The Riverhead Central School District has launched websites to allow the community to view online what art and music students have created over the past year.
The Art in Action website features student visual arts broken down by class and grade level. Usually an Art in Action event would take place in the spring in person, but the district art department was hesitant to schedule an in-person event because of the coronavirus. So they banded together and set up a virtual experience instead.
“I think it’s a great way to showcase their work, even if it’s just a few photos of the things they’ve done,” said studio ceramics and art teacher Selena Pagliaro. . “I think it’s important that they see people appreciate their work… The children are delighted to see their work as well as that of other students. »
The coronavirus threw a loop for schools last year, and it was no exception for the arts. Since September, most students have started in a hybrid format and then returned fully in-person, while others have stayed home and engaged in virtual learning throughout the school year. It has presented a challenge for art and music teachers at Riverhead, who have had to navigate teaching music from social distance and with masks.
“The arts have had to adapt like everyone else and learn to use virtual platforms,” said district fine arts director Jason Rottkamp. “When the pandemic started, we were all virtual and doing things outside of our comfort zone, but everyone worked together and came up with ideas and thought about the best ways to keep kids engaged.”
Ensembles and performers from the district’s elementary schools, Pulaski Street School, and middle school ended up recording their concerts, which were edited into videos by their teachers and made available on the Spring Concerts website. High school students were able to perform in person this year with a live audience.
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