• Arts ~ Culture ~ Technology (ACT) Standards and Curriculum Development
    Arts, Culture, and Technology Standards Project Description: ACT Standards provide context to content standards, and were developed and adopted in order to ensure that every student in the Sitka School District has the opportunity to develop competence around Arts, Culture, and Technology. ACT standards will be infused into model lessons that will be developed around the new content standards in Math, English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.
    ACT Advocacy Council members initially consisted of teachers who participated in the Weaving Culture into Curriculum project that is associated with Alaska Arts Education Consortium's (AAEC) Basic Arts Institute held in Sitka in June of 2013, as well as other interested stakeholders. The Sitka School District became a New Visions grant recipient beginning with the 2013-14 school year. The New Visions grant is a multi-year grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts that is designed to support transformation in arts education in a school district. Through our partnership with the Sitka Fine Arts Camp (SFAC) and the University of Alaska Southeast's School of Education, our ACT standards and curriculum initiative are at the core of a Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies multi-year grant. The Margart A. Cargill Philanthropies grant supports competence and confidence in teaching in and through the arts.

    • Through a year-long process, we developed our ACT Standards, which were adopted by the School Board on May 5, 2014
    • Sitka Schools hosted an AAEC Special Institute in the summer of 2015 that focused on designing lessons that weave the ACT Standards into classroom learning experiences
    • Sitka Schools hosted an AAEC Advanced Arts Institute in the summer of 2016 targeted to support new to the district and/or profession teachers, as well as teachers interested in evolving their practice of integrating ACT standards into their daily work with students
    • During the 2016-17 school year, the ACT Advocacy Council merged with the Culturally Responsive Embedded Social Emotional Learning leadership team, as we realized the depth of overlapping goals and work
    • Sitka Schools hosted an AAEC Basic Arts Instiatute in the summer of 2017 targeted to support teachers to examine culturally responsive instruction through arts and innovative technology
    • In partnership with the Univeristy of Alaska Southeast's School of Education, we started our ACT Teacher Mentorship program in the 2017-18 school year with teams of 2 teachers who partner for 2-year process to build confidence and competence in technology-enhanced arts and cultural integrated teaching practices
    • In the spring of 2018, we hosted our first Teaching Artist Academy/Gathering, which helps us leverage local artists to partner with teachers in bringing arts, culture, and technology to students
    • After surveying teachers, it was decided to change the structure of the ACT training from longer intensive training offered once a summer to shorter bursts of training offered throughout the school year, and the first training following the new structure was offered in August of 2018
    • Alaska Arts Education Consortium
    • Sitka Fine Arts Camp
    • Sitka Tribe of Alaska's Cultural Resources Department
    • Univerisity of Alaska Southeast's School of Education
    • Funding support from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
    ACT Standards: Arts, Culture, and Technology (ACT) Standards in the Sitka School District ~ Creating Context for Content Standards

    Foundational Belief: Arts, Culture, and Technology are essential to the learning experiences of all Sitka students, and must be woven into the curriculum.

    ARTS: Students actively participate as creators, contributors, and consumers of music, dance, theater, visual and media arts, and creative writing.

    CULTURE: Students are knowledgeable about and demonstrate respect for traditional Alaska Native values, life skills, and art forms.

    TECHNOLOGY: Students have access to high quality learning with technology, giving them skills and knowledge to participate as active, creative members in a respectful, interconnected world.

    Targeted Developmental Experiences by Age:

    • 0-4: Playing and Making – Children explore a world rich in sound, touch, stories, taste, and smell through free play, tactile interactions, language, and doing, as they experience the world around them 
    • 5-7: Recognizing and Creating – Children work on projects, identify self, family, and community, and begin to share and connect with others often with narrative and purpose
    • 8-10: Connecting and Applying – Youth develop individuality, see beyond themselves, develop inter-dependence, and think abstractly with purpose and audience
    • 11-13: Exploring and Focusing – Youth expand their experience-base, and develop specific skills through a wide variety of structured choice and shared experiences
    • 14-17: Self-Identifying and Concentrating – Individuals develop a personal relationship with Arts, Culture, and Technology, and practice the disciplines
    • 18+: Participating, Producing, and Contributing – Individuals are actively involved in Arts, Culture, and Technology