Friday, January 18, 2019

January 18th, 2019

Welcome to another 
Friday Arts Wrap Up!

Congratulations to Durfee Art Student, Ronald Jeanty for being selected as a winner in the Bristol Community College, 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast Visual Arts Challenge! Here is a picture of his watercolor, done in Ms. Arsenio's Art Class!

Here are some pictures I would like to share from the Durfee Variety Show!  And a link to the show (thanks FRED TV!): 2019 Variety Show

And a few pictures from the ceramics classes run by Ms. Barbara Mullen and Ms. Heather Pereira!

So much to say!  First, when it rains, IT POURS!  We embodied this statement all week, with the amount of support we have received for our Durfee Music Program!  First, we received a check from the Michael Troy Foundation for $5,000 to purchase quality instruments for our program.  Second, we were presented with a check for just over $500 to purchase new Durfee Color Guard Flags from a local donor!  And third, I had a BIG surprise when I received a call from Ernie Boch Music Drives Us representative Jackie Bell, letting me know that my grant application for $10,000 had been accepted!  This $10,000 grant will be used to purchase band and orchestra instruments for our Durfee Music Students.  So, why is this important?  Ask Nicole Laprise- she will tell you that there are times when students are being adjudicated by judges and they are playing at a superior level, but cannot be ranked as such because the instrument's quality does not allow for the best sound production.  These grants will put the best instruments in the hands of our kids, and they will be competing at a high level with students from other (higher socioeconomic) districts, and THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.  The message this sends to Our Kids is: YOU are important, we will not give up on you and YOU CAN DO IT.


  • This week, at Durfee, teachers worked on the traits and attributes of the Durfee Grad.  In the fine and performing arts department, we had some fun with the task, and not only drew the "portrait" of the graduate, but also wrote a "rap" listing these attributes... and performed it at the faculty meeting!  Good times!
  • On Wednesday night, Ms. Mary Zema led her Durfee community based students in the most amazing and heart felt show.. (see pics above) The Annual Durfee Variety Show was a compilation of work from the guitar and piano classes, and even had percussion performed by our students.  It was so amazing to see students with a variety of abilities be able to just express themselves through music.  Students, verbal and non, singing, playing drumming, and reading to the audience...  I cannot say enough about this night each year, and how proud it makes me feel to have THE Ms. Mary Zema on our team.  Hats off to her for pulling off another AMAZING performance. 
  • Also this week, All City Band and Orchestra practices began at Durfee for students from all elementary and middle schools!  This weekly lesson is what makes our program that much better- it gives our kids an opportunity to practice with older students as mentors as they are led through lessons with more complex pieces.  The practices are held weekly on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and the All City Band/Orchestra Concerts are held on the 26th and 28th of March, respectively.
Looking Ahead:
  • Looking Ahead, we have the HUGE FRPS K-12 Arts EXPO happening on Thursday, April 25th, from 5 to 7PM, followed by the Durfee Spring Concert, Part I.  The following Thursday, May 2nd, we have the Durfee Arts Festival from 5 to 7, followed by the Durfee Spring Concert, Part II!  
  • The Third Grade students from HLCS, Letourneau, Tansey, Spencer Borden and Fonseca will be heading to the Zeiterion on Tuesday March 5th for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra's School Program- Resourceful Composer, Resourceful Planet.  This concert is the culmination of work done both in the 3rd grade classrooms as well as in school auditoriums with our kids- they learned about how composers throughout history re-used and re-purposed pieces in their work, just like how we recycle plastics and paper...  The music teachers in this program make connections between the science behind recycling and how composers recycle in music!  Great stuff!  I will be ordering the buses for this event, so teachers, make sure you are collecting permission slips and reminding classroom teachers of the event.  Also- try to keep the chaperone numbers within Terry's recommendation (1 to 20 students, unless special ed requirement).
  • PD Day!  It's coming!  On Friday, February 1st, we will be meeting as a group to continue our work with the foci from last PD day....  Here is a summary of what we will be working on:
    • Part I: We will do our first collaborative dive into the National Arts Standards in groups by content and grade levels, discuss how we will move toward using these in our weekly practices and how they can form our map revisions. We will also model or discuss possible art, music and theatre lesson task ideas using these.  
    • Part II: During this time, we will break into content specific groups (art/music) and dig deeper into how at each grade level, students can model the strands of the National Standards for the Arts. With laptops/chromebooks, we will begpin to modify our K-5 and 6-8 Maps to include these, and link them to our existing lessons.
    • Part III:   In this second part of a two-part PD on SLG Assessments, we will be checking in on how each of us are assessing Student Learning Goals. Please be prepared to show/share what tool/s you are using for this measurement, as we will spend time hearing from each of you!  
    • Monthly Department Meetings- Thursday, January 31
      • K-5 Music: Lesson Share Time- 3:45 at Letourneau
      • K-5 Art: Chalk Pastel Demo (Ms. McG at Tansey, 3:45)
      • 6-8 Art and Music: Lesson Share Time- would you like to do a demo like K-5 or continue mapping virtually? LET ME KNOW!  I will send a survey.
Have a wonderful long weekend, 

Friday, January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019

Happy Friday to the Arts Team!
First, some pictures!

In the News This Week:

  • This week, we have been busy wrapping up projects/performances for the end of term 2, and the end of semester 2!  Students are working on finalizing work for final grades, and preparing for assessments that will inform teachers as to what gaps we may need to focus on for the upcoming semester.
  • Ms. McGillicuddy and Mr. Quental will be saying farewell to their students at Watson and Tansey, respectively and swapping schools for the second half of the school year.  We wish them the best!  It's like September- IN JANUARY!
  • Ms. Zema will be leading the Durfee Community Based Students in their Evening Performance on Wednesday, January 16th at 6:30 PM in room 35!  So excited to see our kids performing in this show- a mix or "Variety" of instrumental classes will come together to perform for their families and friends!  Hope to see you there!
  • Here are a few Durfee Specific Details regarding scheduling for student electives from Shayna Morgan...

Next week we will be doing more scheduling to get ready for the 2019 - 2020 school year.
      • On Tuesday, January 15 we are having Freshman Science classes, Sophomore History classes and Junior English classes show a brief Video and grade level PowerPoint (will be sent soon) to their classes. Students should then be given time to use their phones to log into their X2 accounts and choose electives
      • On Wednesday, January 16 we ask that classes take about 15 minutes to give an overview of the electives offered in your department. Please see your Dean/Director for more information on these offerings.
      • On Friday, January 18 we are going to cancel advisory and extend Period 1 and have all teachers review course selections with their Period 1 students (lesson TBD)
      • During this week, from Tuesday through Friday, counselors and tech staff will be present in the Cafeteria during lunch to help with any questions and technical issues
      • Electives must be chosen by Friday, January 18.

  • Congratulations to the Durfee Music Program on their donation from the Michael Troy Foundation- $5,000.00 will be used to support the program in the purchase of quality musical instruments!
Calendar Items:

Department Meeting- Durfee
Faculty Meeting- Durfee
End of Term 2
No School
Term 2 Grades Due- Durfee
Professional Development Day

Friday, January 4, 2019

Welcome the FRPS F&PA Blog's Baby Sister, the FRPS F&PA Podcast!

Above: My Daily Motivator, David Goggins, reminding us that whatever you do- be it teaching art or music, be GREAT.  Don't just be Ms. or Mr...  Be THE GREAT Ms. or Mr.  :)

As you know, I am always trying new ways to streamline processes and information...  I thought that one way to "upgrade" the way I communicate with the team might be to do a Podcast that you can listen to, either on the way into work, on the way home, or while your on the dreaded treadmill...  Whenever you need/want it- It's here!  I will post the link to it weekly.  On some days, it might be nuts and bolts, and on others, something a little more "inspirational."  My goal is to use it as a platform for communication, but to also interview teachers, students, and working artists/musicians.  This week, it's just me with some calendar items and a big, old WELCOME BACK!

Here it is!

If you would also like to see what I am discussing, here's a summary...

On the Calendar:

  • On Friday, January 18th, we will be at the end of Term 2.  DHS Teachers will be preparing for new students in classes, as well as some middle schools!  Best foot forward for the new groups, and get those routines, relationships and working expectations set!
  • The Department Meeting for DHS will be held on Tuesday, January 8th after school.  We have been asked by Matt Desmarais to brainstorm attributes for the DHS Graduate...  I would like to do that but also link those skills and attributes to the courses we teach.  Stay tuned for more deets!
  • The Faculty Meeting for DHS will be the following week, on Wednesday, January 16th.  
  • The K-8 Monthly Department Meetings will be held on Thursday, January 31st!
    • Weaving and possibly chalk pastel demo will be done on that day for K-5 Art (location TBD), K-5 Music will meet to share lesson plan ideas at Letourneau, and 6-8 will meet virtually.  All meetings will be held at 3:45.
  • All City Band and Orchestra are COMING!  The concerts will be held on March 26th and 28th at Durfee, but practices will begin as soon as the week of January 14th.  Itinerant teachers will be preparing students and families for these weekly practices during lessons.
Short week, short blog!  

Have fun with the Podcast!  Next week, I will be interviewing a surprise teacher guest on "Teacher Evidence Binder Prep for Dummies."  Stay tuned for some solid info and a few laughs...


Friday, December 21, 2018

Pre-Holiday Wrap Up!

At the close of a great week, I would like to say thank you, thank you and THANK YOU...  You are an amazing team.  I can't imagine working with a better group of professionals.  Your dedication to your craft AND your kids warms my artsy heart.

Make time for the things and the people you love during the break.  

Here are a few pics to get you in the holiday spirit...

See you on the flip side in 2019!


Friday, December 14, 2018

What a great week!

CONGRATULATIONS TO Kuss 8th Grader, Karahlyn Dupras who earned 4th seat (out of all violists in the Southeastern Massachusetts division) in SE Mass District Orchestra!  This is a HUGE HONOR!  Nice work, Ms. Nicole Laprise!

Well, I always say it, and I'm going to say it again...  It always amazes me to see and hear the performances we put on for the community!  Once again, Band, Orchestra, Chorus and Percussion did NOT disappoint as they performed this week at Talbot, Morton and Durfee!  The amount of time and effort that goes into each of these performances is worth every single second...  Kudos go out to the FRPS Performing Arts Team- comments I have heard are all glowing.  Next week, we have Kuss's Winter Concert on Tuesday evening, and the HLCS Holiday Jamboree on Thursday, during the school day.  Best of luck to Nicole, Jay, Bill, Susan, Emily and Matt as they lead their fearless performers in these events!

In the News This Week:

  • In CPTs, we have had discussions around planning for the week before vacation, and ways we will balance the learning expectation with the "season" and the SEL needs..  As you submit your plans, remember, our kids love your classes, and thrive on those content specific learning tasks that engage and excite them through art, music and performance..  Next week's sanity level will be dependent on how you plan to keep it "business as usual" with the kids!  Just another week in the art/music/drama room!
  • The Durfee Arts Team will be rolling out a new way to track students leaving the room, in an attempt to lower hallway traffic- we will report out on the system as we work it out, but it will involve students scanning a QR Code to leave the room, and we will track the number of times students are out, so we can address it with them.  We will plan it in CPT today, do a soft roll out next week, and then go full throttle in January!  Getting a head start on our New Year's Resolutions!
  • On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Portuguese Paint Night, held at the Our Lady of Light Club- what fun!  Leading the painting lesson is always a BLAST, and this is a fun group!  I know that a few art teachers on our team have done this at their schools, and I think it's a great way to promote the arts while making $$ for your programs!  Talk to principals about it if you are interested!
  • On Thursday, I will be visiting Michela Gardner's 6A class to see kids perform "Yuck" as they use their bucket drumming skills!  Super pumped!
The Week in Photos:

Plan Ahead for Department Meeting Times!
  • Durfee Department Meeting: Wednesday, December 19
  • K-8 Department Meeting Time: Thursday, December 20
    • K-5 Art- Weaving Demo- Steph and Vicki (Location TBD) 3:45
    • K-5 Music- Link Up Check In, Quaver Check In- Becky, Letourneau, 3:45
    • 6-8 Art and Music- Virtual Meeting Time- 3:45 to 4:45
Also, Now that Winter Concerts are wrapping up, the focus for Band and Orchestra teachers will be FRPS All City!  Stay Tuned!  The start date for weekly after school practices will be January 15th/16th (Band/Orch)!

From our page to yours, we wish you the best during this last week of 2018 with your students, families and friends- make it matter!