Public sessions on arts education standards scheduled for March

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arts education music

The New Hampshire Department of Education will revise the state’s academic standards for arts education. To start the process, the NH DOE will host six listening sessions around the state in March and has an online survey to collect feedback on what the public thinks is important for arts education in school.

The current standards include instruction on dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The state requires all students to take at least one half-credit course in art to graduate, though districts adopt graduation requirements that go beyond the half-credit requirement.

The NH DOE will use the public input from the listening sessions and the online survey to shape the standards revisions. Parents, students, educators, administrators, policy makers, and community members are encouraged to participate. The online survey will close on April 14 and is available here.

“The task is to revise or possibly re-conceptualize the standards… 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,” said Marcia McCaffrey, an arts and physical education consultant with the NH DOE.

“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.”

Public Listening Session Dates

  • Wednesday, March 6 from 6-8 p.m. at the New Hampshire Department of Education, 101 Pleasant St., Concord (Co-hosted by Arts4NH)
  • Monday, March 11 from 4-6 p.m. in the Art Room of the Portsmouth Middle School, 155 Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth (Co-hosted by the Portsmouth School District)
  • Tuesday, March 19 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Gate City Charter School for the Arts, 7 Henry Clay Drive, Merrimack (Co-hosted by Gate City Charter School for the Arts)
  • Thursday, March 21 from 4-6 p.m. 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)
  • Monday, March 25 from 4-6 p.m. at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, 33 Footlight Circle, Meredith (Co-hosted by the Winnipesaukee Playhouse)
  • Wednesday, March 27 from 4-6 p.m. via a virtual listening session. Email marcia.mccaffrey@doe.nh.gov for access code. This session will be recorded and made available to the public

Wondering why we have academic standards? Check out our learning standards resources here for a simple explanation and view our easy-to-understand infographic that breaks it all down for families, students and others who just want the facts!

Read the full press release from the NH DOE here.