OPALS Project

June 2013-September 2015

The OPALS project, Oregon Partners for Arts Learning Standards, is complete. Work begun in June of 2013 to write discrete arts content standards for Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts came to conclusion with the adoption of said standards by the Oregon State Board of Education, in Salem, September 17, 2015.

The Alliance’s Nancy Carr was the facilitator for the project with Michael Fridley of the Oregon Department of Education as advisor for the project.  With Michael’s retirement our advisor is now Brian Putnam ([email protected]).  Five writing teams, comprised of arts teachers in their discipline field, from across Oregon, were established.  Each team had access to NCCAS or National Coalition for Core Arts Standards work, as realigned national standards were being worked on and which were released nationwide June, 2014. The teams gave thoughtful consideration to scope and sequenced Oregon student arts learning and assessment of student learning. At the conclusion of the teams’ work Media Arts and Music chose to adopt the national standards as their Oregon standards; Dance, Theatre and Visual Arts standards sprang from the national standards but with adaptations and adjustments to be Oregon’s own.


Dance – led by Marita Cardinal (Western Oregon University) with Jessica Murray (West Linn HS) and Monica Simon (HS-Beaverton) and a crew of dance teachers to give feedback as work progressed

Media Arts – led by Ellen Thomas (NW Film) and later Randy Maves (Madison HS-Portland) with Ted Brown (Oreganik), Scott Guthrie (HS – Beaverton), Melinda McCrussen (MS-Portland), Liz Randall (HS-McMinnville) and Danielle Risso (HS-Tigard)

Music – Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA) board and members, including Tina Bull (OSU), Anna Rikli (Liberty HS, Hillsboro), Debbie Glaze (Portland), Dan Johnson (HS-Philomath), Melinda Jordan (elementary-No Clackamas)

Theatre – led by Karin Magaldi (Portland State University) with Janet VanWess (Liberty HS-Hillsboro) and Sara McNaughton (MS-Clackamas)

Visual Arts – led by Katie Gillard(HS, MS, elementary-Beaverton) with Cynthia Schubert (HS-Portland), Lisa-Abia-Smith (U of O), Rebecca Buchanan (HS-Hillsboro), Pat Roberts (MS-Bend) and Michael Simmons (elementary-Portland)


For more information on this project, please contact Nancy Carr at [email protected]