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This page describes the art program at NDSS, a 6-7th grade school launched 2014, phasing in to 12th grade eventually. Our mission to provide fresh starts to overaged students from five Bronx districts has required an engaging, student centered visual art program from day one, providing some degree of choice and self-direction with instruction in order to aid behavior modification.

Since September, our program met the goal of full documentation of student work, including pictures, videos, animation, art curation, new media, videoconferencing and participation from home/mobile devices.

The goals not yet met include creation of print publications, production of shows for younger grades, wearable art, original music, and other items for sale such as dolls, poster and crafts. We hope to meet these goals and others in subsequent years or through the summer arts program, which could include online tools for virtual connections, opportunities to complete graded school work and future expansion to include a secondary audience.

Secondary audience: Students from K-12 schools who are under-compliant in arts or technology, schools that have specific students interested in prep for art school application, or those schools looking to infuse art and ed/tech to enrich other subjects.


• voluntary extension of classwork by students

• greater ease of assessment using chronological digital documentation of student product

• self-directed learning, critical thinking, problem solving, 21C skills

• creating student-centered community across grade, class, placement or building

• using free, universal web services to ensure device independence and long-term archiving

• free, cloud based online media/arts portfolios

• documenting in real time the process, progress and product

• increasing student interactions with community: parents, administrators and other stakeholders

• validating effort, building responsibility and awareness through the personal running record

• creating coursework, art or media with relevance, intended to publish/share outside class/school

• initiating community arts transactions with non-profits, businesses, and organizations

• exposure to new media career paths

• remote collaboration including all types of students

• advocation of conservation and sustainability, such as repurposing materials for art

• full integration of traditional hands-on art media

real world publishing with simulated business transaction models

• compliant with national tech-in-education goals and ed/tech standards such as SCALE, TPACK, CCR and NETS (National Education Technology Standards) approved by NYSED:

Equipment: At present, LCD projector, one macbook, one iPod, student laptops, traditional media/art supplies, amplifiers, microphones, various guitars and electric basses.

Proposed additions: laser printer, color printer, tablets, digicams, use of personal devices, scanner, tripods, microphones, headphones.


Proposed models for online instruction could entail asynchronous learning by students from other schools:
- to develop portfolio work for self-improvement purposes
- officially 'enrolling' outside students for graded coursework
- coordinating with staff at outside schools to award credit following appropriate local review, feedback and monitoring
- coordinates with outside staff to select and offer specific workshops, either for whole classes or targeting group or individual student needs. Tasks will connect to online learning or display, using existing, modified or original content to reach school goals.

Planned student media/arts modalities:
1. animation: flip animation, stop motion animation, claymation, flash, tablet/device animation
2. art/social 'zine: analog/digital combining writing, art, photography
3. verbal storytelling: interviews, mini-audiobooks, radio show/channel
4. serial comic collaborative: scripting, drawing, inking, coloring, scanning, digital colorization
5. storytelling via photography: single photos, editorial, albums, curation, journalism
6. live performance: video art, interviews, documentary, skit, debate, drama, dance, music, poetry, editing, improv
7. video art extended: advanced editing, title graphics, video effects/motion graphics
8. fashion design: drawing, video, wearable art, photography, fashion shows
9. visual art: posters, murals, printmaking, signage, 3-D art, package design
10. digital art: PhotoShop, Flash, ComicLife, digital fingerpainting, graphic design
11. advertising: promotion, technical writing, blogging
12. production/selling: custom art creation for real-world transactions

Synthesizing/Combining Content:
1. edit audio highlights into edited/packaged "yearbook" show with music beds
2. combine audio with video - soundtracking/music videos/experimental video
3. converting print 'zine into interactive web 'zine
4. animated comics add motion, color and sound to visuals
5. students teach teachers » latest lingo, how to dance/dress/be cool
6. Reaching further » distance collaborations/videoconferenced presentations

Related: Expanding choice in centers through Teaching For Artistic Behavior