As we embark on this final year of the Studio to School the following quote echoes in my head:


Open Signal and Open School are completing year 5 at a new campus in East County, with the new principal Silvia Asson, many new students and some familiar ones as well. As we adapt to the changes and needs of this new community we will be challenging ourselves to evolve our evaluation as well.

In year 4 we evaluated the Open AiR artist-in-residence, the teacher they were paired with, the students who participated in the residency and the teachers that took our professional development trainings.  Every middle school teacher, with the exception of the Art Teacher Tab Waterman is new to Open School East and the Open Signal partnership. Rather than hosting professional development trainings that are geared towards increasing instructors technical ability with the equipment in Open School’s media lab we will host trainings that inform and inspire teachers to integrate arts into their lesson plans and asking them to evaluate if they witness our programming cultivating a school environment where arts learning can thrive. We want them to reflect on how art improves student learning, school culture and cultural relevance which we will evaluate through pre and post surveys given before and after our spring artist-in-residence program and event.

We will continue to evaluate all parties involved in the Open AiR residency but will evolve our measurement plan to involve the following people and methods:

  1. Teachers
    1. A new survey will be created to assess teacher’s individual feelings of the cultural responsiveness of their curriculum, ability to engage students, # of lessons that involve art as an option and the likelihood ofintegrating media into the classroom.
    2. The method for this will be through a pre-program survey in December prior to Open AiR and a post-program survey in May following the end of Open AiR event. 
  2. Open Artist-in-Residence
    1. We’ve decided to work with a past AiR Jodi Darby so we will be expanding on our current survey to include questions for a returning artist that assesses their knowledge of Open Signal and Open School East’s mission and resources, the impact they hope to make and their ability to adapt lesson plans to improve cultural relevancy. 
    2. The method for this will be through a pre-program survey in Jan and a post-program survey in May.
  3. Open AiR and Camp Students
    1. In the past student surveys have been anonymous. We have decided to revise our approach to require student names so that we can compare data from students that participate in multiple programs. We will also include a video interview to demonstrate technical ability as well as gather more authentic qualitative data on student feelings on cultural relevance. 
    2. The method for this will be through an anonymous demographic survey, pre & post program written surveys and pre and post video interviews.
  4. Evaluation of Video Interviews w/ AiR & Teacher
    1. Through this evaluation we will compare pre & post videos for an increase in technical ability & interview skills, how the project applies to student’s personal goals for the future and if the student was able to achieve goals related to project. 
  5. Events
    1. This will be the first time that we collect data on who registers for the event and who is in attendance. We will ask attendees to indicate if they are an OSE student, family, teacher, community member etc. over online registrations and when they sign in at the door.

By revising our evaluative approach we hope to understand how our programming is influencing the school culture as a whole so that in the future we can maximize the impact of our residencies, trainings and events. Wish us luck as we journey down this new, yet familiar path reminding ourselves that change is the only constant and our partnership should never cease evolving with that change.

Taylor Neitzke

S2S Project Lead & Director of Programs at Open Signal