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Sewanhaka Board Gets Educated in Art and Business Curricula

The Tuesday night meeting featured presentations from the two departments.

The board of education meeting was packed with presentations ranging from art to business on Tuesday night.

The first presentation was given by Cassandra Papa John-Shaw from the art Department, who gave everyone a glimpse of the art 8 curriculum via a PowerPoint slideshow. This curriculum is for a 20-week introductory course that will teach students to use skills, technology, critical analysis, judgment and communications through art.

The focus of study relies on four major aspects: color, light, space and structure, and students will learn how to apply each of these within the five unit plans. Movement, among other features will also be introduced, and all art will be published in the school’s literary magazine and displayed throughout the school.

After the presentation was over, Vice President David Fowler said, “I just wanted to comment on the exhibitions that we say just recently and we have such talented students in this district and it’s wonderful that they’re encouraged and nurtured.”

Trustee Laura Ferone followed up with, “It’s so amazing to see all of the wonderful work that comes out of the artistic students, but even more so how you get all of the students in the entire building participating.”

Trustee David Del Santo mentioned the transformation of the courtyard by the art students.

“I watched a group of young art students transform something that was not appealing into something that is absolutely a work of art,” Del Santo said.

The next presentation was given by Debra Stein-Silberlust regarding the Keyboarding/Internet and Business Law before her two curriculum guide leaders took over.

“Business Education teachers understand the importance of creating an interactive student center learning enviornment each and every day,” Stein-Silberlust said. "We know that the 737 students enrolled in these courses collectively, will reap the rewards and benefits of our hard work.”

First up for the Keyboarding/Internet section of the PowerPoint presentation was Christine Licastri, who explained how students will use research purposes in the classroom, digital literacy and how to be pro-active when it comes to responding to cyber-bullying. Students will learn how to use the Internet safely and even how to make a Facebook page show colleges and employers the right impression, rather than the wrong one.

The course also provides research-driven activities on social networking and cyber harassment, which Licastri said is important now more than ever before.

Next up to present for the Business Law section was Scott Green who explained how students will engage in active learning and lessons, explore legal scenarios, perform a trial project and even go on educational field trips.

Through “Do-Nows," the students’ prior knowledge will be triggered every day for the following lesson and like the Keyboarding/Internet course, the students will learn about cyber-law such as bullying and identity theft issues.  

After the presentation, Fowler said, “I really appreciate the emphasis, unfortunately this day and age, on the cyber-bullying and Internet etiquette. I think it’s a topic that unfortunately really has to be covered.”

President Jean Fichtl and Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie thanked the educators for their informative presentations and for given the students the opportunity to learn about Art and Business.

“The various curricula that are written affect the lives of all children in the district who take those courses,” said Dr. Linda Opyr, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Curriculum is important; passionate educators are just as important. And if you look out into our audience tonight you will see so many of the teachers in our business and art departments here with their chair people because they care.”

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