California Exemplary Arts Education Award

Arcata High School has been designated a California Exemplary Arts Program! Here is the press release from State Superintendent Tony Thurmond:

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that 33 California schools were selected for the California Exemplary Arts Education Award.

These schools engage students in quality arts education that meet California Arts Standards for Public Schools (Arts Standards) and demonstrate progress on indicators on the California School Dashboard. The awards are designed to celebrate successful efforts to engage students in arts through exposure to a variety of disciplines.

“This year has been especially challenging for our students and schools, but I commend these schools for recognizing that this is a time when the arts are more critical than ever,” State Superintendent Thurmond said. “These schools excelled in providing quality arts education, despite all the obstacles presented by distance learning. It is with great pleasure we honor these schools for their steadfast dedication to arts education that plays a powerful role in supporting wellness, bridging social divides, and expanding creativity and critical thinking in our students.”

Schools recognized as Exemplary Arts Education Awardees represent a broad cross-section of educational delivery models, including traditional comprehensive elementary schools, magnet schools, and district and independent charters. These schools serve diverse demographic populations of varying sizes, from a 2,700-student urban school to a 250-student rural school. Some schools serve primarily Title I students from lower socio-economic circumstances, and others serve suburban populations with strong district and community financial support.

In addition to meeting the Arts Standards and Dashboard eligibility criteria, to apply to be recognized as an Exemplary Arts Awardee, schools must offer sequenced instruction to all students in a minimum of three of the five arts disciplines identified in the Arts Standards: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. They must also show one level of improvement for at least one student subgroup in one of the following three areas based on the Dashboard: School Climate, in the area of Suspension Rate; Student Engagement, in the area of Chronic Absenteeism or Graduation Rate; Academic Achievement, in the area of English Language Arts, Mathematics, or College and Career Readiness.

These California Exemplary Arts Education Schools, along with California Distinguished Schools, National Blue Ribbon Schools, and recipients of California Department of Education (CDE) recognition programs, will be honored virtually later this year. For more information, please visit the CDE California School Recognition Program web page.

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