The Micheltorena Arts Plan is a school-wide, sequential, standards-based arts curriculum, created in partnership with Bluepalm, a local non-profit arts organization, that incorporates experiential arts-based instruction into Micheltorena’s existing math, science, language and garden arts curriculum. The curriculum is sustainable (budget and teacher migration proof) and is built on its teachings from grade to grade. Not only does Micheltorena benefit from this integrated curriculum, but the plan will serve as a model for other LAUSD schools looking to build a sustainable and sequential arts program into their curriculum.
ABOUT BLUEPALM & THE MICHELTORENA ARTS PLAN (MAP)
Over the past few years, Jackie Planeix and Tom Crocker of Blue Palm, both professional dancers and Silver Lake residents, have conducted professional development for teachers and an arts-based needs assessment at Micheltorena. Their goal has always been: “Equity of access to arts education for all children.” Bluepalm is also on facebook!
What makes the Micheltorena Arts Plan unique and exciting is it’s focus on sequential instruction, i.e., that the arts education builds from year to year, and that children build on the arts concepts learned in their previous grades. This takes coordination and focus, and Bluepalm has been working with the teachers, training and educating them on this idea. In the process, a schedule of “sequential field trips” has been created, with programs and ideas from the field trips integrated into existing math, science and language programs.
The field trip program includes artists to accompany the teachers (i.e. a dancer to accompany the kindergarteners on their ballet field trip), as well as elicits parent volunteers to participate. The goal is that when a child graduates from Micheltorena, he/she will have attended a world-class theatre and dance performance, and will have visited at least three major Los Angeles art museums, among other field trips scheduled.
Bluepalm has also created an “arts-based grade level standards” guide for parents, so they know what their child will be learning in each arts curriculum for the year. For instance, 4th graders will be taught perspective as part of their grade-level visual arts curriculum. At Micheltorena, every child at will have teaching in visual arts. The lower grades also receive teaching in theatre, and the upper grades receive training in dance. This is in addition to our vocal music classes for all grades, and orchestra classes for grades 3-6.
A recent report from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities writes:
“…too often advocates focus on the method of delivery of arts instruction, rather than the quality of that instruction and the flexibility to adapt to the needs of the community. We recommend efforts that demonstrate how teams of classroom teachers, arts specialists and teaching artists can work together on building curricula, delivering instruction, and learning from each other.”
For the full report click here.
MESSAGE FROM JACKIE PLANEIX AND TOM CROCKER OF BLUEPALM
“We are honored to partner with Micheltorena and area schools in developing innovative ways to ensure equity of access for all students as well as rigorous, relevant preparation for the 21st century work place.”
SILVER LAKE CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC
Micheltorena’s recent partnership with the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music is also a key ingredient to the Arts Plan, with the Conservatory providing instruction in voice and music, as well as using our auditorium for it’s chorus and ensemble classes on weeknights.