be shelved. In 2021–22, the collaborating organizations focused on adapting plans and producing a statewide virtual launch of the Arts Framework in March. Resources generated through this collaboration, including video clips, infographics and other handouts, and customizable slide decks, can be accessed at the California Arts Education Resources for Implementation website. These resources are available free, and new resources will be produced in the next several months including a professional learning module for administrators based on Chapter 9 of the Arts Framework.

Part of the effort to roll out the framework is to help those charged with supporting arts educators increase their knowledge of the contents of the framework. The CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative and TCAP are again sponsoring a TCAP Leadership Practicum focused on building capacity with the Arts Framework. This professional learning opportunity, geared for county office and TCAP leaders, begins September 29. The target audience for the practicum is regional and county arts leads and registration is available here.

Fall Offerings

Expanding Access to the Arts in Schools and Community: Strategic Planning Professional Learning Series

Create CA and the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative are pleased to offer a training based on the newly released 4th Edition of the Expanding Access to the Arts in Schools and Community: A Strategic Planning Guide. Arts education consultants and co-authors of the guide, Kimberleigh Aarn and Peggy Burt, will lead this 3-part learning series that will provide participants with effective methods to build consensus and unlock transformative change.

The series will highlight trends in the arts education field, virtual methods to inspire teams, and practices that build leadership capacity. By the end of this series, participants will understand how to:

  • Utilize content within the newly revised Expanding Access to the Arts in Schools and Community: A Strategic planning Guide – 4th Edition
  • Apply promising practices for facilitating components of the strategic planning process virtually
  • Execute specific methods utilizing virtual platforms such as Google Suite and Miro

Target Audience: County Office and School Leaders.

Registration is linked here. View/download series flyer here.

Creativity at the Core Resources

The CCSESA Arts Creativity at the Core, Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education, developed by the Los Angeles Office of Education and the Riverside County Office of Education, is now available on the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative website. This module has been re-envisioned to align with the recently adopted California arts standards and framework.

Louisa Higgins (Riverside COE) and Jeannine Flores (LACOE) worked over many months to provide education leaders, at every level, practical skills, and tools to establish sustainable arts education programming in schools.

A major feature of the module is the “Take Five for Arts Ed” video interviews with many arts and education leaders from across the state of California, including several current and former County Superintendents of Schools.

Descriptions of the other CCSESA Creativity at the Core modules are linked here.

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

Humboldt County Office of Education
Stacy Young, Regional County Arts Lead

Humboldt County Office of Education

Humboldt is thrilled to have hired an additional Arts Learning Specialist, Lizzy Dostal, to assist in the work. She will be serving as CCSESA Arts Initiative County Lead in addition to Project Coordinator for the Federal grant ArtSEL. ArtSEL had its summer institute in which all staff were trained in SEL competencies through Arts Integration. We are starting to plan the annual Creative Education Symposium which will feature Dr. Susie Wise author of “Design for Belonging” as the keynote. We are assessing programs such as “Schools to Symphony and Schools to Dance” to maximize student opportunity.

Lake County Office of Education

LCOE held an arts integration workshop for teachers over the summer called “Think like an Artist”. This workshop introduced the Studio Habits of Mind framework as a tool for integrating the arts and deepening student thinking. We used Harvard Project Zero Thinking Routines to engage students in inquiry practice and engagement. Dana Adams collaborated with the Executive Director of the Lake County Arts Council to write two California Arts Council grants: Artists in Schools, and Arts Integration. We submitted these grants in July, and are awaiting the results. The grants will promote programs such as the Poetry Outloud program, and the new Lake County Youth Poet Laureate, as well as fund collaborative workshops for teachers with local teaching artists and LCOE to further arts education in our schools. 

Mendocino County Office of Education

During the past summer MCOE was proud to partner with other county offices across the state to present workshops covering the Arts Standards, the Arts Framework, Discipline Specific Elements of Framework and UDL in the Arts. A representative from MCOE presented at 5 workshops throughout the summer. Mendocino County is thrilled to welcome in this school year with our continued support for the arts with the Get Arts in Schools Program (GASP). In partnership with the Arts Council of Mendocino County, we will kick off GASP on September 16th with a rolling submission model to allow teachers time to rebuild their connections with local artists and create strong visions for their projects. Although MCOE and teachers across the county were sad to see the sunset of the ACI grant, we are looking ahead at ways to broaden its impact and continue to build on the techniques of art integration across all content areas.  

Butte County Office of Education
Jennifer Spangler, Regional County Arts Lead

Butte County Office of Education

Butte County Office of Education Receives Grant for Teaching Artists in the Schools

North Valley Community Foundation just announced the award of Butte Strong Funds in the amount of $36,285 to the Butte County Office of Education to continue the program that places trauma-informed teaching artists in Paradise area schools. The town of Paradise and surrounding communities were destroyed by wild fires in 2018. The BCOE Teaching Artist program integrates arts education and the development of social emotional learning skills to mitigate the effects of trauma and to help make students more resilient when confronting new trauma.  

The Directory of Teaching Artists 2022 can be found linked here.

Community Arts Team to Wrap up Year One of Any Given Child: Butte County Initiative

This fall marks the conclusion of the strategic planning phase of the collective impact project focusing on Oroville area k-8 schools called “Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child: Butte County.” After meeting virtually all last year Kennedy Center consultants held in person “getting to know you sessions” with community leaders in June. This occasion also allowed Oroville to showcase its arts and culture. In Year One a 27 member Community Arts Team was formed with diverse representation and multiple perspectives comprised of government, higher education, philanthropy, business, arts and culture organizations, and teaching artist sectors and personnel from the three school districts. A vision was adopted for arts education in Oroville schools, infrastructure was put in place to support the initiative, baseline data was collected, and goals that will be long term, aspirational and incremental will be adopted in September. The Year Two, implementation phase will kick off in late fall.

Image – June 2022, in Oroville with BCOE staff and Kennedy Center consultants.

Shasta County Office of Education

Shasta County Office of Education to Hold Arts Educator Focus Groups

Bimonthly virtual meetings will be held for arts educators, whether they teach in departmentalized programs or TK-12 classrooms and want to learn more about integrating the arts into their teaching.  The first virtual meeting is September 21 after school from 3:30 to 4:15. One of the group’s projects is the virtual Shasta County Arts Alive Student Showcase which is hosted all year long on the SCOE website. The goal is to have at least one teacher per school participating in these four meetings throughout the year. There are great things happening in arts education locally and at the state level, so come and be a part of it!

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

Sacramento County Office of Education

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is committed to supporting Arts Learning Leadership in the disciplines of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts, K–16. Through state and federal Art Grants, an Arts Esprit de Corp Network, various partnerships, professional development offerings, rotating arts exhibits, and current arts research news updates, SCOE provides an avenue for administrators, teachers, students, and community members to be involved in Advocacy of Arts Education.


  • California Arts Council
  • Crocker Art Museum
  • California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE)
  • California County Superintendents Education Services Association (CCSESA)
  • California Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC)
  • California Department of Education (CDE)
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC)
  • Sacramento For Art’s Sake Initiative
  • UC Davis Education Arts and Humanities

Alameda County Office of Education
Bernie Phelan, Regional Arts Lead

Alameda County Office of Education

Statewide – Summer Professional Learning Series

A series of professional learning opportunities were created and delivered in partnership by Alameda, Butte, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Orange, San Diego, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, and Tulare County Offices of Education as part of the collective work of CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative. All sessions were offered throughout the summer where over 75 art educators and leaders participated.  Topics included:

  • Intro to the California Arts Ed Framework
  • Discipline-Specific California Arts Ed Framework
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) & the Arts
  • Intro to the California Arts Standards

Alameda COE – Trauma Informed Healing Through The Arts

This free series provides a practical guide for those who wish to support therapeutic art making in their art teaching practice.

These four sessions offer key elements, approaches, and practical guidelines for therapeutic art education with students who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and trauma.  Dr. McFarland will facilitate the in-person event and will co-lead the three virtual sessions with Dr. Kay. The strategies will provide teachers with confidence to support their students’ health and wholeness through art.

Registration is linked here
Flyer is linked here.

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

Monterey County Office of Education

Santa Clara County Office of Education

This was a summer of arts learning! As part of a larger initiative of supporting the Arts standards, the Arts Framework and UDL and the Arts, I have been working with my county art lead colleagues to deliver workshops to arts teachers, administrators and arts organizations in a series of virtual sessions.

And, last but not least, the Santa Clara County Office of Education is undergoing a facelift of the Young Artist Showcase exhibits on its Ridder Park and South County Annex campuses. Linda Covello, formerly of the Community School of Music and Art Visual Arts Director, has curated a series of exhibits of 26 years of the Young Artist Showcase. The art collection contains over 900 pieces and will be ready for viewing later in the fall.

As part of an orientation of the Youth Health and Wellness Advisory Group, I conducted a workshop on Arts and Creative Expression. We had a lot of fun with arts-related activities and the youth were able to learn about the ways the arts enhances life through creative expression and social emotional learning.

I delivered a workshop to Campbell Union HSD’s arts teachers about Universal Design for Learning.

I also worked with the Inclusion Collaborative on delivering two sessions to Dublin Unified School District on Welcoming and Belonging and Universal Design for Learning.

Another additional role I have taken on is as a member of the National Dance Education Organization’s Action and Accountability Committee in service to justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. 

A link to the work can be found here.

The summer was a time of learning and the Region 5 arts leads planned the annual Summer Arts Integration Institute.  Audrey makes reference of the ongoing community of practice that will continue through the year in her report. It was an in-person event representing 30 participants from four counties.

Santa Cruz County Office of Education

by Audrey Sirota, Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator 
For more information on items found in this section, please contact Audrey Sirota, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator. asirota@santacruzcoe.org. 831.466.5827

We are deeply committed to supporting student leadership and voice!


Audience: High School students
Please register using this link: Youth Artists Taking Action Application

Youth Artists Taking Action Student Group


Visual and Performing Art Teachers’ Network

We support all our Visual and Performing Arts Teachers throughout the year!

Suggested Audience: Arts Teachers, General Education Teachers, Administrators

THANK YOU to all our VAPA Teachers for persevering to bring the ARTS to our students! 

Welcome back to the 2022-2023 school year!

Monthly Meetings: We will join forces with PVUSD. At the first meeting, we will address having a separate network for teachers who are unable to make these meetings. 

Dates for Middle and High School Teachers:
9/14/22; 10/12/22; 11/9/22; 12/14/22; 1/11/23; 2/8/23; 3/8/23; 4/12/23; 5/9/23

Dates for Elementary School Teachers:
9/21/22;  10/19/22; 11/16/22;  12/14/22; 1/18/23; 2/15/23; 3/15/23; 4/19/23; 5/7/23

Working closely with our Arts Council Santa Cruz County, districts and schools are able to apply for matching grants to offer arts programs for our students! SPECTRA Matching Grants

These grants are given to assist Santa Cruz County K-12 public schools and community organizations to enhance their arts education programs by bringing SPECTRA Teaching Artists into classrooms for visual, performing, or literary arts workshops, residencies, and performances. Matching grants are awarded, based on funding availability, up to $2,000. We prioritize funding to ensure racial equity and where we can make the greatest sustainable impact. Our number one priority goes to schools where high percentages (60-100%) students identify as BIPOC. Check out our Teaching Artist Directory to explore our list of SPECTRA artists and artist fees. You may complete the online application found at www.artscouncilsc.org/SPECTRA/.

Need help? Contact Sarah Brothers, Arts Education Director: 831.475.9600 x18 or artsed@artscouncilsc.org

Once again, we are partnering with the Santa Cruz Symphony and Carnegie Hall to bring the Link Up: Orchestra Sings program and concert to our 4-5th grade students.

The Santa Cruz Symphony, Carnegie Hall, and the Santa Cruz COE bring you:

Link Up: The Orchestra Sings – 2022-23 School Year

Audience: 4-5th Grade Teachers, Teaching Artists, Administrators & Educational Leaders

This program is for students in 4-5th grade. Students learn selections such as Anvil Chorus, Ode to Joy and Huapango.

Please register here:

Link Up Orchestra Sings 2022-23 Registration

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is transforming our Science Fair into a STEAM EXPO!

STEAM EXPO: Including the Invention Convention and Fashion Teens: An environmental and socially conscious event! SAVE-THE-DATE!    MARK YOUR CALENDAR! MARCH 11, 2023 ~ 2:00 SHOWCASE

Interested in learning how to foster invention in your classroom?  Come to this training to learn about the Invention convention, and how to incorporate invention skills with your students! For more information click the flier link below!

Learn More and Register here.

San Benito County Office of Education

STEM Shop Provides Classroom Supplies for Students

Thanks to a partnership with Synopsis Outreach Foundation. SBCOE was ablet o offer a STEM Shop for teachers for the first time ever. On, August 20, teachers in San Benito County gathered at San Andreas Continuation High School for free classroom supplies. STEM kits, lunch and snow cones. The goal of the event was to show gratitude to our amazing educators. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas were able to receive materials to encourage outdoor learning, arts, science, and language arts.

Stanislaus County Office of Education
Amy Bultena, Regional Arts Lead

Stanislaus County Office of Education

  • Stanislaus COE is designing a shareable edition of their strategic arts plan.
  • Stanislaus is beginning work to write a strategic arts plan with county districts.
  • 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 Paradise School District to provide ongoing arts professional development.
  • 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 offers three virtual fieldtrips to local Region 6 businesses that integrate the arts.
  • Stanislaus is hosting a free, Saturday, making event for the community; called Maker Hoopla
  • Stanislaus COE is offering free arts workshops on Social Emotional Learning and the Arts
  • San Joaquin COE is organizing a week-long arts camp for summer 2022
  • 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


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

Fresno County

Fresno County Summer Arts Academy (FCSAA) – The Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with Fresno City College, hosted an incredible FREE 4-WEEK DUAL ENROLLMENT SUMMER ARTS PROGRAM for Fresno County high school students that culminated in a spectacular showcase of student work on Saturday, July 9! Students participated in Acting, Concert Band, Film Production, Jazz Band, Rock Band, and Stagecraft. In addition to outstanding arts education instruction, students were certified in Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) through the National Council for Mental Health and Wellness, completing 6-hours of training to help them identify the signs of suicide and depression, know how to intervene to help a peer in crisis, and understand the resources available to support mental health and wellness. View pictures of this first ever Fresno County Summer Arts Academy at bit.ly/FCSAA22_PICS.

Kings County

Check out the September edition of the Kings County Arts in Action for more of the amazing arts taking place in schools throughout Kings County (www.smore.com/hgsc4).

Madera County


Mariposa County

The Mariposa County Creative Youth Development Working Group (consisting of the Mariposa COE/Mariposa County High School, the Alliance for Community Transformations, and the Southern Sierra Miwuk) have hired RISE Research and Evaluation to help develop a culturally responsive set of CYD assessment tools and data collection/analysis infrastructure that will be made available to all groups doing CYD work in Mariposa County.

The Mariposa County Arts Council partnered with the Mariposa County Office of Education to develop and deliver a summer camp program with a significant arts education over summer 2022 as part of MCOE’s Expanding Learning Opportunity program.

Merced County

  • Arts @ MCOE is implementing “Engaging California English Learners through the Arts,” an EL + Arts program funded through the LA County Office of Education, at two sites in the Los Banos Unified School District.
  • Arts @ MCOE is curating a “Back to School” visual arts collection for the Merced County Education Foundation Fundraising Gala on October 8th. MCEF raises funds to support Camp Green Meadows Outdoor School and the Visual and Performing Arts in Merced County schools.
  • Arts @ MCOE is once again collaborating with the Merced County Arts Council to produce Poetry Out Loud in Merced County and send a winner on to the state level.
  • Arts @ MCOE is focusing on supporting individual school site capacity in theatre this year by producing shows at 2-3 elementary schools, coupled with theatre integration (script analysis, design and performance) classroom strategies for teachers.

Tulare County

Tulare County 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. 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. For more information on the Student Art Exhibitions, visit tcoe.org/StudentArt. 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.

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

Region 8 is evolving. Both Santa Barbara and Kern will be year 2 leads and Ventura County we have added Brett Taylor, Local District Support Services Director to our team. We are excited to build a stronger partnership regionally and locally. We have created a Region 8 Arts Team google form to collect contact information and the best time to meet as a team. 

Ventura County – Brett Taylor will serve as the in-person connector and travel to the other region partners or arrange for them to meet us here at Ventura County.  We are working with our Student Competitions this year to create a partnership with our local museums and non-profits.  To build our internal capacity, we will be attending the CCSESA (soon not be that acronym) Strategic Planning series and also joining the Monterey COE VAPA network.  Art events at our March 7th Equity Conference and our spring show at the Ventura County Museum.

Santa Barbara County – Kai Tepper – We were excited to expand our CCP programs into summer schools this past school year and are working hard on igniting various partnerships throughout SB County to expand arts through early childhood education opportunities as well as thinking creatively about how to support secondary students. Our goal is to supplement what is already happening well in schools while also looking to expand on artist opportunities. I would love to work with Region 8 in putting together a robust PD opportunity that could be available for our teaching artists as well as for general classroom teachers. Modeling after the free webinars that Louisa Higgins shares through the network

Kern County -Jessica Viveros- Kern County is starting a VAPA Network, dates and times are currently in the works!

San Luis Obispo County – no report submitted, we will continue to reach out to Brent Moser.

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

Imperial County Office of Education (ICOE)

Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)

Community of Practice

OCDE’s Community of Practice this year will focus on Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching in our Framework and links to our Standards. We had our launch on August 1st including presentations from Arts Leaders from Newport-Mesa USD, Anaheim Elementary SD, Saddleback Valley USD, Santa Ana USD and the Huntington Beach Union High SD. Teacher share backs will be on Tuesday, November 8th, 2022 and Tuesday, February 7  from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at Orange County Department of Education (OCDE).  

Orange County Music and Arts Administrators

District leaders will be hosting and sharing information about their related professional learning sessions and practices their teams are putting in place at monthly meetings of Orange County Music and Arts Administrators (OCMAA).

Districts are presenting individually to Arts Organizations at OCDE to describe their program goals and what relevant, sustainable partnerships might look like.

Create CA’s Arts Now Communities

Create CA’s Arts Now Communities program is growing in Orange County with multiple network meetings focusing on the role and importance of having a district Arts Coordinator, effective ways to be involved in LCAP planning and more!

OCMAA Awards

OCMAA Award Nominations are open now through October 28th. Save the date for this year’s Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.

2022 OCArts4All Student Art Showcase and the VSA Festival

Student artwork from the 2022 OCArts4All Student Art Showcase and the VSA Festival was recognized at the 2022 OCMAA Awards and Festival of Arts in Laguna! Learn about two Orange County students and see their wonderful artwork in the OCDE Newsroom Article here.  

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 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 visit the new Arts Empower website to learn more, 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 implementing 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. Learn more about AERO and view a directory of the arts organizations who are involved and the programs they offer schools by visiting the new AERO website.

Riverside County Office of Education
Louisa Higgins, Regional Arts Lead

Riverside COE has kicked off the year with their SAVE THE DATES, announcing the five major high school events that they are hosting this year.  The One Minute Fresh Film Festival is the newest event being offered free to students, to showcase their prowess in digital storytelling.

Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education 

The Los Angeles and Riverside County Offices of Education are proud to have developed Creativity at the Core Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education for the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative. This module will provide education leaders at every level practical skills and tools to establish sustainable arts education programming in schools. Sections include: 

  • An overview of arts education in California
  • An Administrator’s Guide to Arts Advocacy
  • Cultural Responsiveness in Arts Education 
  • Arts Integration Leadership
  • Arts Partnerships
  • Leadership Development through Creative Action Planning

In addition, “Take Five for Arts Ed” includes interviews with education leaders, including county superintendents and other educational leaders, addressing topics related to arts education leadership. “Take Five for Arts Ed” and can be found on the Module 12 website and on YouTube.

Join us for an in-person launch of Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education on Tuesday, September 27th at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry. Administrators are welcome to attend the event for free. Register by emailing Louisa Higgins at lhiggins@rcoe.us.  More details here

Visit the Module 12 Resources here

Visit all of the Creativity at the Core Resources here

Riverside County is launching its own Arts Advocacy network on September 28th at the UCR Main Facility.  The working meeting will feature student performances, speakers, a panel and table discussion.  We are excited to bring this system change model in the arts to all the districts in our county.

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

Los Angeles County Office of Education

ECELA Leadership Institute

On July 28-29, 2022 the Engage California! English Learners through the Arts ECELA Leadership Institute brought together educational leaders from ECELA grant schools (Inglewood Unified School District, Rosemead School District, Los Banos Unified School District, CCSESA Arts, Merced County Office of Education, and Los Angeles County Office of Education). The in-person professional learning event happened at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland resort. Participants gathered to learn about ELD standards, the California EL Roadmap, Visual Arts standards, and arts integration strategies for ELs.

The Engage California! English Learners through the Arts (ECELA) project is a federal grant awarded by the an Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) to the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s (LACOE) Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) and Multilingual Academic Support (MAS) units. 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.

Photo provided by CDOL show the events of the ECELA Leadership Institute

Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education

The Los Angeles and Riverside County Offices of Education are proud to have developed Creativity at the Core Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education for the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative. This module will provide education leaders at every level practical skills and tools to establish sustainable arts education programming in schools. Sections include:

  • An overview of arts education in California
  • An Administrator’s Guide to Arts Advocacy
  • Cultural Responsiveness in Arts Education
  • Arts Integration Leadership
  • Arts Partnerships
  • Leadership Development through Creative Action Planning

In addition, “Take Five for Arts Ed” includes interviews with education leaders, including county superintendents and other educational leaders, addressing topics related to arts education leadership. “Take Five for Arts Ed” and can be found on the Module 12 website and on YouTube.

Join us for an in-person launch of Module 12: Leadership in Arts Education on Tuesday, September 27th at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry. Administrators are welcome to attend the event for free. Register by emailing Louisa Higgins at lhiggins@rcoe.us.  More details here.

Visit the Module 12 Resources here.

Visit all of the Creativity at the Core Resources here.

Promising Learners Project

The Promising Learners Project (PLP) has entered its third and final year. To kick off PLP’s last year, the leadership team planned, organized, and held the PLP Summit in August 2022. Attendees from Baldwin Park, Keppel, Monrovia, and Norwalk-La Mirada school districts participated in this special day of professional learning.

During the PLP Summit, attendees were shown that they could create a positive learning experience through a Multi-Tiered System of Support Using Social-Emotional Learning and the Arts! The Summit focused on intertwining Family and Community Engagement strategies with theater arts strategies. These strategies tapped into the Visual Arts, Healing Informed Care, Dance, and Music engagement strategies learned during the project’s first two years.

The Promising Learners Project presents school and district staff with the opportunity to create engaging environments and learning experiences to allow students to achieve academic and social success, focusing on youth in foster care and youth homeless in TK to third grade. Visit our website to learn more.

Photos provided by CDOL show the events of the PLP Summit.



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 State Standards and preparing for SBAC annual assessment in order to improve student achievement, with particular focus on under-served student populations, English learners, early learning, and college and career readiness.
  2. 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 district leaders; seek collaborative approaches that support districts in their improvement efforts while continually building CISC’s internal leadership capacity.
  3. Addressing national initiatives: Provide leadership that support California in developing and implementing plans to address federal initiatives, including Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and ESSA.
  4. Providing leadership for California initiatives impacting instruction and student achievement: Work in collaboration with CDE, state leaders and 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 Plans, the Quality Schooling Framework, and other statewide initiatives.
  5. 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,


Go Top