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Criteria for an Exemplary Program Award

This provides the CEAEA Application Criteria and rubric for an Exemplary Program Award in Arts Education, K-6.

Criteria for an Exemplary Program Award in
Arts Education, K-6

Please address the following Themes and Items in your application narrative.


  • Does the school leadership collaborate to create and revise an arts plan including policies to monitor and evaluate the teaching of all f five arts disciplines aligned to the VAPA state standards across grade levels and curriculum?
  • Is time allocated and protected in the schedule to ensure access to instruction, including project-based learning for all students in all identified arts disciplines?
  • Does the principal initiate, provide for teachers, and participate in professional learning related to teaching and learning in the five arts disciplines?
  • Do appropriately credentialed arts teachers/ teacher leaders teach the arts and provide input on the school budget to ensure quality materials; equipment, space, and technology are available for arts instruction?
  • Do arts teachers receive equitable planning and collaboration time for curricular planning?
  • Does the principal or district leadership review and evaluate the implementation, impact of, and access to a sequential VAPA curriculum by all students?
  • What evidence indicates strong school community and community-at-large support the academic value, career connections, and creative expression opportunities for students provided by the VAPA program?
  • Are Arts resources, facilities clearly identified in the LCAP and allotted LCFF funds?


  • Do standards-based VAPA courses in all five disciplines include applied, project-based and contextual learning experiences with clear grade level articulations and learning expectations?
  • Are arts teachers regularly collaborating to ensure that the curriculum and instruction are aligned with the California Arts Standards (CAS) standards?
  • Does the arts curriculum support 21st Century skills development, and provide for both informal and formal demonstration of student learning in the arts?
  • Does the VAPA curriculum provide intentional, meaningful, and balanced integration of the arts and other content areas?
  • Does the school have a regular process for revising the arts curriculum based on multiple indicators, including arts assessments, stakeholder surveys of needs, community input, and involve arts and non-arts teachers? 
  • Do teachers integrate authentic and curriculum aligned arts resources including virtual resources, use of technology in art making or presenting art works, community artists’ residencies, field trips, etc., into the school arts culture?
  • Do teachers engage students in high-level creative processes, problem identification and solving in the arts, and in applying high-level analytical skills while performing, revising, and responding to their own artwork and work of others?
  • Do teachers provide exemplary models of artistic performances, creative processes, and products, in print, media, virtual or live to enhance student learning in the arts?
  • Does the rigorous curriculum in the arts result in regular and inclusive student performances, demonstrations, and productions including student-initiated projects?


  • Are there clear, standards-based guidelines and tools for teachers to use formative and summative assessments in all arts disciplines as a regular part of instruction and planning?
  • Do students learn to independently and objectively utilize developmentally appropriate, discipline specific arts vocabulary in oral and written peer reviews and critiques to evaluate each other’s work?
  • Do teachers use the state arts’ content standards and accepted discipline-specific exemplars of student work to establish high expectations for arts learning?
  • Do teachers engage students in creating their own rubrics or scoring guides for standards-based, age appropriate arts learning?
  • How does the teaching staff use the results of formative and summative assessment data in the arts to continually improve arts instruction?
  • Do teachers regularly provide students with authentic, meaningful feedback in arts learning, and provide students with tools for establishing further learning goals?
  • Are there annual school-based benchmarks based on evidence of students’ arts learning in each art discipline that are reviewed, monitored and used to improve teaching and learning in the arts?


Does the principal implement with all teachers a professional growth plan that includes the arts, which is regularly assessed, updated and adjusted in support of high-quality instruction in the arts?

Are there teacher collaboration and professional arts learning opportunities funded by the school or district (including LCFF funds)?

Are the professional learning opportunities in the arts planned with input from teachers’ individual professional growth needs, research-based information on current arts issues and strategies, school-based student art learning data, and connected to student needs?

Are teachers supported individually and in teams or cohorts in on-going, in-depth, professional learning and curriculum development opportunities provided by arts educational entities like The California Arts Project, CCSESA, and the four arts education professional organizations?

How are supervision and evaluation activities linked to improving VAPA teaching and promoting continuous improvement?

Questions:   California Exemplary Arts Awards Team | | 916-319-0504
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 13, 2019