Strategic Plan

Current Status of Fine Arts Programs

Cecil County Public Schools Fine Arts Instructional Program Delivery

The Cecil County Public School system (CCPS) recognizes the significance of comprehensive programs in the arts.  Over the past ten years, many innovative programs have been developed to embrace all fine arts disciplines—music, art, theatre, and dance.  The Instructional Coordinator for Fine Arts, Leadership Team, ArtsReach advocacy group, and teachers have worked collaboratively to expand and enhance fine arts opportunities for all students.

The staff that implements the fine arts program in 28 schools within Cecil County includes 33 art, 40.1 music and one theatre instructional staff members at the elementary and secondary levels.  As we have developed and refined our CCPS Strategic Plan in Fine Arts over the past eight years, our focus has been on the expansion of theatre and dance.  With school year 2006-07, we will implement Integrated Arts as an additional specialist position in all of our elementary schools.  Over the next two years, eight dance and eight theatre teachers will join the compliment of elementary fine arts staff to serve each of our 17 elementary schools in all of the fine arts disciplines. 

Elementary fine arts staff members teach classes of approximately 25 students once a week for 45-minute sessions.  Middle school art and music classes are taught daily within a rotating fine and practical arts block.  These sessions usually last for 7-9 weeks each.  A plan for integrating theatre and dance at the middle school level will begin during 2006-07.  A variety of electives are available in all arts disciplines at the high school level.  These include foundational, introductory, advanced, honors, advanced placement, and studio classes in all arts. 

            For the past eight years, major steps have been taken to develop curricula, assessment, staff development, and instruction to reflect the Essential Learner Outcomes in the Fine Arts and Volunteer State Curricula.  Documents completed to date include General Music K-8, Instrumental Music 4-12, High School Music Electives, Humanities, K-12 Dance, K-12 Theatre, High School Art, Middle School Art, Communicating Through The Arts, and Integrated Arts.  Summative assessments for fourth grade art and music were administered during school year 2005-06.  In addition, advancements in technology at the secondary level have been implemented as part of our CREATE Goals 2000 and Fine Arts Initiative Grants.  Twelve out of 28 buildings have been renovated during the past ten years.  Three schools are currently in the process of renovation.  These facilities are providing updated technology and instructional resources in all of the fine arts.

            Student achievement is currently measured in each classroom through formative and summative assessments.  Final semester exams are required for each student at the high school level.  Assessments for fine arts are planned for each level of instruction.  Fourth grade art and music assessments were implemented in 2005-06.  Seventh grade assessments in music and art were completed in 2005-06 and will be implemented in 2006-07.  High school assessments in art and music will be developed during 2006-07.  Dance and theatre assessments will be developed as the program progresses.

 

Strategic Plan Progress

The Fine Arts mission in the Cecil County Public Schools is to “Provide a comprehensive fine arts program (art, music, dance, and theater) in grades Pre-K-12, giving each child opportunities to demonstrate increasing proficiency in Essential Learning Outcomes in Fine Arts.”  The activities identified to support this strategy include:

  1. Recruiting and placing highly-qualified fine arts teachers with appropriate classroom teaching loads.
  2. Developing and maintaining state-of-the-art curriculum, instruction, enrichment, and assessment.
  3. Providing high-quality staff development opportunities in art, theatre, dance, and music that reflect the Voluntary State Curriculum and Essential Learner Outcomes for the Fine Arts.
  4. Providing accessibility to essential fine arts equipment, instruments, technology, and facilities.
  5. Expanding ArtsReach partnerships within community and regional constituencies in order to provide resources to support the Fine Arts program.
  6. Expanding co-curricular program to allow continued student access.
  7. Providing career opportunities for students through the Arts & Communications Career Cluster.

Each activity was addressed this past school year. 

 

 

Highly-Qualified Staff

In the area of the recruitment and placement of highly-qualified fine arts teachers, the leadership and Board of Education provided the necessary components for the inclusion of dance and theatre.  The chart below indicates the increases in fine arts staff that have taken place during the past several years:

Discipline

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Art

31.3

31.8

32.8

33

Music

37.3

38.8

40.1

40.1

Dance

1 part-time contractual

1 part-time contractual

1 part-time contractual

7

Theatre

2 (1 part-time contractual)

2 (1 part-time contractual)

2 (1 part-time contractual)

2

 


Assessment

Assessment development during the past year has been very successful.  Final assessment documents for fourth grade music and art were completely administered in each of the 17 elementary schools.  Results of these assessments will be obtained in late August and delivered to the respective teachers on September 12, 2006.  Committees completed final copies of seventh grade music and art assessment in late June 2006.  These will be administered during the 2006-07 school year.  The following chart shows the progression of these assessment documents:

Assessment

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

4th Grade Art

Draft

Final Copy

Implementation

Analysis & Revisions

4th Grade Music

Draft

Final Copy

Implementation

Analysis & Revisions

7th Grade Music

Draft

Draft

Final Copy

Implementation

7th Grade Art

 

 

Draft/Final Copy

Implementation

Assessments for dance and theatre will be developed within the next several years when the program is fully implemented.

           

Instruments from the Attic

The “Instrument from the Attic” program continues to provide musical resources for students who otherwise would be financially unable to participate in music.  During the past five years, the number of instruments in the inventory of the program and number of recipients have increased.  Additionally, an instrumental resource staff member has been assigned to oversee the inventory, distribution, and contributions to this program.

 

 

2000-01

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2006-07

Inventory

18

30

42

56

104

122

130

Distributed

12

17

24

30

38

43

53

            Technology implementation at the secondary level has been quite successful.  Visual imaging hardware and software for visual arts and sequencing/composing/publishing hardware/software for music have been provided for both middle and high schools.  Students are able to expand their knowledge and use of these digital resources, complete technology outcomes, and expand their creative portfolio productions.


Dance/Theatre Enrichment

Student enrichment in dance and theatre is also a significant component in providing students with a comprehensive program in the fine arts and improving their proficiency in ELO outcomes.  Throughout the duration of the Fine Arts Initiative Grants, CCPS, in collaboration with the Cecil Community College Cultural Center and Cecil Dance Theatre, have consistently offered enrichment programs in dance and theatre.

Year

Program

Students Attending

Number of Schools Represented

2002-03

Landis & Company “Snow Queen”

874

9

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
“The Nutcracker”

341

5

 

National Players
“As You Like It”

165

5

 

Dance Matrix Modern Dance

422

7

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
Spring Performance

489

6

 

Total

2,291

32

2003-04

Wood & Strings Theatre

434

6

 

Dan Kamin
“Physical Comedy”

228

6

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
“Aladdin”

837

9

 

Total

1,499

21

2004-05

Covered Bridge Theatre
“My Fair Lady”

610

10

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
“The Nutcracker”

896

13

 

Box of Light Theatre

467

6

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
“The Lion King”

978

11

 

Total

2,951

40

2005-06

Cashore Marionettes
“Simple Gifts”

423

7

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
“The Spirit of Christmas”

863

11

 

Covered Bridge Theatre
“Death of a Salesman”

95

1

 

Cecil Dance Theatre
“Cinderella”

858

11

 

Total

2,239

30

The Fine Arts Initiative Grant has provided the enrichment fees, transportation, and substitute coverage for these programs.

 

           

Fine Arts Equipment Summary

During the past four years, attention has been placed on the inventory and requests for fine arts equipment.  Data has been collected from each school regarding essential fixed and modular equipment.  These requests have been compiled in priority order and are being filled as funding permits.  Limited local funding has slowed the process of replacing significant amounts of equipment.  The following chart represents progress in this area:

 

Year

Equipment Budget Request

Budget Granted

# Schools Affected

2003-04

$32,000

$9,000

5

2004-05

$32,000

$9,000

7

2005-06

$32,000

$9,000

3

            An additional $24,000 was added to the FY 07 budget to support the program needs of the high school band program.  This budget will ensure that progress is made in uniform replacement/maintenance, transportation, and instrument replacement.  Additionally, a contract was made with Jason’s Music to participate in the Piano Loan Program.  This will provide three new pianos and three loan pianos to be used in six of our high priority need schools.

Staff Development

            During the past four years, considerable efforts have been placed into teacher staff development addressing technology and assessment.  Through collaborative efforts with Cecil Community College, Visual Communications Department and Sibelius Software Representatives from Jordan Kitts Music, teachers have been provided multiple hands-on sessions and appropriate follow-up in digital imaging and music composition and publishing software.  The following data represents sessions that have been held for staff in both art and music over this time period:

            During the past four years, significant emphasis has been placed on the development of assessment processes and documents for grades 4, 7, and high school.  Appropriate staff development sessions have been provided to teachers in assessment models, design approaches, and assessment development.

 

 

 

Overall Rating

Date

Topic

Participants

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

8/23/01

Update, Curriculum, Assessment Elementary

24

55%

40%

5%

 

8/21/02

Update, Curriculum, Assessment, Workshops Secondary

23

32%

68%

 

 

8/22/02

Curriculum Assessment Elementary

 

68%

32%

 

 

1/27/03

Art Assessment

8

20%

80%

 

 

8/21/03

Update, Curriculum, Assessment, Festivals - Elementary.

23

32%

68%

 

 

9/3/04

Assessment, Update

11

55%

45%

 

 

9/3/04

Update, Assessment - Elementary

20

42%

53%

5%

 

9/12/05

Elementary Art Assessment

18

 

100%

 

 

11/7/05

H.S. Art & Music Assessment

16

17%

42%

33%

8%

11/7/05

Middle School Music Assessment

5

25%

75%

 

 

1/25/06

Elem. Instrumental Assessment

9

33%

67%

 

 

Fine Arts Partnerships

            Throughout the past nine years, partnerships have been developed for arts education in Cecil County.  In school year 1997-98, Cecil County Public Schools, Cecil Community College, and Cecil County Arts Council formed a charter partnership, ArtsReach.  Each successive year since that time, additional arts constituencies have been added to the organization:

Membership Date

Organizations Joining ArtsReach

2/26/97

Cecil County Public Schools

2/26/97

Cecil Community College

2/26/97

Cecil County Arts Council

6/30/97

Cecil Dance Theatre

11/5/97

Upper Chesapeake Community Band

2/16/98

Cecil County Choral Society

5/7/98

Woman’s Club of Cecil County

9/25/98

Community Cultural Center

8/12/99

Sandy Cove Conference Center

9/7/99

Fair Hill Nature Center

3/20/00

Convergence Dance Centre

3/22/01

Newark Symphony Orchestra

5/21/03

Bender Music

During the past year, the organization revised its Bylaws and Constitution.  They have also expanded their initiative to ensure that the maximum number of arts support agencies and individuals can participate in the organization.  A renewed emphasis has also been placed on individual membership.  A variety of subcommittees have been appointed to address the mission and various roles of the organization.

Arts Cluster Career Opportunities

Significant work has been accomplished to support the high school career cluster initiative.  Articulation agreements with Cecil Community College have provided college credit for high school courses and dual credit opportunities.  Eligible courses include Acting for Video Production, Digital Illustration, Digital Imaging, Introduction to Filmmaking, Multimedia Production, Web Design, Theatre, and Honors Drama.  Foundation to Digital Arts, a multi-course offering for seniors in their final semester, will provide an opportunity for students to work at the college level.  They will be able to pursue digital photography, digital imaging, digital filmmaking and/or design, and presentation and receive 3-12 college credits prior to high school graduation.

            A comparable agreement with Harford Community College has been implemented for the 2006-07 school year.  Students will be given college credit for Music Theory II, Advanced Keyboard, AP Music Theory, and The History of American Music.  For students interested in pursuing music, it will provide up to 11 college credits for courses taken during high school.

Summary

Significant progress had been made in each strategic area of the Fine Arts Strategic Plan.  A landmark step was taken in hiring eight dance and theatre specialists to implement the Integrated Arts program.  In two years 16 new specialists will ensure a comprehensive offering in each of the fine arts areas.  Equipment replacement will occur slowly since budget allocations in this area do not align with the requested funding.

            During 2006-07, the Cecil County Fine Arts Strategic Plan will continue to address major activities including recruiting and placing highly-qualified staff, maintaining state-of-the-art curriculum/instruction/assessment/enrichment, providing high-quality staff development, providing accessibility to essential equipment/instruments/technology and facilities, expanding ArtsReach partnerships, expanding the co-curricular program, and providing career opportunities for students.