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Work Begins On Arts Education Standards Revision

Listening sessions will be held in March to gather input from parents, educators, and students about modernizing learning disciplines

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education is hosting six listening sessions in March to begin the state arts education standards revision process. Each session will be co-hosted by a local school district or arts organization at regional locations. The content standards include the arts disciplines of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

An online survey, linked here, has also been created to receive comment from the public.

Listening sessions give parents, students, educators, administrators, policy makers, and community members the chance to weigh in on arts literacy and learning in schools, according to Marcia McCaffrey, an arts and physical education consultant with the Office of Academic and Professional Learning at the NH DOE. The interactions and thoughts expressed during these sessions and in the online survey will help shape the standards revisions.

“The task is to revise or possibly re-conceptualize the standards,” she noted, “which haven’t been updated since 2001. These standards served a generation of students in our state. Now it’s time for a reimagined set of arts standards focused on developing artistic literacy for all students in New Hampshire.”

Current standards are based on the national standards from the mid-1990s. Technology has advanced significantly since the previous standards were adopted by the State Board of Education. Revised standards will bring arts education into the 21st century and help integrate and carve out important roles for art in a world dominated by STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

“Emphasis during the last decade on math and sciences associated with STEM-based vocations has made it difficult for art education to find its footing,” stated Frank Edelblut, the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education. “Yet, in all of the emphasis on STEM, we can’t lose sight of the fact that these technologies have user interfaces, and the user experiences often times make or break the underlying success of the products. Visual design, and all of the arts, will continue to play a critical role that cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence.”

McCaffrey will be facilitating the listening sessions throughout the state during the month of March at the following dates and locations.

Meeting Dates

  • From 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at the New Hampshire Department of Education, 101 Pleasant St., Concord. Co-hosted by Arts4NH.
  • From 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, March 11, in the Art Room of the Portsmouth Middle School, 155 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth. Co-hosted by the Portsmouth School District.
  • From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at Gate City Charter School for the Arts, 7 Henry Clay Drive, Merrimack. Co-hosted by Gate City Charter School for the Arts.
  • From 4 to 6 p.m. on March 21, at Littleton High School, 159 Oak Hill Avenue in Littleton. Co-hosted by the Littleton School District, and the Arts Alliance of Northern NH, and North Country Education Services.
  • From 4 to 6 p.m. on March 25, at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith. Co-hosted by the Winnipesaukee Playhouse.
  • From 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, virtual listening session via Zoom. Email for access code. This session will be recorded and made available to the public.

The online survey will remain live through April 14:

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711