Arts Integration

  • Studio Art Program

    RHS has had a thriving Studio Art Program since 1998 and in 2010 became an OUSD Arts Learning Anchor School. Every student goes to the Art Studio for at least one hour per week for 32 weeks. The Studio focuses on principles and fundamentals of art and design and uses the California Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Standards.

    Studio lessons are integrated with classroom curricula and are grade, age, and ability appropriate. Lessons are carefully designed and modified to be inclusive of all students, including students with disabilities.

    Lessons provide varied and dynamic experiences that promote skills, critical thinking, problem solving and visual expression.


    Project-based Learning

    Arts integrated projects are designed by the Artist-in-residence in collaboration with classroom teachers to complement the academic curriculum in Science, Mathematics, History, Cultural Studies, and Language Skills. For example, fourth grade students engage in a 2-month art and science exploration process where they learn about marine animals, creating 3-D dioramas and painting seascape murals.

    Throughout their time at RHS, students develop and refine their art skills, steadily building their ability to express their thoughts and analysis visually and verbally.  With art integrated into their curriculum, students learn to see connections across disciplines and cultures. Working in the studio sharpens their diagnostic skills and ability to understand complex subjects. Making art that requires continuous problem solving and revision prepares students for future challenges in many fields, as do studio projects that are culturally responsive and respect student individuality.


    Research-Based Instruction

    We use best practices from Project Zero, the research arm of Harvard's School of Education, and other leaders in the field of arts integration.

    RHS uses the following research-based thinking and reflection frameworks:


    Arts Assessments

    Throughout the year, each student maintains an art portfolio and a process journal in which they plan, revise, reflect, and sketch. Students take notes in these journals on field trips to local museums or galleries. The portfolio and journal provide a sequential record of each student's perceptions, growth and understanding and help the classroom teacher and artist to assess student progress.


    Students engage in collaborative projects and linked learning that connect their academic and art projects at RHS with the real world. For example, fifth graders engage in a 22-week unit that explores portraits as a focal point when learning about art history, techniques and expression.  While studying and practicing a range of artistic styles -- including Realists, Impressionists, Cubist, Pointillists, Futurists, Abstract, Traditional African, and Contemporary - students learn about artists and their role in creating social change. Integrating skills and knowledge related to math, history, writing, social studies and art, the unit culminates in a collaborative grid mural of a famous person. For example, students have created murals of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    Community Art Events

    The Studio Art Program also facilitates school-wide community-building events such as the 2014 exploration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Family Art Nights, the Cultural Heritage Learning Exposition, Dia de los Muertos celebration, murals, and other events where parents and children do art projects together.


Redwood Heights Arts Program
redwood heights students doing ceramics
RHS Students Making Clay Masks