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School of Integrated Arts

 

ASIA, Sumas Mountain Campus is a public school of choice currently enrolling Grades 6-12, with a focus on integrating the arts as a lens to engage students in the regular curriculum. We are quite unique in that we house both a middle and a secondary program.

The program is an Integrated Fine Arts Curriculum, which provides students with direct intensive study and skill development in the Fine Arts strands and opportunities to demonstrate their learning in Core Curriculum through the Arts. Each classroom teacher is required to have post-secondary qualifications or equivalent experience and/or training in music, art, dance, digital media, or drama, as well as core academic subjects.  Teachers teach the curriculum in addition to their arts’ specialties and are expected to integrate the arts and curriculum across all grade levels.

Consider reading this blog for in-depth insight into who we are, and why we believe so firmly in the arts-integrated model of education.

The staff chooses a theme each year to frame both the curriculum and the arts.  These year-long themes are an added layer of focus for our integrated approach and serve simply as a lens through which learning and summative projects are approached.  This allows our regular school-wide celebrations of learning to aesthetically and thematically connect regardless of the subject or grade displaying their understanding.

Meet our staff through visiting different classrooms

Example Projects

What began as a lip-dub video of our school, turned into a reflection of what the 2019/20 school year was. Through the spring shut down and then restart of school, staff and students used humor and the arts to explore, express, and excel. We will use this as a reminder of the year that it was.  Note the first half of this video was shot pre-COVID era and resumed filming after strict social distancing was employed.  It is a great before and after reflection of life here in ASIA.  Enjoy! Social dis-dancing 2020

Our Christmas 2020 production was not live, but instead, staff and students learned new skills to demonstrate the learning through a Celebration of Christmas video. This production shows learning from grade 6 to 12 through dances, drama, visual art music, and interviews.  For a short snapshot of this program watch the Social Justice/Law 12 class in collaboration with Senior Visual Art bring a new twist to The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Remembrance Day is a special event at our school. Over the years we have been able to showcase our learning through the arts in visual and dramatic ways that not only demonstrate the knowledge but teach what students have learned to the community. This is the 2020 version of our yearly production. Due to restrictions, we were unable to gather to remember, but we did put together a collection of dances, drama, visual art, music, and digital media art to commemorate the day. 

Students explored art through photography and with the help of Mr. St. Cyr, grade 6 students display their work in this virtual art gallery

Our Get the Ball Rolling Video in conjunction with ArtStarts. A 15-minute video fashioned after the artist Rube Goldberg. Students worked throughout the year experimenting with creative and very different ways to move a ball throughout the school showcasing our arts and classes. This was supported by the film crew, Time Lapse Films, and creative director, Dale Klippenstein

Our Productions

We have been proud to produce shows at a caliber far beyond the expectation of our students and their ages. Drama, music, dance, and theatre production all work together to plan, produce, and perform to sold-out shows. 

2019 - R&J - Shakespeare's epic love story of Romeo and Juliet told through modern music and dance. No dialogue, but a moving portrayal of the star-crossed lovers. Video

2019 - Unity (1918) -written by Canadian award-winning playwright, Kevin Kerr, it was a story in the fall of 1918, a world ravaged by four years of war was suddenly hit by a mysterious and deadly plague, "the Spanish Flu". Performed in a small theatre setting, and attended by Mr. Kerr, our students pulled off a show that touched emotions and hearts of all who experienced it.

2018 - Lockdown - winning the Fraser Valley Drama Festival and then the provincial best ensemble award, this one-act production about a group of students experiencing a traumatic experience of not knowing what is going on around them during a lockdown drill, or was it?

2018 - Anne of Green Gables - a middle/secondary production about the girl from Prince Edward Island who won the hearts of all Canadians.

2017 - Sound of Music - Through song and theatre, our gymnasium/stage was transported to Austria where students were accompanied by live music to put on this sold-out show.

2016 - Bye Bye Birdie - Set in the American 50s, the music and dance brought a fun and entertaining smile to our audiences.

2015 - The Little Prince - produced and performed by our Middle school students and staff

2015 - The Tempest - produced and performed by our Secondary school students and staff

2014 - Grease, the Musical - the stage play that everyone can sing along to! 

2013 - The Apple Tree - performed in our Gymnasium

2012 - Haroun and the Sea of Stories

2010 - Elton John's Aida

2009 - Broadway Bound - written by our staff for our students to perform 

Sample Artist-in-Residence projects:

-Working with Creative Writing students, Canadian actor, writer and director, Andy Thompson, helped to write and direct our first Immersive Drama Experience in 2017. Students developed the script for The Cure where groups of participants would solve puzzles, find clues, and take part in dramatic events throughout the school to solve the mystery cure for an inevitable zombie apocalypse. Since then, we have made this an annual event with each year building on the knowledge and skills learned selling out consistently.   

A concentrated workshop opportunity with Dr. Edward S. Bach from Brandon University for band students from grades 7 to 12. Students worked one on one with Dr. Bach and his student teacher receiving rich feedback on their playing technique.  We were thrilled to have Dr. Bach return for our Spring Jazz Gala where he dazzled the crowd with his trumpet playing talent. 
- Linda Klippenstein worked with Grade 7 students and teachers to continue our picnic table project.  They incorporated English and Socials 7 Prescribed Learning Outcomes with Visual Arts using our school theme of VOICE
- George Hemion worked with Aboriginal and art students to create a large carving representing an eagle, orca, and a bear. 
- Susie Green worked with dance students in Grades 6-12 for two weeks on the dance curriculum.
- Sylvie Roussel-Janssens worked with Social Justice 12 students to create a fabric art representations of Human Rights issues.
- Dale Klippenstein, photographer,  worked with Grade 8 students on the “Recreating the Renaissance” Project

The philosophy behind the Program: ASIA offers a program where the Arts are a vehicle for learning, the lens through which students acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes to find success in academic study, career and personal life.

The school supports learning at all levels by the use of staff developed Scope and Sequence of the Arts in which learning outcomes of all the Art disciplines are linked from grade to grade.   We have also developed a common language in terms of the elements and the vocabulary of the Arts, so as to teach and assess students’ work cross-curricular.

Teachers see parents as partners in learning and many teachers have adopted on-line posting of assignments and class notes on websites so parents have immediate access to information on their children’s work and progress.  About half the staff have developed a personal class website to inform parents and students.  In addition, many teachers use Check My Mark, an online marks program, to report out to parents and students of student progress.

ASIA Sumas’ student leadership class is working to improve school culture with a variety of service projects, in addition to dances, spirit weeks, movie nights, and student appreciation days.  These students are models of responsible student citizenship, demonstrating leadership, responsiveness, self-initiative, and reliability.  

ASIA students have extra-curricular options such as Track and Field, Cross Country Club, Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz, Middle School Choir, Swim Club, Role - Play Club, Anime Club, and afterschool Drama opportunities.  Other extra-curricular activities include a number of plays (Dramaganza, Dessert Theatre, spring shows) and musical events (concerts, coffeehouses, pod presentations, District Nights of Music, Exhibitions of Learning).