July/August 2020-21

Inside this Report

– CISC/Arts Subcommittee Members
– Creativity at the Core Professional Learning Modules
– CCSESA Arts Update
– State Arts Update
– The California Arts Project (TCAP) Update
– Professional Development Opportunities
– Regional Highlights
– Counties on the Move Publication
– CISC Committee Goals


Curriculum and Instruction Arts Subcommittee Chair
Dr. Gary Waddell, Assistant Superintendent, Equity & Educational Progress Division & Public Affairs gwaddell@sccoe.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

Regional Arts Leads

REGION 1 Arts Lead
Stacy Young
Humboldt County Office of Education syoung@hcoe.org

REGION 2 Arts Lead
Jennifer Spangler
Butte County Office of Education jspangler@bcoe.org

REGION 3 Arts Lead
Dr. L. Steven Winlock
Sacramento County Office of Educationswinlock@scoe.net

REGION 4 Arts Lead
Derek Fenner
Alameda County Office of Educationdfenner@acoe.org

REGION 5 Arts Lead
Sofia Fojas
Santa Clara County Office of Educationsfojas@sccoe.org

REGION 6 Arts Lead
Amy Bultena
Stanislaus County Office of Education abultena@stancoe.org

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Aaron Bryan
Fresno County Superintendent of Schoolsabryan@fcss.org

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Kate Stover
Tulare County Office of Educationkate.stover@tcoe.org

REGION 8 Arts Lead
Anna Belitski
Ventura County Office of Educationabelitski@vcoe.org

REGION 9 Arts Lead
Pauline Crooks
San Diego County Office of Education pcrooks@sdcoe.net

REGION 10 Arts Lead
Armalyn De La O
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schoolsadelao@sbcss.net

REGION 11 Arts Lead
Jeannine Flores
Los Angeles County Office of Education flores_jeannine@lacoe.edu

Click here to view and/or download complete list of Regional and County Arts Leads


New Module
CCSESA is pleased to announce the launch of Creativity at the Core Module 22:California Arts Standards for Public Schools: Resources for Learning & Implementation developed by San Diego County Office of Education and Santa Clara County Office of Education. This Module will provide educators with an overall understanding of the California Arts Standards structure and purpose as well as the opportunity to do a deep study into one or more arts disciplines. Hats off to Pauline Crooks (San Diego), Sofia Fojas (Santa Clara) and Jeannine Flores (formerly from Santa Clara and now at LACOE).

Check out the full suite of modules developed by Regional Arts Leads and Arts Organization Partners

Explore CCSESA’s statewide programCreativity at the Core. Here you will find professional learning modules focused on many key topics that support arts learning and Common Core Standards. You will see how regional teams including Regional Arts Leads from across California and key Arts Organization Partners collaborated on professional learning materials that we hope you will be able to use in your own educational and arts settings.

Plans are underway to continue to expand the Creativity at the Core resources and update some of the earlier modules with new information. During the 2020-21 academic year, some of CCSESA’s CISC /Arts Subcommittee members will be working on the following modules:

Module 4: Alameda COE – Creativity in Court and Community Schools (Grades 6-12)

Module 5: Santa Clara COE – ACTOS Arts Integration Culturally Responsive Arts Learning Across the Curriculum Tied to Common Core (Grades K-8)

Module 12: Sacramento COE – Leadership in the Arts and the Common Core State Standards (Grades K-8)

Module 14: Fresno CSS – Arts Integration as a Model of Rigorous Instruction: Connecting Arts Learning with the Common Core State Standards

Module 23: Los Angeles COE – Media Arts for Elementary Classroomsnew resources to support distance and online learning and professional development

Module 24: Butte & Stanislaus COEs – Visual Arts and Distance Learningnew online module aligned to the California State Standards


Three Upcoming Online Opportunities – Please Join Us!

What Sweeter Music: Arts and Social and Emotional Learning in Harmony – September 16, 2020

Join us for an interactive meeting where presenters will share about the power of the arts and Social-Emotional Learning. Featuring Headliner: Aaron Bryan, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools

Creative Action Planning: Mapping a Response in Light of Current Challenges – September 30 & October 1, 2020

This two-day online training offered by the California Alliance for Arts Education and CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative will allow you to further develop your leadership and facilitation skills that can be translated into all aspects of your work. You will be provided with timely information to respond to this new landscape, and learn strategies and processes that you can immediately apply.

Rural Arts Education Strategies Webinar – October 22, 2020

Rural communities face specific challenges when working to deliver arts education to students. Learn from several experts who have created tailored approaches for rural communities. Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education in partnership with CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative.

Welcome Anna Belitski – New CCSESA Regional Arts Lead

We are pleased to announce Anna Belitski will serve as the new CCSESA Region 8 Arts lead.  Anna works at the Ventura County Office of Education where she has been a Content Specialist for the last six years. Before coming to the Ventura County Office of Education, Anna taught most grades at the elementary level in Monterey, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. During her tenure as a classroom teacher she ensured her students were engaged in the creative process where she incorporated the visual and performing arts into her curriculum. She allowed students to embrace their own artistry and also taught them to appreciate the work of other artists through field trips, music, and literature.  She shared, “The Arts are what brings many students to school every day. Knowing that many of our marginalized students need additional ways to connect and express themselves, I see this new role as an opportunity to continue to be an arts and student advocate and to connect K-12 educators, community artists, and other key stakeholders to increase arts offerings and participation across the area.” Please join us in welcoming Anna to this new role.

CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN) Launch

The CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative is delighted to announce the formation of the CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN). Building on the success of the 2019-20 Rural County Arts Cohort, we would like to invite you to participate in a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the newly expanded CCSESA Rural Arts Network. Join us to learn, share your voice, and expand the field’s understanding of the specific strengths and challenges of our rural areas as we offer equitable, accessible arts education for students in Grades Pre-K through12. 
Read full announcement here.

Meeting Dates: Sep 22, 2020 – Oct 27, 2020 – Nov 10, 2020
Jan 26, 2021 – Feb 23, 2021 – Mar 23, 2021 – Apr 27, 2021

Click here to read the September issue.



Join @PCrooks_VAPA, @VAPAJeannine, @aaronbryan, and other arts education leaders from across the state for the #CaArtsEdChat, a Twitter Chat held every Wednesday from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. We’re growing a statewide virtual professional learning community for educators, artists, and others passionate about arts education. Join us as we discuss topics such as: the newly adopted CA Arts Framework; integrating the arts and technology; arts and anti-racism; and much more! New to Twitter, or just want to learn more about the Twitter Chat or see the questions in advance? Visit www.bit.ly/CaArtsEdChat2020.

California Department of Education – California Arts Standards for Public Schools Publication Released

The State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the California Arts Standards for Public Schools, Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Arts Standards) on January 9, 2019.

Educators can use this Arts Framework as a guide to curriculum and instruction to inform both the what and how of teaching in and through the arts.

Click here to download the publication version of the standards.

California Department of Education – Free Educational Resources for Distance Learning

A non-comprehensive list of publishers offering free distance learning resources. At the URL listed, users can learn about the specific resources available as publishers continue to expand their offerings. Districts are not mandated to utilize only state-adopted instructional materials, and many classrooms utilize a network of resources. In this list below, educators and parents/guardians may discover the individual resources they want for a particular need.

Link to online resources to support remote arts education instruction.

Link to Implementing the 2019 Arts Standards Through Distance Learning: Lessons from the Field video.

Please note that this list is comprised of publishers who have offered their site information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these sites and resources, nor does the CDE in any way endorse or specifically recommend these resources. Users should carefully conduct their own evaluation based upon their own specific local needs and the appropriateness of the resources offered. View the entire list here.

CREATE CA Resources and a Rapid Response Plan

As an arts education leader, you are in the unique position to hear about any rumblings of cuts to arts education in districts. We are here to help. Two recent attempts to cut the arts were reversed by simple actions from Create CA and its partners as part of our rapid response plan. It was friendly, fast and easy. And the communication was punctuated by directing that district back to their County arts coordinator as an invaluable resource. Please feel free to reach out to Pat Wayne at pwayne@createca.net for details and support.

More resources will be coming in the next few weeks with an eye on November. Let us know if there is any other way we can support you and your students.

Newest Resources – click here

Arts & SEL Crosswalk

Additional Presentation Links

The Arts and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Learning Video
Click here to view the video.

Resources:  You may have seen a 15 minute video from Louisa Higgins and Pat walking you through a suggested additional proactive strategy. https://youtu.be/66jCVbCXi3w

A two minute video for school district decision makers: https://youtu.be/N4ZQnUPSvZU

Click here to view recent webinar recording of What Sweeter Music: Arts and Social Emotional Learning in Harmony (September 16, 2020).

As California’s largest statewide coalition dedicated to the arts in schools, we raise public awareness to ensure creativity is a priority in public education. Every student needs a full and relevant arts education. In a state with one of the world’s largest creative economies, the arts are essential. Without equitable access to arts education, California’s students are not reaching their full potential. Join us to make sure every California School is a creative school.

www.createca.org and www.createca.net
Email: info@createca.org


The California Arts Project’s From a Distance Professional Learning Upcoming Fall Offerings

TCAP network’s primary concern is the safety of the students, educators, and community members. The TCAP Statewide Leadership and Professional Learning Center and all TCAP Regional Sites are working remotely following their specific campus guidelines and offering TCAP “From a Distance Professional Learning”. From a Distance programs provide support for teachers in teaching the arts in hybrid, face-to-face, or in distance learning formats. The programs can also bridge to face-to-face professional leaning when conditions allow. As health announcements are monitored, the status of programs may change. Please email kalexand@csusb.edu for more information on any of TCAP’s programs or services and visit The California Arts Project Facebook page.

Click here to read about the many offerings of The California Arts Project. 


UPDATE – Please note that events listed below are currently open for registration and that event organizers continue to monitor current federal and state health guidelines.


September 16, 2020
Starts at 3:00 pm
What Sweeter Music: Arts and Social-Emotional Learning in Harmony
Presented by CCSESA and Create CA
View and/or download event flyer here

September 30, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Student Role and Participation in Advocacy
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education
View and/or download event flyer here
Register here

September 29 & October 1, 2020
9:30-12:30 pm
Creative Action Planning: Mapping A Response in Light of Current Challenges
Co-Presented by the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative & the California Alliance for Arts Education
Fee: $50
Register here


October 14, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Importance of Local Advocacy in School Board Races
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education
Register here

October 15, 2020
4:00-5:00 pm
Arts Empower Mega Rally
Presented in partnership by Arts Empower, CAEA-SDC, CMEA-SBS, SDTEA, SouthCAP
Register here

October 29, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Arts Learning Community of Practice for Alameda County district/Site Leaders & Educators
Presented by the Alameda County Office of Education
View and/or download event flyer here
Register here

October 22, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Rural Arts Education Strategies
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education and CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative
Register here


November 19, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Student Voices Campaign Launch
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education
Register here

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


Humboldt is pleased to have returning personnel for the arts! Bill Funkhouser and Stacy Young hosted 4 days of synchronous Arts Integration and Creative Education Professional Development for 100 teachers in the region. It was interspersed with asynchronous units on Reading Art. Virtual platforms have leveled the geographical playing field for our region of 10,000 sq. mi. We have continued hosting general classroom and arts teachers’ virtual professional development that began in March. It has allowed greater networking among discipline teachers. All of their presentations and materials are at http://artsintegration.net


Welcomes Dana Adams, the new coordinator for the Integrated Arts program. Dana joined LCOE as an Educational Specialist in Library and Information Science. Dana grew up in Kelseyville, graduated from Kelseyville High School, attended Mendocino College, and moved back to Lake County after 22 years away. For the past 15 years, she has been a teacher librarian in multiple school districts in the Bay Area. She has extensive experience in integrated learning and arts integration through the Alameda COE. She taught at Maya Lin School, an Arts Integration magnet school in Alameda where every teacher is an exemplary model for integrated learning with years of training and continued professional development. Dana presented at the Create California Arts Education Coalition Conference in Oakland, participated in the Curriculum Slam at the Oakland Museum of California, and guest taught in multiple Arts Integration workshops focusing on integrating arts and inquiry into the research process. 

Dana’s goal is to support the important work creating meaningful learning through integrated learning strategies, and arts integration. She is passionate about student centered teaching and learning and believe this pedagogy doesn’t just make learning more meaningful to students, but makes teaching more meaningful for educators. She finds that collaborative planning can ignite passion and confidence while trying new ideas. She supports teachers in curriculum risk taking and trying new ideas and new ways of doing things in the classroom.

Beginning in the summer of 2019, a committee composed of members of the Arts Education Alliance, representatives from SCOE, certificated arts teachers, and trained teaching artists drafted the Sonoma County Arts Education Framework.  The county then offered an RFP for schools and districts to get support from a Consultant to use the framework to draft Arts Education Plans for their schools and districts.  The five grantees were Santa Rosa City Schools, West Side School District, Bellevue Elementary School and Taylor Mountains Elementary (both in Bellevue School District).  They have drafted their plans and are looking forward to implementation in the coming year.  Three working committees have focused on ways to support these schools and districts with the following goals:  Teaching and Learning, Leadership Development, and Arts Advocacy.  These working committees will meet monthly through the end of the year.  The focus of the Teaching and Learning Group has been providing professional development around integrating the arts into Social Emotional Learning, which is so vital during this pandemic.


In Del Norte County, eighteen teachers continue to participate in the Arts & Creativity Incentive (ACI) grant.  At eight different school sites, covering grades K through 8, the members of this enthusiastic cohort serve as role models across California’s largest county by geography.  As they start the school year entirely on-line, given the local Covid-19 precautions, teachers are busy modifying their first ACI projects to reach students at a distance.

This summer Julie Smiley took over the coordination of Del Norte County’s ACI grant.  Serving last year as the county’s Teaching Artist, she gladly brings familiarity with the local teachers and school sites.  With her teaching credential from Humboldt State, she has taught high school in Del Norte, Humboldt, and San Francisco counties.  Smiley holds a Masters of Arts Education from Ohio State, and continues to also work as a fine artist. 

Born and raised in Del Norte county, Julie returned with her children from the Bay Area in 2016 to enjoy the county as their “big backyard” with no commute. Having grown up herself in a place so remote from large institutions for the arts, such as museums and performance spaces, she recognizes the importance of growing the county’s students’ participation in creative processes, awareness of the arts, and its long history within diverse cultures.


Aaron Carter, Director Continuous Improvement at Mendocino County Office of Education is currently the VAPA lead for Mendocino County.  It is exciting to be back in the VAPA role, as this was one of the first assignments I was given when I first started here at MCOE as an Educational Specialist.  Our current VAPA work includes:  *actively working with the ACI Grant by supporting the teachers with the technology needs around this grant requirement.  *This summer was a huge success with our teachers attending the Professional Development hosted by the ACI grant – using the Close Reading strategy in art is critical in learning how to read art.  County programming:  Get Arts in the School program is getting ready to launch.  

COVID19 has definitely redefined what school means, but we are finding that our Districts, staff, parents, and students have persevered and are creating a new normal that still puts our students at the center of each decision.

Looking forward to an awesome year building on the collaborative structures within our County, Region, and State.

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


A Butte County After School Art Program Final Project Goes Virtual Like so many art classes in Butte County and Region 2, art teachers scrambled to wrap up the spring semester in a meaningful way that did not utilize the traditional year end art exhibit. In a partnership between Butte County Office of Education, the Chico Art Center, and the Chico Unified School District’s after school program, we presented and celebrated student artwork in nontraditional ways.  All year approximately 35 students worked with teaching artist, Cameron Kelly who encouraged them to create personal narratives in sketchbooks with images and text as they thought about what it meant to live in their community and its context for their personal stories. The culminating project was originally scheduled for the train car gallery space located in an old train car parked in front of  the Chico Art Center which shares a building with the Amtrak station near downtown Chico. However due to the pandemic the exhibit moved to the 24 exterior windows of the train car. In addition, the Chico Art Center created an on line exhibit of student work, click this link: https://chicoartcenter.com/blastart/. The year-long art program was supported with a grant from the California Arts Council and funds from the Stuart Foundation through the CCSESA Arts Initiative. Both exhibits will be accessible through November 2020. 

According to Kelly: “The students learned the art form of the dia de los muertos altar which helped them in their personal creative art making process as they made their own personal altars. Plus as demonstrated in their sketchbooks by the end of the school year it is evident that this art program helped them understand significant markers in their lives.

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


The SCOE Arts COP held their first meeting via Zoom with both district art leads and art organization leads. From this meeting, we developed focus areas for each monthly meeting, began the process of creating a “Fall” arts catalog for districts to see what programs have to offer, a survey was created and results distributed to the arts organizations with data on district needs/wants for assemblies/field trips/content specific instruction either in-person or virtually. Taking into consideration district needs/wants with available technology, budget availability, and preferred method of delivery, art organizations can tailor programs to directly address in the moment needs for distance learning. The SCOE Arts COP will continue to meet monthly via Zoom until health officials deem it safe to return to in-person meetings. These meetings will continue to the collaborative discussion needed to assist districts and art organizations in implementing and developing interactive arts education.

SCOE is working with area arts programs to develop a Fall Arts Catalog for distance learning. This catalog will detail the art education offerings each program has to offer including cost, location, and more.

Districts and their families will have access to this catalog to choose program options that best fit their current needs/demands during distance learning and beyond.

The SCOE Arts Community of Practice will continue to meet monthly to address needs and concerns as they arise in the ever-changing climate to ensure every student has access to arts education every day.

Region 4 Alameda County Office of Education – Derek Fenner, Regional Arts Lead


Derek Fenner, Region Four lead, will convene Region Four county arts leads in October, December, February, and April with dates to be determined. ACOE launch a new arts learning webpage here.

Two arts learning communities of practice (CoP) began meeting in September, 2020, 1) a CoP for ACOE district leaders and educators that meets monthly, and, 2) a CoP for arts education leaders and educators from the Bay Area and beyond that meets 3 times a year.

These CoPs will meet in order to better serve school districts in increasing and enhancing their arts learning needs. This network will assist educators and leaders in reflecting on their arts education strategies through community building and design of purposeful opportunities that matter in students’ lives and communities. We see arts learning as a way to draw upon the interests, talents, and creativity of every child and teacher, building the skills, confidence and motivation to persist through challenges, as fully present “solution-aries” for the complex social, economic and environmental issues that concern and worry us all.
Flyers can be found at here.

ACOE’s Arts Learning Communique #15 – August 31, 2020 was released and can be found here.

Lastly, ACOE was awarded a grant to refresh Creativity at the Core Module 4: Creativity in Court and Community Schools (Grades 6-12).


Arts Education is providing check-in and collaboration times for arts educators in Contra Costa County over summer and throughout the school year for sharing of ideas, lessons, and resources for arts education in the five disciplines. In July, the focus was around sharing of distance learning resources that are available for free to arts educators. A curated list of resources by various arts discipline have been captured in our document, CCCOE Arts Resources for Distance Learning. Our next collaboration is around the CDE’s “5 Key Principles for a Quality Distance Learning” for the Arts, tech tools for teaching, and curriculum planning.

CCCOE is proud to partner with the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County for a fall opening of the high school student art showcase in the CCCOE building. The title of the art show is called “The Art of Resilience.” The creations in this show are a testament to never giving up and the spirit of hope that presses on in the act of creation, even during a pandemic. Artistic disciplines including music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literary arts, and media arts have a positive effect on children’s and adolescents’ social-emotional development. By using the arts as a vehicle for addressing social-emotional learning not only do we aid students in acquiring tools to express themselves, but we empower them as they draw from experiences to build resilience in times of hardship and adversity. Along with the physical art show display, we will include virtual presentations to provide access to this show for our community members.


This August, Marin County Office of Education partnered with the Bay Area Discovery Museum, Youth In Arts, UC Berkeley, the River Otter Ecology Project and others to create and facilitate My Place in the Watershed: A Return of the River Otters. This five-day, virtual, professional learning event provided TK-12th grade teachers an immersive experience that modeled distance learning best practices for facilitating project-based and inquiry-driven experiences through the lens of equity, social emotional learning, and STEAM. Each day was grounded in CASEL’s social emotional learning (SEL) core competencies explored through kinesthetic and visual arts strategies. 

This event was built from an earlier partnership between Marin County Office of Education and Youth in Arts, who collaborated on a 6-episode video series exploring how to create a nature journal with observation, drawing, movement, labeling, and inquiry. This series modeled how to use nature out your window or beyond your doorstep to be inspired to create. The videos were multidisciplinary and bilingual, and rooted in theories of culturally responsive pedagogy. These episodes were part of a larger series titled Creating curiosity: Out the Front Door, which was broadcast countywide on Marin’s local cable television channel.


The San Mateo County Office of Education has launched five new communities of practice. The included the following:

Virtual Visual Art Teachers: a monthly check-in to share best practices and learn from each other about what it is like to teach visual art in a virtual classroom;
Virtual Strategies to Build Classroom Community: a monthly meet-up filled with fun, interactive team building games you can play with your students or team online;
The Invitation: A Book Group. A Community of Practice. A Journey Into Your Own Life. A Place to Reflect, Write, Make Art. An Opportunity to Sit in Virtual Circles;
Connected Conversations – Restore & Refill Your Tank: Topics include mindfulness, self-care, creativity tips, and restorative circles; and
Artful Journal Make: learn fun strategies to create or “hack” an original art journal with materials that you already have at home.

More information for all of these can be found here.

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


It has been an eventful summer in Santa Clara County! The Santa Clara County Office of Education has been gearing up to support districts around distance learning. In June, Artspiration engaged Studio Pathways, led by Mariah Landers and Jessa Brie Moreno, to facilitate a five-day Arts Equity and Transformative Teaching training.  Teachers and principals from Eastside Union High School District, San Jose Unified School District and Alum Rock Union School District participated as well as several arts organizations and teaching artists serving those districts. Those who attended the training will receive regular coaching and become a Community of Practice to support the new learning. This Arts Equity and Transformative Teaching CoP will meet monthly. 

A new team of Professional Experts were brought onboard to support the work of racial equity in the arts, increase the ability of Title 1 schools to participate fully in  arts learning, and create a shared leadership model with our stakeholders. Welcome  Justin August, Aimee Espiritu and Kati Silva! Their full bios  are on our Artspiration website.

Upcoming Events
The Artspiration team is hosting sessions at two events this fall.  Artspiration of the Santa Clara County Office of Education in partnership with the Lurie College of Education will be presenting the Marion Cilker Conference for Arts in Education will combine social emotional learning, arts and culturally responsive teaching in a virtual conference for pre-service education students and teachers in the field.  

This annual event for Pre-K to 8th-grade teachers is devoted to demonstrating the importance of integrating the arts into the classroom curriculum. Co-sponsored by the Connie L. Lurie College of Education at San José State University and the Santa Clara County Office of Education, this first ever virtual event brings together students, teachers, and parents with local artists and arts organizations to share the joy of teaching through the arts.

Artspiration will be hosting a community of practice led by two of our new team members: Aimee Espiritu and Kati Silva. For questions, contact Kati Silva at ksilva@sccoe.org, Aimee Espiritu at aespiritu@sccoe.org or for registration, contact Esther Chong at echong@sccoe.org.


High school students across our county have been working on digital media projects to support the CENSUS 2020 movement. Students developed the scripts, filmed the speakers and supported the creative editing and production process. Filming took place with only 2-3 people at a time to ensure health and safety guidelines and maximum physical distance.

The school year is just getting going, and many districts were postponed due to the fires, but we are looking forward to arts integration lessons within our distance learning programs. Teachers are planning for creative ways to increase student learning and engagement through remote visual arts lessons. We have several large projects coming up in the fall and will include in our next update.


The San Benito Arts Now Community (San Benito County Arts Council), which includes the SBCOE, has completed their third and final year of partnership with the CAAE.  New Arts Now leadership teams are set to launch this year for the Aromas-San Juan and Hollister school districts.

The San Benito County Arts Council is getting reading to launch the 3rd-5th Grade Visual Arts Program with Hollister School District (HSD) in September, serving over 1,600 students in grades 3rd, 4th and 5th. Art kits, including paper, colored pencils, watercolors and more will be distributed to each student participating in the program.

Cerra Vista-Color Theory: Perspective and Geometry with Color Pastels
Over the summer, Arts Council teaching artists participated in 20 hours of professional development, including a 3-day peer learning arts education workshop and the third workshop in a series on “Art & Healing” for 5th grade students.

Virtual Arts Classes at Juvenile Hall
The Arts Council has also continued to provide weekly visual art classes to students at Juvenile Hall throughout COVID and the shelter-in-place. Since April, students at Juvenile Hall have participated in 2-3 virtual art classes per week in drawing and illustration. A staff member from Juvenile Hall stated that the art classes helped keep the students motivated and engaged during an especially challenging time when students have lacked access to other outside programs, as well as visits from family members.

Arts Education Planning Team-March 2020
The draft Hollister School District Arts Education Plan that was developed in March 2020 with the California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE), SBCOE and 25 stakeholders is currently being reviewed with the goal of being adopted by the HSD Board this year.


In addition to hosting the 9th Annual Arts Integration Institute, we have been holding weekly meetings for Visual Arts, Music, and Theater Teachers across the county to offer collaborative support to each other during this unprecedented time. During the Summer Arts Integration Institute that we co-facilitate with the Art Council Santa Cruz County, we used the Zoom platform in addition to Padlet and Google Classroom to model the use of technology for our teachers. Many teachers reported that this helped them develop more knowledge and comfort with using technology this fall. We were also able to model the use of synchronous and asynchronous teaching models.

Forty teachers created a collaborative Padlet. This project served as an example for one way to increase engagement among learners. In our weekly meetings, we document our work in Google Classrooms for Visual Art and Music Teachers.

All teachers, teaching artists, and members of our community arts organizations are invited to participate and collaborate including the Arts Council Santa Cruz, Pajaro Valley Arts, Santa Cruz Symphony, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, and Arts Now communities.

The Santa Cruz COE supports Fashion Teens in the Pandemic Pivot
Every year, the Santa Cruz COE in collaboration with local teacher and artist Kathleen Crocetti and most recently, PIVOT: The Art of Fashion Production Company, host a Fashion Teens event. This event helps middle and high school students focus on both STEAM curriculum and climate change concerns. Students are asked to think about consumerism and all the materials that are thrown into landfills and recycling bins. Then they participate in the artistic process of creating a design out of recycled and reused materials and submitting their work for entrance into the Fashion Teen show. This year, due to the impact of COVID, students were not able to showcase their designs at the Civic Auditorium, but had to videotape themselves. We were able to create a video show this year with 120 students who were designers and models.

Supporting Our Teachers and Community
Over the last few months, our Curriculum & instruction Division has offered several opportunities for teachers, administrators, students and families to take part in Distance Learning Professional Development. In June, Education Manager Andres Ortiz, Music Educator Christie Latham, Instructional Designer and Faculty with Harvard’s Project Zero Indy McCasey, LACOE Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator Jeannine Flores, Arts Education Director Sarah Brothers, and Arts Coordinator Sofia Fojas took part in a panel speaking about the critical importance of the arts during this time. The Santa Cruz COE also sponsored a 3-day Professional Development opportunity that included sessions about the social-emotional and engagement benefits of the Arts and Arts Integration.

Santa Cruz COE in Collaboration with the Santa Cruz Symphony and Carnegie Hall present Link Up Orchestra Rocks!
Once again this year, we are partnering to bring the Orchestra Rocks to our county’s 4-5th grade students. We begin our year by offering professional development to our teachers and teaching artists

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


The Stanislaus COE is working with Sylvan Unified School District to provide subject-specific arts training.

The Stanislaus COE is offering subject-specific workshops to unpack the new Arts Standards with teachers.

The Stanislaus COE is partnering with the Stanislaus Union School District on year 4 of the Professional Development for Arts Education grant (PDAE) which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. www.stancoe.org/vapa/pdae

The Stanislaus COE is partnering with the Butte COE to develop a new module for the CCSESA Creativity at the Core project about integrating Visual Art and History Social Science.

The Stanislaus COE developed a website to support Arts teachers and distance learning https://sites.google.com/stancoe.org/artsdistancelearning/

The Stanislaus COE developed and shared a guidance document for region, county, and district leads about how to safely conduct Arts classes in the era of COVID-19.

The Stanislaus COE developed an integration series about examining History Social Science Standards through the Lens of Visual Art. The Stanislaus COE designed a series of activities surrounding the series and shared them with regional, county, and district leadership.

The Stanislaus COE developed “Promising Practices on Demand,” a series of short videos designed to provide meaningful overviews and introductions to practices, skills, and techniques that support distance learning. So far, three of the videos support Arts learning.

Amador and Tuolumne county leadership has expressed intention to participate in the CCSESA Rural Arts Network.

Stanislaus COE is currently offering the following VAPA workshops (between September 1 and November 1)

Fall Y’all Art Integration

Sketchnotes Workshop

Arts Integration and Universal Design for Learning Lesson Study (5 part series wherein participants can earn continuing learning credits)

The Stanislaus County Office of Education has developed a “Distance Learning for Arts Educators” website. The website features tools and apps to support distance learning in the arts, links to virtual lesson plan resources, considerations for social-emotional learning, and tips for writing a distance learning lesson. The tools are organized according to arts discipline area, but the website has excellent resources for any educator. https://sites.google.com/stancoe.org/artsdistancelearning/

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


Professional Learning in the Arts
FCSS hosted a two-day online “Distance Learning Academy,” August 4-5, 2020. More than 3,000 educators joined over 62 interest sessions and round table discussions designed to support and promote best practices and innovation in distance learning. FCSS VAPA presented 4 sessions over the two-days: “SEL for the Creative Teacher,” “At the Crossroads: Moving Towards A Brighter Future for Arts Ed,” “Artful Thinking Routines for CAASPP,” and “In Other Words: Teaching with Digital Backgrounds.” More information can be found at bit.ly/3jZHftZ.

FCSS VAPA continues to provide professional learning in the arts to districts throughout Fresno County. In September and October, much of the focus is on supporting teachers in establishing routines and rituals in arts ed and general ed classes, training teachers in “Artful Thinking Strategies” for use in arts and gen-ed classes, promoting creative strategies to support teacher and student social emotional well-being, using arts-based strategies to support adult self-care for school staff. For more information contact Aaron Bryan, FCSS VAPA Director, abryan@fcoe.org

FCSS VAPA Director, Aaron Bryan, will be the featured presented for “What Sweeter Music: Arts and Social Emotional Learning in Harmony,” a FREE webinar hosted by Create CA and the CCSESA Arts Initiative, September 16, 2020 – 3:00 PM. Additional Fresno County educators featured on the webinar include Michael Gutierrez, Music Teacher at Firebaugh-Las Deltas USD, and tony sanders, Director of VAPA, LTI Coordinator, and Community Development Coordinator for Big Picture Educational Academy, Fresno. The hour-long webinar will discuss the connection between creativity and the brain as it relates to social emotional well-being, and much more. CLICK HERE to register.

Local & National Partnerships
FCSS VAPA is excited to continue two national partnerships with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC): “Partners in Education” and “Any Given Child.”

FCSS is proud to welcome the Fresno Art Museum (FAM) as an official partner in the “Partners in Education” program. Though FCSS and FAM have collaborated for many years, this official partnership will provide additional resources to the projects undertaken together.

The “Art of the Word” project will be moving online for the 2020-21 school year. Part of “Any Given Child– Fresno County”, The “Art of the Word” brings every 3rd grade student in Fresno USD and Sanger USD to the Fresno Art Museum where there tour the galleries, engage in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) with museum educators, and complete a hands-on arts lesson in the museum’s classroom space. This year, due to the pandemic, FCSS VAPA and FAM staff will be working to create video resources to bring the museum visit experience and post-visit lessons directly to virtual classrooms! Students will be given all the art supplies they need to create the revised arts lessons at home. Student artwork from the project is typically displayed in the Child Space Gallery at the FAM, but this year artwork will be displayed in a virtual gallery on the FAM website. More info to come.

The Arts & Anti-Tobacco Project
Through a partnership with the FCSS Safe & Healthy Kids Department, FCSS VAPA is establishing “The Arts & Anti-Tobacco Project,” an initiative aimed to engage Fresno County high school students in messaging, branding, and content development in the areas of Media Arts, Theatre, and Visual Arts to encourage middle school and high school students say “YES” to creativity, and say “NO” to tobacco. Students will work with FCSS VAPA staff to develop content in each of the previously mentioned arts disciplines that helps inform students of the dangers of tobacco use and encourage students to pursue creative outlets to support their health and social emotional well-being.


Kings COE continues their county-wide Arts Newsletter, which allows districts to highlight ways the arts are being implemented within their district. Be sure to check out all of the exciting arts activities and learning taking place at Kings County by visiting https://www.smore.com/hdzqf

Kings COE has developed a digital storytelling module designed to help students develop their voice through the arts while utilizing technology during learning experiences that follow Hip-Hop educational pedagogy and culturally responsive instructional design. The module is being licensed for use across all six counties in Region 7.


Madera USD is excited to announce the opening of its newest school, Matilda Torres High School. Though the pandemic has impacted the opening of this new site, and all schools, students at MTHS will have rich opportunities in the arts, including a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Building.


Mariposa COE is pivoting much of our art programming to support distance learning, specifically, working with partners like the Mariposa County Arts Council to make sure we can continue to provide rigorous, equitable arts educations, for all grade levels across Mariposa County. More details about this implementation are forthcoming.


Strategic arts planning

Collaborations with Outdoor Ed, Science and Credentialing departments to get arts to students and arts PD to teachers

Arts Now Merced County is officially established

With the permission of Disney Theatrical Productions, Noelle Chandler adapted the virtual curriculum for “The Lion King Experience: At Home!” and broadcast recorded lessons on Merced Educational Television for students this summer, in lieu of a traditional summer theatre program. A free, fully facilitated theatre curriculum, widely-broadcast to all Merced County students.


Tulare County Agencies Collaborate for COVID-19 Youth Media Challenge
The Friends of Tulare County invites youth in grades 7–12 in Tulare County to participate in the Listos CV19 Youth Media Challenge during the month of September. In collaboration with Self-Help Enterprises and the California Office of Emergency Services along with community partners Tulare County Office of Education and CreateTC, the purpose of the competition is to highlight youth-created art focused on promoting COVID-19 safety guidelines in languages representing Tulare County, utilizing two categories: graphic design and video.

Youth must choose one theme (Hope, Connection, Safety, Responsibility, or I wear a mask for …) and select at least one COVID-19 safety action in their media submission:

– Wash hands for at least 20 seconds

– Maintain six feet social distance

– Wear a mask (face covering) in public

– Minimize mixing (avoid gathering with people outside of your immediate household)

Digital print media can be designed to fit advertisements, Zoom backgrounds, bus ads, billboards, online advertising, a custom face mask, and more. Video can be designed to fit electronic platforms such as a 30-second commercial, a computer wallpaper, digital media, and others. The final submission date is September 30, 2020.

Incorporating a theme and a COVID-19 safety action into their original artwork, winning participants will be awarded prizes, which could include the publication of the winning pieces on local media and print platforms. Community members will judge the entries, with winners announced in October. Innovation blossoms in trying times, and as adults find a way to adapt to the disruption caused by COVID-19, so do our youth—in their own way. The way youth adapt and cope with COVID-19 is the voice we want to hear, and we can amplify their voice by providing a platform. For more information on the Listos CV19 Youth Media Challenge, visit www.friendsoftularecounty.org.

Friends of Tulare County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the safety, health, and well-being of Tulare County residents. As such, we accept donations on behalf of the County of Tulare. Both in-kind and monetary donations are tax-deductible.

Arts at the Heart of Learning
TCOE held its first Virtual Learning Conference for educators and parents on August 4, 2020. Organized by Educational Resource Services, the free conference attracted over 1,600 registrants and featured 41 sessions conducted virtually through Zoom. Hour-long sessions began at 8:00 a.m. and concluded at 4:00 p.m., with up to seven presentations running concurrently. TCOE Instructional Services and Special Services staff and district personnel presented the sessions which attracted between 30 and 300 viewers each.

Parents attended a variety of sessions, including two conducted in Spanish. Topics included support with virtual tools and platforms, IEPs, preparing for college and career, and engaging their children in learning at home. Educators and parents of children with special needs attended sessions on building effective communication within the IEP team, social/emotional learning, resource mapping and matching for student needs, and mindfulness. The special education strand also featured a teacher panel.

Topics for educators also included content-area presentations on English language arts, history/social science, math, science, and technology, with several sessions on supporting English learners through virtual instruction. TCOE Arts Consultant Kate Stover presented a session called “Arts at the Heart of Learning” highlighting the links between the arts, creativity, mental health, and wellness.

Teachers 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 preregister 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 distance learning curriculum are encouraged to contact to Kate Stover, Visual and Performing Arts curriculum specialist, at kate.stover@tcoe.org.

Region 8 Ventura County Office of Education – Anna Belitski, Regional Arts Lead

Given the current state of the new school year and considering the demands of Distance Learning on teachers, students, and families, County Offices of Education are in a holding pattern while everyone adjusts to the situation. Kern County and Ventura County have postponed the student art displays at the County Fairs due to the pandemic. Santa Barbara County has created a menu of virtual performance options to increase Arts engagement during Distance Learning. All counties are continuing outreach to plan for ongoing Arts support both during Distance Learning and when schools return to in person learning.


The Kern County Office of Education created online CANVAS Arts courses for students and teachers to support Arts education during the current pandemic.

Bakersfield Youth Fine Arts Academy (BYFA) is an organization that specializes in the education of youth in the visual and performing arts and the enrichment of our community through live performances. This fall the academy will be offering online workshops and classes.

Workshops and classes at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art Museum are currently cancelled. However, the museum has created prompts that allow students to explore and create visual arts at home. Families may visit the website for prompts as well as resources to discounted supplies.


SLO County Arts programs are temporarily postponed however they have an At-Home-Educational Resources page for teachers and families.


SBCOE created an Arts Specific Covid-19 Response Guidance resource page support artists and arts education during the pandemic.

Children’s Creative Project serves both Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county schools with the following arts education programs during school hours. The project has created a resource page for virtual dance, music and theater offerings.


The Ventura County Arts Network (VCAN) was founded by the Ventura County Office of Education to provide a forum for arts educators and community members to celebrate accomplishments, share best practices, investigate resources and tools, and explore future collaborations. It is also an opportunity to hear what is going on at the state and local level. Currently meetings will provide resources and learnings around distance learning and the Arts. Meetings are October 5, 2020, January 11, 2021 and March 16, 2021, all to be held virtually.

While The Ventura County Museum of Art is currently closed, all events will be held virtually. Students may explore the museum’s collection online as well as engage in virtual learning modules.

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


Virtual Very Special Arts Festival – VSA Orange County and OCDE have traditionally partnered to present a visual and performing arts festival which celebrates the artistic accomplishments of individuals with disabilities. This year’s virtual Festival website includes a virtual art gallery, performance video gallery, and “education station” where visitors can learn and participate in at-home arts activities while also learning about disabilities. The Festival’s theme, “The SuperPower In Me” encourages all students to reflect on their own “super” abilities. Visit the Festival Website here

Professional Learning: Universal Design and Socio-Emotional Learning in the Arts – This August OCDE hosted two days of professional learning for Arts teachers which included: 

An inspirational message of “You Make a Difference” from Tim Lautzenheizer from Conn and a brief presentation of Universal Design for Learning by Scott Fitzpatrick 

Discipline-specific demonstration lessons by arts teachers from the Santa Ana Unified School District. 

Master classes provided by Orange County arts organizations 

Universal Design for Learning in the new Framework by Courtney Sawada from Southern Counties California Arts Project. 

A session on Social Emotional Learning through the Arts provided byVSA Orange County and Well Beings Studio. Arts educators participated in a hands-on workshop where they created, discussed, explored and reflected on how they might integrate social emotional learning into their arts classrooms. 

Making My Community Count: OC Census Virtual Visual & Performing Arts Showcase – OCDE’s Visual and Performing Arts and History/Social Sciences partnered to showcase arts encouraging Census participation across the county. Students created artwork inspired by the question “How does the 2020 Census help my community?” Students from grades K-12 participated with the top six pieces receiving prizes. To view all artwork submitted please visit the showcase website. To learn more about OCDE’s Census efforts, see the OCDE Newsroom story.​

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 Teacher Collaborations -Last spring, arts teachers met virtually by discipline to share what practices were supporting student engagement working with distance and online learning. This fall, OCDE will invite teachers to continue to share their “Success Stories” amongst districts.  

Arts Now Communities -OCDE is partnering with Arts Orange County to bring the California Alliance for Arts Education’s program called “Arts Now Communities” to Orange County. This wonderful program provides resources and strategic coaching to support effective advocacy at both the district and county levels. 

OCMAA & Arts Organization Education Departments – Each month OCDE hosts three 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 the annual “OCMAA Awards” event. 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. 


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 distance learning units of study in grades K-12 that are focused on grade level essential learnings in each content area. These units were purposefully designed to integrate content, 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 distance learning instructional platform. The units are available here: https://bit.ly/SDCOE-Learn 

San Diego Area Arts Leadership Community – SDCOE and the Southern Counties California Arts Project (SouthCAP) partner in facilitating the San Diego Area Arts Leadership Community. This community of TK-12 school district arts leaders investigate arts education topics and current research, to maintain awareness of issues and policies impacting arts education in California.  The community provides a system of support for arts leaders to share, reflect, problem solve, and learn from each other, especially in our current circumstances with shifting contexts in face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid models of instruction.

Arts Empower San Diego Mega Rally – It’s been a long, strange, tough year with the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of relegating the annual Arts Empower Mega Conference to another event canceled by the coronavirus, we invite you to get pumped up for the opportunities ahead of us with the free one-hour, Arts Empower Rally on Oct. 15. Be inspired by your peers and the beautiful and powerful student artwork and performances that came out of quarantine and in response to racial injustice. Explore ways to teach dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts virtually and at a distance. Get energized to advocate for the arts in education at a time when students need all the ways to express their feelings and experiences. And be reminded of the importance of arts education with the new state framework. Register now to attend the 2020 Arts Empower San Diego Rally. We can’t wait to celebrate arts education and arts educators with you at the Arts Empower Rally on Oct. 15.

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 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. 

Region 10 San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
Armalyn De La O, Regional County Arts Lead


District based arts education professional learning community (PLC) support in Region X is designed to respond to individual district’s arts education needs and goals.  Current professional learning for districts includes supporting districts’ LCAP Priorities, expanding teachers’ capacities to support academic English language development, supporting teachers’ shifts to the newly revised California Arts Standards, building elementary teachers arts content knowledge and skills, and developing teacher’s capacities to address the needs of learners through Universal Designs for Learning. Region X partners with RIMS California Arts Project to design and implement the district embedded professional learning.  All professional learning can be designed to address distance teaching and learning in the arts.

Current District Work
Barstow Unified School District, Fontana Unified School District, and San Bernardino City Unified School District.

Network Meetings Focused on Advocacy, County, Regional, State and National Arts Education Initiatives San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Office, RIMS California Arts Project and Arts Connection, San Bernardino County Arts Council hold quarterly network arts education meetings for K – 12 teachers and administrators.  For more information on upcoming network meetings, contact Armalyn De La O.

Partnership Work
SBCSS, RIMS CAP and Arts Connection: Arts Council for San Bernardino County will be partnering on professional learning for teaching artists in the Inland Empire to address the needs of students in expanded learning programs afterschool.

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


Rising to the Challenge – Whittier City School District Showcased

LACOE Awarded State LCSSP Grant

Congratulations to the Los Angeles County Office of Education for being awarded a  Learning Communities for School Success Program (LCSSP) state grant. The goals of the LCSSP are to support evidence-based, non-punitive programs and practices to keep the state’s most vulnerable pupils in school.The grant amount is $2 million for 2020-2023. 

LACOE’s Promising Learners Project will implement a MTSS SEL-Arts Integration program directed at students in elementary schools, especially TK to third grade, who are chronically absent. LACOE will provide an innovative program to improve effective arts integration instruction for the promising youth by in-service and pre-service teachers, through strong partnerships and engagement of parents/ families/ community liaisons. The iterative professional development will help TK-third grade teachers connect and integrate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies, in alignment with Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to further support schools that have a high rate of chronic absenteeism and out of school suspension rates. This will help identify and implement alternatives to practices that exacerbate or lead to disengagement by students once they are suspended and/or expelled as well as addressing disproportionalities in rates between student subgroups.

To learn more about the Virtual Calm Classroom, watch the CCSSO LACOE webinar “Rising to the Challenge” on the Center for Distance and Online Learning website.

In March 2020, school districts shifted to distance learning across the state. One district that attended TEAL Scale Up! Professional development training in June 2019 wanted to keep the momentum around the Arts and SEL going – Whittier City School District (WCSD). The district wanted to ensure online Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Arts experiences for their students, parents, and the instructional community. They thought, what if we braid the online technology and innovation educators are sharing with the Arts and SEL? What came out of it was a Bitmoji Virtual Calm Classroom created by Karla Sequeira, a WCSD Instructional Coach. The virtual calm classrooms direct students to SEL reflections, virtual art galleries, and other wellness websites by embedding links to resources. 


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.
  1. Developing collaborative leadership approaches that are equity focused and culturally responsive.
  1. Providing leadership for California initiatives impacting instruction and student achievement.
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