Resources for Schools & Partners

Starting a School Arts Team

Photo of Southwest Interagency High School Vision MeetingWhat will the school arts team do?

School arts teams will initially attend a 3-hr workshop to learn about the components of quality arts education and review their school and regional arts access data. Then, in two, 3-hr school planning meetings that are facilitated by arts leadership coaches, the school arts team will develop an arts vision and an action plan – a multiyear, school-wide road map that outlines decisions about arts staffing, integrated arts, professional development, and how to connect school-community arts partnerships to their school’s goals.

Who should be on the school arts team?

The 7-10 person team should reflect the school’s individual character and community.  Invite staff, parents/guardians and community members already involved in the arts, but also consider inviting those who have not previously shown an interest in the arts. 

Consider :

  • Who in your school community could be key in moving the arts forward?
  • Who in your school community is committed to equitable access to arts learning?
  • Committed individuals from inside as well as outside the school walls.
  • Are there particular parents & guardians who have skills that may be useful?
  • Are there businesses or arts organizations nearby who could lend support?

 

Invite:

School leader (1)  Principal or assistant principal required

Arts staff (1-2)*

Non-arts staff (2-3)*  Mix of grade levels and subject experts. Other specialists such as PE and library share schedules with arts, so could be useful voices to include as would members of your racial equity teams and MTSS teams.

Parents/Guardians (1-2) – Mix of PTA/non-PTA members.  Consider parents of younger students who will be around for a few years.

Students (2-3) – For middle or high schools.

Community artists/orgs (1-2) – Someone who is already working in your school.

*For each school the district has budgeted for a total of 3 SEA represented arts committee members for up to 9 hours in the first year and 5 hours in the second year of school arts planning.  If meeting times are outside the contracted day, they will be paid the negotiated rate.  For meetings held during the school day, subs will be funded.   

 
Sample Text for invitation to join a School Arts Team…

 

Dear _____,

Students who participate in the arts do better academically, are more engaged in learning, are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to go on to college, and as adults are more to participate in their community through voting and volunteering. We want young people to have the tools to express themselves and their ideas.

The Creative Advantage is a city-wide initiative to establish equitable access to arts learning for all Seattle Public School students.  We are building access to arts education for all students by adding arts and music classes, integrating arts into other subjects, creating opportunities to learn from professional artists and engaging students in culturally relevant arts. We do this to empower student voices and enhance school culture today — and to open doors to careers tomorrow.  This year, the all of the K-12 schools in our region, including our school, are in year one of The Creative Advantage 3-year implementation process.  The focus of this year in on school-based arts vision and action planning. 

This fall, I am forming a school arts team to develop a vision and action plan for ensuring that every student has the opportunity to learn through the arts.  I invite you to join the team.  It will include school staff – arts and non-arts teachers, families, a community arts partner, and me.  

Arts team members will attend a 3-hr workshop at a neighborhood location in October to learn about the components of quality arts education and do some arts-making themselves.  Then, this winter, the team will meet in two, 3-hr school planning meetings that are facilitated by a principal arts leadership coach to develop an arts vision and an action plan – a multi-year, school-wide road map that outlines decisions about arts staffing, integrated arts, professional development, and how to connect school-community arts partnerships to our school’s goals.

Please consider joining our school arts team.  Members of arts teams at other schools have found the process and the impact of school arts planning to be engaging and inspiring. I know that you would make a valuable contribution to creating and implementing an arts plan that empowers student voices and enhances our school culture.