Van Cortlandtville Elementary School


Art Education
Katherine O’ConnorArt Co-Coordinator
Tiffany Dyckman, Art Co-Coordinator
Julianne SummersArt Teacher

The door to the art room is the entrance into a world where your wildest imaginations can be brought to life with the simple stroke of a pencil. There are no limits to creations, only limits to the time we have to create them. - unknown

The main objective of the art program at Van Cortlandtville Elementary is to open all our students eyes to the different works of art around the world past and present as well as helping them to develop their own artistic voice. While utilizing the New York State Art Standards in every lesson students at Van Cort learn to produce art with a variety of mediums, techniques, and styles. Each day in the art room is carefully crafted to build upon the last and each year of study builds on the previous. The art room is an inviting, positive environment where students can feel free to be themselves. Art is a world where all learning styles can meet and work together. The study of Art at Van Cort integrates itself with all the subjects from science to reading. Students graduate from Van Cort with an in-depth art vocabulary, a wide understanding of cultures, an increased knowledge of art history and the ability to imagine anything is possible.

Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling? - M. C. Escher

Library Media Center 
Megan BiddleLibrary Media Specialist

LMC webpage

Welcome to the Van Cortlandtville Virtual Library - Students visit the Van Cortlandtville library once a week for book selection and instruction toward independent library use.  Students are exposed to information literacy skills, including accessing and evaluating information.  Our library collection enriches and supports the curriculum as well as nurtures literature appreciation.

Richard Russo, Music Co-Coordinator
Jamie Stroffolino, Music Co-Coordinator
Kristen Garland, Music Teacher 
Cynthia Ramirez, Music Teacher

At Van Cortlandtville we offer a variety of musical experiences for our students.  All students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, attend a forty-minute general music class once a week.  This class incorporates numerous activities: 

  • SINGING-both solo and group
  • INSTRUMENTAL-performance on classroom instruments (pitched and non-pitched percussion, improvisational and prepared)
  • RECORDER- in the third grade the recorder is begun.  It is continued throughout the fourth and fifth grades, increasing in its challenge and in the opportunities for multi-part harmonies as proficiencies grow.  This study provides pre-band/orchestral introduction and study.
  • NOTE READING- is begun through the use of icons in the lower grades and is refined throughout third, fourth, and fifth grades.  By the fifth grade, the student can do “Music Math”.
  • RHYTHM- exercises and compositions, solo and group
  • MUSICAL STYLES are explored.
  • COMPOSERS are studied along with their compositions.
  • ACTIVE LISTENING skills are developed.
  • MOVEMENT- (improvised, interpretive and prepared) and also dance.
  • INTEGRATED LEARNING- a great emphasis is placed on integrating other disciplines through music, as well as with the classroom teacher whenever possible.
  • LEARNING STYLES are a class focus, and games and manipulatives are used in class.

At Van Cortlandtville, Karl Orff’s pedagogy is followed.  It provides a positive learning environment involving the whole child through his/her experience of song, language, recorder, barred instruments, drums, small percussion, movement, speech, and dance.  Self-esteem, confidence, community, and a cooperative and collaborative spirit are fostered by this approach to music learning.

Beginning in fourth grade, students have the opportunity to join a performing group.  We offer fourth graders chorus, fifth grade students have chorus and also either band or orchestra from which to choose.

We have two evening concerts per year.  The Winter Concert is chorus only, due to the fact that the band and orchestra students have just begun their studies.  In the Spring, the band and orchestra join the chorus in a combined concert experience.  Many of the chorus members also play recorder, drums and/or Orff instruments in the concerts.  Many fifth grade students are in chorus and band or orchestra.

Members of the band and orchestra have small group lessons once a week on a rotating schedule throughout the school year.

There is nothing that cannot be taught, strengthened or reinforced through the amazing world of music.

According to Plato: “Music is a moral law.  It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” 

Physical Education
Christine ColseyPhysical Education Teacher
Patrick ConnollyPhysical Education Teacher

The Physical Education program at Van Cortlandtville places a strong emphasis on developing and maintaining a high level of cardiovascular and physical fitness, as well as the importance of good sportsmanship and teamwork.