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San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory is honored that we were chosen as the speaker for the NEA Arts Education Webinar Series on October 14. Alongside the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), SDYS were selected to share our story about the Community Opus Project, our partnership with the district and the leveraging of $15 million for arts education.

In June 2015, Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD), California’s largest K-6 district serving nearly 30,000 children, announced its decision to reinstate in-school visual and performing arts (VAPA) education at every school. With a $15 million commitment divided over three years, the district has designed a framework that uses sequential arts instruction for every student to free classroom teachers for collaboration and planning time. This decision was the culmination of a five year collaboration with San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) designed to rebuild access to music and arts education after a 15-year absence in the district. What started in 2010 as the Community Opus Project after-school music program for sixty-five 3rd graders has evolved into one of the largest and most rapid restorations of arts education in the nation with over 70 VAPA teachers hired since June. Using an El Sistema inspired approach, SDYS assisted the district with rebuilding its arts education infrastructure as well as managing cultural changes associated with returning arts education to campuses.

This webinar provided concrete examples of how an innovative approach to reforming public education through the arts has successfully transformed the learning and teaching environment across an entire school district.

Speakers on the webinar:

Dalouge Smith, President & CEO, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory
Dr. Francisco Escobedo, Superintendent, Chula Vista Elementary School District
Glendora Tremper, School Board President, Chula Vista Elementary School District
Hosted and Moderated by Ayanna Hudson, Arts Education Director, National Endowment for the Arts
San Diego Youth Symphony