The daily schedule of a CAPAA student combines components of a traditional class schedule with time for students to work collaboratively in the arts and humanities. Students will have their traditional core courses at their home school. The last two blocks of the day, students will transfer to the Oldham County Schools Arts Center where they will study their arts focus and complete their social studies credits. Students will engage with Social Studies standards through a multidisciplinary, cross-content approach, examining the connections between the arts and moments and movements in history. This innovative approach will blend teacher-led instruction, individual and cooperative performance- or product-based student work, and online content presented through the Edgenuity platform.
The CAPAA curriculum is still a liberal arts curriculum suitable for competitive, college bound students— and it is also geared to those who want to go right into the industry after graduation. All courses have a predetermined set of learning targets defined by a professional staff member certified in that area. The instructional delivery of CAPAA utilizes the following primary components:
- Collaborative Learning— students collaborate with each other and their instructors. Social Studies is not taught in isolation; rather, it is viewed through a real-world artistic context.
- Student artistic area of focus—Students choose a primary focus from one of three areas: Instrumental Music, Drama and Musical Theatre. Students must earn four (4) credits in their chosen area of focus, guided by a teacher mentor with expertise in that area.
- Academic accountability—CAPAA uses a competency-based method of earning credit based on the accumulation of “Competency Targets.” Rather than awarding credit for time spent in a classroom, each individual learning target is tracked, thereby ensuring that all students have the most rigorous and competitive experience possible while still focused on student interest and choice.
- Weekly studio time—Students receive extended time with a mentor each week in their specific arts areas in order to provide expert arts instruction and academic accountability.
- Guest artists and instructors—Local and nationally known artists are brought in to work with students “in residence,” offering students extended time with these expert individuals.
Workshops range from two hours to two weeks, and focus on specific skills and/or knowledge in arts areas. There are typically only one or two targets in a workshop. Example workshops might include College Audition Workshop, Advanced paint techniques for set building, Exploring Vibrato On String Instruments, Design your Artist web page and Hip/Hop Dance.
Every week, students have a studio day devoted to their artistic or academic needs. They work with their arts mentor and have time to visit academic teachers during office hours. This time also allows students to work on their Portfolio work.
Course Grading and Competency-Based Targets
A personalized learning environment at CAPAA allows room for competency-based credit. This is different from time-based systems of awarding credit where students get credit for being in the class for a certain amount of days (regardless of the work performed). With the exception of a failing grade, students receive a full credit for about 120 hours of seat time. This system is known as Carnegie Units.
In contrast, CAPAA uses a competency-based model to award credit in many courses. This model requires that the student complete a series of predetermined learning targets for each course credit earned. Targets can be completed in any order, but must be finished in order to receive credit. The full credit appears on the transcript for the semester in which the credit was finished. At any given time, a student’s credit is his/her percentage of the learning targets completed in any given course. Some of the CAPAA completion target courses are multi-year credits. Full credits completed before the last week in June are eligible to be included on the prior semester transcript. Unlike traditional credit which is fixed and time-bound, CAPAA credit is based on competencies and personalized credit.