Adept adaptors launch new art class


Anisa Khatana

WHAT DO YOU SEE? Sophomore Grace Deppert admires the mural hanging on the windows in the hallway that connects the art wing with the Commons. The mural was made by special needs students who, on Mon., April 9, spent the morning in Mrs. Elise Williams’ art room during time set aside for AIR testing. This activity served as prefatory launch of the art adventures that lie ahead for these students. Along with creating the mural, the students practiced painting and made patterns with glue guns. The students practiced other artistic techniques during AIR testing sessions for the remainder of the week. Ms. Courtney Farrell, another art teacher, was also involved.

“The class has been a passion and interest of mine for several years as I have worked with our unique learners so much in my art courses,” said Mrs. Elise Williams, art teacher of next year’s new art elective.

Said elective is a novel course being marketed as Adaptive Art.

It is designed specifically for special education students, but Williams is looking to enlist general education students to aid their peers.

These students will also have the opportunity to craft their own artwork.

“This class will be designed for our unique learners and differentiated for others, instead of vice versa,” Williams said.

The course, which will be called “Foundations of Art II,” is a subset of “Foundations of Art,” an introductory level art class. As such, it was not clearly listed in the course planner when students were scheduling for next year.

“I was interested in this class because I have not participated in anything similar to it before. I have been taking many art classes at Sycamore, and I want to continue as a part of the program,” said Theo Eborall, 10.

Foundations II’s curriculum will parallel that of Foundations, teaching students to learn and apply the elements and principles of art: line, form, value, color, perspective, and so on.

In order to accommodate those with distinctive skills, Adaptive Art students will also be given the option to complete alternative assignments using techniques like collaging and printmaking.

“I have always worked to model for all students and adults how to respect, respond, and appreciate our special learners, and my art experiences with special needs students are fondly remembered because bigger life lessons are absorbed by all.

“Every student [in the class] learns more about each other, to appreciate their differences, to find joy in the little things, and how to not feel uncomfortable or fearful in engaging,” Williams said of her experiences integrating special needs students.

Foundations of Art II will only be offered for one bell of the day, meaning a limited number of students will be able to enroll in the course. Those interested should see Williams in room 148 to sign up.

“We have a [talented] population of special learners at SHS, and I yearn for them to have a place where they can experience what all other artists are learning in a way that thoroughly makes sense and is enjoyable to them,” Williams said.

All students who take the course will earn a Fine Arts credit.