Founding Year Vision
Compass is a beautifully diverse school, within a community of artists and creative people. The students, families and teachers each bring unique perspectives about life ,and the charge for the founding year of visual art is to grow a program that is reflects and honors each learner. Play and student interest are the center of the teaching approach, with an emphasis on responsive and constructive practices.
The emergent curriculum is based upon the National Standards for Visual Arts, and The NYC BluePrint for Visual Arts. Each day brings a materials rich exploration built upon the ideas and experiences of the students. Students participate in painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, and sculptural experiences; supported by the regular practice of observational drawing, materials exploration and thoughtful reflection and sharing.. Sharing is paramount to developing sustainable creativity, and that the process is definitely more important than the product.
There are many ways that the Compass visual art program supports and builds community. Collaborative projects, peer feedback, interdisciplinary units, community trips, and working with families are all ways that the bond between students and their love of art is fostered. Students completebuddy projects with a students from another classroom, visit nearby community galleries and spaces to create, and celebrate their artwork with their families during school art exhibits.
Music is a unique cultural expression. Through music, people can connect and relate deeply to each other, open up outlets for creative expression, process emotions, celebrate values, and truly define and celebrate a community. The music curriculum at Compass Charter School is grounded in the Orff-Shulwerk, an approach to music education developed by the composer Carl Orff and his colleague, Gunild Keetman, as well as the methodology developed by Zoltan Kodaly. Common to both of these approaches is the firmly held conviction that children are musical, that all people can make music, and that children learn best by actively engaging.
Students at Compass come to the music studio twice a week for forty-five minute sessions. Each class takes students through a variety of musical experiences with a constant focus on developing a tuneful singing voice, rhythmic internalization, and ensemble skills. Through songs and singing games, work with hand percussion instruments and xylophones, creative movement, and dramatic play, students explore their musical world while developing the skills to communicate in increasingly sophisticated and satisfying ways.