BPS Arts Specialists and Teaching Artists collaborate to build a common understanding of quality arts learning around nine dimensions.

Based on knowledge gleaned from direct observation, the Quality Review participants identify supports needed to improve quality arts learning on classroom, school and district levels. The rich conversations and thoughtful reflection required to do this work establishes a supportive learning community for arts instructors.

Since the first group met in 2012, efforts have continued to evolve and advance. Teaching Artists and BPS Arts Specialists across multiple arts disciplines (visual arts, media arts, theatre, dance, music, spoken word and storytelling) participate annually. The core component of this work is visits to each study group participants’ school/classroom.

These day-long visits include the following critical elements:

  • Peer to peer conversations regarding observed teacher/teaching artist's practice
  • Observations of classroom teachers and community arts partners at work
  • Interviews with the school leader to establish how schools currently support arts learning
  • Interviews with a range of students from observed classes

Tools & Resources

To prepare for this work, participants receive a one-page overview of the process and tools they will use. At the face-to-face training session, participants will receive a binder containing all the necessary tools, forms and materials. However, it is recommended that participants review these items digitally prior to attending their orientation session.

Pre Observation Tool: Each site visit host fills out a Pre Observation Tool prior to the Orientation meeting.  They share this document with their observers so that they know what the host is working towards in their practice and other context for the classroom observation. 

Site Visit Template: Each site visit host fills out the site visit template with the logistical information for the day and sends the completed document via email to their observers as well as EdVestors staff. The template also contains helpful tips for scheduling, a breakdown of what should be scheduled for that day and what paperwork needs to be submitted at the end of the process.

Running Record Template: Observers take a running record of observations regarding what is happening during their site visit. Observers take unbiased notes of what they see in two minute intervals.  After the observation is complete, they then note each interval with the dimension(s) observed.

Principal Interview: During the site visit, observers interview the school’s principal (or other school leader) regarding their vision for the arts in their building and how they support quality arts learning. 

Profile of Arts Learning: After each site visit observers create a Profile of Arts Learning. Using this tool observers demonstrate their familiarity with the dimensions of quality teaching and learning by marking the degree each dimension was apparent during each observation. It is helpful to refer to the Dimensions of Quality Teaching & Learning document for reference.

Summary Sheet: After the site visit, the observation team completes the Summary Sheet to make recommendations on best practices that could be shared, areas for professional development, and school and district level investment