2013-2014 Art Masters

Art Masters Meeting    

Our 2013-2014 Kick-Off Meeting was held on October 8, 2013.  Below are the notes from the meeting.                                            


  • The program was begun as an art appreciation program for students in kindergarten through Grade Six.  Volunteers prepare and present short lessons in Art History, the great masters of art, artistic styles or traditions.
  • The goal of Art Masters is to educate students and help them look at, discuss and appreciate great works of art. By exposing students to more art throughout their elementary years, students have an opportunity to become “art literate” and to recognize, value and enjoy art throughout their lives.
  • Each lesson should include a ‘hands-on’ project.  The project should used be to bring to light what the kids learned in the lesson.

Changes to Program

  • BCI (Bureau of Criminal Identification) Background check – As you may know, RI has passed legislation mandating that anyone volunteering in the school needs to have a background check on file.  I know many of you have already done this.  If you have not, there will be a table set up at the next PTO Meeting (Oct 15) taking info for background checks.  Be sure to bring your drivers license.  If you can’t make it, you can go directly to the Warwick Police Department to have it done.  It is my understanding that any BCI checks done at the PTO meeting will be sent directly to the school (Cedar Hill).  If you do them at the Police Station, you will receive an original which you should bring to the office at Cedar Hill
  • Frequency of Lessons – Teachers have been asked to find an additional 2.5 hours in their schedule each week to implement the new RTI (Response To Intervention).  To help accommodate this, we have been asked to cut Art Masters back to 4 times per year.
  • I suggest doing our lessons in November, January, March and May.  These dates are not set in stone, and I suggest each grade level point person (or applicable volunteer) with directly with the appropriate teachers to schedule dates/times.  I just ask that you leave January open for the Arts Night Project.
  • Curriculum Tie-in – Dr. Mercurio has asked that we try to loosely tie in the Art Masters lessons with the classes’ curricula.  It can be a very simple tie-in.   For example, in kindergarten, we have a lesson using pre-cut shapes to make pictures.  This ties in with the kids learning about their shapes.  In 2nd grade, the kids learn about continents.  If they are studying Asia, perhaps pick an artist or style of art from Asia.  If a class is studying a time period in history, pick an artist from that era.  Ashley Hamilton suggested that volunteers select 5 or 6 of their best lesson ideas as conversation starters and ask the teachers if any of them would make good tie-ins.
  • Change to 6th Grade Curriculum – In the past, the 6th grade Art Masters lessons have tied in closely to the Social Studies curriculum. It has come to my attention that these lessons may be a little too redundant.  We no longer need to do these specific lessons.  I would ask the 6th grade point person to work with the teachers to decide which lessons would be more appropriate.  (If the teachers want to use any of the existing lessons, that is fine)
  • Grade Level Point Person – In past years, it has always worked out well when all classes within a grade did the same lesson.  (some grades did all the classes together, others scheduled each class separately, but did the same lesson).  Typically, all the volunteers would get together for a meeting and decide upon the year’s lessons.  They would then agree on who would prepare each lesson.  I would like to continue this and would like to suggest having a “Grade Level Point Person” to keep everyone in his/her grade in the loop and keep me up to date on how things are moving along.  Point Person volunteers are:
  •  Kindergarten – Marissa Roof
  • 1st – Rebecca Stockdill
  • 2nd – Heather Lynch
  • 3rd – Kristin Romano
  • 4th – Carolyn Wren
  • 5th – Lauri Fine
  • 6th – Cheryl Maynard

Lesson Planning – We will only have 4 lessons this year.  Since one of these lesson will be the Arts Night lesson, that only leaves 3 lessons that will need to be planned by the volunteers.  The upside is that we will have more time really craft fun, interesting & informative lessons for the students.  Existing lesson plans can be found on-line (www.cedarhillartmasters.com).  There are also hard copies of lessons in the file cabinets at school.

Supplies – I did quite a bit of supply shopping over the summer, so we are well stocked.  To mention a few things, we have a new supply of tempera paints, oil pastels, sharpies, watercolor paper, sketch paper, markers, crayons, and several large bins of collage and assemblage materials.  If you need to purchase supplies, please let me know in advance so I can approve the purchase to keep within budget.  I will send out a comprehensive list of supplies with the meeting notes.

New Location – we have moved our supplies to a new area of the Old Library.  The large cabinets with the prints and the file cabinets have been pushed across to the other side of the Old Library.  The rest of the supplies are on the shelves on the wall closest to the Teachers Lounge and in the closet with the paper cutter.  We no longer have supplies in the storage closet. 

Use of the Old Library – Dr. Mercurio would prefer if we did not use the Old Library for working groups and meetings during school hours.  However, we may use it for teaching lessons to the students, if needed.  I believe it is fine to use it after school or to enter during school hours to pick up lesson plans/supplies, however, I will confirm. (confirmed – it is fine to use after school)

Arts Night – I expect most of the Arts Night projects will remain the same as last year, unless anyone has an idea that they really want to implement.  We will need a new project for 6th grade since Mrs. Rinker handled it last year.  Dr. Mercurio and Mrs. Rinker have asked that we only hold one Arts Night this year for all grades.  The tentative date is Thursday, May 15.  I will be meeting with Dr. Mercurio and Mrs. Rinker next week to discuss this option in more detail.

Next Steps

  1. Grade level point person will set up a meeting with their group of volunteers.
  2. Meet with the appropriate teacher to figure out a curriculum tie in for the November, March and May lesson. (I suggest the “Grade Level Point Person” do this for the grade
  3.  Meet with your entire grade level volunteer group to decide upon which lessons you would like to teach and determine who will take the lead on each lesson, as appropriate
  4. Grade Level Point Person to let me know once the November lesson is scheduled (just to make sure everyone is in good shape) date and time to make sure there are no conflicts.


  • cedarhillartmasters.com
  • Website has an alphabetized list of artists with images of prints and lesson plans
  • Curricula and lists of lessons from past years
  • Calendar so that you can easily see when other classes are having lessons
  • Pictures from previous lessons to give ‘inspiration’


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