“Art Is…” is a Rooftop art education program that uses works of art to provide an inexhaustible resource for exploration, reflection and understanding. The program actively engages students, supports learning across the curriculum, and builds critical thinking skills through “hands-on” art making, reflection and research.
“Art Is…” will bring works of art (music, dance, theater and visual art, with a focus on multicultural work) to all Rooftop students and develop partnerships between teachers, teaching artists, arts organizations and art parents to develop integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum that will support learning for all students.
Art Parent Program, Grades K-5
Rooftop’s Art Parents are an essential part of Rooftop’s Art Program, providing an invaluable contribution that brings visual art to the classroom on a weekly basis. All parents are welcome to lead or assist in classroom art projects.
Credentialed Visual Arts Instruction, Grades 6-8
Mayeda students in grades 6-8 have core visual arts classes. Classes explore in-depth the themes of the Art Is… curriculum along with multicultural and multimedia exploration. The daily lessons teach a variety of traditional art techniques, while the themes of the lessons support learning across the curriculum. Through art-making, students explore issues of personal identity, cultural perspectives, social justice, compassion and engagement with the world. Technology and the arts are integrated with many of the themes resulting in creation of video movie making using Rooftop’s laptop lab.
“Art Is…” Integrated Curriculum Study, 6th Grade
Sixth grade students engage in a weekly intensive study of the Art Is… curriculum. Students’ guided inquiries into the works of art and guiding questions in the Art Is… curriculum are followed by art making responses to their discoveries. Visual and performing arts, creative writing and new media and technology are among the many media explored in the 6th Grade Art Is… classes.
Rooftop Clay Program, Grades K-8
K-5 classes receive clay instruction to create projects designed to build students experience with clay as an artistic medium, and to integrate with the classroom curriculum. In grades 6-8 the Art Coordinator provides clay lessons for our middle school students.
ROOFTOP ARTS TRADITIONS
Rooftop Auction and Children’s Art Show
Each year, Rooftop students collaborate with their classmates to create works of art that are gifted to the school and open to bidding at the Rooftop Auction. Guided by Art Parents and teachers, these works showcase our children’s best creative efforts and beautifully represent the essence of Rooftop Spirit.
Young At Art and PTA Reflections
These two annual events offer opportunities to showcase our students’ creativity to the public.
“Young at Art” is SFUSD’s annual celebration of student creativity in visual, literary, media and performing arts. Student works, both as individuals and group artworks, are selected each year for display at the world-renowned de Young Museum.
PTA Reflections is one of the largest student arts recognition programs in the country. Selected student work is showcased at the district level with a display at SFUSD headquarters. Frequently, Rooftop students’ artwork is selected to advance to the California state level of the Reflections Program.
San Francisco Symphony – Deck the Halls / Trim-A-Tree
Each year, Rooftop is honored to participate in the SF Symphony’s Deck the Halls program. Every student creates an ornament of a design inspired by the “Art Is…” curriculum. All 580 ornaments adorn a 16-foot holiday tree at Davies Symphony Hall and are viewed by thousands of San Franciscans over the holiday season.
For three days in December, students in grades 1-5 participate in a workshop of the student’s choice to create a gift for a loved one. Students in grades 6-8 may participate in an optional Winter Workshop held after school at the Mayeda Campus. There are over twenty different workshops offered each year by teachers and art parent volunteers. The students create, complete, and wrap a gift and everyone celebrates with a festive Workshop party.
LEAP Sandcastle Classic
Rooftop’s 5th grade classes participate annually in the LEAP Sandcastle Classic. Partnering with the architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the students collaborate with the firm’s architects in a series of in-school design brainstorming sessions. A design plan is refined, and the students and architects work together to create their vision in sand at Ocean Beach in early October. Rooftop’s participation in this program began in 2009. In both our inaugural year, as well as in 2010, we were awarded “Best in Show.”
Family Art Nights
At these evening arts events, the entire family is invited to come to school to share a light supper, make art together, and build community ties. Rooftop hosts two Family Art Nights in the fall. The first is a Kindergarten Family Art Night, which provides an intimate setting for new families to get to know each other. Our All-School Family Art Night offers the opportunity for families across the grades to meet and make art together.
Often, Family Art Nights’ activities are led by visiting artists, creating connections between the school and the larger Bay Area artistic community. Family Art Nights have been led by Aiko Cuneo (Rooftop’s Art Program founder), Circus Finelli, Transit Dance founder Michael Koob, and improvisational arts with Stage Write. One year, the intersection of the art and science of ants was explored with a visit by Dr. Brian Fisher, an entomologist and “Science Hero” from the California Academy of Sciences.
Rooftop’s Art Program guides students in exploring the written and spoken word as a powerful form of artistic expression. Every year, works of poets and authors are included in the “Art Is…” curriculum for students to study and inspire their own creative writing. Past studies have included the works of author Maurice Sendak, and poets Homeris Aridjis and Kay Ryan.
Every spring, Rooftop hosts two poetry nights for our Fourth and Fifth Grade classes where students recite their own poetry. The students’ written works are compiled into hand-bound poetry books that are treasured keepsakes of their year’s experience in developing their creative writing skills.
Rooftop School’s outdoor science program was started as a vision of Principal Nancy Mayeda in 1984. With donated lumber, donated soil, and dedicated parent involvement, the garden started to evolve slowly but steadily. By 1995, the school had enough garden beds for every teacher and 10 heirloom apple trees had been planted. By 1996 we had a garden educator to teach the students mandated science curriculum through hands-on activities in our garden.
The Rooftop Garden Program serves every student (~330 each year!), on the K-4 Burnett campus. Each classroom has a one-hour garden session per week. Students are also free to come to the garden at recess and lunch times for unorganized nature play.
What is the garden program? What do you do?
Rooftop students study living things, plant and animal morphology, life cycles, and strategies for survival and habitats. Seasons are studied: why we have seasons and what plants and animals are doing in each season. Rocks are investigated; soil formation, and decomposition of organic material are studied. Overall, the garden program operates as an outdoor laboratory where SFUSD science concepts are taught using plants, animals, and materials present in the garden.
What started as Nancy Mayeda’s vision has grown to become an invaluable educational resource that serves all students at Rooftop Elementary and has become a model for other schools.
Who is the teacher?
Pua Owen heads this hands-on science program, taught in our own beautiful garden. Volunteers are always welcome to assist during garden class time, as well as in helping to maintain this sanctuary. Email your classroom teacher to help outside of class time, and look for dates in the weekly bulletin of garden work parties, which are always a lot of fun and very important to maintaining the garden.
Our mission is to provide students with frequent access to our collections, to promote the joy of reading and the delight in exploring personal interests, and to instruct students in the appropriate use of both print and electronic resources, empowering them with skills to be intelligent users of information.
Students enjoy music in a variety of ways. K-4 students participate in Choral Music with an SF Arts Ed teaching artist. Instruction focuses on teaching musical concepts through singing. 4-8th grade students participate in instrumental music lessons, taught in small groups. The SF Symphony and SFUSD’s partnership provides a sequential music education program to all students in grades 1-5. K-4 students also celebrate music and community in a weekly Sing-Along.
Students in grades 6 & 8 participate in an outdoor education program. Not only do these programs enrich their academic school experience, but they also allow them to form close bonds outside of the classroom. Most students agree that the outdoor ed program is one of their most memorable and cherished experience during their time at Rooftop!
A super fun movement program which helps children master gross and fine motor skills, as well as sensory and coordination skills. This program is based on the research showing that there’s a strong link between these skills and classroom success.
In grades 2-5, students learn:
- Typing skills
- How to use the internet to research and gather information for classroom reports
- How to develop new communication skills through word processing, graphic design and illustration
- How to use Google classroom, Google docs, etc.
In grades 6-8, Computer Science curriculum is taught two days per week for all middle school students at Rooftop.
This page was last updated on December 17, 2019