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Visual Arts

Media Arts


Visual Arts courses build students' understanding of the role of art in contemporary and historical cultures in many forms of expressive media and modalities including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, fibers, printmaking, mixed media, performance art, installation, and digital and traditional illustration.​​​​​​​​​
Media Arts courses cultivate students' artistic abilities, technological skills and media literacy through integrating analog and digital  technologies into screen- and lens-based projects including film, video, traditional and digital photography, animation, sound design, and transmedia storytelling.
Design courses engage students in social and material problem-solving processes that lead to the creation of purpose-driven visual communication with an audience using graphic design, interactivity, web design, motion graphics, product design, infographics, fashion design and architectural design.
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Liberal Arts Icons
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Liberal Arts


Engineering courses engage students in problem-solving, design thinking and critical questioning related to socially relevant challenges through creative and technical explorations in 2D and 3D modeling, robotics, computer programming, electricity, mechanical engineering, biomimetic principles, wearables, sustainability, and mechanical toy design.
Liberal Arts courses stimulate students' intellectual curiosity, flexibility and connective thinking, and offer opportunities to master a broad range of analytical and cultural content, skills and perspectives through study in English Language Arts, Health & Wellness, History, Humanities, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and World Languages.
Service-Learning courses help students build confidence, self-efficacy and a sense of purpose while offering opportunities to use knowledge
and skills learned in school to address genuine community needs. These authentic civic engagement experiences ignite students'
passions, expand horizons and bring learning
out of the classroom and into the real world.

Studio Foundations

Shoe Still-Life Drawing
  • Studio and Liberal Arts courses in 9th and 10th grades help students build a ​​​​​foundation of common language and studio habits in a supportive, growth-oriented atmosphere.
  • All curriculum is designed using a studio project- and problem-driven approach grounded in global themes and discovery of how contemporary concepts are connected to the historic.​
  • Students learn to conduct simultaneous, linear and network style inquiry with
    ​emphasis on making interdisciplinary connections. This: 
    • provides a contextual basis for dissecting current global issues in support of service learning projects
    • supports rigorous, purposeful, hands-on learning
    • includes scaffolded, teacher-directed, collaborative, activites so students develop higher order thinking
  • All of our studio curricula is inspired by by the proven-successful, state sponsored Visual & Media Arts Curriculum in New South Wales , Australia, a predescessor of 
    ​the American International Baccalaureate (IB) learning system.
College in the Schools

Advanced In-Depth Study

Our leading edge program equips students with all they'll need for success in college, apprenticeship and career options so they can confidently go in any direction they choose after graduation. ​​​Upper level classes are designed to be explorative, experimental and expansive. Choices support students as they hone skills, develop independence, and learn
​to make deeper connections. Advanced course options and requirements for upperclassmen include:
  • College in the Schools and concurrent enrollment options
  • a required professional mentorship experience in the Junior year
  • professional and community internship opportunities
  • a required, year-long studio course for developing a thematic body of work
    in the Senior year
  • opportunities to study and conduct service learning projects internationally
Comprehensive Portfolio Development
Assessing student work for growth is an important part of
our curriculum. Every Studio School student develops and maintains a comprehensive portfolio documenting their
studio service learning, and liberal arts course work from
the beginning of their 9th grade year through graduation. Each spring students are required to participate in an individual portfolio self-assessment, review and interview with a panel composed of studio teachers, liberal arts teachers and guest teaching artists or professionals. 

The panel uses a rubric to assess each student's portfolio in the areas of: organization and design; demonstrated skill growth; imaginative expression; purposeful exploration; meaning and function; and formal qualities. 

Students must earn a score of satisfactory or better in their portfolio review to earn access to some upper level studio courses, but most importantly, the portfolio review process provides opportunities for students to:
  • reflect on their accomplishments and struggles
  • view their work comprehensively to identify themes
    ​and set goals
  • demonstrate individual effort and growth using multiple modalities
  • practice visual, written and verbal communication skills
  • receive valuable, objective feedback on their work from other artists and working professionals
  • openly discuss areas of strength and growth
  • receive recommendations for future course enrollment and summer or extracurricular enrichment options

Student Exhibitions
Communication is one of the key components of 21st century learning. ​​​​​​Studio School students have many opportunities
to continually develop and sharpen their visual, written
and verbal communication skills; the most unique of which
is through participating in exhibitions and presentations of their work throughout the year.

Exhibits and film/video screenings take place both in school and public venues, and range in focus and magnitude throughout the year; from grade-level or themed shows, to comprehensive retrospective installations, and competitive, all-school juried shows.

Studio School exhibitions offer students opportunities to:
  • learn to curate their own and others' work
  • develop thematic exhibitions, inventive displays and unique ways to share their work
  • build their resumé
  • communicate with diverse audiences
  • connect to an audience through creative expression
  • grow from constructive feedback and responses to their work
  • learn and practice professional-level gallery installation and display techniques
  • work collaboratively to plan and execute a public event that involves coordinating the collection, arrangement, labeling and installation of work, event promotion, and arranging opening night refreshments and music
  • celebrate their and others' accomplishments
  • practice leadership and collaboration skills
J-Term Workshops 1
J-Term Workshops 2
J-Term Workshops 3
J-Term Workshops 4


 All students take a short break in January from Studio Courses to participate in directed workshops by grade level that target development of essential technology
skills. Workshops include topics such as grant writing, email etiquette, portfolio documentation, pre-college summer program research, digital file organization, and writing an artist statement.

Common Experience Seminars

On Fridays, all students participate in Common Experience seminars that are organized by faculty, administration, and visiting teaching artists and professionals. During the seminars, the school community comes together for guest speaker lectures, artist talks, skill-building workshops, creativity exercises, college and university previews,  and community building activities.
Model the Way
Encourage the Heart
Inspire a Shared Vision
Challenge the Process
Enable Others to Act


Each Friday students have a Homeroom class with an Advisor Teacher where they can get academic assistance or tutoring help. Some time each month is also dedicated for teachers and the Student Guidance team to assist students with:
  • course planning and tracking
  • testing preparation
  • college and scholarship planning and applications
  • exploring post-secondary and career options
  • developing leadership skills
  • study and organization habits
  • planning gallery exhibitions
© 2013 The Student Leadership Challenge