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My district has over 8,000 students in 7 buildings and covers 300 square
miles or so in upstate NY. Half of our population is military dependent.
Parent response to the sketchbook idea has been good overall. This is my
third year using the format. I use the sketchbook as a way to extend my
limited art time with grades 3/4. Some assignments help prepare for an
upcoming or current project. Others review something we've worked on in
class. Some are totally independent. I change them each year, to keep them
fresh, just as I change my projects each year (for the most part).
Support for our art program is growing steadily. Our budget is very healthy.
We do a lot of art shows, I encourage my department members to put stuff up
everywhere, and we use district money to pay for entry fees, if necessary.
We have ten art teachers, including myself. We plan to start a Booster Club
for Art in September. We will also have visiting artists and performances
that are visual arts related next year for the first time. All levels
(primary, ms and hs) will have funds to go on museum trips this year too. We
are all excited about that. We have four Powermac computers in each art
room, along with a printer and scanner. Digital cameras, etc...Yes, I'd say
it's a very supportive district.
Jobs range from having a room all to yourself, sharing rooms, teaching in two
buildings, and teaching on a cart. We have a little bit of everything. New
hires have to be pretty flexible. You never know what age you might be
dealing with next. I've done the whole range K-12 in the last 13 years. I
currently teach K-4 (by choice). My own kids are that age, and attend one of
the schools I teach in.
Hope this helps.
Art Department Coordinator and Art Teacher K-4
Indian River Central School District