Curriculum and Instruction

Approval of Locally Developed Syllabi in Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts) Education Information and Application

I. Rational: Why must SED approve some locally developed syllabi?

Section 100.5 (b)(7)(iv)(e) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education provides that all students earning one unit of credit in the Arts (dance, music, theatre, and/or visual arts) must satisfactorily complete a course that meets the expectations in the Learning Standards for the Arts at the commencement level. Any course used to satisfy the Arts diploma requirement must follow a State-developed or State-approved syllabus. Additionally, high school Arts courses that will be used as part of a Regents sequence in the Arts must follow a State-developed or State-approved syllabus.

II. Syllabi Not Requiring SED Approval

Effective October 2001, local school districts and BOCES are responsible for reviewing and approving local courses and instructional programs in all subject areas except the arts.  

III. Other Syllabi: What about other locally developed syllabi?

These do not need SED approval, but may be a valuable resource to others who want to develop a similar curriculum. The Office of Curriculum and Instruction would appreciate receiving from administrators, on a voluntary basis, other locally developed syllabi to share with SED subject specialists and other schools. Syllabi being shared, and for which no SED approval is requested, should be sent with a covering letter giving permission for sharing.

IV. Procedure: What is the procedure to be followed in submitting a syllabus for approval?

To insure applicability to the following school year, the contact person must submit TWO copies, one signed original (paper) and one electronic (CD or thumb drive) of the Application, Data Form, and Syllabus to: Course Approval, New York State Education Department, Curriculum and Instruction, 89 Washington Avenue, Room 860 EBA, Albany, New York 12234, no later than April 1 prior to offering a course based upon the syllabus.

When the materials reach SED, course approval personnel complete a preliminary review and ascertain that all necessary information is included. The materials are then forwarded to the appropriate subject specialist for a review from a content standpoint. After this review, the materials are returned to the Curriculum and Instruction Team for final decision and notification to the school.

V. Definitions: What do certain terms on the Application or Data Form mean?

Learning Standards: an established level or degree of quantity, value or quality. The NYS Learning Standards are defined as the knowledge, skills, and understandings that individuals can and do habitually demonstrate over time as a consequence of instruction and experience. State learning standards are organized into seven general curriculum areas: English Language Arts; The Arts; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; Social Studies; Languages Other than English; Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences; Career Development and Occupational Studies.

Syllabus: A document stating the expected learner outcomes, including the goals, objectives, concepts, skills and understandings in a given subject.

Instructional Strategies: Specific activities (group discussions, reports, field trips, laboratory work, demonstrations, etc.) by teachers and/or students which will lead to achieving the objectives for students.

Objectives for Students: Outcomes that are observable and measurable by an evaluator.

School (BEDS) Code Number: the twelve-digit code number assigned by SED to identify schools.

VI. Useful References: What websites contain information that may be helpful in preparing syllabi to be submitted?

  • Art Education http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/arts/home.html

    • This site contains News, Q & A, Statewide Data, and a Summary of Commissioner’s Regulations, policies, recommendations and guidelines for PreK-12 Arts (dance, music, theatre, visual arts) Education in New York State. It also has the Learning Standards for the Arts, other publications, ordering information, resources and related links.
    • The Part 100 website provides information about general education and graduation requirements for elementary, middle, and secondary education. Links to regulatory language, questions/answers regarding policy, appropriate program offices, resource materials, and “hot topics” are included.
    • The Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology website provides quick access to each of New York State’s seven learning standard areas.
    • The New York State Education Department (SED) website provides links to all of its offices and related University of the State of New York (USNY) institutions, including the Board of Regents. It lists news items and provides connections to resources for students, teachers, parents, school administrators, individuals with disabilities, licensed professionals, State residents, and others. A Google search engine is available to access a range of topics from throughout the Department.

Please do not return information sheets with application.

Last Updated: March 28, 2012


Last Updated: April 20, 2017