Sewanhaka administrators report on art, biz


Sewanhaka Central High School District’s art and business coordinators reported on the progress of their curriculums at board of education meeting Tuesday.

Introducing the coordinators was Assistant Superintendent Linda Opyr, who gave an overview of how the curriculums were developed.

“Each summer between 50 and 150 educators are involved in developing the curriculum,” Opyr said. “The various curricula that are written affect all the lives of all children in the district and those who take those courses. It’s a valuable professional opportunity for them to sit with their colleagues from all five schools and determine what the child’s path will be in a particular subject in the school year. Curriculum is important and passionate educators are just as important.”

Speaking first was district art coordinator Cassandra Papajohn-Shaw, who presented the board with a video that described their Art 8 curriculum.

“The art experience for the Sewanhaka Central High School students begins in 8th grade where every student takes a full semester of grade 8 art,” the video said. Art plays a vital role in the development of our 8th grade students critical thinking skills.”

“Art 8 is designed as a 20-week introductory foundation art course,” the video continued. “Each subsequent course then expands on their experience knowledge and skills of the previous level, and Art 8 students are introduce to a variety of problems where they can begin to build a foundation of cognitive and technical skills that can be applied to art, as well as other subject areas. The creative process can be applied to all areas of learning and essential to the development and well being of every child.”

Currently there are 53 sections of grade eight art district wide.

The final unit of the Art 8 curriculum includes students researching their own family history and recording how their ancestors arrived in America. Then they will create a fictional interpretation on how they think their ancestors first stepped foot into the country. The finished product will be the finished illustration from their story with an emphasis on the various concepts learned throughout the semester.

Business/Technology Chairperson Scott Green for Elmont Memorial High School presented the board with an overview of the business law guide that he and his team created.

“Each lesson was designed to be student centered, and involve the students in active learning,” Green said. “Business law is an exciting course where students are given the opportunity to gain respect for a segment of the law that impacts them at home and work. There are ample opportunities to incorporate smart board into our instruction.”

Among the different projects offered is a trial project and the curriculum is “filled” with project based learning activities.

“The trial project allows students to collaborate and prepare defense arguments that are then presented to the class,” Green said. “Cyber safety issues have been incorporated into lessons. Research projects focusing on current cases at the state and federal level will be examined and discussed as well. In addition the students will take a closer look at the legal implications of the abundance of cyber issues today.”

Reach reporter Timothy Meyer by e-mail at


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