During the 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 school years, its curriculum coordinator Erin Holand applied for – and received – two grants for planning and expanding the fine arts curriculum.
The first grant, roughly for $11,000, was used to audit the music and arts programming. During the audit, the district found that the programs could grow in areas of diversity in the curriculum, creating opportunities for students, and 21st century design.
The second grant, valued roughly at $91,000, will be used to purchase curriculum materials including instruments, supplies, software and devises. The funding will also pay for professional learning opportunities for art and music teachers, including book and article studies, workshop and state conference attendance.
In order to increase diversity in the curriculum, the art program has moved from a traditional art course to one focused on visual culture – how American culture is expressed through the art.
As well as doing art projectw, students will now study how visual culture affects art history and media studies, expanding students' art opportunities.
Additionally, about $35,000 will be used to purchase software and devices, using industry-level software. The goal is to prepare students for high school with innovative design and art skills not typically available to students in elementary schools.
The music department will expand, too. Currently the band does not have bass clarinet, so the goal is to purchase new one, along with more Orff instruments for kindergarten through grade three students, and a world drumming set for grade four to eight, which represent many world cultures.
Along with new instruments, art and music teacher will adjust the way they grade, assess student and the projects they design. This will support move toward standards-based grading.