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Visual and Performing Arts Standards Guidelines

Guidelines for the Revision of the Visual and Performing Arts Standards for California Public Schools, Prekindergarten through Grade Twelve.

Per California Education Code (EC) Section 60605.13, on or before January 31, 2019, “The Superintendent, in consultation with the Instructional Quality Commission, shall recommend to the state board revisions to the visual and performing arts content standards in the subjects of dance, theater, music, and visual arts adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 60605.1, and shall recommend visual and performing arts standards in the subject of media arts.” EC Section 60605.13 further specifies that the National Core Arts Standards “shall serve as the basis for deliberations.” The following guidelines are based on testimony received at three focus groups and are intended to direct the work of the Visual and Performing Arts Standards Advisory Committee (VAPA SAC), who shall assist in developing these recommendations.

In general, the revised Visual and Performing Arts Standards for California Public Schools, Prekindergarten through Grade Twelve (VAPA Standards) shall
  1. Be based on the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS), including
    1. the way they are organized around the five artistic disciplines of dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts;
    2. the numbering system for identifying the standards as modeled in the NCAS.
  1. Incorporate the artistic processes and aesthetic experiences (creating, performing/producing/presenting, responding, and connecting) utilized in the NCAS into each of the artistic disciplines and ensure that creating, performing, responding, and connecting are embedded throughout

  2. Follow the principles of Universal Design for Learning, with inclusion for students with disabilities, and have them woven throughout (for reference, see Students with Disabilities and the Core Arts Standards: Guiding Principles for Teachers for dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts)

  3. Support the students’ arts experience, appreciation, and understanding (and the skills they learn) to be enjoyable and also transferable to personal, academic, and professional endeavors

  4. Have students demonstrate the knowledge and skills of the standards within each discipline

  5. Be written in language that is inclusive and supportive of multiple users including specialists, multiple-subject teachers, support staff, administrators, and the community
In their deliberations, the VAPA SAC shall consider the following:
  1. Adopting or modifying of the anchor standards as outlined in the NCAS

  2. The guidance provided in the National Core Arts Standards: A Conceptual Framework for Arts Learning for identifying how enduring understandings and essential questions inform and organize the NCAS, and for understanding what students are asked to do within the standards

  3. Dividing the standards grade levels into the categories of Prekindergarten and Kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school, and organizing high school by levels of achievement such that a high school student may attain, such as proficient, accomplished, advanced, etc.

  4. Ways the VAPA Standards can reflect the diversity of California’s students and regions and how the arts can connect students and teachers with the realities that students experience

  5. Including VAPA Standards adopted by the SBE in 2001, to the extent deemed essential or important, to reflect any California-specific goals for student learning in the arts

  6. Structural elements that demonstrate how media arts standards may support or be woven throughout the other arts disciplines

  7. How the standards can support interdisciplinary connections to other content areas

  8. The open-endedness of the student performance standards as an opportunity to engage in project-based and 21st century learning (including the “4Cs” of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication) to build soft skills

  9. Including arts language to promote artistic literacy to be able to discern, articulate, and apply language unique to the arts
Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 10, 2023
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