Orange, Calif. – Sept. 23, 2015 - Orange Unified School District’s (OUSD) Office of Curriculum and Instruction, in the division of Educational Services, is pleased to announce that the elementary Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program began on September 8, 2015 at all 27 elementary school sites. This program includes the restoration of music for all fifth and sixth grade students and the facilitation of a 21st Century Integrated Arts Wheel. Program goals and plans provide a roadmap toward achieving an exemplary Visual and Performing Arts program where all students have the opportunity to develop their appreciation, skills, and literacy in the arts. Through mastery of the arts, students become effective communicators, enhancing and expanding their academic and life experiences. Through participation in this program students will develop the creative and collaborative skills of the 21st century learner.
Sixteen talented and passionate VAPA teachers, along with four energetic instructional assistants, have been hired to implement this long-awaited endeavor. The dedicated educators have been planning collaboratively to implement the program since Summer 2015. For the facilitation of the Integrated Arts Wheel there are two general music teachers, three visual arts teachers, and three theatre teachers. OUSD is also proud to have eight instrumental music teachers: four focusing on band and the other four on orchestra. The VAPA teachers were able to work alongside other elementary and secondary teachers in the development of the VAPA curriculum units that are aligned with the fifth and sixth grade core content standards. This has enabled the new team to start building a sense of community and to reflect and dialogue on their role in fulfilling the goals outlined in the OUSD Visual & Performing Arts Education Plan.
All 1,944 shiny new instruments, including euphoniums, trombones, trumpets, flutes, clarinets, cellos, violas, and violins have been delivered to school sites and are currently being distributed to students to take home. Students are also provided with music books for orchestra and band, as well as all materials and supplies necessary for general music, theatre, and visual arts. The real highlight of these past two weeks was the excitement visible on the students’ faces during the Visual and Performing Arts instructional blocks. In addition, this program has been warmly embraced by the classroom teachers and supported by the site principals.
As the year continues, we look forward to seeing the students’ growth in Visual and Performing Arts and their progress toward building a foundation that will positively impact their future educational and career paths. Orange Unified School District would like to thank all staff and community members for their support and contribution to our elementary Visual and Performing Arts program.