The Any Given Child Fine Arts FAQ

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1 The Any Given Child Fine Arts FAQ What is the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative? The Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative is a fresh approach to arts in education. The Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative creates a long-range arts equity plan to provide AISD campuses the opportunity to move from an arts-involved level to the seven elements of an arts-rich campus to improve student engagement and achievement. Arts-rich schools meet standards of quality and participation on seven dimensions: 1) Sequential Fine Arts, 2) Arts Across the Curriculum, 3) Community Arts Partnerships, 4) Pathways to College, Career and Community, 5) Community Building through the Arts, 6) in and out of-school options, and 7) Leadership, Operations, and Sustainability. The Any Given Child model seeks to bring access, balance, and equity to each child s arts education, using an affordable model that combines the resources of the school district, the City of Austin, local arts groups, and business and philanthropic organizations. What is the goal of the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative? The goal of the Any Given Child Initiative is that all Austin ISD students attend arts-rich schools and that each and every child, in every school and every grade, has the benefits of learning in a creative classroom. What are arts-rich schools? Arts-rich schools are schools where student achievement benefits are realized through the integration of high-impact arts strategies. Arts-rich schools demonstrate the capacity to sustain broad and in-depth creative learning experiences, accessible to all. In arts-rich schools, all children are free to express themselves in an environment that fosters disciplined critical and creative thinking, that explores heritage through multicultural experiences, that stimulates innovation and imagination, and that honors and engages the whole child in a lifelong love of learning. In the creative classroom, teachers are skilled in applying arts education techniques to all content areas. Students are engaged and use the rigorous creative thinking and communication skills they will need to imagine, innovate and realize possibilities in the future. Arts rich schools have met standards of quality and participation on seven dimensions: Sequential Fine Arts Arts Across the Curriculum Community Arts Partnerships Pathways to College, Career and Community Community Building through the Arts Portfolio of options In and Out-of-school Leadership, Operations, Facilities and Sustainability 1

2 What are the benefits of arts-rich schools? Arts-rich schools achieve multiple student outcomes including increased academic achievement, improved student engagement, college and career readiness, and meet the needs of the whole student. MORE LIKELY TO ATTEND COLLEGE: Low SES students attending an arts-rich school are twice as likely to attend college than those attending arts-poor schools (Catterral, 2010). IMPROVED ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: Research across disciplines supports the use of creative learning to improve academic achievement on standardized and grade measures (McCarthy, 2005). Arts-engaged low-income students are four times more likely to have high academic achievement than low-income students not involved in the arts (Heath, 1998). REDUCED ACHIEVEMENT GAPS: AIMS Arts integration schools reduced reading gap by 14% and math gap by 26% over a three-year period (RealVIsions, 2007). LESS BORED IN SCHOOL: Evaluations have found creative learning curricula cause students to report less boredom, finding schools more challenging, interesting and enjoyable (Barry, 2010). ATTENDANCE: Students involved in arts education for at least nine hours a week were three times more likely to have high attendance (Heath, 1998). MOTIVATION: Students who experience success in the arts recognize the value of persistence and effort, and are more motivated to apply themselves in other learning tasks (Israel, 2009). INCREASED INNOVATION, IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY: Creative learning research shows students develop habits of mind that promote innovation, imagination and creativity including critical and creative thinking, dealing with ambiguity and complexity, integration of multiple skill sets, and working with others (PCAH, 2010) EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE: Processing information across multiple forms of representation provides advantage of embedding knowledge in long-term memory (Rudacliffe, 2010). 2

3 SELF- EFFICACY/SOCIAL- EMOTIONAL SKILLS: Meta-analysis of studies of arts engagement showed positive outcomes in social skills such as tolerance and empathy and positive peer interactions (Deasy, 2002). Why is an arts-rich environment important to Austin? Providing an arts-rich environment for Austin students is key to Austin s future economic and cultural vitality: Austin boasts a diverse and coordinated arts community and is projected to have 46,000 jobs in the Creative Industry in the future. Preparing Austin s future workforce for the creative industries is important to maintaining the economic and cultural vitality of our community. What did the Kennedy Center/Any Given Child audit tell us about the district s arts education needs? The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, AISD, the City of Austin, and the local educational institutions of higher learning, business, and the arts communities conducted a comprehensive survey of the arts in education in The audit revealed that many schools are missing the planning, coordination, professional development, and resources to meet the standards of quality and participation on the seven dimensions of an arts-rich school. The audit found that there are gaps in diversity of art forms, cultural heritage and depths of experience; and gaps at the secondary level, especially at the middle school level. How was the plan developed and who was involved? The plan was developed through a unprecedented collaborative process facilitated by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, that brought together representatives from AISD, the City of Austin, Higher Education and the Arts community to build a sustainable plan that aligns goals and coordinates resources to make certain all children are served equitably in and out of school in culturally responsive ways. In August 2011, after a rigorous application process, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts selected Austin as its 7th Any Given Child site. This prestigious distinction was awarded based on the commitment of the Superintendent of Austin ISD, the Mayor of the City of Austin and the arts community, led by MINDPOP to generate and implement a plan that assures any given child grades K-8 has access to arts and cultural resources. For the last year the 3 Senior Kennedy Center leaders have facilitated the development of a strategic plan to achieve these goals with an Austin Community Arts Team. The Austin CAT was comprised of leaders representing the school district administration, City staff, arts organizations, higher education, business, and philanthropy. What did the Any Given Child Community Arts Team study and what data was collected? The Community Arts Team (CAT) first conducted research and a needs assessment. The CAT collected in-depth inventories of all arts activities on each elementary and 3

4 middle school campus. We surveyed the Principals on the campuses, receiving a 100% return rate. We surveyed all fine arts specialists and all general classroom teachers. We received 1,553 responses from our general classroom teachers, giving us a 98% reliability rate. We also surveyed all participating arts organizations. Additionally, we performed demographic analysis on middle and high school students currently highly involved in the arts, comparing their academic, attendance and promotion rates to a similar demographic comparison group. The CAT team used this information on attitudes and services to identify strengths and gaps in our system. These strengths and gaps became the basis for our goals and action steps. What are the goals of the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative? The goals of the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative are to transform the educational experiences for each and every child by: 1. Creating arts-rich schools for each and every student; 2. Creating a community network that supports and sustains the arts-rich life of every child; 3. Developing leaders and systems that support and sustain quality creative learning for the development of the whole child; 4. Demonstrating measurable impacts on students, families, schools and community. What needs and opportunities did the Kennedy Center Planning Process identify? The district-wide audit revealed a strong foundation in the fine arts. However, inequities in access to fine arts instruction were found throughout the district. In summary the audit revealed: Strong Elementary foundation in music and visual arts, but gaps in diversity of art forms, cultural heritage and depths of experience. High school, middle and elementary school showed variances, with heightened gaps at the middle school level. Surprisingly, inequities did not exist as a result of a single variable like geography, SES or demography Long-standing district-level partnerships with community providers provide arts exposure experiences, however a lack of principles or frameworks to guide campus arts planning produce uncoordinated community arts partnerships that create inequities on a school-by-school, grade level, or even classroom basis. Teachers currently use arts-based strategies in their teaching and want more professional development to improve their skills, but express a lack of available opportunities. 4

5 What did principals and teachers say about the arts? Principals in AISD value the arts at a high level (93.1%). Almost all the 108 Principals surveyed (91.3%) suggested the arts have a great deal of value in child development and most recognize the value of the arts for engaging disengaged students (97.1%) and encouraging parental involvement (94.1%). These statistics held true in similar proportions for the 1553 general classroom teachers we surveyed. What did principals and teachers say is most needed? While our educators express value in the arts, they suggest training in the arts is lacking. Only 24.2% of General classroom teachers report Professional Development in the arts is adequate. Most (92.3%) general classroom teachers expressed an interest in receiving Professional Development in one or more art form.1 Only 7.7% of the 1553 general classroom teachers surveyed, suggested they were not interested in receiving professional development in the arts. Providing professional development to satisfy these needs is a high priority for the project. How will the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative increase creative learning in Austin? The Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative will maximize and leverage district, city, and community arts partner resources to improve student engagement and achievement by moving all schools from an arts-involved level to an arts-rich level: through professional development, community partnerships and increased equity and access through in-school and out-of-school time creative learning opportunities. Do we have any local results for arts-rich schools? Yes. In two and a half short years, we have successfully piloted projects in 6 AISD campuses in the McCallum Vertical Team that report increased attendance, increased academic scores, increased parental involvement, and in the case of Lamar Middle school a dramatic reversal of student flight to private or alternative schools. The preliminary results of the pilot have been exciting. Lamar Middle school, a low performing school, has increased its enrollment and improved its test scores. Highland Park, a high performing school, has increased its attendance, winning the Superintendents award for highest attendance rate multiple times (an award they had previously not received). The success of the pilot schools has resulted in demands to serve all thirteen schools in the vertical team. The schools represent the widest range of student demographics and success rates. They are high and low achieving, high and low poverty, ethnically homogenous and diverse. We are excited that the principals, parents, school board 1 Any Given Child Survey

6 trustees and school administration who have requested our support, recognize the arts as a benefit for the specific needs of each of these campuses. How will the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative support schools to become arts-rich? The Any Given Child program design operates on four levels: 1) assuring all students have access to quality, diverse creative learning opportunities to increase student engagement; 2) assuring classroom teachers have skills in using high yield arts-based strategies across the curriculum to increase student achievement; 3) aligning community and neighborhood resources and partnerships to effectively increase the schools capacity to meet the particular needs of their community; and 4) supporting existing fine arts programs and staff. How can schools participate in the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative? There will be an application process for vertical teams to apply to participate, with 1-2 vertical teams added each year for five years. If funded, the ten-year plan will allow for all AISD schools and teachers to participate in the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative. Participating campuses will conduct a creative learning inventory and develop an individualized Campus Arts Equity Plan that meets the needs of their community. The plan will include professional development for classroom teachers, fine arts specialists and administrators, strategies to reduce inequities in individual students, access to creative learning opportunities, the development of targeted arts partnerships and the development of a community network to support the goals of the campus. The individualized Campus Arts Equity Plan will address inequities in student access to creative learning and identify additional community resources to achieve full participation in a diversity of art forms, diversity of cultural heritage, and a diversity of instructional formats. Participating Schools will receive: Arts Inventory Support Arts learning Needs Assessment Facilitated Campus Arts Equity Plan to fill gaps Three tiered Professional Development 1. Three Full campus teacher workshops focused on research-based teaching strategies 2. Embedded Instructional Coaches for a cohort of 4-6 teachers receiving classroom support in implementing the techniques 3. Access to model instruction Access to funding to implement Equity plan 6

7 Documentation and evaluation support How will the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative benefit teachers? While our educators express value in the arts, they suggest training in the arts is lacking. Only 24.2% of General classroom teachers report Professional Development in the arts is adequate. Most (92.3%) general classroom teachers expressed an interest in receiving Professional Development in one or more art form.2 Only 7.7% of the 1553 general classroom teachers surveyed, suggested they were not interested in receiving professional development in the arts. Providing professional development to satisfy these needs is a high priority for the project. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in a three-tiered professional development model that uses targeted instructional strategies to target specific learning objectives our students struggle with district-wide (e.g. inference). A smaller cohort of teachers will participate in a more intensive training to build their capacity to design rigorous lessons using these strategies that serve as an instructional model for their campus. What are the outcomes expected from the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative? The district expects to see short-term gains in student attendance, community involvement and grade promotion rates; mid-term gains in academic achievement and graduation rates; and long-term gains in workforce readiness. Assessment protocols will be developed to assess the impacts on students, families, schools and our community. What AISD Strategic Plan Goals does the Any Given Child Initiative impact? Goal 2: Achievement gaps among all student groups will be eliminated. Goal 3: All students will graduate ready for college, career, and life in a globally competitive economy. Strategy One: Provide a high-quality, well-rounded educational experience to all students that is rigorous, culturally relevant, healthful, and engaging. Key Action 1.12 Increase access to and support for high quality fine arts instruction as part of a strong core academic curriculum for all students. Key Action 1.14 Seek innovative public-private partnerships to develop signature programs in neighborhood schools within each vertical team to enhance rigorous academic opportunities. Key Action 1.16 Improve attendance rates for all students. 2 Any Given Child Survey

8 Key Action 1.17 Improve completion rates for all students. Key Action 1.20 Support campuses in developing culturally relevant training and learning experiences to eliminate achievement gaps, and to decrease overrepresentation of any student groups in discipline and special education programs. What are the facilities implications from the Any Given Child Creative Learning Initiative? The ten-year plan recommends the district move from the 2008 educational specifications to the 2011 recommended educational specifications developed by the Fine Arts Department under the direction of the Facilities and Planning office. 8

9 Any Given Child GOALS: Goal 1: Create arts-rich schools for each and every student Develop the criteria to become an arts-rich school. Create and implement individualized campus arts plans in each participating school. Continue the development of the AISD district fine arts curriculum. Integrate arts-based instructional strategies across the core content curriculum. Design and deliver a three-tiered Professional Development model including full faculty. workshops, embedded coaching and model instruction including online video instructional support in participating schools. 6. Develop models of scheduling, staffing and innovative courses that support student participation in creative learning. Goal 2: Create a Community Network that Supports and Sustains the Arts-Rich Life of Every Child 1. Maintain a current resource directory and map of available creative learning opportunities. 2. Engage neighborhood stakeholders to identify, align and increase access to creative learning opportunities. 3. Establish partnerships with community organizations to lead or implement aspects of the Any Given Child Initiative. 4. Offer Professional Development for community artists aligned with district efforts. Goal 3: Develop leaders and systems that support and sustain quality creative learning for the development of the whole child. 1. Create a formal partnership among City, AISD and arts community that includes a cross-sector governance structure. 2. Develop the operational infrastructure and work-plan to support the AGC initiative. 3. Engage and prepare leaders across sectors to become effective advocates. 4. Align educational priorities among AISD, the City of Austin and a wide variety of community organizations serving youth and families (including arts, higher education, social service, business, philanthropy). 5. Collaborate with Higher education institutions to promote arts integration. 6. Increase and coordinate resources in support of creative learning. Goal 4: Demonstrate measurable impacts on students, families, schools and our community. 1. Assess student achievement such as academic, fine arts, engagement, discipline, attendance, promotion, graduation, college readiness, decreased discipline problems, self-efficacy, etc. 2. Assess school engagement such as participation and quality of arts engagement. 3. Assess teacher engagement such as participation and quality of arts-based instruction. 4. Measure community engagement such as participation and quality of arts partnerships, neighborhood involvement, participation of students and families in out-of-school time arts programming, etc. 5. Demonstrate creative learning through public performance and exhibition and communicate the research findings on the impact of creative learning on teaching and learning. 9

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