Extended School Partnership Program

MCASD makes the education process a collaborative, inclusive, and student-centered endeavor, nurturing growth through transformative experiences.
Teachers will find opportunities for support and inspiration at MCASD through school tours, professional development, and the award-winning Extended School Partnership (ESP) program.

Now in its eighth year, the ESP program serves 6-12th grade classroom teachers and their students across San Diego County. This free program aims to invest in teachers and students by supporting and creating active connections to the art of today, encouraging inquiry, critical discussion skills, classroom community building, and student-centered teaching. Through multiple school and in-gallery visits, students and teachers embrace the Museum as an extension of the classroom and a valuable learning resource.

The collaborative partnership provides professional development opportunities for teachers and strengthens Common Core values. ESP offers guided gallery visits led by the Museum’s Gallery Educators, collaborative classroom lesson planning, art making, and a culminating Showcase featuring student work at the end of each partnership. Students are welcome to invite their family, friends, and school community to view their artistic and academic accomplishments at the culminating Showcase. Their work remains on view in the Museum’s galleries for several days, giving the public at large a chance to view their endeavors.

Learn more about this program by visiting any of the ESP Showcases held during the Museum’s signature monthly event, Downtown at Sundown, on the third Thursday of every month. For questions about the ESP program, contact the Education Department at 858 454 3541 x 318 or education@mcasd.org.


ESP offers two types of partnerships:

  • Partnership A: Long 6-8 Weeks
  • Partnership B: Short 4-5 Weeks

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ESP demonstrates student success in:

  • Deepening critical and creative thinking skills
  • Increasing collaborative discussion skills
  • Increasing content knowledge about elements of art, the creative process, and connections between art and other subject matter


San Diego middle and high school general education teachers from all content areas are invited to apply. Up to 15 schools are selected by application to join.

ESP is designed to integrate current exhibitions on view at the Museum into classroom ciriculum, fostering collaboration between teachers and MCASD Gallery Educators. ESP encourages all teachers to seek out a partnering teacher at their school whose classroom lessons would complement their own and encourage them to apply to the program.

  • Teachers are encouraged to apply in teams of at least two.
  • Teams should submit one application with all parties' contact information, including school's administration contact information.
  • Must be able to meet with your partnering Gallery Educator
  • Must have classroom time dedicated to work on culminating project
  • All Title I schools are elegible for MCASD's Full Transit Scholarship. Please submit a Letter of Need at the time of submitting application. Letters can be emailed on letterhead to education@mcasd.org.

Please learn more about elegibility and requirements here.


Now accepting ESP Applications for the 2019-20 academic year. Please alert your Principal, Vice Principal, and school administration of your participation as a letter of agreement will be sent to you to sign along with a signature from school administration.


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