The Unified Arts classes are an integral part of the total middle school program for all students. The Unified Arts Team is made up of three teachers who provide a two year curriculum in the areas of health, technology education and visual arts. With Vermont and national standards as a guide, these classes provide students with hand-on activities and projects which focus on what is important for them to know and be able to do in the areas of healthy choices, creative expression, and problem solving. Throughout the school year, students cycle through these classes which meet every other day for twelve weeks each. On the opposite day, students are involved in physical education classes, another component of the Unified Arts program.
The overall goal of the Health program is to guide young people toward making responsible, healthy choices based on accurate information, skill development, opportunities for discussion, and self-reflection. The program is based on Vermont standards related to personal health and maintaining healthy relationships. Topics include: General Health and Wellness, Communication/Listening skills, Decision Making, Friendships, Harassment, Conflict Resolution, Staying Out of Trouble, Negotiation skills, Growing and Changing, and Support systems. This class focuses on recognizing good health as a combination of physical, social, and emotional well-being. In keeping with our Middle Grades Philosophy, instructional practices focus on student-centered interactive activities which encourage and support healthy decisions.
One of the goals of the Visual Arts program is to expose students to understanding art in relation to history and culture. Another major goal is to provide students with the opportunity to creatively problem solve and express themselves through the making of their own personal works of art. The majority of class time is spent doing hand-on projects, where students gain experience with a wide variety of art media and techniques. Topics covered include the elements of art, showing depth, proportion, color theory, perspective, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, among many others. The class encourages problem solving, self-discovery, communication and creative self-expression.
The Technology Education program introduces middle school students to problem solving in a safe, productive hands-on environment. Units in personal safety, machine tool safety, measurement, communications, construction, manufacturing and transportation will be explored during the two year cycle. The Vermont standards addressed include: Technological Systems, Outputs and Inputs, Design Solutions and Problem Solving Process. At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to answer these essential questions: What is technology? How does technology apply to our everyday lives? Why is it important to include technology in our education? How will knowledge of technological processes be helpful in determining our dreams?