Arts Learning - HOT Approach Implementation Grants


Ensuring all students have access to a holistic well-rounded education is central to the Federal Education Law: Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). Two of the three purposes of ESSA’s Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program (Title IV part a.) are to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, and to improve school conditions as a means of improving academic achievement. The arts are identified as a defined component of a well- rounded education.

The HOT Approach to teaching and learning, originally designed as the Connecticut Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools whole-school improvement model, supports and nurtures a safe learning environment and well-rounded education through standards-based arts education, arts integration, and democratic practice.

HOT Approach Implementation Grants are an outcome of re-visioning ways to provide greater access to the “HOT Approach”; best practices developed through COA’s longstanding (25 years) Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools Program. HOT Approach Implementation Grants are tied to professional development in the HOT Approach. Professional development provides knowledge, strategies, and skills-building, in the HOT Approach while the grants provide resources to apply that learning in instructional practice, and to expand the community of practitioners.  The focus of the HOT Approach is to improve school conditions and student achievement through effective practices in standards-based arts education, arts integration, student voice, and leadership development.

HOT Approach Implementation Grants are specifically intentioned to:

  • Provide educators with resources to implement the HOT Approach to teaching and learning;
  • Advance the HOT Approach in instructional practice; and
  • Build capacity to advance the HOT Approach more broadly within a K-12 environment.


Pre-K through Grade 12 Teacher, School, and District Level Teams who participated in the HOT Approach Professional Development on October 18 & 19, 2019.