RA students develop academic and life skills through investigation, creativity, inquiry, and reflection. The arts are used as a vehicle to make connections among various curricular areas, increase student engagement and ultimately lead to higher levels of student achievement.
Arts integration is a method of simultaneously teaching students content in an art form (visual art, music, dance, or drama) and another subject (ELA, math, social studies, and/or science). At RA, each lesson incorporates standards from the art form and content area to improve student understanding in both areas. Students participate in daily arts integration classes, and work within a new art form each trimester.
Skills-Based Arts Classes
At RA, all students participate in dance, music, and visual art classes. These classes focus on teaching discipline-specific skills. Students are required to create, present, respond, and connect in each art form. Dance, music, and visual art curricula are aligned to the updated NYS standards for the arts.
In addition to arts integration and skills-based arts classes, all students at RA also have the opportunity to “dig-deeper” into an art form that interests them. Students spend four to six weeks working on creative dance, drama, music, or art projects in small group settings. Students then share what they have created with their families and/or the school community.
After School Encore Program
Here at RA, we also have an after school program called “Encore” that includes many arts classes. Throughout the year there are three sessions of Encore, each with a variety of unique, challenging, and interactive classes. For example, students have practiced ballet, participated in a play, learned to play keyboard, and created graffiti-inspired artwork, among other arts-based projects. Encore is not just arts focused. Students have also learned more about various technologies, built robots, baked food, participated in various sports, and attended Girl/Boy Scouts.
Band and Choir
In addition to General Music Class, choir and band are also offered to our fourth-sixth grade students. Students elect to participate in either program. We provide instruments for all students who need them in our band program, and plenty of time to practice for the students in choir.
In-House Performances and Field Trips
Our students are provided a variety of opportunities to become further immersed in the arts. We bring in local artists and guest performers, the students put on a variety of performances, and we also take field trips to different arts-related venues. For example, the Mambo Kings, an Afro-Cuban band, has played at our school for Hispanic Heritage Month and our students often visit Nazareth to see the school series performances that integrate the arts and academic content.
English Language Arts
All students participate in daily whole group and small group instruction in reading and writing. In Kindergarten, thematic units are taught that align to the New York State Standards. In 1st-2nd grade, students learn the Wit and Wisdom Curriculum. In 3rd-6th grade, students learn Achievement First Curriculum.
All students participate in daily whole group and small group instruction in mathematics. All students, kindergarten-6th grade, are learning the Achievement First Curriculum for Mathematics.
Students at all grade levels, kindergarten-6th grade, explore science concepts using the FOSS Science Kits.
Students at all grade levels, kindergarten-6th grade, dive deep into social studies concepts through the Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt Curriculum. We are working diligently to adapt the curriculum to make it more culturally responsive and relevant to our students.