Arts integration is an approach to teaching that uses the fine and performing arts as primary pathways to learning. The goal of arts integration is to increase knowledge of an academic subject area while concurrently fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of the arts. A growing body of research consistently demonstrates that students experience greater academic success when taught how to use music, visual art, dance, theatre/drame and the literary arts to understand and express concepts, ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
At SBCS we integrate the arts in myriad ways in an attempt to enrich our students’ learning and increase their engagement in school. We hire resident artists to work with individual classes or grades, bringing their expertise in a particular discipline or medium and marrying this expertise with our teachers’ mastery of academic content. Students experience and learn art, craft, and academic content concurrently, using the arts both to deepen their understanding of content and to display what they’ve learned. Along the way students often learn to love the art. Furthermore, with every resident artist we engage, we increase our faculty’s capacity to teach through the arts. In this way, as our staff gains arts experience and wisdom, we build a more self-sustaining arts integration program.
In addition to our eclectic resident artist experiences, our students attend two art classes per week taught by our own art teachers. In these classes too, the arts are integrated with other academic content. Our arts departments work collaboratively with classroom teachers to connect with and enrich classroom expedition work. The connection is daily, but it is front and center on “project Fridays,” when all hands are on deck for the ambitious, fun, frequently boisterous, often messy, and always productive work of solidifying, synthesizing, and demonstrating knowledge through the arts.
Middle Grades Cultural Arts Program
Students in 5th-8th grade choose from among our cultural arts offerings, and may make new selections each trimester.
The choices they have include the following:
Dance: Dance Students will learn the basic skills, technique and etiquette of ballet, modern contemporary and jazz technique. They will dig deeper into the exercises and skills needed to be stronger more skilled dancers. Dancers will create ownership over their individual training through creating an exercise program for their personal training. Students focus on core strength, endurance and stretching. Students learn foundational movement concepts such as spatial awareness, proper body alignment, precision in movement, and the use of momentum and direction. Students are also given the opportunity to create personal choreographies. Dance is explored as a way of staying active & physically fit as well as a potential career choice.
Fitness and Adventure: Fitness and Adventure combines the principles of 21st century physical education with experiences that stretch their comfort zones while reflecting upon and managing emotional responses. Students then make connections to these responses and develop coping strategies that will help then thrive in their academic endeavors as well as daily lives. This aligns with the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles of the Self Discovery, Success and Failure, The Natural World.
Visual Arts: In the art studio at SBCS. Scholars are encouraged to engage with Big Ideas. Ideas that go beyond the the individual. These big ideas require to question the world around them. As artist they are encouraged to take artful risk as well as create high quality work the demonstrates skill. The art that comes out of this art studio can be, political, social, expressive, exploratory, just for fun, but all create an authentic experience.