Course Description Guides for 2016-2017 (“Course Guide”):
High School Course Description Guide 2016-2017
Grand Center Arts Academy is a school that meets the demands of our students intellectually by challenging them with rigorous academic classes as well as placing emphasis on the visual and performing arts. We are a college preparatory school and all of our courses meet all Missouri state standards and requirements.
GCAA’s unique curriculum fuses academics with the arts in order to create well-rounded young people who will be assets to their communities. Teachers work together to bring arts alive in the academic classrooms, while artistic teachers strive to show their students that discipline in academics is as important as discipline in the arts. At our school, a well-rounded artist is also a well-rounded student. Our students look at the world as a creative as well as structured place, because that is what they see all around them in the classrooms.
At the upper academy level, we encourage our students to go beyond the minimum requirement and challenge themselves, so that when applying to higher-level institutions, they’ll stand out from the rest. Students will not leave this school claiming that our classes are “too easy.” Teachers work hard to continually challenge and inspire students to reach academic success. We invite you to check out our curriculum and learn how we are working to help students become both talented artists and successful learners. This is definitely not your typical school. We invite you to learn more.
The initial courses in Visual Art, Music, Theater and Dance are designed to encourage student exploration of the world of the arts in the middle school years. They are intended to help students determine the areas that they would like to more deeply explore in their early high school years.
Students in the middle school will begin to explore the arts throughout their curriculum. They are expected to take specific courses in all the arts, courses that feature an active, hands-on approach. Even in their academic courses, however, the curriculum has been developed to incorporate educational approaches employed in the arts, and the schedule maximizes the arts and academic connections. In both the middle and high school, these approaches include an emphasis on differentiated instruction, skill development through coaching, performance based assessment, individual and collaborative work, creative and critical thinking, and open-ended inquiry.
Students in the high school, starting in 2012-13, will continue to enjoy a curriculum that integrates arts and academics. Moving from the middle school exploratory philosophy, students will begin to sub-specialize in the 9th and 10 grades, and then choose a major in their junior and senior years. Grand Center Arts Academy educates the whole child by fostering the development of perception, conceptualization, sensitivity and creativity, along with providing for continuity and increasing depth of course offerings in each art area. The school provides an educational atmosphere conducive to the development and nurturing of creative and artistic talent.
To enhance the performance component of the arts program, under the direction of the Director of Arts and Community Partnerships, students at Grand Center Arts Academy enjoy ongoing relationships with major cultural institutions in St. Louis, such as Dance St. Louis, The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Jazz St. Louis, Metro Theater Company, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Craft Alliance, The St. Louis Black Repertory Company, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Sheldon Arts Foundation, the Nine Network (KETC), Cinema St. Louis, and others. Students have regularly participated in projects and classes at many of these institutions and organizations.
Partnerships with these local arts and cultural partners are a component of the arts programming for students in GCAA in addition to the arts instruction they will receive from their certified Arts Specialists throughout their school day. The Director of Arts and Community Partnerships provides leadership for the school and the Arts Partners, ensuring seamless delivery of services and support to the organizations. The Director also coordinates student internships with participating Arts Partners.