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Grade Level Summary of The Arts Curriculum

Administration Building
25 Valley Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

Tel: 609.806.4200

DISTRICT OVERVIEW:  Princeton Public Schools provides a comprehensive PreK-12 Curriculum which supports critical thinking and problem-solving.  In today's ever-changing world, it is essential our children learn how to creatively attack challenges and perservere to find solutions.  Throughout the grades, students will gain an understanding of the essential skills and concepts needed to build a strong foundation.  Classroom instruction will support the diversity of our learning community and integrate technology to enhance 21st Century Skills.

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY:  Active participation in an arts program is a critical component in every child’s education.  Arts programs enrich students’ lives and provide a vehicle for them to communicate and express human emotion and ideas.  In addition, the study of the arts prepares students to be successful in a twenty-first century world that demands innovative thinking and creativity in an increasingly competitive global society.  We believe that all students are capable of growth in the arts and that there are skills and concepts inherent in the arts that cannot be taught in other disciplines.  Participation in an arts program allows students to make connections across content areas and cultural boundaries.  The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts document begins with the following mission statement:

The arts enable personal, intellectual, social, economic, and human growth by fostering creativity and providing opportunities for expression beyond the limits of language.  (2009)

We support this mission through our instruction aligned to the Core Curriculum Content Standards and to national standards in each arts discipline.  We are a nationally-recognized program, and Princeton High School has been designated a New Jersey Model School in the Arts.  Our distinguished faculty members provide sequential instruction in each arts discipline, challenging each student to reach his or her potential.

The elementary music program engages students in the performance, creation, and response to music, all of which are fundamental experiences in human expression.  Through this program, students develop:  an enjoyment of music; an awareness of and appreciation for varied styles of music, including the music of other cultures; insights into music through meaningful musical activities; self-expression and creativity; and musical skills and knowledge.  The PRS elementary music program is aligned with the national standards for music education.  Each elementary school offers a general music program for all students and elective programs in band, orchestra, and choir.  Our students also participate in the BRAVO! program through the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.  The elementary visual arts program allows students to become more aware of the world and its connection to art.  Students develop a foundational understanding of art techniques using a wide variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and textiles.  Students develop an appreciation for art history through the creation, study, and critique of art; they experience different cultures through the study of each culture’s visual art forms.  Students learn to express their own creativity through their experiences in the art classroom, and they share those experiences in public art shows throughout the school year.

The middle school performing arts curriculum is an exploratory program encompassing instrumental, vocal, and drama classes.  Each discipline develops specific skills that build social, collaborative, and motivational techniques, in addition to fostering creativity and aesthetic awareness.  The program includes small and large group instruction with multiple performance opportunities.  This program is aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and provides an excellent transition between our performing arts programs at the elementary and high school levels.  The middle school visual arts program offers two-dimensional and three-dimensional art experiences, including painting, drawing, and ceramics.  The emphasis is on the studio art process as a discipline-based program; art history, art theory, criticism, and aesthetics are incorporated as well.  Projects are often presented through a multi-cultural perspective.  Students are presented with the opportunity to exhibit their work in  a public setting.  An after school art club allows for enrichment in areas beyond the scope of the classroom program.

The Performing Arts Department offers a performance-based curriculum in the disciplines of band, orchestra, choir, drama, and dance.  The curriculum is sequential, offering a range of courses from fundamental to advanced.  The programs include six bands, three orchestras, five vocal ensembles, four levels of drama, and two dance classes.  Our programs offer a variety of performance opportunities utilizing diverse repertoire.  The Visual Art Department offers a four-year, comprehensive and sequentially coordinated studio art program, with classes in two-dimensional and three-dimensional media.  Included in all courses is a grounding in cultural and historical contexts, as well as aesthetics.  Juniors and seniors interested in further study in aesthetics and art history can elect to take AP Art History.  Classroom experiences are complemented by public art shows in Numina Gallery and field trips to museums.

FURTHER INFORMATION:  The buttons below will display more detailed learning expectations for each grade level.  Our complete curriculum can be found on the Rubicon Atlas Curriculum Mapping website.

Grade Level Curriculum - The Arts
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in Middle School
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in High School
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in Middle School
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in High School
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in Middle School
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in High School
Click here for Instructional Strategies for students in High School

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