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San Francisco Gets Serious About Arts Education
The Arts Education Master Plan
September 28 was the beginning of a new era for arts education in San Francisco schools. The San Francisco Unified School district and the City are partnering on a historic effort to bring back the arts for all students. The Arts Education Master Plan will revitalize the education of San Francisco’s young citizens by capturing the diverse cultural and artistic energy of a city that is internationally renowned for its love of the arts.
At 10:30 a.m. at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum, Mayor Gavin Newsom, SFUSD’s Interim Superintendent Gwen Chan, and SF Arts Commission President P.J. Johnston joined members of the Board of Supervisors and SFUSD Board of Education, arts providers from across the city and students from Lowell High School, Claire Lilienthal and George Washington Carver Academic Elementary Schools in celebration of the Arts Education Master Plan.
"This master plan is a living document that exemplifies the partnership between the City and the school district on arts education," said Mayor Newsom. "San Francisco's efforts are unprecedented - and over the next few months, we will witness 'order of magnitude' changes in the arts education that children receive," continued the Mayor.
The Arts Education Master Plan is San Francisco Unified School District's blueprint for integrating the arts into each student's daily curriculum. The Plan calls for a sequential, comprehensive arts education program that reflects the high quality of San Francisco's artistic landscape in the areas of dance, drama, music, visual arts and literary arts.
The guiding principle of this plan is that all students deserve both access to and equity in arts education and each school community, no matter the neighborhood or academic emphasis, will be called upon to embrace the notion that every student must be provided with the arts as an integral part of the academic day.
Interim Superintendent Gwen Chan said “In San Francisco, we are committed to providing every student with a well-rounded education. For too many years, some students have not had opportunities to develop artistic literacy. Every school and every student will benefit from this plan.”
The Master Plan reflects the views of more than 1,500 students, parents, teachers, administrators, arts providers, and civic and business leaders. Proposition H approved by San Francisco voters in 2004, became the catalyst, making the Arts Education Master Plan, completed in August 2006, a funded mandate. The extensive increase in arts education spending, programming, support and resources that the Plan recommends will be funded largely by Prop H funds. Additional funding, such as the new State funding for the arts, will be aligned to the Arts Education Master Plan.
The new plan will hopefully keep San Francisco school students in touch with the vibrant artistic community around them and help them to take advantage of the many enriching opportunities for art in the classroom and beyond. San Francisco schools are ready to implement the new curriculum program at all levels to ensure a consistent and fulfilling learning experience for all students. Students, parents, and teachers at San Francisco schools are confident that the Arts Education Master Plan will mark their community as one committed to continued arts education.
About the Author: Stacy Andell is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. Stacy has a nose for research and writes stimulating news and views on school issues. For more information on San Francisco schools visit www.schoolsk-12.com/california/san-francisco/index.html