Visual and Performing Arts
The Middle School Visual Arts curriculum encourages students to be self-reflective members of society through activities that draw on three fundamental modes of learning: perception, self-expression, and invention. Often using personal narrative for content, students use these three modes throughout the Middle School years as they learn skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The development of a visual arts vocabulary is consistently emphasized so that students can better understand their own artwork, the artwork of others, and their visual surroundings and heritage.
The Middle School Performing Arts program includes a three-year curriculum of formal classes that meet twice a week and focus on drama, steel band, voice, and dance. This instruction culminates in an eighth grade production, designed and performed by the students themselves. All Middle School students are offered an array of performing arts workshops, including play-writing, improvisation, drum circle, ukulele, and film. Students may also elect to participate in dance, chorus, jazz band, and other ensembles. Formal music and dance concerts are presented in the winter and spring, and informally throughout the year. Performing Arts workshops are also available in the fee-based Afterschool Enrichment program.
Eighth graders spend the year collaborating on a project that allows them to express their creativity through a variety of artistic mediums. Students rotate through classes in drama, voice, instruments, and dance as they put together a performance for a community-wide audience at the end of the school year. All students are engaged in every aspect of the production, including the creation of scenery and props. This program encourages students to build on skills developed over the Middle School performing arts experience and to strengthen their sense of community as they work on this year-long project.