The Cultural Arts Department creates an environment that provides the foundation for life-long participation in the cultural arts. It is dedicated to achieving high artistic standards, engaging our students in critical thinking, and inspiring our community of learners to develop its full cognitive and expressive potential through meaningful artistic experience.
We offer the following programs:
Students in the Visual Arts learn to develop perceptual and analytic skills. Study of the arts help to strengthen students' ability to make quality decisions. It also helps students to learn how to formulate imaginative solutions to problems in the design and creation of art works. Within their art classes students are introduced to various traditional and contemporary art media including ceramics, sculpture, collage, digital technology, photography, printmaking, jewelry and all drawing and painting media.
Throughout the Ossining Schools students are exposed to a wide variety of musical styles; from western classical music to traditional folk melodies of various cultures, as well as various styles of popular music. Students gain experience in singing and playing instruments throughout the curriculum.
The Ossining School District has Received the Program of Distinction in Music Award from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Ossining has also been named a "Best Community for Music Education" by the NAMM Foundation for the last 4 years!
Through both curricular and extra-curricular programs, students in the Ossining schools explore various aspects of participation in theater and drama. Through the study of theater, students engage in acting, directing, improvisation, and performance. Students build skills in presenting to an audience, and important analysis skills. Students utilize assessment and reflection on their own performance as well as that of their peers to improve performance and understand how to engage their audience.
Each year Ossining High School mounts two large scale productions - a play in the fall, and a musical in the spring. The Anne M. Dorner Middle School presents a musical performance each winter. Additionally, our elementary schools often offer theater arts and drama related after-school programs.
Students in the Ossining Schools, in curricular and extra-curricular settings, explore how dance communicates meaning and connects to health and well-being. Students study basic elements of dance in various styles and have the opportunity to choreograph their own pieces. Students also have an opportunity to study important historical figures and trends in dance. Students explore sound body mechanics and personal fitness and how these apply to basic dance elements and principles.
At the Elementary and Middle School levels students have the opportunity to engage in dance through both their music and physical education classes during the year. At Ossining High School student have the option of participating in a Dance course. Students may choose to use this course as their physical education credit.
The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) is a coalition of national arts and education organizations that have worked to develop new national standards for Arts Education. In June of 2014 they released our newest standards, which identified Media Arts as a new art form of its own, to be included in a well-rounded arts education (along with Music, Art, Theater and Dance).
NCCAS has identified the following categories as areas of study in the media arts:
- Moving Image – Cinema/Video/Animation – narrative, non-narrative, environmental, experimental
- Imaging Design – digital process-based imagery, code enhanced (e.g. the image has code embedded in it for interactive and adaptive purposes)
- Sound Design – digital process-based aural synthesis and engineering
- Interactive Design – web, game, sensory-tech, creative code
- Multimedia and Intermedia – additive and hybridizing mixtures
- Virtual Design – 3D, 4D, 5D (spatial, animated, non-linear, interactive) environments, structures and experiences