Van Cortlandtville Elementary School


Art Education
Katherine O’ConnorArt Co-Coordinator
Tiffany Dyckman, Art Co-Coordinator
Carlota Biggs-Rubio, Art Teacher

At Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, we believe in fostering creativity and nurturing the artistic talents of our students. Here's a glimpse of what your child can expect in our art classes:

Exploration of Various Mediums: Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of artistic mediums, including paint, clay, pastels, watercolors, and more. This helps them discover their preferences and develop various skills.

Inspiring Themes: We introduce exciting and age-appropriate themes that spark imagination and curiosity. From exploring nature and cultures around the world to creating art inspired by famous artists, our students engage in projects that make learning fun.

Art History and Appreciation: We incorporate art history lessons into our curriculum to help students understand the traditions and diversity of artistic expression. They will learn about famous artists and their masterpieces.

Collaborative Projects: Teamwork is an important life skill. Students will have the opportunity to work on collaborative art projects that promote communication, problem-solving, and sharing creative ideas with their peers.

We look forward to seeing the masterpieces created in art class this year! 

Library Media Center 
Jeanne Hand, Library Media Specialist

Richard Russo, Music Co-Coordinator
Jamie Stroffolino, Music Co-Coordinator
Kristen Garland, Music Teacher 
Cynthia Ramirez, Music Teacher

At Van Cortlandtville we offer a variety of musical experiences for our students.  All students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, attend a forty-minute general music class once a week.  This class incorporates numerous activities: 

  • SINGING-both solo and group
  • INSTRUMENTAL-performance on classroom instruments (pitched and non-pitched percussion, improvisational and prepared)
  • RECORDER- in the third grade the recorder is begun.  It is continued throughout the fourth and fifth grades, increasing in its challenge and in the opportunities for multi-part harmonies as proficiencies grow.  This study provides pre-band/orchestral introduction and study.
  • NOTE READING- is begun through the use of icons in the lower grades and is refined throughout third, fourth, and fifth grades.  By the fifth grade, the student can do “Music Math”.
  • RHYTHM- exercises and compositions, solo and group
  • MUSICAL STYLES are explored.
  • COMPOSERS are studied along with their compositions.
  • ACTIVE LISTENING skills are developed.
  • MOVEMENT- (improvised, interpretive and prepared) and also dance.
  • INTEGRATED LEARNING- a great emphasis is placed on integrating other disciplines through music, as well as with the classroom teacher whenever possible.
  • LEARNING STYLES are a class focus, and games and manipulatives are used in class.

At Van Cortlandtville, Karl Orff’s pedagogy is followed.  It provides a positive learning environment involving the whole child through his/her experience of song, language, recorder, barred instruments, drums, small percussion, movement, speech, and dance.  Self-esteem, confidence, community, and a cooperative and collaborative spirit are fostered by this approach to music learning.

Beginning in fourth grade, students have the opportunity to join a performing group.  We offer fourth graders chorus, fifth grade students have chorus and also either band or orchestra from which to choose.

We have two evening concerts per year.  The Winter Concert is chorus only, due to the fact that the band and orchestra students have just begun their studies.  In the Spring, the band and orchestra join the chorus in a combined concert experience.  Many of the chorus members also play recorder, drums, and/or Orff instruments in the concerts.  Many fifth grade students are in chorus and band or orchestra.

Members of the band and orchestra have small group lessons once a week on a rotating schedule throughout the school year.

There is nothing that cannot be taught, strengthened, or reinforced through the amazing world of music.

According to Plato: “Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” 

Physical Education
Christine ColseyPhysical Education Teacher
Patrick ConnollyPhysical Education Teacher

The Physical Education program at Van Cortlandtville places a strong emphasis on developing and maintaining a high level of cardiovascular and physical fitness, as well as the importance of good sportsmanship and teamwork.