Special Programs



Open Window School offers a robust visual and performing arts program tailored to the unique needs of gifted students. We recognize that the arts, encompassing both performing and visual, play a pivotal role in the human experience. For gifted students, the arts often serve as a conduit for connecting ideas, expressing themselves, and fostering social and emotional growth.

Our arts program is structured around two core objectives: building a strong foundation in arts fundamentals and seamlessly integrating the arts into the broader curriculum. Every student at our school receives regular arts instruction encompassing visual art, drama, and music. Additionally, our arts teachers collaborate closely with homeroom teachers to infuse artistic experiences into classroom learning, creating a holistic and enriching educational experience.

Visual Arts


In our lower school visual arts program, we aim to ignite students' creativity through exposure to a diverse range of artists and visual arts techniques. Our primary focus lies in nurturing the artistic process rather than solely emphasizing the end product. We allocate time for students to enter a state of comfortable creative "flow," prioritizing hands-on experiences that help them develop fine motor skills.

Central to our approach is cultivating a healthy creative mindset—encouraging students to see their art as an extension of themselves and a means of celebrating their uniqueness. In our art studio, inclusivity and confidence-building are paramount. We want our students to explore new artistic horizons without the fear of failure.

Participation in the arts serves as both an emotional and social outlet, often leading to profound self-awareness and self-discovery. While many of our students excel in academic subjects, they may encounter challenges in their art classes. These challenges provide valuable opportunities for them to embrace productive struggle and develop grit and perseverance in a supportive and nurturing environment. It is upon this foundation that we foster the growth of technical artistic skills.


In our middle school visual arts program, we build upon the foundational artistic skills acquired in lower school, offering older students the chance to delve deeper into specific areas of interest. With greater capacity for focus and profound thinking, they explore these interests in greater depth.

Our art studio is a sanctuary of acceptance, where every student is not only encouraged but truly seen. It's a space free from judgment or competition, allowing students to work without fear. Middle school students comprehend that art is an extension of themselves, and we take this concept a step further, emphasizing that they possess the power to share their art with the world, effect change, and reflect on their personal growth.

We bridge the projects undertaken in our studio with the contemporary role of the arts in our world including identifying potential future careers in the arts, all of which require a solid foundational understanding of art principles, history, and design. The technical skills we provide serve as a toolbox from which students can draw to express their ideas, both in the present and throughout their future endeavors.



The drama program at Open Window School is designed around three primary objectives: fostering creative expression, promoting collaboration, and building confidence. Within this program, we establish a safe and encouraging space where students can freely express themselves through the art of storytelling.

Through participation in drama classes, all students experience valuable social and emotional growth. They grapple with the inherent challenges of theatrical creation, including teamwork, problem-solving during rehearsals, and the apprehension that comes with performing in front of an audience. With a consistent offering of drama classes from kindergarten through fourth grade, students progressively develop their confidence and essential skills each year.

In kindergarten and first-grade, classes focus on creative drama, guiding students on imaginative adventures that encourage problem-solving and introduce performance skills. As students progress to second through fourth grades, they delve deeper into the world of drama. This includes exploring character development, playwriting, and the intricacies of theatrical design. Each grade level also has an annual performance, typically integrated with their homeroom curriculum, on our recently renovated stage for the enjoyment of the entire school community.


In our middle school, drama class provides a nurturing environment for students to explore and embrace their identity, establish meaningful connections with their peers, and cultivate self-confidence. As our graduates bid farewell to Open Window, they carry with them a valuable toolkit of skills that empower them to confidently express their ideas in front of an audience. Our performances encompass a diverse range of student-written plays, musicals, and theatrical productions, all of which take center stage on our recently renovated stage for the entire school community to enjoy.

For students with a fervor for drama, our middle school elective program in seventh and eighth grade offers a deeper dive into this expressive art form. These elective offerings serve as catalysts for creativity, offering avenues for exploration in acting, theatre design, playwriting, and comedy, ensuring that students can continue to explore their passion for drama in enriching ways.



In lower school music classes, students engage in a vibrant array of musical activities, including singing, chanting, playing instruments, attentive listening, and interactive games. Our comprehensive curriculum for kindergarten through fourth grade draws from a variety of pedagogical methods and approaches, including Orff-Schulwerk, the Kodály Method, and Music Learning Theory (MLT).

Throughout their musical journey, all students become familiar with tonal syllables (Do, Re, Mi) and master the Kodály/Curwen hand signs that correspond to the musical scale. Our elementary general music program centers on nurturing audiation, which is the ability to think musically. It follows the language learning sequence of "Listen, Speak, Read, Write," with singing and chanting replacing speaking. The human voice takes center stage as the primary instrument in elementary music, empowering students to sing both melodies and bass lines.

Our curriculum explores a wide variety of meters and tonalities, enriching students' musical vocabulary and celebrating the diverse musical traditions of cultures worldwide. In addition to vocal exploration, Open Window School offers a diverse array of percussion instruments for students to discover and master.

As students progress, they delve into more complex musical concepts, such as audiating harmonic function alongside melody. Moreover, singing and movement-based games create a safe and inviting context for students to explore new musical ideas, take creative risks, and even showcase their solo singing abilities.


In middle school, students build upon the musical foundation laid in lower school, progressing to more intricate songs spanning a diverse range of tonalities and meters. Their musical education now places a heightened emphasis on the "Read" and "Write" components of the "Listen, Speak, Read, Write" learning sequence.

Middle school students engage in rhythmic development by clapping and chanting complex rhythm patterns in various meters. They embark on sight-singing adventures, using solfege syllables (Do, Re, Mi) and mastering the Kodály/Curwen hand signs that correspond to the musical scale. To expand their creative horizons, students harness the power of technology, utilizing apps like Garageband for iPad to transfer and express their musical ideas. They also explore composition, crafting their own pieces and experimenting with writing short melodies complemented by harmonic accompaniments. Students also delve into the world of the Ukulele, an instrument from the string family often seen as a gateway to guitar playing. In a harmonious collaboration with the drama program, middle school students have the opportunity to perform in a musical at least once during their middle school years.

Within our electives program, students have the option to join the Open Window School Choir. This choir showcases their vocal talents by singing in unison as well as in two and three-part harmonies. Through choir participation, students not only enhance their vocal skills but also delve into the fundamentals of vocal production, including body alignment, breath support, vowel production, and registration.

Middle School Arts Electives

In addition to their core experiences in music, drama, and visual art, middle school students also have the opportunity to participate in arts electives.

The specific classes offered may vary from year to year, but examples of these content offerings include:
  • Music: Choir, Ukulele, 7th/8th grade musical
  • Visual Arts: 3D Printing, Photography & Photoshop, Clay, Pencil Sketching
  • Drama: Musical Theatre, Improv, Silent Filmmaking, Playwriting, Play Analysis
These classes allow students to explore and embrace their artistic interests while gaining a well-rounded arts education.
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.