Posts Tagged ‘NCAS’


Virtual Launch of NCAS

May 23, 2014

Mark your calendars for the birthday party!

NCCAS Launch Save the Date)



February 27, 2014

National Core Arts Standards Review Opened Feb 14th – Closes Feb 28th

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 7.55.13 PMThe National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has scheduled a final public review of the draft PreK-12 arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.  The downloadable excel spreadsheets include eleven overarching anchor standards that cross disciplines along with Pre K – 12 discipline specific performance standards aligned to those eleven anchors. For this review, the spreadsheets do not include the standards’ Understanding by Design format elements, such as EU’s and EQ’s;  however they are included in sample Model Cornerstone Assessments also available for review, and will be a part of the materials available to the public when the standards are launched.  The review will close on  February 28, 2014 so this is the last two days that you may provide feedback. February 28. NCAS now available at


Final Public Review: NCAS Draft

February 14, 2014

Final Public Review of Draft National Core Arts Standards – Posted from February 14-28

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The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has scheduled a final public review of the draft PreK-12 arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The downloadable Excel spreadsheets include eleven overarching anchor standards that align with all disciplines (dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts) performance standards. The review will also feature instructional support materials, such as sample Model Cornerstone Assessments, incorporating Process Components and Understanding by Design elements. The review opens February 14, 2014, and closes February 28, at Draft reading copies of the revised standards are now available on the site.


Final Public Review for NCAS

January 3, 2014

Launching in February – Arts Standards review

Screen shot 2013-12-20 at 1.43.54 PMThe National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) has scheduled a final public review of the draft PreK-12 arts standards in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

The review will open February 14, 2014, and close February 28. A draft reading copy of the revised standards will be available at on January 30.

This third and concluding review reflects NCCAS’s ongoing commitment to a responsive and transparent strategy that allows adequate time for each arts discipline’s standards writing team to incorporate changes to the drafts suggested by reviewers. To fully address the standards content and structural changes, the coalition has revised the project’s timeline. The February review is the first in a series of new and significant benchmarks for NCCAS, leading to the web-based release of the standards in June, 2014.

Currently, the writing teams are creating a set of overarching anchor standards that articulate an alignment of artistic practice among the five art forms. Upon completion of that process, the teams will review their individual discipline standards to ensure that they are appropriately parallel with the anchor standards. The teams are also finalizing examples of model cornerstone assessments to include in the February draft review.

There will be a rolling “first-glance” version of the final standards available beginning in March. This document will showcase the fundamental structure and content of the arts standards in order to give teachers, decision makers, and the public a better understanding of what will be included and how they will inform teaching and learning.

NCCAS is the coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives that are developing the 2014 National Core Arts Standards. The new, voluntary grade-by-grade web-based standards are intended to affirm the place of arts education in a balanced core curriculum, support the 21st-century needs of students and teachers, and help ensure that all students are college and career ready. The arts standards emphasize “big ideas,” philosophical foundations, enduring understandings/essential questions, and anchor/performance standards, all of which are intended to guide the curriculum development and instructional practices that leads to arts literacy for all students.

To find out how to participate in the February review process and to view all public documents related to the arts standards, visit


Stacking Wood

October 21, 2013

What’s it Like?

IMG_3654This weekend at my home we cut, split, and stacked our fire wood for the winter. It is an activity that I really enjoy, especially when the weather is just right. You might just ask so what is “just right” for wood stacking? Not too cold, not too hot, blue sky, and just the right amount of sunshine. We had it all this weekend. Stacking the wood is an activity that brings back fond memories of when my children were small and they would contribute and feel so useful as they carried their one stick of wood at a time to the wood shed. And, use their plastic chain saws to pretend they were cutting the wood. It brings a smile to my face as does their participation as ‘adults’. Instead of us inviting our friends to join us for a day of wood cutting and sharing a spaghetti feed at the end of the day, they bring their friends. What fun!

IMG_3665Cutting the wood gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Early in the process all the wood is sitting there staring me in the face and I wonder, will we get this done in the time planned? And the end of the day comes, I am feeling exhilarated that the task is accomplished!

It is not unlike the work of professional development planning for Maine arts educators. Teachers have to be in the right place with the right temperature to participate. This week is a big one for Maine arts teachers. And, all of you are invited to join in on the FUN! On the calendar this week:

  • Today, Monday, October 21 is the last day to contribute your feedback on the National Core Arts Standards high school draft that were released for public comment on September 30.  Download the draft and connect to the survey at Thank you for contributing your opinion on the DRAFT.
  • Lynn Tuttle, Director Arts Education at the Arizona Department of Education, will be traveling to Maine to share information on the NCAS. This is a unique opportunity for Maine Arts Education.
  • The statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way will be held on Thursday, October 24 at UMaine, Collins Center for the Arts. It is not to late to register. The over 30 workshops topics are just what arts teachers are looking for. How do we know? Because the workshops are being presented by your colleagues from across Maine. Who knows better than your colleagues about your needs? It is not too late to register. Please (quick) go to for all the details.

I hope to learn that Maine’s contribution to the NCAS feedback has been plentiful and to see you at this Arts Education: Leading the Way conference! And, if you see me, please do tell me your “wood” stories!


NCAS Feedback

October 18, 2013

Window of opportunity!

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 6.31.39 AMI was a little surprised to learn yesterday that very few people from Maine have contributed feedback on the high school draft of the National Core Arts Standards. Fortunately, it is not to late. You have until Monday, October 21 to provide your feedback on the National Core Arts Standards. Yes, your window of opportunity is coming to a close. Don’t miss this chance to read the high school draft and respond to what you think, what questions you have, and your general feedback. It is not everyday that you are asked to think deeply about standards that are being developed.

Please represent Maine and participate in the public review by going to and click on the links to the review surveys. The surveys include the 5 disciplines; music, theatre, visual arts, dance, and media arts. You can respond to one or more than one.

Lynn Tuttle

Lynn Tuttle

This is good timing for Maine since Lynn Tuttle, Director of Arts Education from Arizona Department of Education, is presenting at the statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way next Thursday, October 24. She will provide a presentation at the opening session and a follow-up session where you can learn more about the draft document. Lynn has been working as a leader in the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards so this is a unique opportunity for Maine arts educators.

There is still time to register for the Arts Education conference but PLEASE don’t delay since some of the workshops have reached capacity. More information on the conference, Lynn’s presentation, and registration details can be found at

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to email me at


Statewide Arts Ed Conference

October 14, 2013

Still time to register

There is still time to register for the biennial statewide arts education conference Arts Education: Leading the Way being held at UMaine, Orono, October 24, 2013. This is a great opportunity for you to learn what your colleagues from throughout Maine are doing in their standards-based arts classrooms.

Happening on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 is the Maine International Conference (MICA) on the Arts at the same location. Information for the MICA conference is located at

The entire 3-day event is going to be chock full of great sessions, showcasing artists, and information! If you have questions please contact me at Any questions specific to the MICA conference please contact Kerstin Gilg at

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You Can Fly!

October 8, 2013

My first trip in a float plane

DSCN4521On Sunday I did something that has been on my personal “to do” list for quite some time. To go for a ride in a float (or sea) plane. Not only was it VERY amazing but the weather was perfect! I was up at Libby Camps in the North Maine woods. I’ve written about Libby’s before, my trip to cut ice in the winter of January 2011 was a weekend that I remember fondly. When Matt Libby Sr. said he was going up with one of the Guides to photo the towers on top of some of the mountains close by and invited me to go along, I was very excited! We left at about 7:30 with the early light for best picture-taking conditions.

DSCN4522We no sooner left Madawaska Lake where the Libby camps are located and I asked what kind of a day it was for flying. Matt’s reply was immediate: “They don’t get any better than this”. All I could think of was how fortunate I was to have this special opportunity. Matt has flown thousands of times but he still marvels at the beauty and the land that seems to go on forever. His comments included “this would be a pretty shot with the clouds in the background” “look how neat this tower is” “this camp sits on the prettiest pond”.

Matt pointed out and named the mountains, including Katahdin, the ponds, the Allagash River Waterway, and several of the out camps that Matt and Ellen own on leased property. Matt Jr. and his wife Jessica own and manage the base camp. I love going to Libby Camps for several reasons. One of them is the “culture” that the Libby family is continuously working to build and maintain. In many ways it takes as much time as the maintenance on the buildings, trails, planes, wood piles, ice and so many other continuous tasks that need attention. Many of them before the snow flies.

DSCN4504This is not unlike an arts classroom. The relationships that each of you have with your students is essential and it is based on what to teach, what should be taught in 2013, how it is taught, and understanding what students are learning. There are so many basic components to  teaching; materials, classroom equipment, arrangement of the furniture, storage, lighting, and on and on. And then we have standards, curriculum, assessment, etc. But is anything more important than the culture of the classroom? When everything is lined up and in place it is like a perfect morning flying in the north country. You know that you are “flying”! It doesn’t get any better! Not only are you flying as a teacher but kids are flying as well! Their learning is evident through the works of art they produce and how they articulate their learning through words, questions, and desire to learn more.

DSCN4549How do we put this all together when often arts teachers are islands in their schools? Where do you turn for assistance. Some of you teach in K-12 systems and you are the only art and/or music teacher. Fortunately, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative has now 52 teacher leaders. And, on October 24th 35 of them will be offering workshops and sharing their knowledge and best practices. I hope you will plan on joining us at UMaine, Orono, Collins Center that day for opportunities to learn. Along with the 35 workshops, Lynn Tuttle from the Arizona Department of Education will be sharing the latest information on the National Core Arts Standards. To register please click here

Please note: The National Core Arts Standards high school draft has been released for public review until October 21. You can access the draft at


Opening Session Presentation NCAS

October 6, 2013

Maine Arts Educators will get first-hand info on the National Core Arts Standards

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 9.40.55 PMWe fortunate that Lynn Tuttle from the Department of Education in Arizona is traveling to Maine for the statewide biennial arts education conference! Lynn’s session is titled Maine and the National Core Arts Standards.

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards is a group committed to the development of the next generation of arts education standards. Maine educators have reviewed drafts of the PreK-8 standards and have provided feedback to the writing teams. Presently the draft of the high school standards are being reviewed by the public. You have until October 21 to do so. The draft is located at

Lynn Tuttle, one of the national leaders coordinating the revision of the National Standards in the Arts, will present the context and history behind the revision as well as describe the process of revising the standards. The goal of the presentation and discussion is to provide the Maine arts education community with an overview of the context and purpose of the standards as well as an opportunity to have questions answered about the current NCAS draft.

Lynn will also do a follow-up workshop for those who wish to continue the discussion from the opening session called More on the National Core Arts Standards. And the description:             Want to know more about the National Core Arts Standards? Wondering how the proposed standards may influence and support high quality teaching and learning in the arts? If so, this follow-up session with the presenter Lynn Tuttle, Director of Arts Education, Arizona Department of Education, facilitated by Bronwyn Sale, Lecturer in Education at Bates College, will provide the opportunity for participants to ask questions in an interactive discussion format.

Along with the opening session there are over 30 workshops to select from to attend during the day.

You can register for the conference at The $80 registration cost includes lunch. PLEASE NOTE: No purchase orders will be accepted.

You can learn about the workshops being offered at or Friday’s blog post.

If you have questions please email me at


NCAS High School Review

September 13, 2013

Get ready to provide your feedback

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 8.21.00 PMOpportunity to review draft high school National Core Arts Standards September 30 – October 21

In June 2013 Maine had arts educators participate in the public review of draft PreK-8 national arts standards in dance, music, visual arts, theatre, and media arts.

On September 30 2013 draft high school arts standards in dance, music, visual arts, theatre, and media arts will be posted for public review. The time window for reviewers to respond ends on October 21. If interested in participating, mark September 30 on your calendar, and – when the date arrives – go to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) wiki site to complete your review.

(Note: The draft high school music standards that will be released on September 30 will be for secondary ensembles. Draft standards for additional music course sequences – including harmonizing instruments (guitar/keyboard) and composition/theory – will be released later.)

In the meantime, check the NCCAS wiki site regularly to read the framework and review the webinars, documents, and links posted there that contain information about the new standards.

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