Newhall Board to discuss district’s Arts for All Plan

The Newhall School District Office. Dan Watson/The Signal

To help all students receive access to a well-rounded arts education, the Newhall School District recently partnered with Arts for All, an initiative from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Last year, a 10-member committee from the district worked with a Los Angeles County Arts for All coach to develop a five-year strategic plan to further the district’s work in the arts.

Together this group explored excellence in arts education, collected school and district data, identified strengths and gaps in the district’s practice, articulated a vision, determined strategic directions to achieve its vision and developed a budget and implementation plan.

Following this work, the district submitted their strategic plan to the county where they received a $20,100 Advanced Grant to help the district achieve their goals and cultivate skills and practices.

The work and implementation of this Arts for All Plan is expected to be discussed in further detail by district representatives at the Newhall School District Governing Board meeting Tuesday.

Arts for All Plan

The Newhall School District’s five-year Arts for All Plan has three main goals: to ensure the sustainability or resources, to empower teachers to deliver the arts and to provide comprehensive arts education for all students.

In this plan, the district’s longest vision, from 2017 to 2022, deals with funding for the arts.

Goals for this action item surround the Newhall Family Theater for the Performing Arts and include hiring a theater manager, deepening the partnership between the school district and the city of Santa Clarita and executing a public relations campaign for the new theater.

It also calls on the district to identify additional partnerships for future grants and write grants for district programs and the Arts Foundation, which is expected to begin in 2018.

The district is also considering rethinking the instructional day and minimum day to maximize both time and resources during the 2017-18 school year.

This work includes inventorying and compiling all program schedules at all sites and, implementing an extended school day that is customized at each site to increase access to music programming, and researching other districts with extended day programs.

Another major goal for the plan is empower teachers to teach the arts by supporting classroom arts integration at all sites.

During the current school year, teachers are expected to have access to additional professional development trainings in arts integration, as well as Technology Enhanced Arts Learning (TEAL) training and Kennedy Center training.

Administrators are also expected to receive additional training through arts-integrated demo lessons that are focused on content connections effective classroom implementation.

The district is also expected to create parallel needs assessments of what is necessary in order to implement discipline-specific arts integrated lessons like music, theater, visual arts, dance and media arts in the classroom.

These results are expected to be reported to stakeholders and reviewed by the Curriculum Council and District Leadership Team throughout the plan’s implementation.

The district’s third goal, to provide comprehensive arts education for all students, mainly center around expanding arts education programming at all 10 schools.

During the current school year, the district is expected to set priorities for program expansion by consulting with the board, administrators, the curriculum council, music and arts teachers, the technology committee and others, while also reviewing stakeholder feedback through the LCAP and a district survey.

The Newhall District is also expected to visit other districts with schools that have model arts programs in all disciplines, and research and identify model dance and theater programs.

From 2017 to 2018 the district also hopes to implement a discipline-specific expansion in dance by expanding the sixth grade hip hop dance program to all 10 schools.

At the end of this school year, the district plans to review findings from data collected throughout the school year during the hip hop residencies.

It also plans to select additional disciplines for expansion—theater and another genre of dance—for students to experience from 2017 to 2019.

Additional Agenda Items:

  • Approve of the 2017-2018 Single Plan for Student Achievement for McGrath School and Oak Hills School
  • Conduct a first reading of board policies and administrative regulations: Chronic Absence and Truancy; Education of Children of Military Families; District School Attendance Review Board
  • Conduct a second reading of revised board policies and administrative regulations: Before and After School Programs; Preschool/Early Childhood Education; and Health Examinations
  • Approve Change Orders to Reliable Floor Covering totaling $1,273.77 for the Newhall Elementary Auditorium Renovation
  • Approve of the SchoolDude Facilities Maintenance Essentials Pro and Technology Essentials Help Desk Systems to Replace District’s Current Work Order Systems

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