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DCPS Arts Updates

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DCPS 2021 Arts Virtual Experience Is Coming!

The DCPS 2021 Arts Experience  is a cumulative virtual festival for DCPS students in Spring 2021 that will involve collaboration with multiple partners. This festival will be a collective display of arts experiences by DCPS students with the intent of emphasizing and advocating for the importance of arts education. Students will have the opportunity to display the process and product of their involvement in the arts throughout the course of the 2020-2021 school year. The theme of this year's experience will be "Rep My City" which focuses on empowering students and reimagining the future of arts education in Washington, DC. 

Upload your open submission and Cornerstone work samples by April 15th

>More info here


DCPS Arts Close Study & Close Listening Examples

In order to provide educators and their students with resources and close viewing and close listening examples of art that is both modern and culturally representative, we have compiled a document of updated close study and close listening examples for visual art and music. This list will ensure all of our students feel seen and proud of who they are in the art. This grouping expands upon the traditional notions of what a comprehensive arts education provides and allows teachers to choose close viewing examples that reflect the students and community they serve relevant to our framework.


DCPS Budget Workshop: Arts Supply Purchasing

Thursday, April 8, 2021 3:30 PM-4:30 PM. Check your calendar for invitation.

This is the time of the year to have budget talks with your principals. Join DCPS Arts for a training on navigating the DC purchasing process. During this session, participants will reflect on their inventory, create a soft needs/wish list with appropriate funding codes, identify which vendors are eligible to provide quotes, and start action planning for SY21 -22.

This session will provide participants with work time and not be recorded live. The deck and a short recording will be available after the training takes place.


Adobe Premier Pro Educator Training

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 3:30 PM-4:30 PM. Check your calendar for invitation.

Join professors Tommy Demos and Eric Cornish in exploring how to use picture-in-picture and multicamera editing in Premiere Pro. This is open to all levels of experience and all arts content areas!


DCPS Jazz Appreciation Month Workshops

To celebrate 2021 Jazz Appreciation Month in April, DCPS is partnering with the Herbie Hancock Institution and DC Jazz Festival to provide various educational events for our DCPS educators and students. We are kicking off Jazz Appreciation Month on March 31! Teachers who sign up for the professional development workshops will receive 2 PLUs for each attended session.

Herbie Hancock Institution Jazz Workshops for Teachers

DC Jazz Festival Student Workshop (3rd to 6th Grade)

DC Jazz Festival presents world-renowned record producer and instrumentalist Nate "Immpaac" Jolley who will lead presentation to students and educators demonstrating the main elements in jazz, hip hop and go-go and their connection. This workshop will provide an interactive experience for your students to learn more about Jazz, Go-Go, and Hip-Hop and its elements. Sign up for your class here.


Arts Teachers Highlight

BJ Simmons, Stuart-Hobson Middle School, Music Educator

BJ released We Wear The Mask in October of 2020, showcasing his talents as a saxophonist. You can find this album on all streaming platforms.

Marla McLean, School- Within-School @ Goding, Elementary Visual Arts Teacher

Marla McLean, Try the Impossible

Daphne Dunston, Kimball Elementary School, Performing Arts Teacher

Ms. Dunston put together "Kimball's Got Talent 2021"


Other Opportunities

  • Virtual Open Sing

Monday, April 26 at 7pm ET Friday April 30 at 7pm ET SING FOR FREEDOM: A SURVEY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THROUGH SONG Co-presented by Berkshire Choral International & The Washington Chorus Like the collective breath of the Movement, songs were a natural outpouring, evidencing the life force of the fight for freedom… Bernice Johnson Reagon. For centuries communities throughout the world have used music as a form of protest and resistance. It has the power to galvanize communities into political action. In this Virtual Open Sing program, Anthony Trecek-King will explore the music of the Civil Rights movement through an intergenerational communal singing experience that will help to build group identity and foster connection. This two-part series will be held on Monday, April 26 at 7pm ET and Friday April 30 at 7pm ET, with both sessions taking place over Zoom Webinar. All ages are welcome.

  • DCPS Global Leadership Summit (June 28th – July 2nd)

Link to Register (Free for students aged 18 and under. Use code VOSStudent) DCPS Global Leadership Summit Due to demand, the DCPS Global Leadership Summit is extending its deadline and expanding the program to include 9th & 10th graders and C1 & C2 students.

DCPS Global Education is currently accepting applications for the week-long Global Leadership Summit (GLS) this summer! This fully-funded virtual global experience offers DCPS students in the 9th – 11th grade, C1– C3 programs and Opportunity Academies an opportunity to virtually immerse themselves in rich global learning. Participants will engage in workshops, meetings with local and global leaders, interactive trainings, cultural presentations, and advocacy or community projects on the themes of Foreign Policy & Diplomacy, Global Arts – & Culture and Global Health & Environment. Participating students will be provided a free Global Leader Kit, lunch for the week and can earn up to 5 hours of community service. See the attached flyers for more details. The deadline for students to apply is Friday, April 16th and the application can be accessed here.

  • Collage Workshop with Oge Mora, award-winning artist and storyteller

Sunday, April 11

Join award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Oge Mora for a collage workshop designed for all ages and abilities. Experiment with collage techniques and discover how you can transform scrap paper into works of art. Please join the workshop with the following art supplies: various household scrap paper (like newspaper, magazines, pattern paper, colored construction paper, wrapping paper, candy wrappers, or painted paper), 2 sheets of plain paper, scissors, and a glue stick. For more, please visit here.


Check out the DCPS Arts Sway Page regularly for extra opportunities, professional development, field trips, competitions, or grant opportunities for you and your students.

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Term 2 updates

SY20-21 Required Curricular Task (RCT) Guidance for the Arts

As a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the varying operational scenarios for SY20-21, instructional time and content for DCPS students has reduced. Content teams have reorganized curricular sequences to ensure that students and teachers are engaged in grade level instruction.

Within each canvas course, Required Curricular Tasks (RCTs), have been identified for teachers as periodic measures of student progress for standards prioritized for student learning in that term. Schools will ensure implementation, grading, and analysis of student achievement on RCTs in order to accomplish the following:

o assess student strengths and areas of need on scheduled standards

o plan responsive instruction, while continuing to address new learning

For more information on the Arts RCT document, please see the guidance here, and the all contents RCT document, see guidance here.

Supplies Update

The Arts team has bundled the current stock of visual art supplies for schools. Check with your DSL/admin for the arrival of this first round of supplies by the end of next week. More to come as all the backorder items come in the next couple of months. You will need to work with your admin to set up distribution days for your students to pick up the supplies.

Reach out to the arts team if you have questions or need the list of supplies sent to your school.

For Elementary Teachers: How to start your own CCC?

CCC Strategies for Non-Aspen-Scheduled Content Areas

Many elementary teachers teach students for whom they are not teachers of record in Aspen. These may include inner core, departmentalized, LAD, and co-teachers. Below are three options for accessing, planning, and reaching students with your content.

Canvas Course Options




Please see the complete guidance here.

Additional Resources

· Sub-account administrators: Add a new course in Canvas

· Shared CCC Management


Resources and updates

Budget Guidance

October 1st marked the beginning of our fiscal year, and the opportunity for you to work with your administration to create your art and music supply orders. The art and music supply line item for your school can be found on the dcps data site; under the ‘21 initial school budget, and line item arts or music supplies. This year has presented additional needs for school budgets, please seek a time to present your needs to your administration and to discuss budget options.

COVID Guidelines for the Arts

The COVID Guidelines for the Arts are suggestions for DCPS music, visual arts, theater and dance teachers based on the “OCOO COVID-19 Operations Handbook.” The purpose of this document is to help teachers and administrators plan for their classrooms to use a hybrid learning model and/or virtual instruction when schools reopen. As plans continue to develop, this document will be regularly updated to reflect the changes.

Technology Resources for DCPS Arts SY20-21

The DCPS Arts department is excited to provide resources and academic programs to ensure rigorous and joyful learning experiences for every student. We have done that by securing additional software support the virtual learning environment. Please use this document as basic troubleshooting guidelines. Reach out to the Arts Team if you encounter any technical difficulties.

Living Through History Student Work

Please celebrate the student submissions from term 1 for the Living Through History cornerstone here. Submissions will be accepted all year for this cornerstone.

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Survey Thank you to all who have completed the MHOF Survey. Your responses are greatly appreciated and will help pave the path for a more equitable arts education!

DCPS Teachers Opportunities

Check out both the DCPS Arts Teachers Microsoft Teams page and the Arts Website regularly for extra opportunities, professional development, field trips, competitions, or grant opportunities for you and your students.


Upcoming Agenda

For DCPS teachers host by Herbie Hancock Institute Vice President Dr. JB Dyas

Wednesday, November 18, 1-3 pm

Wednesday, November 18, 3pm

Did you miss the Adobe Spark session on Nov 4? We have the recording for you to view here. Unfortunately, the first half of the training recording was lost due to teams shutting down. However the best part was saved. See how Adobe Spark is integrated in Canvas!

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Upcoming Agenda

Wednesday, September 23, 3-4 pm

Please register here.

DCPS/Soundtrap Session 2.0 Wednesday, September 23, 3-4 pm

Art, Music, and Performing Arts Town Hall

Wednesday, September 30, 3-4pm

Teachers, please see your email for calendar invite.

Supplies Update

Dear DCPS Arts Teachers,

Getting the software and physical supplies to your students as fast as possible is a priority for our team. The IT department is trying to get through a large number of needs for all students, so student licensure is moving slowly. Please plan for extra time to get answers on technology needs at this.

Here are some updates for you all on the supplies:

Please check out this >>new page<< for DCPS Arts Teachers Opportunities.

Many of the free opportunities are having deadlines are today! Check them out and sign up here! (Password: arts2020 - for DCPS Teachers Only!)

Please contact if you have any questions.

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DCPS Arts Twitter Feed


DCPS Music Twitter Feed

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