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Feb 19, 2017
Charlton Heights Elementary SchoolPashley Elementary SchoolStevens Elementary SchoolO'Rourke Middle SchoolBH-BL High School

Fine Arts: BH-BL Art Program Overview

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art workElementary School Level

Art instruction begins at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake schools in kindergarten. Students in grades K-3 receive one 40-minute classes each week. In grades four and five instruction is increased to 50 minutes each week. Instruction is based on The New York State Learning Standards for The Arts as well as The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Fine Arts and Humanities Learning Standards.

In elementary school children experience a wide variety of art forms including painting, drawing, print making, weaving, three dimensional construction and ceramics/clay.


Students are also exposed to the historical and social aspects of the visual arts and learn the critical components involved in art appreciation. The Elements of Art and the Principals of Design serve as the foundation for all instruction in elementary through high school.

The elementary art classes are involved in many school wide projects such as mural construction, hallway projects, interdisciplinary units, and many arts in education experiences that are funded through our regional BOCES Arts and Enrichment program. Students also participate in the annual BOCES art show and often enter other local and regional exhibits.

Middle School Level

Art education is continued in O’Rourke Middle School where students in sixth grade experience a six-week unit; students in seventh grade participate in a 20-week unit and eighth graders have a 10-week unit in art.

Like our elementary program, our middle school program is a standards based program using the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts as a foundation for instruction. The goal of our middle school program is to develop a lifelong relationship with the visual arts based on first hand experience in art making. Students will exit the middle school knowing how to create, value, respond to, and understand the cultural implications of visual arts.

Emphasis is on production with the students learning and refining necessary critical written and verbal responses about their art, the art making process, and art historical and societal references. This will be achieved through many different two and three dimensional projects including drawing, painting, sculpture, computer technology, printmaking, mixed media and collage.

Middle school students are involved in many building wide art projects that include wall decoration and murals, display case exhibits, and local exhibits in our community. Arts in Education funds are used to bring in visiting artists who have done a variety of mural, sculpture, illustration, and drawing projects with our students. Some middle school students also participate in local, regional, and national contests and exhibits. In addition, our middle school has a very active art club which meets after school once each week.

High School Level

High school students must complete 1 unit of Art/Music to complete the New York State's requirements for earning a Regents diploma, an Advanced Regents diploma with a BH-BL Merit Seal.

The foundation course for all high school study is the Studio 2D and Studio 3D classes. These two half year classes meet the requirement for one year of art/music in the high school and prepare students for the wide variety of elective art courses offered in the high school.

Electives are broken into three areas: 2-D, 3-D, and graphics. In these areas students may explore and refine their skills in courser ranging from drawing to sculpture to animation. In high school many students take art electives as preparation for a career in the arts or other related fields such as architecture, advertising, graphic design, and a  host of related careers.

At this level students participate in many local, state, and national competitions and exhibits. The art department has a very active student art club that takes trips to museums and exhibits, and works to beautify the building. Many display case exhibits, murals, and wall paintings in the building are done by this group. Each year in May the art department holds a two day Arts Festival which highlights and celebrates the works of all our student artists in a large gallery setting. At this event the entire gymnasium is turned into a visual and performing arts arena. Entire classes and individual displays may be viewed at this event.

Many of our students continue on as art educators or fine arts majors in college and find that they are well prepared for continued study in the visual arts having completed a very full program of study here at BH-BL.

* See individual course descriptions in the BH-BL High School curriculum/course guide for specifications.