The Arts at West Campus
At the West Campus, our students in second through fourth grade continue to discover their unique artistic potential in our comprehensive arts program.
Students progress in skill and content knowledge, while also gaining self confidence. These years are an exciting time of exploration for our students as they prepare for major selection in fourth grade!
We invite you to learn more about our arts and innovation classes for students at the West Campus. Click on a class below to get started.
Arts Classes | Grades 2-4
In in ballet studio, students continue to expand and practice their knowledge of classical ballet and technical skills.
Ballet students progress through the curriculum step by step, while also learning about famous dancers and ballets from around the world.
Our ballet curriculum lends itself to instilling self-discipline as students strengthen both their bodies and minds. Students also learn to work together when rehearsing choreography and moving across the floor as a group during allegro exercises.
In French class, students learn about various cultures, geography and our world around us using the French language.
The French curriculum for grades 2-4 continue the exploration of the four domains of language—Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
Students use language to learn about Art, Geography, and History through the curriculum’s emphasis on the “5 Cs”, as outlined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL):
Communication: Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.
Cultures: Interact with cultural competence and understanding.
Connections: Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives in order to use the language to function in academic and career- related situations.
Comparisons: Develop insight into the nature of language and culture in order to interact with cultural competence.
Communities: Communicate and interact with cultural competence in order to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.
Similar to the K-1 approach to learning, our second graders use art, music, and games to develop a foundational understanding of French basics. As students enter third grade, they are introduced to basic language form, culture, and critical thinking via intensive vocabulary building, sentence building, and virtual “field trips” throughout the francophone world. Fourth graders build upon this format with more challenging topics.
Meet the French Teacher for Grades 2-4, M. Harry Hundermark!
Hi there, I am Harry Hundermark. French has been a long-term passion of mine since early high school. I have my Bachelor of the Arts from Temple University specializing in French, where I ran several French speaking clubs and organizations. I have also studied in Paris, at the Sorbonne and obtained a French Certification through their institution. I have lived in France on and off since 2012 and try my best to bring those experiences back into the classroom. I use Ms. Diaz Manfrini’s excellent foundation to push our students to the next level each year in French making it a worth-while arts experience.
M. Harry Hundermark | firstname.lastname@example.org
Innovations in Science
In Innovations and Sciences, students partake in inquiry-based learning, complete project-based assignments and use the lab to its fullest to enrich their overall science experience while in school.
Students explore a variety of topics ranging from the scientific process to energy and ecosystems. Proper and safe use of laboratory equipment and is also a key feature of the curriculum for our young scientists!
Topics explored throughout the school year include:
The Scientific Method
Ecosystems, Plants, Animals and their Niches
Force and Motion
Water and Weather
Earth and its Moon
Plant and Animal cells
Meet the Innovations in Science Teacher for Grades 3-4, Mr. Chris Meccariello!
Mr. Meccariello (or Mr. Mecca, as his students call him!) was born in South Philadelphia, and has lived in the area his entire life. Mr. Mecca graduated from Penn State in 2009. He began teaching at Performing Arts in 2010, taught fourth and fifth grade until 2016. Since then, has been the Innovations in Science teacher for grades 2-4 and the Majors. Mr. Mecca is also one of our Arts Team Leaders! He married his wife in 2014 and they have two beautiful 4 year old identical twin girls who were born in June 2017.
Mr. Chris Meccariello (Mr. Mecca) | email@example.com
Meet the Innovations in Science Teacher for Grade 2, Mrs. Mary Anne Miller!
Mrs. Miller teaches Innovations in Science classes to grades Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd. In addition to being a Science teacher, Mrs. Miller has also been a classroom teacher, a Creative Writing teacher, and has experience teaching students up to 8th grade. After growing up in South Philadelphia, she went to college and graduate school earning her Masters Degree in Education from Temple University. She is married and has three boys, Keith, Nicholas and Anthony. Her favorite color is purple and her favorite animal is a sloth! Mrs. Miller loves teaching and learning new things with her students!
Mrs. Mary Anne Miller | firstname.lastname@example.org
In the second through fourth grade Instrumental Music program, students are introduced to reading, dictating, and performing music while learning about the many instruments the world has to offer!
Students learn how to read, write and perform rhythms on various Orff instruments, read notes on a musical staff, watch and follow and conductor, and more.
This is all further connected to their general education through connections with storytelling, history, and the students’ own life experiences. Students also learn to internalize music through rhythmic and motion activities that go beyond the demands needed to make musical sound. This knowledge is then channeled into learning how to play and care for the violin. With each new grade more challenging repertoire and musical concepts are gradually introduced.
The goal of our Visual Arts program is to motivate students to express themselves visually and creatively through artistic thought and action.
In class, students build a foundation of art knowledge and skills through Studio Habits. This includes: Come up with a Big Idea, Observe and Express, Envision, Stretch and Explore, Develop Skills, Engage and Persist, Reflect and Connect. Students will partake in inquiry based learning, complete project-based assignments and use the art room to its fullest, to enrich their overall art experience while in school.
The elementary art program enriches the entire curriculum in so many ways, and has four components that create a quality program. They are: Aesthetic Perception, Art Criticism, Art History/Culture, and Art Production/Creative Expression. These four components will be a part of art class and will provide a strong connection to curriculum integration.
At each grade level student will:
- Practice problem solving and critical thinking.
- Learn history and culture through art.
- Learn to more effectively use their senses to explore the world.
- Use both verbal and nonverbal methods to express abstract ideas and emotions.
- Learn to trust their own creative intelligence.
- Learn concepts and techniques that will give them control of the visual images they produce.
- Learn to identify aesthetic qualities in a variety of artwork and in the environment.
- Learn the language of visual art so that they have a precise vocabulary in which to express their ideas.
There is a Spring Art Show in May every year, where each Visual Art student is represented. It is open to the students' families and friends! Each class donates a piece of art to be raffled off as a fundraiser at the event.
Meet the Visual Arts Teacher for Grades 2-4, Ms. Jaclyn Stepnowski!
Ms. Jaclyn Stepnowski teaches Visual Arts to grades 2-4. She joined Performing Arts in 2022. Ms. Stepnowski completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at West Chester University in 2015 and continued on to Kutztown University to complete a dual program, earning a Post BFA Art Education Certification while working towards her Masters in Art Education. She believes that art is an essential part of education; that it is a vehicle which helps develop higher levels of critical thinking, deeper understanding of other academics, and teaches students to not only understand others and the world we live in, but also find their own unique voices.
Ms. Jacqueline Stepnowski | email@example.com
In Vocal Music, students learn the basic skills and techniques necessary for musical expression via the body, imagination, and VOICE.
Although singing is the primary focus of the Vocal Music Program, other musical venues, such as rhythm, movement , folk dance, history, culture, and composition, will also be explored in order to expand student’s musical horizons.
In 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, Vocal Music students have the opportunity to perform in both the Annual Winter Concert and the Spring Vocal and Instrumental Music Concert. Students also learn songs to be performed at school celebrations, and provide musical contributions to our school-wide events such as the Multicultural Fair.
In the classroom, students have the opportunity and in-class resources to…
Respond and Connect to music from multiple cultures and geographic locations
Perform the physical production of music using the voice as well as classroom instruments individually, in small groups, and as an ensemble
Read and notate musical notation
Create: Communicate using music (composing, improvising, utilizing expressive elements of music)
Participate in a collaborative team to create vocal music
Throughout the school year, methods of musical expression students explore include:
Kodaly Solfege Syllables (Do, Re, Mi...etc.)
Gordon System of Rhythm (Du, Du-De….etc.)
Choral Singing in Varying Genres/Styles
Laban Efforts (Movement-based Analysis)
Musical Theatre and Storytelling
Orff Schulwerk (Creative Play Using Mallet/Percussion Instruments)
Meet the Vocal Music Teacher for Grades 2-4, Ms. Micaela Hickey!
Ms. Micaela Hickey | firstname.lastname@example.org