The Visual and Performing Arts Department is a core component of the OSS curriculum and includes creative and visual arts, music, dance and theater/performance.  

Creative and Visual Arts
In the Creative and Visual Arts Department, our students are encouraged to develop, nurture and stretch their creative voices through several expressive modalities. Following the National Arts Standards, each grade works through an essential learning question which informs and drives our curriculum throughout the academic year:

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

What is Art? How do the elements and principles of art impact the world around me?

Who is an artist? How does art connect to my world and beyond?

How does an artist or artwork convey meaning and contribute to society past, present, and future?

How do I define my art? My world?


In the classroom, we use the Artist Habits of Mind and Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning as core frameworks for each lesson. These tools build the foundation for strong visual arts vocabulary and technique.

xIMG_1285In addition, students are gradually provided more autonomy in their learning through the choice spectrum arts model. In this teaching methodology, students are given scaffolded opportunities to identify, create, and complete their own artistic design challenges. Our program is collaborative and community-focused, and involves partnerships across disciplines into our creative community.

In Music, students have the option to choose from a variety of musical instruments, including percussion, guitar, woodwinds, keyboard, digital music and voice. Students are encouraged to experiment with different instruments to find their musical voices, while also learning music theory and composition.  

Dance and Theater/Performance
In this course, students learn the expressive power of body, voice and language. Through extensive training, students are encouraged to discover and develop their personal creative outlets. The course culminates in a whole-school performance during the annual Festival of Arts and Achievement. Depending on skill, interest, and grade level, students craft and execute an annual performance.


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