Unified Arts/Specials Programs


Please click on the tabs below to view an overview of what each Unified Arts/Specials academic program covers during the school year.

Art Education

Art education prepares all students for success as lifelong learners by providing them with opportunities that challenge thinking and encourage problem solving and the communication of ideas. It is an integral part of the core curriculum and has a fundamental presence in all curricular areas. Art instruction provides an opportunity for self directed learning. Students develop the ability to analyze, interpret, and evaluate their own decisions regarding their artwork and the work of others.

The art experience makes a significant contribution to students’ mental, emotional, and social growth. The art program recognizes the individuality of each student and provides unique opportunities for self expression, exploration, and discovery. Art is a language through which diverse learners can learn about life and the world we live in.

The elementary visual arts curriculum helps students understand how media, technique and process are used to create works of art; how artworks are structured; how art has a variety of functions; how to identify, analyze and select subject matter, symbols and ideas for personal/cultural expression; how historical and cultural contexts provide meaning for works of art, and how to assess the merits of their own artworks and the artworks of others.

The middle grade levels visual arts curriculum expands on the elementary foundation in understanding and skills in the visual arts in an exploratory manner. Students will develop increasingly sophisticated creative strategies, skills, and habits of mind through artistic practices; apply design literacy to a wide variety of traditional and new media; acquire increasing complex procedural knowledge, skill and craftsmanship in art making while exploring an expanded range of media; develop more sophisticated aesthetic judgment that supports the making and understanding of rich meaning in art; explore a wide range of notions about the meaning and purpose of visual art; form a broader knowledge and understanding of life through art.

Music Education

Music education is a core part of learning at Sterling Community School.  A quality music education improves early cognitive development and math skills.  It also develops critical thinking and leadership skills, but most importantly, music engages students, and fosters self esteem.  

Music education at Sterling Community School begins in kindergarten and progress through 8th grade.  Students in grades K-3 sing and learn about music from a variety of cultures. They play a variety of instruments including xylophones and metallophones, woodblocks, triangles, tambourines, and drums.  Lower elementary students also move to music, and learn about rhythm, tempo, and pitch.  Students create their own music, by learning how to improvise in addition to learning the fundamentals of reading music.  

4th grade students apply the musical skills they have learned in grades K-3 in an in depth recorder program. Students become skilled at reading music, and become proficient on their instrument.

Students in grades 5-8 begin in depth discussions about the cultural significance of music from around the world, focusing on how today’s music is shaped by historical events and music from the past.  Middle school students also apply their musical knowledge to the piano, guitar, and vocal technique.  Middle school students learn to work together by make music in small groups, often with instruments or music of their choosing.

At Sterling Community School, our goal is to help our students become musically literate.  They will better understand music’s place in society today, and music’s unique connection to the entire human race.

Physical and Health Education

Physical education provides students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve and maintain a physically active and healthful life, not only during their time in school but for a lifetime. Children who are healthy and physically active increase their chances of achieving to their highest academic potential and are better able to handle the demands of today’s hectic schedules

Elementary (K-4)
The K-4 physical education's primary goal is to develop students' fundamental movement skills within a variety of developmentally appropriate game, dance, and gymnastic activities. The program will also enhance students' personal fitness and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in a variety of physical activities. Personal and social responsibility, self-directed learning, and problem solving skills are also reinforced throughout the K-4 physical education curriculum.

Middle School (5-8)
The middle school health and physical education program strives to develop students' personal fitness and skill-related abilities. The program reinforces students' understanding and application of fitness concepts and motor skills through a variety of movement forms. The program also aims to develop students' personal and social responsibility, self-management skills, and ability to make informed choices. Students will develop skills to make informed decisions to live a healthy lifestyle. The overall goal of this program is to enhance students' disposition toward leading a physically active lifestyle.

Technology Education

This year will be an exciting new year for students in Educational Technology as they continue to develop into skilled navigators through this fast-paced, ever-evolving world of digital learning. Students will gain necessary knowledge to help them prepare for real-world scenarios, while building solid problem-solving and research skills: key components within the framework of the International Standards for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Throughout the year, students will maintain regular practice of proper keyboarding techniques, and build upon their foundational understanding of Java-based computer programming. Students will continue to develop their application of word processing, data collection and organization, and graphic design, thanks to the Google Apps for Education productivity suite. Units will also include exploration and development in the media of photography, digital animation, and movie production.

Students will be encouraged to work collaboratively and effectively to develop project-based learning skills in a setting to mimic real-world situations, while keeping a collective focus on using technology in a positive, productive environment for high school, college, and career readiness.
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