November/December 2020-21 ARTS SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT


November/December 2020-21

Inside this Report

– CISC/Arts Subcommittee Members
Creativity at the Core Professional Learning Modules
– CCSESA Statewide 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

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Statewide Arts Initiative
Sarah Anderberg, Director

California Department of Education (CDE)
Diane Crum, Education Programs Assistant
Letty Kraus, Education Programs Consultant
Allison Frenzel, Education Programs Consultant

The California Arts Project (TCAP)
Kristine Alexander, Executive Director

Regional Arts Leads

REGION 1 Arts Lead
Stacy Young
Humboldt County Office of Education

REGION 2 Arts Lead
Jennifer Spangler
Butte County Office of Education

REGION 3 Arts Lead
Dr. L. Steven Winlock
Sacramento County Office of

REGION 4 Arts Lead
Derek Fenner
Alameda County Office of

REGION 5 Arts Lead
Sofia Fojas
Santa Clara County Office of

REGION 6 Arts Lead
Amy Bultena
Stanislaus County Office of Education

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Aaron Bryan
Fresno County Superintendent of

REGION 7 Arts Co-Lead
Kate Stover
Tulare County Office of

REGION 8 Arts Lead
Anna Belitski
Ventura County Office of

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

REGION 10 Arts Lead
Armalyn De La O
San Bernardino County Superintendent of

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

List of Regional and County Arts Leads

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 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


Derrick Lennox, New Senior Director of Government Relations and Legal Affairs

CCSESA is pleased to announce that Derick Lennox has been hired as our Senior Director of Governmental Relations and Legal Affairs. In this new role, Derick will work closely with Executive Director, Karen Stapf Walters and the CCSESA team to deliver on CCSESA’s strategic goals, including strengthening advocacy outcomes, managing legal resources for our members, and overseeing key operations within the Association.  The full job description may be found here. Derick is a licensed attorney and lobbyist who served most recently as a Legislative Advocate with the Association of California School Administrators. At ACSA, Derick managed an array of issues, including school liability, retirement systems, charter schools, and COVID-19 legal guidelines. Prior to ACSA, Derick lobbied on behalf of county offices of education and school districts as Legislative Counsel with Capitol Advisors Group, handling client matters on school finance, human resources, and school facilities. Derick worked at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy and Supreme Court Institute as a student while pursuing his law degree. His career began as a Jesse M. Unruh Fellow and policy staffer in the State Legislature.  Derick earned his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and B.A. from the University of California, Davis. Derick began working at CCSESA on Monday, December 14, 2020.

CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN)

On December 8, the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative held the 3rd meeting of the CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN). Building on the success of the 2019-20 Rural County Arts Cohort, we have been working to expand access by creating the 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 continue to work to offer equitable, accessible arts education for students across the state. If you haven’t yet joined the network, we invite you to attend our next meeting on January 26, 2021 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Special guests will be Emiliano Valdez (Montery COE) and Sofia Fojas (Santa Clara COE) who in Region 5 have been working on updating Creativity at the Core Module 5 which supports culturally relevant arts learning. Let’s learn together through a network of support! 

Click HERE to read the initial announcement regarding the CCSESA Rural Arts Network.


Art of Everything Leadership Series

On January 15, 2021, CCSESA Arts Initiative partnered with CREATE CA to launch the first session in a series of five, focused on the book written by Dr. Gary Waddell, The Art of Everything Leading for “WE” in the Age of “ME.

Join us on the 3rd Friday in February at 9:30 a.m. January through June to participate in this interactive series focused on key elements of leadership. We encourage you to invite leaders to join us in this important opportunity. Course credit will be available through CSU San Marcos.

REGISTRATION EXTENDED THROUGH JANUARY 22nd – Contact Jessie Mapes at to register!


Rural Arts Education Webinar: Finding Your Own Yellow Brick Road in Challenging Times – A National Dialogue

February 5, 2021
9:30-11:30 a.m. PST
12:30-2:30 p.m. EST

Gain greater understanding of the rural context by engaging with national experts, Dr. Lisa Donovan, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Clayton W. Lord, Americans for the Arts. Also presenting is Peggy Burt, Mindful Strategies, Erica Barreto, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts; and Hector Marquez, Pulse Arts, Inc.

Learn a strategic mapping process created by Americans for the Arts; Engage in interactive processes and network with other leaders from across the country; Gain greater understanding of the rural context by engaging in a national conversation; Consider perspectives from next generation leaders; and walk away with a map for shaping strategies.


CCSESA Arts Newsletters

Read September Arts Newsletter HERE
Read October Arts Newsletter HERE
Read November Arts Newsletter HERE



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

California Department of Education

Exemplary Arts Application for grades 7-12 is now live:

This program recognizes some of California’s exemplary schools for excellence in Arts Education. Schools selected for the Exemplary Arts Education Award demonstrate broad-based achievement in Arts instruction and for advancing the Arts for all students. 

The California Department of Education Exemplary Arts Awards were just announced for grades 7-12 and here is the link:

Update from the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources (CFIR) Division
California Education Code (EC) sections 60200 and 60212 authorize the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt instructional materials for kindergarten and grades one through eight, inclusive, in arts education and to charge publishers a fee for their participation in that adoption.California Code of Regulations, Title 5(5 CCR), Section 9512(a) requires that the SBE appoint Instructional Materials Reviewers (IMRs) and Content Review Experts (CREs) to serve as advisors to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and the SBE in the review of instructional materials submitted for adoption. On January 13, SBE took action to appoint IMRs and CREs for the Arts Education Instructional Materials adoption. More information about the adoption is available at To see the full list of recommended IMRs and CREs, please see Item 10: The 2021 Arts Education Instructional Materials Adoption: Appointment of Reviewers on the SBE Website. Kyle Petty is the contact for the adoption
The CFIR Division appreciates all who helped get the word out for this opportunity to support arts education in California and all those who will serve as reviewers. 

The new AME website has launched a News, Updates and Events page and there are weekly opportunities posted for secondary arts and AME programs.  Also check out the events calendar HERE. Please email any arts related professional development or student event to and we will post on the calendar. Also, please join the email list at the bottom of the page HERE for exciting news and opportunities.

Get excited for Pivot, a professional learning event for Secondary Arts and AME teachers! Pivot will showcase the inspiring, new ways teachers have learned to connect, present content, facilitate collaboration, and strengthen programs in a Covid impacted school year. 
Registration for Pivot will get you access to a year of great content with monthly sessions focused on instructional resources for Secondary Arts and AME teachers. Get your colleagues on board, too; we offer a 20% discount for districts who register 10 or more teachers. Click here to learn more and to register for Pivot now.  Want to earn university credit?  Cal State San Marcos is offering 2 credits for $199 for those who attend all  9 CA-AME-EO events.

For teens who love to create, the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) Summer Animation Program application is now live for Summer 2021! The Animation Program provides students with a unique opportunity to experience a broad range of possibilities within the world of animation. From fine art to digital animation, this program encourages students to explore their potentials, and bring movement to their artwork through an intense and rigorous curriculum. CSSSA is committed to running a robust program this summer, either in-person or virtual, as State and LA County restrictions allow.
Click here to visit the CSSSA website, view the application instructions, and apply online today.

UCLA’s free HOPE (Healing Online for People Everywhere) Series supports the resilience of our global community with an emphasis on child development and wellness through social emotional arts during this unprecedented time. HOPE enhances the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts with supportive practices, such as non-judgmental language and reflection, for self-discovery, connection, and empowerment.
Click here to learn more about the HOPE sessions.

Get your students podcasting, creating videos, or designing solutions to real-world problems during second semester with KQED’s Youth Media Challenges. Each YMC includes curriculum resources to support self-directed learning while allowing for student choice and content alignment. This is a challenge, not a contest, aligned to CTE anchor standards. Be ready for the launch of our student showcase site this spring where every participating student can share their voice.
Click here to learn more, preview curriculum, and sign up.

Create CA – Create Change

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.

Check out the Create CA Resources web-page for a complete list of the latest resources including links to videos and webinar recordings on a variety of topics including the launch of the new PTA Parent Guide to the Arts Standards, and the Arts & Social Emotional Learning.

Coming soon: 2021 Launch of “Create Change” to welcome newly seated as well as re-elected school board members and insure continued support for arts education. You can stay in the loop and learn how you can participate by subscribing to the campaign newsletter and following us on Facebook and/or Twitter. #CreateChange

Visit the Create CA Resources Page for the latest tools to support the work! and


TCAP’s Arts Education From a Distance Professional Learning
In response to the current conditions, TCAP network has shifted to the use of online formats for programs and services. TCAP’s From a Distance professional learning programs provide support for teachers in teaching the arts in hybrid, face-to-face, or in distance learning formats. TCAP provides customized school or district or regional support for arts education professional learning communities, discipline-specific standards aligned professional learning programs, and technical assistance to assess, improve, or expand existing arts education programs.  Arts educators in mixed or discipline specific TCAP communities of practice, regional and statewide, engage in professional conversations relating to the successes and challenges of shifting to distance teaching, sharing resources, and approaches.

All TCAP programs and services are grounded in the new arts education standards and framework and promote equity and inclusion of all students in arts learning. TCAP launched a new website in January 2021 that provides additional and updated information.  The California Arts Project (TCAP)

For more information on TCAP’s programs or services please email

Click HERE to read about the many offerings of TCAP


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.


December 3, 2020
3:00-5:00 pm
Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms – Session 2PHOTOGRAPHY
Presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education

December 7-8, 2020
California STEAM Symposium
Presented by California Department of Education


January 7, 2021
3:00-5:00 pm
Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms – Session 3 VIDEO
Presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education

January 15, 2021 (A five-part Series)
The Art of Everything Leadership Conversations
Presented by the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative and Create CA


February 4, 2021
3:00-5:00 pm
Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms – Session 4 AUDIO
Presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education

February 5, 2021
Rural Arts Education Webinar: Finding Your Own Yellow Brick Road in Challenging Times
Presented by CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative and California Alliance for Arts Education

MARCH 2021

March 4, 2021
3:00-5:00 pm
Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms – Session 5 STORYTELLING
Presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education

March 25, 2021
3:00-5:00 pm
Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms – Session 6 CELEBRATION
Presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education

MAY 2021

May 22, 2021
2:00-4:00 pm
California Student Media Festival (CSMF)

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


Teachers engaged with the Arts & Creativity Initiative in Del Norte County reflected this week on their own creative work for giving instruction both online and in person this school year, both online and in-person. 

Using the Creative Skill wheel, we can describe all they have been accomplishing: from engaging to revising, teachers’ plans have had to be personal, flexible, and quickly changeable; making the most of their time, teachers are driven to use integrated lessons and collaborative development; meanwhile, a myriad of unforeseeable challenges causes them to notice and wonder, then persist. Some teachers have used their time with students while in class to start doing art together, including seeing how collaborative art projects can be done while social distancing. Other teachers are engaging students in art production, even while online- by utilizing digital software or document cameras.  All report that during their art lessons they see higher levels of engagement and enthusiasm amongst their students. Being able to share higher quality images while online, some teachers report that these distance learning platforms actually help their students engage in the Reading Art Across the Curriculum and Visual Thinking Skills. With continued concern, teachers’ also understand more deeply that their students’ living situations greatly impact their participation at school- from accessing supplies and support, to establishing connectivity and maintaining attention. More than anything, teachers report that what requires the most creativity is striving to be connected with each student. 


The Humboldt County Office of Education is reimagining their arts programs. Schools to Theatre is now Theatre to Schools, “Zoom Around the World”. HCOE is paying the playhouse directly instead of reimbursing schools for ticket and bus costs. You can watch live on Friday’s at 11:00 a.m. or you can find recorded works at their website  October was Hispanic Heritage month so those presentations are primarily in Spanish with actors from all over the world. Additionally, HCOE is working with North Coast CMEA to hold their 65th All County Music Festival virtually. HCOE is planning the online Regional Arts Forum, “Creative Education Symposium – Strengthening SEL with Arts” for April 3, 2021. The region Arts & Creativity Initiative (ACI) is continuing to support 93 teachers across the 4 counties with weekly activities and bi-monthly professional development. A pandemic photo contest for all Humboldt students TK-16 ran the month of October. All of their presentations and materials are at


Teaching artists are going into zoom classes and doing demo lessons. They are unique because the teaching artists have a performance background and are able to incorporate movement into the arts lessons.  They are also finding ways to add a different perspective at times, or share fun theatre exercises with teachers in the big ACI meetings. In addition, the teaching artists are creating a lesson plan to compliment Reading Art, which will engage the students through acting exercises, but reinforce facial expressions. They are finding that this bolsters students’ emotional literacy, a skill which many schools are focusing on through Social Emotional Learning Curriculum. The teaching artists are also working on a short video lesson that may be used in classrooms.


In Mendocino County our current VAPA work includes:  *maintaining the ongoing support to the teachers who are actively participating in the ACI Grant (we are working through the barrier of getting supplies to the teachers, while we are in Shelter In Place – but everyone is finding solutions and being creative in how we adjust and pivot to the demands)   *Get Arts in the School program (GASP) is slowly launching this year, as several elements of this program had to be reconsidered because of the restrictions with Shelter In Place.  *Rebecca Bailey, Continuous Improvement Specialist, has successfully transitioned into being the ACI Grant Lead and GASP Coordinator along with the many other “hats” as our Computer Science guru and Distance Learning leader.

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.  Some of our schools within our County are hopeful to transition to a hybrid model by the end of November, while others are hoping to make that transition after the Winter Break.  We continue to reflect on how we can define and move our schools forward from this experience by looking at the data and determining what is working for our students, staff, and parents in this Distance Learning model – as we are seeing some amazing things!  Our teachers are such heroes – they have persevered, shifted, and redefined how we approach learning.


The Sonoma County Office of Education in conjunction with the Arts Education Alliance is working with five grantees to implement their comprehensive Arts Education Plans.  The five grantees are : West Side School outside of Healdsburg; Santa Rosa City Elementary Schools; Taylor Mountain Elementary and Bellevue Elementary in Bellevue School District; and McNear Elementary School in Petaluma City Schools.  SCOE is also participating the CRAN, CCSESA Rural Arts Network, seeking to increase access to arts education in our rural schools and districts.  SCOE is exploring ways in which we can make our Five Minute Film Festival and S.T.E.A.M. Showcase go virtual this year.

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


NORCAL ELC Kicks Off in January and Includes Arts Learning
The Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium (NorCal ELC) is a new partnership between Chico State University, Humboldt State University, Chico Unified School District, and Abeo School Change, a nonprofit professional development organization in Bellingham, Washington. With a $3 million 21st Century California School Leadership Academy (21 CSLA) grant NorCal ELC will serve the northernmost counties of Butte, Glenn, Trinity, Humboldt, Del Norte, Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Tehama, and Shasta. The grant project proposes to address the region’s unique geographical challenges. The approach is regional, comprehensive and collaborative and will explore critical issues which impact student success, such as performance gaps, inequities in learning environments, and leveraging wraparound services which boost student success and campus culture and climate.

Teams of educators for the first cycle were selected in December to explore problems of practice from January through June 2021. The problem of practice for the Arts Learning team is grounded in the need for SEL training and curriculum development in visual arts. The proposed problem of practice is twofold: First, determine how best to demonstrate to administrators that the arts can be used to teach SEL. Second, provide tools for arts teachers to better understand how to emphasize the SEL competencies that are already evident in the arts lessons but that may not be emphasized. The team includes single subject visual arts teachers from elementary, middle, and high school levels in districts in Paradise, Oroville, and Thermalito and the Butte County Office of Education Arts Education Coordinator.

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


As 2020 comes to a close, this last report of the year will start by reflecting on the interactive community of practice meetings that bring together the SCOE organization with the art organizations and school districts. 

Beginning with the SCOE Arts Community of Practice, the last two meetings cumulated an agenda that was hugely informative and beneficial for all attendees.  In both the October and November meetings, the structure featured presenter/s from an art organization and an art lead from the school district.

The group heard from Friends of the Arts and learned about their focus around supporting art education, the programs that they support, and how to apply for grants.  At each meeting consecutively, Folsom Cordova Unified School District and Robla School District showed power point presentations highlighting art education in their schools.  The PPT’s were informative, as well as entertaining to watch. 

Another highlight of the SCOE Arts COP meetings are the art organizations that are featured and give updates around what they are offering to support art education in schools.  In November, COP member Emili Danz, Education Outreach Director, Clara Midtown gave an interactive presentation describing CLARA Classroom and talked about how their virtual program can support students from all school districts.  Charla Lawson, Operations & Education Manager, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera shared about the history of this organization and what they are doing in and around art education and supporting the community with concerts.

During the fall, SCOE reached out to the Region 3 County Art Leads to start a Community of Practice with the ten county art leaders.  The first meeting was held on November 5th, with four out of the ten counties being represented.  Information was shared about the roles these leaders have in their school districts, as well as the different art programs and classes.  All were encouraged by each other, and future meetings were scheduled for the remainder of the 20-21 school year.  This Region 3 County Art Leads COP will meet every other month to stay connected and informed on how they can best support the schools in their respective districts.

Sacramento County Office of Education will be conducting the Virtual Poetry Out Loud County Competition in February.  The School of Education within SCOE orchestrates the contest.  Schools were solicited last month, and we are excited to have 10 schools participating!  The schools and/or their winners will receive coaching from 916 INK that is being provided by SCOE.  The county competitors will submit two recitations to SCOE in February via a video format.  SCOE will then be judging these recitations and the county winner will be announced on February 11th,.  This student will advance to the state finals.

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


In March 2021, during Art is Education Month, ACOE, in partnership with county arts leads from Region 4 & 5 will hold 1-2 webinars (dates tba) that highlight important issues in arts education as well as spotlight work happening across the two regions. 

ACOE continues to offer its districts access to a monthly community of practice, where they can dive into relevant resources and share practice. In April 2021, teachers in Alameda County will have the opportunity to share their promising arts learning practices in a district spotlight webinar (date tba).

In May 2021, ACOE will host a training, “The Art of Understanding Juvenile Justice” (date tba).  Supported by CCSESA as an opportunity to refresh Creativity at the Core Module 4: Creativity in Court and Community Schools, this opportunity will support educators in court, community, and alternative settings in order to highlight models and resources for powerful arts learning with system -impacted and -targeted youth. This training will also allow participants access to a set of resources and strategies for them to explore the history of the juvenile justice system and better understand how it functions and what they can do to support youth currently impacted and targeted by it.

Arts Learning at ACOE Website

ACOE Arts Learning Twitter

County arts leads from both regions will be given an opportunity to work on the planning and implementation of one of the two webinars. They will receive a small budget to book any speakers for the webinar, as well as funding to pay for any leaders or educators they want to spotlight in the webinar from their counties. 

This webinar series will take place in March, 2021 during Art is Education Month. The topics of the webinars will be: Anti-Racist Arts Education, and The Arts and Climate Awareness/Change.


CCCOE Arts Education is continuing to facilitate collaboration times for arts educators across Contra Costa County during the 2020-21 school year to share ideas in the five arts disciplines. The latest topics of focus include distance learning structure and routines in synchronous/asynchronous settings and strategies to keep students engaged in an online learning environment. We are continuing to capture this collaborative work on one Padlet for the 2020-21 school year. Arts educators from counties outside CCCOE are welcome – please submit this form to receive an invitation. We are continuing to update our list of distance learning resources by various arts discipline in our document, CCCOE Arts Resources for Distance Learning

CCCOE also holds a bimonthly convening of arts education leaders, including those from school districts, county programs and local arts partners. We gather to learn together, share programs and opportunities, and collaborate on best practices. The focus on our latest meeting was on social emotional learning and wellness, and how the arts are an integral part of this work to support ourselves, our students, and our teams.


The Marin County Office of Education has partnered with Youth in Arts to create a series of videos designed for teachers to use with their students.  The purpose is two- fold: dance and movement integrated with the five core components of social emotional learning.  The videos are in both Spanish and English and accessible for all students via the Marin County Distance Learning Portal.  In addition, lessons and additional activities are available for teachers to implement with their students to build upon the videos.  These videos will serve as the foundation for students to explore their emotions and to make connections to their relationships with others. 

This virtual professional development opportunity will be rich with opportunities to practice creativity and its connections to the vital racial equity and inclusion work we all are leading for in this trying time. This institute is open to all teachers and admin K-12 across the Bay Area and California; and will include presenters from Stanford Live, Young Audiences of Northern CA, KQED, and The San Mateo County Arts Commission (guest presenter from Alabama – the quilters of Gee’s Bend). The workshops will highlight key topics for student engagement including all 5 arts disciplines, diversity, equity & inclusion, SEL, and Distance Learning. It’s NOT JUST FOR ART TEACHERS, it is for ALL educators… Register & Webpage for more info and workshop titles/descriptions and presenter bios.


Throughout the ’20-’21 school year, Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) and local districts have experienced first-hand the positive impacts of arts integration.  Studio Pathways has provided a series of  professional learning opportunities in which teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators were introduced to arts integration techniques designed to promote culturally responsive teaching and social emotional healing.  This professional learning was designed to support educators in planning for responsive, human-centered arts and technology integration in either classroom or distance learning settings.  SCOE looks forward to continuing collaboration focused on this important work.

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


Now that we are well into the first semester, there has been work dedicated to data collection about arts education in Santa Clara County with deep discussions with the Artspiration team about the stories we want to tell that are unique to our county.  As districts are navigating distance learning, our team is convening arts teachers and teaching artists around equity and the arts and culturally responsive teaching.

We are just coming off the excitement of the Marion Cilker Conference for the Arts in Education. It is a conference for teachers and pre-service teachers dedicated to integrating the arts into the curriculum predominantly for K-8 teachers.  Dr. Mary Ann Dewan made opening remarks, and Chike Nwoffiah of Oriki Theatre and the Silicon Valley African Film Festival provided an inspirational keynote on Friday, setting the tone for the conference.  On Saturday, the conference opened with a panel discussion, “A Call for Teacher Creativity:  On and Off Line.” Susan Verducci of San Jose State moderated the discussion with Gina Murriera, professor in the Creative Department joined by Kara Ireland D’Ambrosio, Field Experience Director at San Jose State, and Sheila Cliff, music teacher at Mountain School. This year there was a strong emphasis on culturally responsive teaching and learning, social emotional learning and self-care. There were 341 participants attending workshops in theatre, dance, music and visual arts with presenters from the San Mateo COE, Community School of Music and Art, Red Ladder Theatre, Black Boy Poems, Children’s Discovery Museum, Studio Pathways, the Santa Clara COE, Quinteto Latino, San Jose Jazz and the African American Shakespeare Company.

Artspiration of the Santa Clara County Office of Education is also partnering with SV Creates in redesigning the ArtsEdConnects program of mini-grants to teachers. This year, teaching artists were trained and given resources on best practice in delivering culturally responsive strategies for teaching the arts on a virtual platform. Thanks to Miko Lee and her team with the Teaching Artists’ Guild!

Artspiration is continuing to host a community of practice led by two of our team members: Aimee Espiritu and Kati Silva. For questions, contact:
Kati Silva at
Aimee Espiritu at
Registration: Esther Chong at


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.


Weekly Music, Visual Arts, and Theater Teachers’ On-Going Meetings
During this time of Distance Learning, we all need all of the support we can get  —whether it be for learning new tech platforms or engagement strategies such as Nearpod and Jamboard; acquiring new games such as Kahoot; experimenting with ways to get our students to show us their beautiful faces even for a moment; exploring hybrid learning; or connecting with our colleagues to share our challenges and sweet successes. Every week, the teachers from the different Arts disciplines meet to talk about these topics. Everyone is welcome to join us.

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 offer ongoing professional development to our teachers and teaching artists throughout our community.

Kuumbwa Artist Workshops & Residencies
We are very fortunate to have a partnership with Kuumbwa Jazz Santa Cruz. During this time of Distance Learning, they are bringing a series of educational videos to our music classrooms called Artist In the Schools. Additionally, they are working with music teachers in the winter and spring to bring workshops and residencies to the Zoom classroom.

Poetry Out Loud 2021
Santa Cruz COE will once again be bringing Poetry Out Loud to our high schools students. This year, Poetry Out Loud is doing the “Pandemic Pivot” and shifting to a virtual format. We are looking forward to supporting our students in engaging in the art form of Poetry.


The SBCOE is in the process of working toward a Strategic Arts Education Plan for the County.  Facilitated by Peggy Burt, statewide arts education consultant of Mindful Strategies, the plan will bring together a diverse team of stakeholders, and will increase access and equity to arts education. The plan will include strategies  for Social Emotional Learning and the Arts, as well as STEAM. The planning process will kick off in early 2021 and will be completed by May/June 2021.

The SBCOE’s Annual Arts Showcase will be held Thursday, February 18, 2021 This year’s theme is “Storytelling: Exploring Identity Through the Arts.” The showcase is open to all K-12 Visual, Media, Dance, Music, and Theatre Arts submissions! This year the COE will be providing teacher and student support classes around this year’s theme.

SBCOE’s STEAM EXPO will be held Thursday, March 18, 2021. This year’s theme is “Ignite

Your Imagination! Exploring Curiosity and Creativity through Science,

Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.” The STEAM EXPO is open to all K-12 students. Informational packets will be available soon. 

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


The Stanislaus County Office of Education is leading many efforts in support of arts education. This works includes the following:

Stanislaus COE is partnering with local arts organizations to provide targeted student opportunities for students to engage in the arts.

Stanislaus COE is providing virtual fieldtrips to area students that integrate the arts. We have four field trips so far.

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.

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

The Stanislaus COE shares a guidance document about how to safely conduct Arts classes in the era of COVID-19.

Stanislaus COE developed an integration series about History Social Science Standards through the Lens of Art.

Stanislaus COE is offering quarterly “Fine Arts Teacher Collaboratives” wherein Arts teachers meet virtually build community and discuss strategies to support one another and student arts learning.

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.

Stanislaus COE is working on transitioning three student art shows to be virtual events.

Amador, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne COEs are participating in the Rural Arts Network

Tuolumne COE is offering a monthly Arts Newsletter to teachers

Stanislaus COE is offering a monthly Arts Newsletter to teachers

Stanislaus COE is shifting to offer the February Photography Showcase and the March Art Showcase virtually

Stanislaus COE is currently offering the following VAPA workshops (01/07/2021 and 03/11/2021)

– Sketchnotes Workshop
– Spring Thing Arts Integration Workshop

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


School & Community Partnerships
As part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ “Any Given Child” and “Partners in Education” initiatives, Fresno Unified School District, the Fresno Art Museum, and the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, have taken the highly impactful “Art of the Word” program into the virtual space to ensure that students across Fresno County have access during this pandemic.

Fresno Art Museum Staff developed asynchronous video lessons for students and teachers, and FCSS helped create a video tour of the Fresno Art Museum. While students may not be able to visit in person, technology allows them to take a guided tour of the museum and many of its wonderful exhibits.

Fresno USD 3rd grade students have begun meeting with Fresno Art Museum Education Staff via Microsoft Teams where they engage in Artful Thinking Routines, where they further develop their critical thinking skills, and engaging in a virtual art lesson. Student artwork will be displayed on the Fresno Art Museum website later in the school year as part of the “Art of the Word” celebration.

For more information on this exciting virtual program, contact Susan Yost-Filgate, Fresno Art Museum Education Director, at, or (559) 441-4221.

Arts + SEL
FCSS VAPA will be providing ongoing support for the Fresno County mountain communities impacted by the Creek Fire. FCSS VAPA, in partnership with FCSS PPS Dept., will be leading sessions for all school staff, including classified staff, integrating the arts to support social emotional learning. In addition, FCSS VAPA will be developing collaborative arts opportunities to allow the communities to engage in creativity together as a way to process and heal. For more information contact Aaron Bryan, FCSS VAPA Director,

FCSS VAPA will present “Creative SEL Solutions for Students and Adults” at the Exemplary Practices in Educational Leadership Virtual Conference, February 23-25. The annual conference is sponsored by the CSU Fresno and The Welty Foundation. This year’s conference will focus on topics such as distance learning, mental health, social emotional learning, human trafficking and many more. There will be four keynote speakers: Alan November, Yong Zhao, Mike Erwin and Shirley Stiles. Visit to learn more or to register today.

A Big Night for Arts Education
The Fresno County Educator of the Year Awards Ceremony was broadcast on ABC 30 on November 22 and placed the spotlight on Arts Education in the county. Catherine Cooper, a Music Teacher in Sanger USD, was named “Teacher of the Year” and will move forward to represent Fresno County as a nominee for California Teacher of the Year. Aaron Bryan, FCSS Visual and Performing Arts Director, was named “Administrator of the Year.”


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


Statewide Digital Photography Contest
The Madera County Superintendent of Schools is encouraging students to enter the 2021 California Streaming Digital Photography Contest. This contest has been sponsored by the California County Educational Technology Consortium ( since 2008. The theme for this year is “Humanity.” Questions about the contest? Please contact Susan Pennell at the Madera County Superintendent of Schools, or (559) 662-6263


The Mariposa Arts Council and Planning Department are working with schools to make sure student voice is well represented in the forthcoming Mariposa County Creative Placemaking Master Plan.

The Mariposa Arts Council is developing a Youth Representative/Liaison position on their Board of Directors

The Mariposa Arts Council continues to work with the Southern Sierra Miwuk Nation to develop artistic interventions and cultural programming that provide Elders opportunities to teach cultural practices to tribal youth.


The January 2021 edition of “The Art Smatter,” a monthly email newsletter from Arts @ MCOE, is now available. Click the following link to see all the great things happening in Merced County: Here are a few highlights:
Merced County Young Artists Network held its first meeting January 9;
MCOE launched its newly adopted Strategic Arts Plan & Arts Now Community in a virtual event on January 11;
MCOE Arts Program Specialist Noelle Chandler will host a deep dive into the Arts + SEL January 27, 4:00-7:00 PM via zoom. Cost is $50.

The Merced County Poetry Out Loud Virtual Event will be held January 30, 2021


Tulare County Student Art Exhibitions Virtual Gallery – Due to the ongoing pandemic, TCOE’s annual Student Art Exhibitions are being 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. The virtual gallery features nearly 200 artworks from 17 Tulare County Schools.

“We appreciate the work that staff has done to continue the Student Art Exhibition which has featured thousands of works by young Tulare County artists for more than 25 years,” said Tim Hire, Tulare County Superintendent of Schools. “We also appreciate that administrators and teachers found ways to incorporate art into distance learning and encouraged their students to produce the amazing pieces in the exhibition.”

Using Art to Bring Awareness to COVID-19 – Student-created artwork is filling billboards, buses, televisions, and radio airwaves throughout Tulare County. The art is bringing community awareness to COVID-19 and the global pandemic. The Friends of Tulare County (FTC) is pleased to announce its award winners from the Listos CV19 Youth Media Challenge held in September for youth in grades 7–12 in Tulare County. Thirty students representing five high schools highlight the winners. In collaboration with Self-Help Enterprises and the California Office of Emergency Services, the purpose of the competition was to highlight youth-created art focused on promoting COVID-19 safety guidelines in languages representing Tulare County, utilizing three categories: audio, graphic design, and video.

Youth were asked to 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, including proper handwashing, social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding gatherings. The artwork produced enables a wide array of media platform use that will be seen around the county, including bus wraps and interior advertisements, social media, Zoom backgrounds, radio spots, and television commercials.

“It has been our great pleasure to sponsor and promote the Listos Youth Media Challenge, and we look forward to seeing the creativity of our Tulare County students showcased on various platforms,” says Michelle Bonwell, Tulare County Chief Probation Officer and the current President/Chair of FTC.

FTC would like to thank its sponsors for being pivotal partners in the success of this event: Tulare County Office of Education, Create TC, SlickRock Student Film Festival, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, Momentum Broadcasting, EECU, United Way of Tulare County, Tulare Rotary Foundation, Tulare Super Target, and Kiwanis Club of Greater Tulare.

To view a gallery of winning artwork, visit:  Friends of Tulare County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the safety, health, and well-being of Tulare County residents.

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


Given the current state of the school year and considering the demands of Distance Learning on teachers, students, and families, County Offices of Education are still holding off on offering their regular Arts programs. Kern County has postponed winter 2020 events but has scheduled events for 2021. Santa Barbara County has created a menu of virtual performance options to increase Arts engagement during Distance Learning. Ventura County has planned distance professional learning opportunities for educators and continues to promote virtual Arts opportunities


Cultural Arts Showcase
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools is hosting a virtual artwork showcase for students preschool- 12th grade. The entries will be displayed via a public Canvas site from February-June. All entries must be submitted by January 15, 2021 to Alicia Mil at Each piece must include a description, student name and grade. Entries may be sculpture, paintings, pastels, watercolor, photography, poetry, original song, dance etc.

Young People’s Concerts– The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, provides concerts for the youth of Kern County to support the music programs within the city school districts. The concerts are being planned for February 4, 2021 9:30 and 11:00, each lasting 45 minutes, at the Rabobank Convention Center. Contact the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra office for costs at (661) 323-7928.


San Luis Obispo County Office of Education- Arts Collaborative
The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Arts Collaborative includes a group of artists, art educators and arts supporters committed to sustaining and growing arts education in San Luis Obispo County. The Collaborative has posted a variety of videos for students, teachers and families on their website.

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art: Youth Art Classes
Workshops and classes at the 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. Prompts are updated weekly at

Performing Arts Center of San Luis Obispo
Virtual Student Matinee: Kattam & His Tam-Tams: Rythyms of West Africa Joing percussionist Kattam Laraki-Cote on a West African adventure, discovering the culture of West Africa through drumming, singing and dancing. Experience the language and rhythms of Krin, Djembe, and Gongoma and learn how these instruments shaped and express regional culture.


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

City of Santa Barbara Call for 2021-2023 Poet Laureate
The person selected shall seek to advance awareness of and appreciation for poetry, spoken word, and the literary arts within the greater Santa Barbara community over a two-year term.

As a spokesperson for the City’s literary community, the Poet Laureate shall endeavor to promote the artistic achievements of the City of Santa Barbara and shall actively participate in ceremonial, educational, and cultural activities in the community at various times throughout their term of service. The Santa Barbara Public Library serves as the official home of the Poet Laureate and a major partner in facilitation of the program. Download the guidelines here

Children’s Creative Project
The Santa Barbara County Education Office – 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.

Santa Barbara County Office of Education- California Arts Council Grants
The Arts Council is prioritizing this year’s grant funding to nurture and heal communities through the arts; to keep the doors of our arts and cultural institutions open; to protect jobs in the creative field; and to preserve our cultural heritage, our stories and our culture bearers. These grants feature new funding, including general operating support as well support for project based activities.


Ventura County Office of Education: Ventura County Arts Network (VCAN)
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 2020, January 11, 2021 and March 16, 2021, all to be held virtually.

Ventura County Office of Education: Partnership with The California Arts Project
In partnership with The California Arts Project, Ventura County Office of Education will be offering a professional learning series to introduce educators to beginning visual arts concepts and techniques through synchronous studio exercises. In asynchronous sessions, February 1 and February 22, educators will be introduced to the new CA Visual Arts Standards and have the opportunity to create classroom application in visual arts. 

Ventura County Arts Council- Artists in the Classroom
Artists in the Classroom is a residency program offering eight-week programs for every K-8 school in the county. Professional visual, dance, music, poet and performing artist educators teach children of all ages. Many instructors bring a multi-cultural and historical awareness to lessons, helping students gain an understanding of their own cultures and other cultures, past and present.

Ventura County Museum of Art
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


The Imperial County Office of Education is partnering with the Rainforest Art Project to bring an art-at-home professional development series to teachers, support the ICOE Migrant Education Program teachers and their annual Family STEAM night. Details will be available soon.

Region 9 County Arts Leads have established a relationship and are committed to meeting monthly in preparation for rolling out the Arts Standards and Framework.


Kudos to everyone who participated in the OCArts4All Teacher Network in November. 64 teachers registered to attend 6 discipline-specific sessions, with 14 teachers from 6 different districts sharing “success stories,” many using our shared template. We look forward to keeping the sharing going in Orange County!

The Orange County Music and Arts Awards Nomination Form, is up and ready to receive your nominations for teachers, administrators and advocates. Nominations due Friday, March 26, 2021. This year will be virtual and will have free Registration which is due May 11,  2021.

Arts Orange County is launching this year’s Poetry Out Loud Annual Poetry Recitation competition for students in grades 9 – 12.  Each year schools and community organizations host competitions to determine their local winner.  Those local winners compete at OCDE in an annual county-wide competition to select the Orange County winner who will compete at the state finals.  This year all POL competitions in California will be held virtually and the county winner will be presented with a cash prize!

The Music Education Department at California State University, Fullerton is revamping their MA in music education and is getting input and feedback from area music educators regarding their expectations and desires for a graduate degree.  Here is the link to the survey. Thank you for submitting your input! 

Orange County Orff is on Facebook and has two sessions coming up: one on January 23, with Doug Goodkin titled “Teach Like It’s Music” and the other on March 16 for their annual “Chapter Share.”

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

Arts Now Communities -OCDE is partnering with Arts Orange County to bring the California Alliance for Arts Education’s program called “Arts Now Communities” to Orange County. The program officially had its launch in November and will be meeting again in January. If you would like more information, please contact Shanin Ziemer at

VSA Orange County partnered with local art museums and libraries in Orange County to present their virtual traveling show, “Arts on the Move” featuring artwork by students with disabilities. The traveling show was presented in October as part of disability awareness month. VSA OC is currently gearing up to present the 45th Annual Very Special Arts Festival, a countywide festival celebrating the artistic accomplishments of artists with disabilities. The Festival website is set to launch virtually on April 24th. For news and updates, follow VSA Orange County on Facebook!

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: 

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 – 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. Please share your stories of how the arts empower you and/or your students by visiting the Arts Empower website and if you’re on Twitter, please connect with @ArtsEmpowerSD and use #ArtsEmpowerSD. 

San Diego County Teacher of the Year – One of this year’s five San Diego County Teachers of the Year is a longtime arts educator in San Diego Unified School District. Paula Richardson has been teaching music for 13 years, but her influence extends well beyond notes and melodies. When she found the master schedule might be hindering students from taking music class, she volunteered to help with scheduling. When she found testing was often interfering with the year-end music concert, she became the site testing coordinator. With literacy an issue at her campus, she helps by incorporating reading lessons into her music curriculum and increasing access to books and reading materials for students. Richardson knows that music provides valuable skills that will help students in any career path, and advocates for music and the arts as a means to developing well-rounded students and people. “The arts are for everyone and everyone needs the arts,” Richardson said. “I believe we as educators would see more achievement and greater success once we incorporate a well-rounded curriculum and include topics that include every student as they are. Creativity and education go hand-in-hand.”  

From colleague Laura Williams, San Diego Unified VAPA Department:  The music program at Wilson has blossomed under Paula. She has taught all forms of music: band, orchestra, choir, guitar, piano, drums. She tirelessly takes on new responsibilities and tries new things to best meet the needs and interests of her students, such as directing after-school

theatre musical productions and piloting a new mariachi club (one of the first in the district). It is no wonder that over 230 students are currently enrolled in her classes – in a school of less than 700. Paula’s music courses are magic.

From Paula: 

What does this honor mean to you?

San Diego County includes many phenomenal educators that I respect and admire. To be recognized among this inspiring group of people is such a huge honor.

As it relates to your students, what are you most proud of? 

Every child deserves a quality music and arts education. I am most proud that I have taught my students how music helps to build community through connection with their audience and bringing people together.

Arts Education Twitter Chat – Join @PCrooks_VAPA, @VAPAJeannine, @aaronbryan, and arts education experts from across the state for a Twitter Chat every Wednesday from 4 to 4:30 p.m. We are growing a statewide virtual professional learning community for educators, artists, and others passionate about arts education. Let’s chat about the new state arts standards, best practices, and the great things happening in your classes. Whether you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before or are an expert, use this link to see the questions and learn how to join the conversation.   

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


District Embedded Professional Learning
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

Colton Joint Unified School District

Fontana Unified School District

San Bernardino City Unified School District

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, University educators and administrators.  For more information on upcoming network meetings, contact Armalyn De La O, or  for more information.

AEN Calendar for 2020 – 2021

December 3, 2020

February 4, 2021

April 8, 2021

June 3, 2021

Time: 3:30 – 5:00 PM

To register:

Partnership Work:

SBCSS, RIMS CAP and Arts Connection: Arts Council for San Bernardino County is 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


Technology Enhanced Arts Learning Begins in February 2021
Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL) is offered by the Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). The goal of TEAL is to increase students’ access to the arts by expanding K-6 teachers’ capacity to provide culturally relevant, integrated arts instruction which centers on Social Emotional Learning (SEL), for all students. TEAL provides interactive, experiential professional development focused on integrating the arts and SEL into the teaching of cross-curricular subjects.

Strengthened by virtual learning assets, technical support, and customized virtual coaching, TEAL helps teachers build the knowledge and skills to embed the arts into classroom curriculum, while improving both academic and social-emotional outcomes for students.

Professional Development will be offered February through May 2021. For more information, visit .

Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms
CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative and Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) are excited to collaborate to bring high quality arts integration professional learning to support Media Arts in Los Angeles County and across the state. The Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms Project provides foundational skills and instruction in various Media Arts contents. So far, participants have had instruction

Las Fotos Project offered a SEL-focused photography lesson to TK-6 teachers. Using the rule of thirds and visual representation, teachers learned photography composition to integrate into their classrooms. Participants used objects from around their home to represent themselves while applying the concepts learned from the lead trainer, Alyssa Garcia of Las Fotos Project.

Las Fotos Project is a Los Angeles community-based nonprofit organization that inspires teenage girls through photography, mentorship, and self-expression. They encourage girls to explore their identity, build leadership and advocacy skills, and strengthen their social and emotional well-being.

What teachers said about the training:

“Teaching photography to young students doesn’t have to be complicated or resource-intensive.”“I am like Alyssa’s mom- the rule of thirds is a new concept for me! Love it!!!!! This lesson is such a beautiful way to tie in language arts, math, creative expression, cultural identity and art while building a strong sense of self and high self-esteem!”

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

The Promising Learners Project presents teachers with the opportunity to create engaging environments and learning experiences to provide students the ability to achieve academic and social success, focusing on foster youth in TK to third grade. This project’s truly unique aspect is its ability to provide Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Arts integration strategies that will lead students to achieve greater depth of knowledge and a supportive environment where they are given confidence through a personalized appeal to art. The project goals will be accomplished by providing the district teachers, administrators, family, and community access to content and implementation specialists. The specialists include but are not limited to teaching artists, mental health professionals, LACOE foster youth staff, and the resources inherent to CDOL. For more detailed information, please view the Promising Learners Project Screencast.


Counties on the Move – Publication for Download

Click here to view and/or download a copy!

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



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

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