Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Does my child need to wear a smock?

    Kindergarten and 1st grade students wear smocks to art. 2nd-5th grade students wear the plastic smocks that are stored at our painting center.  They are responsible to wear a smock if they need one.  

    What happened to the "polished" looking art projects my child used to bring home?

    Artwork made in a Choice-based environment will be authentic children's art.
    It may not look polished or pretty (or it might!), but it will be full of energy and passion. In a quality art education program, the learning is in the process, not the product.

    Why is art important in our schools curriculum?

    All children need a variety of experiences to assist them in exploring their environment. Through art, children learn to value their own uniqueness and to appreciate the individuality of others. Although not everyone will become an artist, it's important to remember that every child will become an active, lifelong perceiver of images and objects in a variety of forms. Not every child will pursue art-making in their adult lives, but they will use the skills they develop through the creation of art. Productive work habits such as setting goals, imagining possibilities, generating and refining ideas, considering alternatives and making choices, testing and going beyond predictable outcomes, applying standards, and reflecting critically on performance are appreciated in every modern workplace and beyond the world of work. Art helps individuals to personally grow by providing an opportunity to augment their creative expression, self discovery, self esteem and self concept. Art helps children to learn to work socially by providing opportunities to cooperate during group art projects. Art also helps children physically by developing small muscles, eye-hand coordination, dexterity, and a sense of rhythm as children engage in art activities. Young learners use art as a means of expression that does not rely on verbal or decoding skills, so their language development increases.
    Looking at and analyzing artwork enhances visual literacy as well.

    Art is related to science, physical education, history, math, language arts, technology, in short, THE WORLD!

     How is my child graded for art?

    Students receive an overall grade for art based on three indicators:

    • Art skills and techniques
    • Demonstrates an understanding of art concepts
    • Engages in positive learning behavior

    Students will receive a score of 1, 2, 3, or 4 on each indicator:

    • 1 Needs Support
    • 2 Progressing
    • 3 Proficient
    • 4 Excelling


    Where is my child's artwork?

    K-1 I send home K-1 artwork after each trimester.

    2nd-5th grade: Each student has a portfolio, which is stored in the art studio throughout the year. I refer to their portfolios for assessment, and students use them for selecting work to be displayed throughout the year.

    What are good questions to ask my child about their artwork when they bring it home?

    Great question! A lot of thinking and planning went into your child's artmaking process. I usually include a brief lesson description on the back of projects sent home.
    The field of art education has made great progress from what you may recall from your school days. We focus on the artistic process, rather than on creating a product in a 40 minute period. Focusing on creative thinking skills enhances learning in all areas of life!

    Here are some ideas to discuss with your child when looking at their artwork:

    • Can you tell me about it?
    • Where did you begin?
    • How did you get your idea?
    • What was your favorite part?
    • What was the most challenging part?
    • Have you done anything like this before?
    • If you gave it a title, what would you call it?
    • What materials did you use to make it?
    • Where should we display this?