K-12 Arts Learning Collaborative

The Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle Public Schools launched the K-12 Arts Learning Collaborative and community planning process in February 2012 at the Arts Education Forum. The goal of the collaborative is to ensure Seattle is a city where all students in all Seattle Public Schools have opportunities to learn through the arts, helping them to be successful in school and in life. Supported by a $1 million grant awarded to the school district by The Wallace Foundation in summer 2011, the collaborative is focused on the development of a comprehensive K-12 arts plan to increase quality learning opportunities for all students in the district, especially those with the least access to arts.

In March through May of this year, the school district partnered with the Office and community arts organizations to host a series of citywide focus groups to help shape the arts plan. The school district released a report with findings from those meetings. The report shows that community respondents want arts access be consistent across the school district. They believe that arts learning builds skills such as innovation and collaboration and should be used by teachers as part of an instructional approach. Community members also believe that arts curricula need to be updated to be multi-cultural, representative, relevant to students, broader in scope and integrated with other content areas. Student respondents want exposure and access to all four disciplines (dance, music, theater, and visual arts) that is early, broad and guided by professional arts instructors; opportunities to learn about arts careers; and opportunities to showcase and share their learning. Read the full report here.