Arts for LA Releases School Board Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys

Arts for LA Releases School Board Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 10:03am

Photo: ArtsVoteLAWith an estimated $5.3 billion in educational funding set to invigorate California’s schools due to Proposition 30, school board leaders will be tasked with setting the priorities and direction for their schools’ future.  To help spark dialogue around arts and education issues, Arts for LA has distributed Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys to every eligible candidate for election in 33 school district races throughout Lo

Fall 2013 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Claremont Unified School District

Fall 2013 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Claremont Unified School District

As part of its work to connect voters and candidates, Arts for LA presents these Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys to promote dialogue around issues related to arts education and its benefits.

Survey responses provided by each candidate are for voter information purposes only. Arts for LA does not endorse candidates seeking office. We are committed to fostering respectful, nonpartisan dialogue about issues relating to arts and culture. For more information, please read about our mission and values or our FAQ.

All eligible candidates were contacted to participate in the survey. If you would like to submit new or revise existing responses, please contact Arts for LA at advocate@artsforla.org or 213-225-7580.

The California Alliance for Arts Education and LA2050 served as Regional Partners by promoting Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys throughout Los Angeles County.

Elections for Claremont Unified School District will be held on Tuesday, November 5.

3 seats are available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

For more information on where to vote, visit the Los Angeles County Clerk/Registrar-Recorder’s Office website.

If a candidate has not yet responded, please click on the candidate's name below to invite the candidate via email to participate.

Candidate order: Steven Michael Llanusa, David Nemer, Nancy Treser Osgood, Joseph Salas, Paul A. Steffen

Question 1: Tell us about a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music) while growing up?

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My mother was a professional actress and went on to teach speech at Rio Hondo College. My father was a professional director and then taught theatre at Whittier College. I grew up in the theatre, and my earliest memory is watching my mother perform in Death of a Salesman when I was only three years old. I was surrounded by creativity when students would come to our home to practice their speeches and refine their performances. I developed a deep appreciation for artistic creativity.

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Question 2: What role do you think creativity can play in supporting key priorities of the district, such as reducing the dropout rate, closing the achievement gap, and preparing more students for college eligibility and/or meaningful careers?

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One of the Claremont Unified School District goals is educating the “whole child.” Through my volunteer work on the Claremont Educational Foundation Board of Directors we have focused on raising support from community members and local businesses to support art and music education in our elementary schools. For the past three years we have donated $200,000 in support of those programs, at a time when neighboring districts are slashing art and music education.

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Question 3: Your district has embarked on an initiative to restore meaningful sequential arts education into its core curriculum. What do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the plan?

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Through my volunteer work on the Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF) http://www.claremonteducationalfoundation.org/board-members/ we have raised over $200,000 per year over the last three years to support art and music education in our Claremont elementary schools. Each principal submits a funding request to the CEF Board, and we work collaboratively with those principals to support the art and music education programs requested at each school site. A part of the mission of the Claremont Unified School District is to support the “whole child” and our community donates to CEF to protect that core value.

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Question 4: How can your district make your arts education plan and its progress on the plan more visible to parents and leaders in your community?

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Through CEF we have been very intentional about sharing the work of our students with the larger community. We educate our donors about the impact of their gifts. We have featured the arts education program at Danbury Elementary School (which serves orthopedically challenged students) in our newsletter. Our community just completed a theatre renovation project at Claremont High School. As Board members we can continue to advocate for the importance of arts education in our schools.

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Question 5: In light of the new funding structure for school districts in the state (i.e. the Local Control Funding Formula), how do you see arts education aligning with the eight new priority areas?

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Arts education will impact several of the priority areas in the new Local Control and Accountability Plan. In Student Achievement our curriculum will help prepare our students for college and careers. Student Outcomes will be impacted by preserving a variety of art, music, and theatrical courses (including AP and IB classes). Parental Involvement can support arts education (as evidenced by CEF donations). Through Course Access we can continue to offer the A-G classes to prepare our students for our UC and CSU higher education.

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"Let the Voters Decide" Campaign in Claremont

"Let the Voters Decide" Campaign in Claremont

Thu, 03/17/2011 (All day)

Those who live or work in the 29th State Senate and 59th State Assembly districts, including Claremont, San Dimas, Glendora and the foothills, are encouraged to contact their state representatives to put Governor Brown's tax extension measure on the June ballot.  Click here to send a letter and find out whether you're located in these districts.