Learning, Achieving, Succeeding!
April 19, 2024
Valley Stream Central High School District

Learning, Achieving, Succeeding!

April 19, 2024


South High School

Mission Statement:

The mission of the South High School Fine Arts Department is to educate students in the visual arts by providing a working knowledge of the relevance of the arts to all other curriculum while empowering students with lifelong knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of the power of the arts in our society.

The South High School art teachers strive to empower their students. Our students are encouraged through creative expression to develop an enduring appreciation for the arts.  Through process orientated experiences in the fine arts students enrich their cultural awareness, engage higher-level thinking skills, expand creativity, and discover their innermost self. To this end, the South High Art Department is focused on and dedicated to making the arts accessible and relevant to all students while fostering excellence in the pursuit of their creative endeavors.

  • Accessible:  The arts invite both independent and collaborative work and are open to all who wish to participate.
  • Relevant:  The arts are relevant. The arts help produce informed, responsible and productive citizens by promoting self-reflection, social understanding and cultural acceptance. The arts teach vital ways of seeing, imagining, inventing and thinking.
  • Excellence: Though we believe the arts are about acceptance and accessibility, the arts are also about the pursuit of excellence.  This pursuit of excellence in the arts requires self-discipline.  This kind of self-discipline celebrates and rewards effort as artists strive to improve their craft. The pursuit and study of the arts foster positive character development in the areas of perseverance, responsibility, determination and willingness to accept challenges.

The Importance of the Visual Arts in Education

Today more than ever the arts are needed by our young people as a forum for safe expression, communication, exploration, imagination, and cultural and historical understanding.
Below are a list of reasons why the visual arts are so important:

Brain research confirms that arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement, school success, and preparation for the work world.

Art classes provide students a chance to develop cognitive and creative skills, and to develop their imaginations.

For some students art is their motivation for coming to school and an area where they have success or excel, providing an important balance in their total educational experience.

The arts teach our students to be more tolerant and open through multicultural and historical perspectives and through their involvement in the creative process itself.
Due to the collaborative nature of art, students develop crucial skills in cooperative decision-making, leadership, clear communication, and complex problem solving while working with others.

Regular participation in the arts develops self-confidence, self-discipline, persistence, and the knowledge of how to make multiple revisions to create high quality work.

The skills and experience that students develop by learning to perform, create, and respond to works of art provides a foundation for the kinds of literacy students must have to communicate and work successfully in our ever-changing media, technology, and information age.

Art education supports not only the adolescents’ intellectual and educational development but also their personal and social development.

Art education helps develop a positive work ethic, flexibility, and pride in a job well done.

It is the vision of the South High Art Department is to empower our students by celebrating the love of life-long learning.

NYS Learning Standards:

1. Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts
Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts, and participate in various roles in the arts.

2. Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
Students will be knowledgeable about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.

3. Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art
Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to other aspects of human endeavor and thought.

 4. Understanding the Cultural Dimensions and Contributions of the Arts
Students will develop an understanding of the personal and cultural forces that shape artistic communication and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of the past and present society.


Ms. Katherine Aragon

Mr. Edward Lee

Ms. Jenna Petikas