When choosing a program for your school, make certain that:
YOU TAKE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PREVIEW THE ARTIST'S WORK.
Never hire an artist unless you have personally seen his/her work, or have discussed the program, in detail, with a school district arts administrator who recommends them.
THE PROGRAM IS BOTH ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL.
Schools are places for learning. While an Arts in Education program should be interesting and hold the attention of students, programs which are only entertaining do not belong in the School schedule.
THE PROGRAM REINFORCES THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM.
Artists in Schools programs should relate to one or more parts of the school curriculum. They might reinforce learning in the music, art, dance, and/or theatre curriculum. They might also support the social studies, history, geography or even science curriculum.
THE PROGRAM IS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY YOU CAN AFFORD.
Your students deserve the best! At times it might be better to hire a single artist or a small group of high quality rather than a large group which will not provide a program which meets your standards.
THE ARTIST PROVIDES MATERIALS ABOUT THE PROGRAM.
Teachers need study guides and other materials in order to adequately prepare the students for the artists' visit. Study guides should also include suggestions for integrating the program into the curriculum after the event.
THE TEACHERS HAVE TIME TO PREPARE THE STUDENTS.
Teachers should speak with students to describe who is coming to their school, what will happen and how it relates to their curriculum. Teachers might talk about what an artist does (especially important if students are young) and, prior to the event, they should use the resource materials provided by the artists.
THE ARTISTS ARE PROVIDED WITH THE SPACE, MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT THEY REQUIRE.
Extend the hospitality of your school to the artist. Make certain that all the needs he/she described are met and, if possible, greet the artist with a cup of coffee and a donut or a bottle of water. Sometimes artists have traveled a long way to get to your school; make certain that you direct them to restroom facilities and that someone is available to support them if a question arises regarding electrical outlets, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: Although you will often find the statement in publicity materials distributed by some artists, no artist is "BOCES Approved"! Only you can decide if an artist is appropriate for you students and BOCES places that decision firmly in your hands.