National Core Arts Standards

On February 16, 2016, the Vermont State Board of Education approved the adoption of the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) as Vermont’s new fine arts learning standards. This means that NCAS will replace the Vermont Fine Arts Grade Expectations (GEs) beginning in the 2017-18 school year.  Although the GEs will continue to be the guiding standards for Art Educators in the meantime, the AOE recommends that schools and curriculum leaders that are not already using NCAS begin to explore and incorporate them into their curriculum planning processes, in this transition period.

In addition to standards for Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Art, NCAS includes standards for Media Arts—a discipline that is almost completely unrepresented in the GEs.  The NCAS is also structured under an umbrella of 21st century or Transferable Skills; the goal of instruction under NCAS is to cultivate skills like creative and practical problem solving, and inquiry, as explored through any combination of fine arts disciplines (Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theater, Visual Arts).  In this way, NCAS is a highly malleable resource for Vermont schools, allowing them to provide a rich fine arts curriculum within a smaller subset of disciplines, or to provide learning opportunities across all five NCAS disciplines, with the development of higher order and discipline-specific skills as the ultimate desired outcomes.

The AOE has created and identified the following resources for educators looking for more information about the NCAS, and its role in Vermont

A FAQ resource, and guidance on how to use the NCAS website to customize a set of standards that met the needs of your school or LEA, will be posted to this site in the near future.

Grade Expectations

Prior to the implementation of NCAS in Vermont in 2017-18, fine arts instruction should continue to align to Vermont Framework of Standards & Learning Opportunities and the Fine Arts Grade Expectations (GEs).  Arts GEs are organized by the four art disciplines; art, dance, music and theater. These grade expectations are organized by Grade Clusters (preK and K; 1 and 2, 3 and 4; 5 and 6; 7 and 8; and high school). The purpose of using grade clusters is to provide additional flexibility for alignment of local curriculum and local comprehensive assessment systems.

A grade expectation is a stated objective that relates directly to a Vermont standard and associated evidences. A GE differentiates performance on content knowledge or skills between adjacent grade levels and describe clearly what students will do to show that they understand a designated concept. As a set, GEs should lead to focused, coherent, and developmentally appropriate instruction without narrowing the curriculum and can be used for local curriculum and assessment development.

The Fine Arts GEs are provided below:

Page Last Updated on March 7, 2016