Special Curricular Program

Students in art

Visual Arts (2-8) – Visual Arts at Slavens have evolved with the advent of many new arts education standards.

The days of cookie-cutter art projects are fading away. In our postmodern art society, conceptual thinking (process) often predicates aesthetic value (product). Current art education standards ask students to develop their own personal creative processes rather than relying on traditional guided instruction.

Slavens art students:

These highly transferable skills help students succeed through critical thinking, problem-solving, invention and innovation. 

Integrated Arts (grades K-1) is a combined music and art class where music concepts are taught alongside art concepts. Some of the instruction is intended to build a greater understanding of music and some is based on practicing and appreciating art but both of these subjects are integrated together into one class.

Band is a middle school elective where students learn to play their instrument of choice. Concerts are performed on occasion during non-school hours. The Slavens’ school band consists of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. An extra-curricular elementary band program is offered in the mornings before school starts.

Keyboarding is taught to all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students during library class in the lab. Students who pass the required DPS 20 WPM (words per minute touch typing) at the end of 5th grade are excused from the 6th grade typing elective.

Library Media Center (Library) is open to all students, teachers and parents every school day. Students in each grade have a designated day to visit the library for a library or technology lesson and check out. Students may check-out one to three books for a two-week period. Students may also check out materials that support classroom projects. It is greatly appreciated when parents assist in prompt return of books. Lost books are charged the cost of replacement. Damaged books are assessed a fine.

General Music is offered to all K-5 students. Students explore the fundamentals of music theory, vocal music expression, modern composition techniques, and the value of music in our daily lives. All grades play Orff instruments, and upper elementary students play recorders and/or ukuleles in class. 

Choir is a year-long elective offered to grades 6-8. Our Middle School Choir regularly performs in district and statewide events along with other DPS middle and high schools. Students learn vocal technique, music theory and history, and audition skills, facing these challenges as a team in a respectful environment. The choir presents an after school concert twice a year.

Musical Theater is a semester long course offered to grades 6-8. Students learn to create, critically respond to, and perform theatrical works written specifically for a middle school audience. Costumes, sets, and props are created primarily by the students, and the course ends with an evening performance here in our school gymnatorium. 

Dance education develops the knowledge and skills required to create, perform, and understand movement as a means of artistic communication. Students learn to read symbol systems, use critical thinking skills, excel in nonverbal reasoning and communication, exchange ideas, work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, and interact within a multicultural society. Students are exposed to dance history and cultures and develop kinesthetic and spatial learning as well as intra- and interpersonal knowledge of self and others.

Physical Education (P.E.) – Elementary students participate 4 days a week and middle school students on the elective rotation (2-3 days a week). To ensure a reasonable level of participation, enjoyment and the safety of all students, appropriate dress and footwear (athletic shoes) is required. Students will learn and participate in a variety of movement, fitness, and sport activities throughout the year.

Additionally, we suggest that if someone is wearing a skirt or dress they have shorts or pants underneath. Middle school students purchase uniforms for P.E. and are responsible for cleaning their uniforms at home. They have the option of being assigned a locker in the locker room. A doctor’s statement of direction is necessary to design an alternative program if your student must be excluded or limited from full participation in class. 

Spanish is a world language requirement for all 7th and 8th graders and an elective in 6th grade.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where students use a wide range of applied technology in a project-based setting. Rigorous academic concepts are taught in a hands-on, engaging environment that emphasize 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. Students use the Next Generation Science and Engineering standards to research, design, create and share their projects. 

Technology is offered to all K-5th grade students during their library time. Middle School students may take Keyboarding or Tech 1, which provides instruction around: Touch Typing, Google Docs, Sheets, Drive, Slides, Canva, Photoshop Elements and More.