K-12 Art Curriculum

  • The Iowa City Art Program conceptualizes each student as a creating, thinking, and responsive person with unique and significant contributions to make to society. The program provides a variety of art experiences aimed at building self-esteem and teaching technical, perceptual, and critical thinking skills. These experiences include making, studying, and appreciating art. In this manner, students are assisted to understand themselves, history, and other cultures more fully. The program provides students with the tools to communicate visually as well as the tools to analyze and interpret the visual world. Art is seen as essential to each student's education. It validates the individual's uniqueness, encourages creativity, promotes higher order thinking skills, and contributes to a better understanding of the world.

    The program is organized in three basic structural academic segments:

    1. Elementary - The students in grades K-6 meet with the art teacher one day per week for approximately fifty minutes. Classes are grouped by grade level and, in some cases, multi-age units.
    2. Junior High - Students receive a one-trimester visual studies course at the seventh or eighth grade level that is required and have the opportunity to take a studio art course as an elective.
    3. High School - The art courses provide students the experience of working with a wide variety of art media in two dimensional, three dimensional, and technology in the visual arts. These courses can be selected at various grade levels for a single trimester. Some may be elected more than once for credit. 

    The Iowa City Art Program is unique in that, in addition to scope and sequence structure in units, lessons, and courses offered, students also have the opportunity to have many art experiences. This is a community in which art plays an important role in daily experience. The program is augmented by collaborative efforts with the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the Art Education Department, and local artists, as well as local banks and businesses throughout the community. At many times during the year, students have opportunities to exhibit their works in the schools or the community. This has fostered a very positive reception by the parents and other residents of the Iowa City Community School District. Each school has its own art room, and in most cases, each school has one art teacher/artist.