San Diego Unified Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month with Announcement of Music Instruction in 100% of its schools

Posted: Thursday, March 8th 2018

San Diego Unified is proud to announce that 100 percent of its schools offer music instruction, an accomplishment that is the direct result of the district’s and Board of Education’s strong commitment to the arts. 
As of now, more than 100,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12 attending every district school will have access to music education. The variety of courses include band, orchestra, choir, guitar, jazz ensembles, music theory, piano, and composition.
Research has shown that an arts education improves school climate and culture, and increases student and parent engagement - ultimately contributing to improved academic achievement
“This is an area where parents, educators, administrators and researchers agree: An arts education enriches the lives of our students,” said Russ Sperling, Director of VAPA. “I am proud that San Diego Unified is committed to giving every student an arts education, while also supporting teachers with a new stream of resources.”   
To further empower teachers to pursue the arts and transform student lives, San Diego Unified has established the non-profit Visual and Performing Arts Foundation (VAPA). The Foundation will offer grants to help teachers achieve artistic literacy, innovation, creativity, and excellence in the arts by providing a high quality, sequential, TK-12 arts experience for all students, Sperling said. The VAPA Foundation grants will cover professional development, special projects, activities and materials not funded in a school’s operating budget. This year the Foundation will award 14 grants ranging from $500 to $2,500, totaling $11,000.
In addition to continuing an annual grant program, the VAPA Foundation will serve as resource for teachers by creating connections and collaborations with community arts organizations, and developing resources to help SDUSD teachers achieve quality, access and equity in arts education.
San Diego Unified is nationally known for its commitment to art in schools, having been named one of America's Best Music Communities two years in a row, and being honored by the Kennedy Center in 2011. The District believes this will be the first of many new arts opportunities that will allow students to thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.

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