The Middle School art program is designed to expand on the elementary foundation in understanding and skills in the visual arts. While supporting the New York State Standards for the Arts, as well as the National Standards, students develop increasingly sophisticated creative strategies, skills, and habits of mind through artistic practices, and apply design literacy to a wide variety of traditional and new media.
They acquire increasingly complex procedural knowledge, skills, and craftsmanship in art-making while exploring an expanded range of media. They develop more sophisticated aesthetic judgment that supports the making and understanding of rich meaning in art. Students explore a wide range of ideas about the meaning and purpose of visual art, and develop an understanding of practical applications and career opportunities in the arts. They form a broader knowledge and understanding of our rich and diverse historical and cultural heritage through art. Student artwork is exhibited and celebrated in our annual Spring Arts Festival. All student artwork is added to personal online interactive portfolios.
The Film Program at the Middle School includes students in grades 6-8. The focus is on visual storytelling through specific film genres, building on what students have learned in the Elementary School. Throughout the year, students review the elements of good storytelling techniques through the study of film examples. Students expand their film vocabulary, adding to their knowledge of basic shot types with camera movements. They get the opportunity to use various pieces of film equipment, adding in the use of external sound. Students create scripts, storyboards, shot lists, and other important pre-production documents; they film and edit their own projects. Through this experience and studying the film industry, students gain a further understanding of the different roles on a film set and within the professional community.
The year culminates with the OWN Film Festival showcasing student work, with grade-level Best Film Awards. Whenever possible we take field trips to film festivals, the Museum of the Moving Image, and other opportunities that may arise in this thriving, film-producing city.
Spanish and Mandarin are offered to students in Grades 6-8
A major component of the OWNCS Library program is to instill an appreciation and love of reading.
Middle School students do not have regularly scheduled weekly classes; however, they participate in classes given throughout the year that teach digital citizenship and the use of databases and other resources available through the school library. Students have weekly scheduled access to the library.
The Middle School Music curriculum combines the basics of music theory with an emphasis on melodic structure, song analysis, instrumentation, and listening skills. Students often work cooperatively in groups on musical and rhythmic projects, write in their music journals and begin a study of musical theater.
Physical & Health Education
The Physical Education Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the K-5 students with a varied, age appropriate, and challenging curriculum. The units are sequenced and kept short to maximize interest and participation. Fundamental skill development is emphasized at all grade levels and in all units. From the fundamental movement and physical skills of the primary students to the more involved skills, games, and sports concepts of the intermediate grades, knowledge of the benefits and the enjoyment of physical activity is taught and reinforced in each class. The social, emotional, and character traits necessary to be successful and a good community citizen are taught and repeated from the first class, and safety factors relative to physical activity are constantly stressed. Personal and social responsibility, self-directed learning, and problem solving skills are also reinforced throughout the K-5 physical education curriculum.
Through various physical fitness activities and game play, students will learn how to improve their performance and sharpen their individual abilities. Students are encouraged to reach their own personal best.
The Middle School Health Program is taught to all students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The Health courses at OWNCS are designed to assist students in obtaining accurate information, developing lifelong positive attitudes and behaviors, and making wise decisions related to their personal health. Class topics include:
- personal and community health
- mental, emotional, and social health
- injury prevention and safety
- nutrition and physical activity
- alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
At OWNCS, we are working toward a seamless integration of technology and curriculum: students using technology daily, and having access to a variety of tools that match the learning task at hand -- tools that increase engagement, lead to a deeper understanding of content, and open the door to innovation and creativity.
When effectively integrated into the curriculum, technology can extend learning in significant ways. Students have greater access to primary source material and more engaging multimedia content. They gain facility in digital methods of collecting and analyzing data. Students experience creating, editing, publishing, and presenting their work in new and authentic ways to a broader audience. They are given new opportunities to interact and collaborate with others (peers, teachers, and experts) outside the classroom walls.
Our Middle School students have access to three classroom sets of Macbook Air laptop computers, as well as desktop computers in classrooms. All of our classrooms are equipped with Interactive White Boards and document cameras. We are a Google Suite for Education school, ensuring that our students are proficient in the most current core productivity tools and Google Classroom. We also offer a wealth of online resources that provide regular opportunities to practice and apply academic and technology skills. Our teachers are encouraged to use technology creatively to enrich learning in their classrooms; their efforts are celebrated in our Technology Integration Spotlight.