CDE updates arts education guidance for 2020–21

The California Department of Education recently updated its Arts Education Guidance for the 2020–21 school year to supplement California Department of Public Health regulations with details around how to safely provide arts education when schools reopen. The document provides suggestions that may assist arts programs in providing safe, quality, standards-aligned instruction in both remote and in-person learning environments, and notes that local educational agencies must adhere to public health guidelines at the national, state and local levels.

“While in-person activities associated with performing arts courses (dance, music, and theatre), such as groups practicing and performing, may be compromised, instruction can continue to focus on the 2019 California Arts Standards associated with the artistic processes of creating, responding, and connecting, and students can continue to practice for performances during independent applied learning time,” the document states.

Strategies include:

  • Create individual visual arts and media arts kits for students to pick up for remote instruction or use in-person, when possible. Kits can include drawing and painting supplies, sculpture and three-dimensional art supplies, headphones, etc.).
  • Consider using technology platforms for rehearsal and performances for music and performing arts.
  • If individual kits cannot be provided, sanitize any shared instruments, tools, supplies, cameras, equipment, workstations and computers before and after each use.
  • Develop alternative live or recorded exhibition and performance opportunities.

Once CDPH clears schools for group instruction in the arts, the guidance suggests:

  • Consider outdoor teaching options.
  • Increase transition time between classes to allow for thorough cleaning.
  • Use visual markings to remind students about social distancing requirements; reduce in-person participants so 6 feet of distance can be maintained.
  • Special attention should be paid to sanitation of facilities between use, including but not limited to locker rooms, dressing rooms, green rooms, risers, stages, backstage, studio areas and student workstations. For dance studios and rehearsal facilities, give special consideration to proper sanitation of floors, barres and mirrors.


CDE Distance Learning Resources for Arts Education:

California Dance Education Association COVID-19 Best Practices:

California Educational Theatre Association COVID-19 Response Document:

California Music Educators Association COVID-19 Resources and Information:

Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), Recommendations for Reopening School Theatre Programs:

National Art Education Association (NAEA), Remote Learning Toolkit:

National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Fall 2020 guidance for Music Education:

The National Dance Education Association (NDEO), Teaching Dance in Fall 2020: