Built on a Tradition of Excellence


Art I

The primary goal of Art 1 is to gain knowledge and an understanding of visual art through practice of various artistic approaches and mediums. Students gain an understanding of art history as well as produce and discuss artwork and projects. Students receive an introduction to blending paints and drawing to create 3-dimensionality. An introduction to the following mediums are explored: drawing, painting and mixed media.

Art II

In this course, students engage in further exploration and understanding of visual arts through drawing, painting, mixed media and an introduction to sculpture and printmaking. Projects are more focused than those in Art I, as students explore different perspectives and applications of materials. Students are introduced to figure drawing and they further develop their observational skills.


The production course provides students with an introduction into video and editing skills and offers the class opportunities to pursue personal creative projects. Students are introduced to computer editing using Final Cut Pro and other Apple-based editing programs. They learn various methods of filming and of increasing their spatial awareness to create visually compelling video projects. While Production is a one quarter class, many students have developed independent projects allowing them to extend to parameters of the class beyond the first quarter of instruction.


The objective of this course is to provide students with the educational tools needed to make future life decisions with the best interests of their personal health and the health of their peers in mind. Wellness is the integration of mind, body and spirit that combines six dimensions of well-being: emotional, social, occupational, physical, intellectual and spiritual health. Throughout the semester, the class covers a broad range of topics that are included in the wellness hexagon, such as physical activity, nutrition, mental health, relationships, reproductive systems, conception and fetal development, sexually transmitted infections, abstinence and contraception, and lastly the effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD). Providing students with the necessary information to make educated decisions about their health will lead to a positive effect on the other aspects of their lives including academics, social relationships, athletics and mental/emotional well-being.

The Health class occurs over two quarters. One quarter is dedicated to the traditional Health curriculum (described above), while the second quarter takeS a more specific focus on sports physiology as it applies to the student athletes at SMS. A primary goal in this section of the course is to provide young student athletes with the foundations of understanding of their training and nutritional needs as developing athletes, and with the hope that this knowledge will inform and influence their actions and decisions as young people training to be elite athletes.


In this course, students learn the basics of journalistic design, and the major project of this course will be the SMS yearbook. Throughout the year students will learn the importance of visual storytelling and communications while mastering a variety design techniques. Each yearbook page will maintain consistent design principles while staying visually appealing to the reader. In addition, students learn how to write eye-catching headlines, subheads and captions.

Fashion and Design

Over the course of the quarter students will be working with different textiles and mediums to produce unique garment designs. The objective of the class is for every student to feel comfortable with knowing how to make their own fabric designs and in their ability to repurpose existing garments into new, unique creations. The class will cover a variety of techniques for altering clothing and fabrics. Students will learn hand sewing, machine sewing, appliqué, pattern making, color blocking, and a variety of stencil making techniques. In addition to the practical construction skills, the class will explore some of the history of fashion, fashion and art theory, fashion criticism, a look at the fashion industry, and its adjacent and intertwined relationships with the advertising, media, publicity, music and film industries.

History of Film

Over the course of two months this course will cover a general overview of film history from 1894 through 2000 with special emphasis on innovators who grew the medium from novelty entertainment into the international language of ideas.  A few of the topics that we will be looking into will be the phenomenon of the movie ‘star,’ the standardization of films into recognizable genres, the birth of sound, the rise and fall of the Hollywood studio system, the financial and historical context in which various films have been made and in which films are made today, the unique cross-section of art and commerce represented by the film industry, innovative actors, directors and films, the success of various films as national propaganda, and the period immediately preceding the beginning of film history.

Western Art History, 1400 - Present

The Art History class provides a general overview of Western art history from around 1400 to the present day. We will be exploring many works of art deemed important in Western culture, within the context of the artist’s life, the time in history and the setting in which the work was created. We will also consider any art movements associated with the work, examining the socio-political forces at play during the time of the work’s conception. We will also look at examples of the bodies of work of many celebrated artists, learning a little bit about each of their lives as we progress.

Some of the art movements that we will look at include: pre Renaissance Flemish painting, the Italian Renaissance, the Spanish
Royal Court Painters, Dutch landscape painting, Romanticism, Rococo, The Hudson Valley School, American Western painting, Futurism, DADA, Art Deco, Fauvism, Cubism, Pointillism, Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, The Harlem Renaissance,
German Post War Art, Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Modern Art, Contemporary Art, 1960s Los Angeles painters, graffiti,1980s New York ‘Art Stars’, The ‘YBA’ -Young British Artists of the 1990s, ‘Post Contemporary’ art, video art and performance art.

Introduction to Photography

In this course, students will learn about basic photo composition and the elements of taking a good photograph. The course will explore the different settings associated with DSLR, Mirrorless, Compact, and Cell Phone cameras by going beyond shooting in Automatic and understanding the effect of Manual settings like ISO, F-Stop, Exposure, and Shutter-Speed. Go beyond “likes” and learn to take photographs you can be proud of.

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