Last spring a group of K-5 art teachers worked beyond our teaching day to articulate and begin to build the curricular infrastructure for the K-5 Arts Tax funded classrooms (such as ours at Capitol Hill.). An overarching philosophy and goals were written. As we start the the school year, I thought you might like to begin by being oriented to our frame of reference.
The visual arts program in Portland Public Schools (PPS) focuses on providing a safe space for all students to create art in a variety of media. The program facilitates student success regardless of differences in cultures, backgrounds, and learning styles, honoring the PPS Equity Policy. Through the art-making process and by sharing and responding to art, students discover and express their personal viewpoints. In studio practice and reflection, students develop critical and creative thinking skills and become innovators who see challenges as opportunities. Active engagement in the visual arts inspires lifelong learning, fosters a student’s sense of self, as well as cultivates a connection to the world around them.
Our K-5 goal is to ready students to continue their visual arts education through middle school and high school. When students are confident, feel competent and personally connected to art, they are more likely to choose to broaden and deepen their visual arts education.
The PPS K-5 Standards and Objectives (K-2 and 3-5) provide a framework and a common language for visual arts teachers when planning and deepening their teaching practice. The National Core Art Standards were the foundation for these documents.