Fine Arts

FHSD Fine Arts Logo
Francis Howell School District Fine Arts 

The Francis Howell School District is home to over 17,000 students from preschool to 12th grade who deserve a well-rounded education that empowers them to engage fully with the world around them. We believe that the fine arts are an integral part of our society and as a discipline must be a component of the core curriculum for all students in grades K-8 and a viable elective for all students in grades 9-12. 

More than 85 dedicated fine arts teachers devote their passion, expertise, knowledge, and care to provide students with authentic learning experiences that challenge critical thinking skills and creative problem solving. FHSD fine arts teachers inspire students to discover their expressive voice and innovative identities while engaging with learning in a way that intersects subjects and brings together divergent thinking that will benefit them beyond the classroom. Our teachers are not only instructors, but also creative artists in their own right, participating in a variety of performance groups and exhibition opportunities.

The fine arts help students invest in school and see their place in the world in a new way. Our student-centered curriculum fosters a cooperative culture and challenges students to develop strong communication skills that will prepare them for an increasingly visual world. Our focus on developing artistically literate citizens is a priority as we prepare students for their futures. 

The Francis Howell School District fine arts program includes elementary classes in Art & Music, and secondary classes in Band, Choir, Media Arts, Theatre, and the Visual Arts.  The department also sponsors extra-curricular activities - Art Exhibits, Film and Animation Festivals, National Art Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society, International Thespian Society & Troupes, Honor Bands and Choirs, Plays, and Musicals.

Francis Howell Fine Arts Graduate Goals
Upon completion of their fine arts study in the Francis Howell School District, students will be able to:

  • Communicate at a basic level in the arts disciplines – music, theatre, or the visual arts.  This includes knowledge and skills in the use of the basic vocabularies, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of each art discipline.
  • Communicate proficiently in at least one art form, including the ability to define and solve artistic problems with insight, reason, and technical proficiency.
  • Develop and present basic analyses of works of art from structural, historical and cultural perspectives, and from combinations of those perspectives.  This includes the ability to understand and evaluate work in the various arts disciplines.
  • Relate various types of arts knowledge and skills within and across the arts disciplines.  This includes mixing and matching competencies and understandings in art-making, history and culture, and analysis in any arts-related project.
  • Have an informed acquaintance with exemplary works of art from a variety of cultures and historical periods, and a basic understanding of historical development in the arts disciplines, across the arts as a whole, and within cultures.

Lifelong Artistic Literacy Goals
Artistic Literacy is a necessary life and learning skill for all the citizens of our increasingly complex global society. Through the process of engaging the arts, students may develop “Artistic Literacy”––the ability to encode and decode (“read” and “write”) aesthetic wisdom that is expressed and received in symbolic and metaphoric forms that are unique to the arts. Artistic Literacy is not limited only to appreciating and practicing the arts; it is a vital life skill for citizens of our 21st Century world. Artistic Literacy allows us to read, write, and understand the symbols and metaphors in which so many current messages are encoded—messages that run the gamut of human activity from advertising, to politics, to religion. In doing this, the language of the arts helps to break down cultural barriers to knowledge and allows us to cross personal and cultural borders leading to better understanding of our self and others.

Students in the Francis Howell School District will be artistically literate citizens who will:
1. Use a variety of artistic media, symbols and metaphors to independently create and perform work that expresses and communicates their own ideas, and are able to respond by analyzing and interpreting the artistic communications of others.

2. Find at least one arts discipline in which they develop sufficient competence to continue active involvement in creating, performing, and responding to art as an adult.

3. Know and understand artwork from varied historical periods and cultures, and actively seek and appreciate diverse forms and genres of artwork of enduring quality/significance. They also seek to understand relationships among the arts, and cultivate habits of searching for and identifying patterns, relationships between the arts and other knowledge.

4. Find joy, inspiration, peace, intellectual stimulation, meaning, and other life-enhancing qualities through participation in all of the arts.

5. Seek artistic experience and support the arts in their local, state, national, and global communities. Contact Us

Director of Curriculum and Assessments

David Brothers


 Administrative Assistant

 Eva Sieb


Fine Arts Content Leader

Michelle Ridlen


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