How to Write a School Action Plan for Primary Art

Updated July 20, 2017

School action plans clarify what the learning community values in programs. Such action plans help to verbalise how goals will be achieved and how success will be measured. Most action plans answer the questions of who, what, when, where, how, and why. In addition, good action plans will state milestones and final evaluation procedures to determine the degree of success of the plan. While all action plans will differ, according to WestEd, "there is no 'best' layout for an action plan."

Determine the individuals who have a vested interest in the outcomes of the action plan. Stakeholders in this instance include representatives from diverse groups such as campus administration, faculty, and parents. In some instances stakeholders will include only administration and those teachers most impacted by the proposed action.

Assign a leader who will direct the proceedings. The leader should be an individual who is conversant in district policy and understands the intricacies of effective primary-level visual arts programs. In most circumstances this will be an experienced art teacher.

Convene the stakeholders for a meeting. The leader will introduce the proposed action plan and state the plan's focus; in this case, a strategy for primary art.

Review the mission statement of the school and determine how primary art fulfils the mission. Mission statements are short, formal documents that describe the philosophy and purpose of a school.

Examine state academic standards for the visual arts. If state standards are not available, refer to the national standards. Academic standards outline knowledge and skills that students should have at various grade levels. Note that even at the primary level that quality art teaching includes art history, aesthetics, art criticism, production, and cross-curricular connections.

Define the goals and objectives of the action plan. Objectives are Individual steps that lead to achieving a goal. Ensure that the goals are reasonable and that the objectives can logically result in achieving the goals.

Assign individuals who will be responsible for implementing each objective. For example, a campus principal might be responsible for notifying parents of a new primary art program while an art teacher might be responsible for ordering teaching resources for the classes.

Create a realistic timeline that states when each objective will be implemented.

List the benchmarks or milestones that will be used to determine when objectives are met. In other words, how will you know when each objective is met?

Consider how each goal will be evaluated. What evidence will document that you have achieved success?

Develop an action plan worksheet by creating a matrix. Keep the matrix as simple as possible, but each goal should have its own set of objectives. List the headings across the top of the matrix and objectives in a left-hand column. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a useful example of an effective action plan that shows headings and objectives.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakeholders
  • Mission statement of school
  • Academic standards for the visual arts
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About the Author

Pamela Stephens is an art educator at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. Her award-winning art history books and animated videos for children and teacher resource materials are published by Crystal Productions. She writes a monthly online column and occasional articles for "SchoolArts" magazine.