What is that Art class that my student has to take?

Encore currently has 466 students enrolled in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment Level I class as part of their regular arts elective classes. While we have covered this class in prior blogposts, I think that it is important to cover it again now that school is in full swing and half of the student body is enrolled in this class.

There are a couple reasons why this class has been added to all acting, cirque, dance, music, visual and technical arts classes. While it may seem tedious, our alumni surveys have concluded that after high school our arts students wished that they had more formal training on how to transfer their artform into a career, college scholarship, and lifetime job. Encore has been moving in the direction of making sure that our art classes are centered in career preparation for the last couple of years. This year, the formalization is moving to full implementation. We appreciate everyone's engagement in this program.

California's Dashboard for College and Career Readiness -

Did you know that even if your child graduates with all of the courses completed for A-G, the state of California still does not recognize them as being college and career ready? In order for your student to be college and career ready in the eyes of California, they need to be A-G PLUS another qualification. With the amount of electives that our students take part in that are career based, they should be graduating with A-G and CTE (Career Technical Education) completer series. Over the past few years, we have been formalizing the CTE pathways. The Arts, Media, and Entertainment class is the final piece for most of our classes that will help make your students college and career ready in the eyes of the state.

Alumni feedback said that our students need this training -

After you graduate from Encore, we follow you to see what you do after you graduate. We send emails, invite you to friend us on Facebook, and we ask questions when you come back to campus. With fourteen graduating classes under our belt from two separate schools, we have been able to gather data regarding life after high school. Our alumni that go to four year universities tend to do very well, especially during the hard freshman year and most of them complete their university education. The overall feedback was that our arts program do a great job of teaching work ethic, but they wish that we would have shown them a more diverse curriculum regarding professional careers using their art. The Arts, Media, and Entertainment course is formalizing that request so even if you do not plan on moving into an arts career after high school, you will still have the knowledge on how to develop yourself into a prosperous career.

California's Laws on Charter School Credentialing changed in January -

Encore has always had credentialed academic teachers. Our Arts Instructors have always had to obtain their CTE credential within the first three years of working for Encore as an instructor. Within their CTE credential, part of each of the classes that they have taught requires that half of that class covers the professional aspects of obtaining a career in their area of expertise. As an arts centered teacher, your arts teachers are required to cover a variety of state standards to make sure that they are giving you exactly what you need to succeed as a professional artist after high school. The Arts, Media, and Entertainment course that all of your arts teachers are using provides the eleven anchor standards tied to their area of expertise. (The other two courses complete the concentrator series and the rigorous training needed to become an expert artist.) Everyone is taking that course one time instead of having to have the same eleven anchor standards (that deal mostly with building a career plan including resumes, applications, and professional websites) covered over and over again (up to six times for some of you). This class will provide you depth of knowledge of how to transition your arts class into a career by the end of the completer series. There will be three levels of this course covered over a three year time frame. Completion of these three courses in conjunction with your arts lab classes will validate your CTE Completer pathway.

The plan for this very strange school year was to have all of our students work to complete this course on a faster pace than what would normally be happening because they are doing a large portion of their schoolwork asynchronously, meaning that they are doing it when the teacher and student are not together (even on Zoom). This would give us more time when we have in person instruction to be able to catch up on the training, especially the muscle training that is curbed currently because we are teaching at a distance. Based on feedback from the Distance Learning Survey administered a few weeks ago, it looks like this course has become very frustrating for some of you because the timelines and the amount of work feels very taxing. Encore still maintains the policy that elective classes in general will not give homework so you can focus on your academic courses, but the plan for Distance Learning has skewed perception to this. We have heard your feedback and we are going to come up with a plan to help you. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, the general timing for the course should be that one unit is completed each month. Currently, this course is being assigned during the ninth period class where students should be working on the course from 12:15 - 3:15 pm on Fridays only. That means three hours a week should be dedicated to this course until it is completed. If a student does not have a ninth period class, they should be working on this course for three hours each week. Since Zoom sessions should be on for no more than 35 minutes, high school students still have about an hour to work on this course after the Zoom session is completed for arts electives. Non conservatory students in junior high should be completing this course during ninth period or during their arts courses.

Encore is an arts high school that is providing tools to make sure that students can pivot their arts passions into a career after high school if they choose. This course is a key component to them being able to have the tools to make this happen. Thank you for supporting this transition as the world is providing us with career lessons right now. Encore believes that all of our students should know how to find a job, build a career, or create a business to become a sustainable adult. This course is one of the components of making that happen.

Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.


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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.

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