MAEA is happy to announce the title of our summer book club – Therapeutic Approaches in Art Education by Dr. Lisa Kay. This book club will be free to educators and run July – August, 2020 and participants will be awards 15 PDPs at it’s completion. More information, including exact dates and the syllabus will be coming soon. If you aren’t already subscribed to our mailing list sign up today!
With many art educators across the state planning for distance learning or online learning for at least the next three weeks, through April 6, the MAEA Board of Directors wanted to share a collection of resources we’ve put together ourselves or have seen shared online.
Each school and/or district are approaching this differently, so please check with your appropriate administrator before implementing any of these resources.
If you have additional items to add to this resource list, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with additional materials.
March 15, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a three-week suspension of school operations for educational purposes at all public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools in the Commonwealth beginning Tuesday, March 17, and a series of new guidance and legislation in response to COVID-19.
“Our administration is taking these rapid steps to protect the health and safety of our residents to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We know that a lot of the measures we are putting into place, including mandatory school closures and prohibiting gatherings of 25 people or more, will cause disruption in people’s day to day lives. With the steps we are taking today, we can ensure residents can still access key state services while taking necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
“The legislation our administration is filing will help ease burdens on cities and towns regarding municipal governance as they work to keep their residents safe,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to swiftly enact these bills to help provide our cities and towns with relief.”
The bills and guidance that Governor Baker outlined today include the following:
Schools in the Commonwealth
Elementary and Secondary Schools: suspend educational operations from March 17 until April 6. Full order available here.
Given the evolving data regarding cases of COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of children and school staff, the Governor is ordering a 3-week suspension of school operations for educational purposes at all public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools in the Commonwealth (not including residential and day schools for special needs students), beginning Tuesday, March 17 and continuing until Monday, April 6. The suspension of educational programming would not necessarily affect the availability of school buildings for the provision of food or other essential non-educational services. As April 6 approaches, the administration will provide additional guidance.
During this period it is critical that students and their families, as well as school staff, stay home as much as possible. If an individual needs to leave home, it is essential to strictly follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowds, canceling social gatherings, and maintaining a safe separation of at least 6 feet from others. Restricting access to school buildings will have little impact on public health if these best practices are not followed in good faith.
Although schools must suspend in-person educational operations, staff should be planning for how best to equitably provide alternative access to student learning opportunities during this period and potentially beyond. Equally important, school personnel should develop plans for ensuring to the greatest extent possible that families have access to essential non-academic services for their children – especially involving special education and food services for students who are most vulnerable.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will work in partnership with schools and districts to develop strategies and resources to sustain learning and vital services throughout this closure period. Already, DESE has received a partial waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture providing greater flexibility regarding food service in certain districts with higher concentrations of low-income students and is actively pursuing additional waivers for the remaining schools and districts.
Early Education and Care: follow EEC/DPH guidance regarding closure based on actual cases
The suspension of educational operations at K-12 schools will inevitably affect the provision of pre-school and childcare services. Although we are not ordering the closure of childcare programs at this time, we are strongly urging childcare providers to strictly observe guidelines that are being issued by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), which call for temporary closures based on actual direct or indirect exposures to individuals with COVID-19.
At the same time, EEC will prioritize the maintenance and expansion of childcare capacity serving front-line healthcare workers and first-responders across the state.
Higher Education: continue to move towards remote learning
With regard to higher education, the Department of Higher Education and DPH strongly recommend that colleges and universities, both public and private, continue to pursue strategies to reduce the need for students to be on campus, including suspending in-person classes and implementing institution-wide programs to shift to remote learning, technology enabled solutions, and other tools to allow students to successfully complete course and degree requirements. Institutions should also pursue strategies to reduce the need for faculty and staff to be on campus by maximizing remote work opportunities, while maintaining essential on-campus services, especially for residential students who cannot safely return home. Additional guidance will be forthcoming.
The Administration will continue to update the public on further developments and individuals are encouraged to consult both the Department of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for the most up to date information.
The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is always available at mass.gov/COVID19.
As many schools are choosing to close for the next week or longer, we want to share more information from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has shared more information about the 180 School Day Requirement.
Message from DESE – Read full message here.
In light of concerns about possible school closings for public health reasons, I have updated DESE’s guidance about the requirement for 180 days of school to provide relief to districts. (Note: The Department will continue to revisit this guidance if the situation warrants it.):
- All days lost to health, weather, or safety emergencies between the first day of the school year and March 15 must be made up by rescheduling full school days to ensure a 180-day school year.
- All days lost to health, weather, or safety emergencies between March 16 and June 1 must be made up to ensure a 180-day school year or until the district has reached its previously-scheduled 185th day, whichever comes first. If all five snow days have been used prior to this point, the district is not required to scheduled additional school days.
- Districts will not be expected to make up any days lost to health, weather, or safety emergencies that occur after June 1.
This change means that if you have already canceled school for five days before March 15, you do not need to schedule additional make-up days for any days that school is closed after March 15. The longest that any school district will be required to go is its scheduled 185th day. No schools will be required to be in session after June 30. This policy applies to the current (2019-20) school year only. Anyone who feels that they have special circumstances should contact Associate Commissioner Helene Bettencourt at Helene.H.Bettencourt@mass.gov or 781-338-3120.
We are excited to share that many of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Arts Education Ambassadors are Visual Arts Educators and MAEA Members! Congratulations to Visual Art Educators Louis Martinez, Peter Curran, Alice Gentili, Andrew Dexter, Timmary Leary, and Steve Aldeus. Congratulations are also in order to these dedicated Arts Educators who are also on the Ambassador Teams – Lisa Leach, Natalie Sowell, Christy Whittlesey, Linda Rae Krov, Natalie Bruno, Blake Siskavich, and Kim Taylor Knight.
Thank you for your dedication to this work!
The official Arts Curriculum Framework 2019 has been approved. The new framework has been posted to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
At the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting on June 25, 2019, Associate Commissioner Ron Noble, lead writer of the revised framework Craig Waterman, and Arts Content Support Lead Dawn Benski presented a summary of the revised framework, which resulted in approval.
Currently a copy editor is finalizing the official document, which will be posted on the DOE website when complete. In the meantime, you can review the revised framework as submitted to the Board in late June for your planning purposes. MAEA has taken the proposed framework with tracked changes, and accepted them, creating this Word document. You will also find a PDF here.
If you have questions about the revised framework, please contact Dawn Benski, Arts Content Support Lead, Center for Instructional Support
MAEA President Laura Marotta shares some insights with Cara Berg Powers about the importance of the new Mass Arts Frameworks for Worcester and beyond. Read more at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.