Patapsco art programs adapt to function remotely
With the Baltimore County school system preparing to use remote learning for the entire first semester, there are still some questions concerning how exactly its all going to work that need to be answered.
Such as: what about students that are in the magnet programs of a Center for the Arts? Students that are graded on performing, like dancers, singers, musicians and theatre kids?
“That’s a valid question,” a spokesman for the school system said. “Two of the greatest challenges for remote instruction are students in magnet programs and special needs students.
“A lot of people are under the assumption the school system just started figuring things out for the fall. But long before the last school year ended, there was a lot of discussion on what the fall would look like, what situation we’d be in.”
For Patapsco High and Center for the Arts, there are magnet programs in dance, literary arts, visual arts, music (instrumental and vocal) and theatre.
Literary Arts (writing) and Visual Arts (photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and digital fine arts) would seem to adapt easily to remote learning
— the students mainly work on their “art” in isolation, anyway.
But dance, choir, band, theatre ... all in some respect sometimes need students to work closely with other students.
But ... there is a plan.
“We are very excited to move our magnet classes into an online environment this fall,” said Patapsco principal Dr. Scott Rodriguez-Hobbs. “I think this fall you will see more of our students being able to perform and practice in ways that are similar to what they would traditionally do in the building.
“In the spring, some of our programs were limited by the abrupt departure from the building — we had students who missed the last day before closure and were without instruments and equipment in the spring.”
This year, with the advanced warning the entire first semester will be done remotely, teachers were better=prepared and ensured all students have the equipment they need to continue their studies, Dr. Rodriguez-Hobbs said.
“So while our magnet students are engaged in virtual learning this year, they will continue to create works of art, music, dance and plays,” Dr. Rodriguez-Hobbs said.
For the performance-intensive programs: last spring, the dance students choreograph and tape their own pieces. These were then put together and presented as a concert.
“Our students were able to write and perform their own one-man shows last spring, which is a Patapsco tradition,” Dr. Rodriguez=Hobbs said.
These performances are available for viewing on the Patapsco YouTube page.
“Our theatre teachers have been working all summer to find plays the students can perform using Google Meets, the online platform used by BCPS.”
The Patapsco Theatre program must wait until the second semester to use its Black Box Theatre, but the school is preparing productions that can be done remotely for the first semester.