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Guidelines for the Implementation of K-12 Visual and Performing Arts

A Component of the Comprehensive Education Plan

 

 

Purpose:

 

Maine statute (Title 20-A MRSA, Chapter 222: Standards and Assessment of Student Performance) specifies that each school system shall address in its Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) by the end of the 2002-2003 school year how it will implement Visual and Performing Arts for all students, including interim targets for partial implementation.

 

It is further specifies that each school system shall implement the Visual and Performing Arts standards of the Learning Results by the end of the 2006-2007 school year, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

The purpose of the Visual and Performing Arts Implementation Plan is to ensure that all students enrolled in Maine schools in grades K-12 have the opportunity to achieve the content standards in Visual and Performing Arts.  The plan is to be:

·        aligned with the system of Maine’s Learning Results

·        focused on the learning of all students

·        oriented to continuous improvement

 

Rationale:

 

The arts include dance, music, theater and visual art.  In an increasingly technological world, the arts help all students to develop multiple capabilities for creating, understanding, deciphering, and appreciating an image- and symbol-laden world.  The arts are concerned with intellectual, emotional, and physical faculties and, in combination, can be used to present issues and ideas, teach or persuade, entertain, plan, beautify, and design both functional and expressive works.  Experiencing and creating art brings lifelong enjoyment to students and an array of expressive, analytical, and developmental tools to use in their daily lives.

 

Because each arts discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, each adds a special richness to the learning environment.  Arts education helps students learn to identify, appreciate, and participate in the traditional and non-traditional art forms of their own communities and the communities of others.  As students imagine, create, and reflect, intellectual demands of the arts help students develop problem-solving abilities and such powerful thinking skills as analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating.  Numerous studies point toward a consistent and positive correlation between substantive education in the arts and student achievement in other subjects.  A comprehensive, well-designed arts education program also engages students in a process that helps them develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for success in life.  Most importantly, the arts should be experienced and studied for their own intrinsic value.  (from State of Maine, Learning Results, 1997)


Plan development and certification

 

School districts in Maine are at varying stages of progress in the implementation of K-12 Visual and Performing Arts programs.  The manner in which a program of Visual and Performing Arts is implemented within a school district is a local decision, with each unit determining the format of its individual plan. The following recommendations and considerations are offered as a resource to all school districts, regardless of the stage of implementation.

 

Maine Chapter 127: Instructional Program, Assessment and Diploma Requirements specifies the following timeline.  Those dates preceded by an asterisk (*) will be delayed at least one additional year due to the proposed funding formula of Essential Programs and Services: 

 

2002-2003:  Each school district shall address in its Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP) a plan for the implementation of student learning in the content area of Visual and Performing Arts by the end of the 2006-2007 school year, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.  Each superintendent will certify to the Commissioner that this plan in included in the district’s CEP. 

 

Fall 2003:  Students in grade 6, who will graduate 2010, will be required to meet the standards of the Visual and Performing Arts Learning Results, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

2003-04: Review Cycle for the System of Learning Results begins.  Each year one content area from each of the following categories will be reviewed:

A.     English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies; and

B.     Career Preparation, Modern and Classical Languages, Health and Physical Education, Visual and Performing Arts.

 

*2006-2007

    • September 2006: The local curriculum (Pre-K-12) shall include Visual and Performing Arts for all students, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

    • 2006-2007 school year:  Each school district shall implement the Visual and Performing Arts standards of the Learning Results, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

The Superintendent shall certify to the Commissioner that the local assessment system meets the assessment system standards established in Chapter 127 for Visual and Performing Arts, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

The Local Assessment System shall provide school results (grade spans PK-2 and 3-4) and student results (grade spans 5-8 and 9-12) for Visual and Performing Arts, contingent upon funding based on Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

June 2007:  Effective with this high school graduating class, each school board shall determine the extent to which the standards for Visual and Performing Arts are met by the previous requirement for one Fine Arts Credit and will require no less than this within its district.

 

2009-2010:  Achievement of the content standards in Visual and Performing Arts is a diploma requirement for all students, contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent.

 

N.B. The phrase “contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent” means that these regulations will go into effect if money is appropriated by the Maine State Legislature according to a funding formula entitled “Essential Programs and Services” or an alternative but equivalent funding model, which defines the fiscal resources necessary to implement Maine’s Learning Results in all eight content areas.

 

Establish a team 

 

Effective implementation of Visual and Performing Arts will require the consideration of the needs and perspectives of a wide range of interested parties.  A diverse and representative team of key players in grades K-12 could include:

Curriculum coordinators

Elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers of Visual and Performing Arts

Elementary school classroom teachers

Members of the visual and performing arts communities

Middle and high school teachers in content areas other than Visual and Performing Arts

Parents and other community members

School administrators

Students

 

Examine the current status of K-12 activities within the district regarding Maine’s Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts

 

Conduct a needs assessment to determine the current status of Visual and Performing Arts programs across the district and to identify the projected needs in terms of human and materials resources (e.g. staff, curriculum, instructional materials, instructional space, technology).

As part of this process, a district identifies at each grade span the Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards and Performance Indicators that currently are being taught and assessed (and how) in each grade level and/or specific course.  Depending on the size of the district, this analysis may include multiple teachers at one or more grade spans.


Examine “best practices”

 

Various models, programs and curricula for Visual and Performing Arts have been developed nationally and statewide.  The planning team should carefully review and examine these programs and materials, which can be located through national and state arts organizations, state departments of education, and local school districts with exemplary programs. 

 

Set goals for full implementation in K-12

 

Through goal setting, it will be important to recognize and address the requirements and associated timelines for a sequential, articulated application of the Visual and Performing Arts standards for all students in grades K-12.  The plan should describe the district’s vision for full implementation.

 

Develop interim targets for partial implementation K-12

 

Depending on the size and number of schools within a particular district, a timeline for full implementation of Visual and Performing Arts may take a number of years to accomplish.  Additionally, the first class of students required to meet the Visual and Performing Arts standards as part of its high school diploma requirements will graduate in 2011, i.e. students entering grade 5 in the fall 2003 (a delay of at least one year from the original legislated date, based on the proposed funding formula of Essential Programs and Services).  Planning backwards from 2011, interim target dates and program descriptions for partial implementation at various grade levels and/or schools within a district recognize this reality and will allow for incremental progress and adjustment to the plan as it develops.

 

Plan for professional development

 

School district decisions and budgets will dictate the professional development opportunities afforded to teachers and administrators within a district.  In order for full implementation to occur, identify prospective plans for training opportunities and other professional development activities necessary for the establishment, improvement or expansion of Visual and Performing Arts (contingent upon funding).  Examples might include reading, research, conference attendance, school site visits, and additional arts-related experiences.  Include this information in the implementation plan. 

 

Curriculum Development K-12

 

Curriculum development for Visual and Performing Arts in grades K-12, based on Maine Learning Results (contingent upon funding), will be necessary to implement the requirements of the law.  

Each school district should review, revise and develop curriculum and associated instructional activities aligned with Maine’s Learning Results within each grade span in order to form a sequential, well articulated program in Visual and Performing Arts. The curriculum will constitute a large part of the effort to implement Visual and Performing Arts and should be addressed in the district’s implementation plan.  As school districts review, revise and develop curriculum materials for Visual and Performing Arts, they should refer to Guidelines for The Curriculum Development and Review Plan, A Component of the Comprehensive Education Plan (Maine Department of Education, May 1, 2003) and the school district’s individual plan for curriculum development/review of all content areas.  Additionally, the plan for curriculum development in Visual and Performing Arts should be closely connected to both instruction and assessment of this content area within the district.

 

Local Assessment Development

 

Based on the LAS Guide: Principles and Criteria for the Adoption of Local Assessment System (Maine Department of Education, June 2003), each school district may develop, pilot and implement assessments to measure achievement of Visual and Performing Arts at three grade spans (PK-4*, 5-8, secondary).  It is anticipated that districts will also have the opportunity to use model assessments, based on the Maine LAD (Local Assessment Development) framework, which may be developed and piloted under the leadership of the Maine Department of Education.

Additional assessments in Visual and Performing Arts will be developed during an Assessment Development Institute (summer 2004), contingent upon funding of Essential Programs and Services or its equivalent, for use in a school district’s local comprehensive assessment system.

Each district’s implementation plan should include a plan for the development of local assessments in Visual and Performing Arts.

*The PK-2 and 3-4 grade spans are combined in the LAS Guide: Principles and Criteria for the Adoption of Local Assessment Systems.

 

Determine methods of documentation

 

Each school district must make decisions as to how individual student achievement of the Visual and Performing Arts standards within each grade span will be documented consistent with Local Comprehensive Assessment System requirements and protocols used in other content areas.