Myrtle S. Finney Elementary School (Chula Vista Elementary School District) was one of only 13 California elementary schools selected for the California Exemplary Arts Education Award. Schools were eligible to apply based on instruction identified in the California Arts Standards for Public Schools (Arts Standards) and performance and progress on indicators on the California School Dashboard.
“We know that access to arts and STEAM is an important part of closing the achievement gap, and these Exemplary Arts schools put the ‘A’ in ‘STEAM,’” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
"Chula Vista has done a tremendous job in aligning resources to meet student needs and integrating arts education across the district," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "The district is building better, more responsive educational environments so students succeed and thrive."
Schools recognized as Exemplary Arts Education Awardees represent a broad cross-section of educational delivery models, including traditional comprehensive elementary schools, magnet schools, and district and independent charters. These schools serve diverse demographic populations of varying sizes, from a 3,700-student urban school to a 250-student rural school. Some schools serve primarily Title I students from lower socio-economic circumstances and others serve suburban populations with strong district and community financial support.
In addition to meeting the Arts Standards and Dashboard eligibility criteria, to apply to be recognized as an Exemplary Arts Awardee, schools must offer instruction to all students in a minimum of three of the five arts disciplines identified in the Arts Standards: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. They must also show one level of improvement for at least one student subgroup in one of the following three areas based on the Dashboard: School Climate, in the area of Suspension Rate; Student Engagement, in the area of Chronic Absenteeism or Graduation Rate; Academic Achievement, in the area of English Language Arts, Mathematics, or College and Career Readiness.