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Restore, Rebuild, and Expand Visual and Performing Arts Programs in Los Angeles Unified School District

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February 12, 2013 We, the undersigned Itinerant Elementary Arts Teachers of the LAUSD, would like to express our gratitude to the Board of Education of LAUSD for the recent fourteen years of support for the Elementary Arts Instructional Program. We ask the Board to: •Include Arts Teachers in the K-12 "Arts at the Core" planning AND Arts Integration planning to fulfill the Board’s "Arts at the Core" Resolution of October 2012. •Rehire Elementary and Secondary Arts teachers who were RIFed, some of whom are working as Long-term Subs in their own former positions. •Restore, rebuild and expand K-12 Arts Programs throughout the District. The expertise and service that we provide, teaching standards-based arts instruction to thousands of K-6 students, is immeasurable and irreplaceable. We are all Highly-Qualified Teachers with credentials/authorizations and unique skills in our specific art fields – Dance, Music, Theatre or Visual Arts – many of us with advanced degrees and National Board Certification. Neither generalist teachers nor outside arts providers can recreate our extensive knowledge and experience in presenting core curriculum in the arts, as well as the integration of the arts with other core subjects. Through intensive arts instruction and collaboration with generalist teachers, we create opportunities for all of our students to think creatively and critically, articulate their vision, solve problems, and connect with cultures locally and around the world. We are trained to optimize the use of the LAUSD Arts Instructional Guide to deliver standards-based, sequential, increasingly complex modules of arts instruction, including enduring understandings, performance tasks, and student assessment. Our program intrinsically supports oral language and literacy development in English Language Learners, Students with Disabilities, and others. Our on-going collaboration with generalist teachers is an invaluable resource for all stakeholders. As well as delivering outstanding arts instruction, we serve as a hub for our art form at each school site. We are the arts liaison for generalist teachers, parents, staff, community, and outside providers. We disseminate information about cultural events, secure supplies, make recommendations for textbooks, help update school libraries for the arts, and arrange art exhibitions and performances. A large amount of District money and educator vision has been spent in creating the Arts Instructional Guide and in establishing solid relationships with teachers and administrators at our school sites. We undertook this effort because we believe that we have a responsibility to all students, teachers, parents and community members to ensure that our children have an exceptional elementary education in, through, and about the arts. We also support other services that are necessary for student learning, such as Health and Human Services professionals, Counselors, and Teacher Librarians. We feel strongly that the arts are an essential piece in the overall picture for student success. As the Board considers the budget for the 2013-2014 school year, we encourage the District to stay true to this vision of support for the arts by: •Honoring the Board Resolution: Supporting Educational Equity, Student Achievement and Mastery of 21st Century Skills through Arts at the Core (Adopted October 9, 2012) which resolves to restore arts funding that matches or exceeds arts funding levels that existed in the 2007-08 academic year. •Supporting, restoring, and expanding arts programs throughout our District, including our nationally recognized Elementary Arts Instructional Program. •Rehiring RIFed Arts Teachers District-wide NOW, in order to fill the "open" positions and give our students stability, so that we can continue to do what we do best: inspire the children of Los Angeles to learn, grow, create, and think critically through the arts. Respectfully submitted by the undersigned concerned LAUSD Arts Teachers.


Itinerant Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Teachers of the Los Angeles Unified School District


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