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Arts Advocacy During COVID-19

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COVID 19 and Beyond

Guidelines for Arts Education in CT K-12 Schools

 

May, 2020 - The Connecticut Arts Administrators Association

Connecticut General Statutes, Section 10-16b, mandates all public schools shall include the arts as taught by legally qualified teachers. In 2016, the Connecticut State Board of Education (Board) adopted new Connecticut Arts Standards and the Position Statement on the Implementation of the Connecticut. Arts Standards. In the position statement, the Board asserted that all Connecticut public schools must provide for challenging and rigorous programs of study in the arts across all grade levels; that artistic literacy cultivates the crucial skills necessary for student success as Connecticut looks towards its social and economic future; and that all students should have access to a quality arts education regardless of demographic reference group, school setting or district configuration. Through federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) considers the arts to be essential components of “a well-rounded education” and ESSA provides support for the integration of the arts into STEM classes. In full support of this position of the CSBE and in adherence to ESSA, Arts Education Leaders throughout the state have joined together to ensure that the COVID 19 Pandemic nor unseen future crises still the opportunity for all Connecticut students to acquire lifelong skills in creative thinking, social and emotional awareness, collaborative work, effective communication, logical reasoning, and meta-cognition, (skills identified as being acquired) through arts learning embedded in a well-rounded education.

 

The Connecticut Arts Administrators Association in cooperation with the State Department of Education, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, and other Connecticut arts education associations provide the following recommendations for Connecticut school districts as administrators, teachers, and boards of education plan for education of the whole child through an innovative delivery system in a new realm of social distancing and a changing educational environment.  Recommendations consider past best practices, recognize new and emerging best practices, and provide vision for reimagining PK-12 arts education in the months and years to come.

Key Imperatives for Connecticut education leaders to consider as they set policy:

  • Arts education must continue through periods of distance learning and altered school schedules. 
  • Funding and staffing for arts education must be maintained at levels at least equal to those prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Arts teachers must be included in short-and long-term planning as arts learning environments, materials, and materials care and storage vary considerably from that of a non-arts classroom.
  • Professional development must be provided for arts teachers as discipline cohorts and for arts teachers with their non-arts teacher colleagues so that they may develop and co-develop visionary strategies for and for delivery of arts and arts integrated instruction adaptable to various learning environments and conditions.
  • Provide for Equity and Access to the Arts for all students through curriculum in which all students may fully participate.
    • Assure that curriculum and instruction connect to cultures represented in the district and in the schools.
    • Ensure socio-emotional support for students, teachers, and families by collaborating with district Student Support Resources and robust school/home communications.