Students in the Upper Darby School District have a wide variety of elective courses in the fine and applied arts, technology, and world languages, all designed to enrich students' experiences in learning.
Middle School Electives
Drexel Hill and Beverly Hills Middle Schools will offer courses from this catalogue based on grade level and student achievement.
Section one of the guide describes the grade level or wheel electives that all middle school students take during the school year.
Section two of the guide are electives for students who are proficient in reading and math will have the opportunity to take up to four 90-day electives from in this catalogue.
It is important to note that these electives are teacher and schedule dependent and based on student interest and student academic qualifications.
"Art is humanity's most essential, most universal language. It is not a frill, but a necessary part of communication. The quality of civilization can be measured through its music, dance, drama, architecture, visual arts, and literature. We must give our children knowledge and understanding of civilization's most profound work." Toward Civilization: A Report on Arts Education by Ernest L. Boyer
The Visual Fine Arts Program in Upper Darby School District provides an art experience that stimulates the student's creativity, promotes self-esteem, and builds critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to move forward both technically and aesthetically, into Twenty-First Century Thinkers.
In Art Class, students from grades 1 to 12, throughout the District, learn to:
- Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Receive extensive practice necessary to understand basic symbol systems and abstract concepts
- Study art history and cultures
- Identify and further understand the arts connections to their core subject matter, i.e.; Math, Science, Social Studies, and English as it relates to their own lives
- Identify the creative process in works of art and apply those concepts to their own creative process, producing unique works of their own
- Develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills
- Practice high level thinking while learning to describe, analyze, interpret and judge works of art developing their own aesthetic and ability to engage in authentic art criticism
- Work with Creative Suites programs in Technology with the focus being mastery of technology as it applies to artistic expression.
Upper Darby School Districts philosophy of Art is reflected in the National and Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Arts and Humanities:
"The arts represent society's capacity to integrate human experience with individual creativity. Comprehensive study of the arts provides an opportunity for all students to observe, reflect and participate both in the arts of their culture and the cultures of others. Sequential study in the arts and humanities provides the knowledge and the analytical skills necessary to evaluate and critique a media-saturated culture. -"An arts education in the Upper Darby School District"- contributes to the development of productive citizens who have gained creative and technological knowledge necessary for employment in the 21st Century." (PAEA Academic Standards for Arts and Humanities)
Our program in the Upper Darby School District uses our standards based curriculum to provide our students with a comprehensive education in the Visual Arts.
Working in partnership with the Philadelphia Art Museum, our students attend the museum twice during their 5th grade year, for a structured cultural and aesthetic experience that has been developed in partnership with the school district and the Philadelphia Art Museum.
With the opportunity for small grants available through the Arts and Education Association teacher use this money for Artists in Residence, Specialty Art programs such as glass art, and special needs for the Art classroom.
Our Art Faculty throughout the district is a compilation of excellent art educators, who are practicing artists.
Students interested in pursuing careers in the Arts are uniquely prepared through our comprehensive program, which offers: Studio Art, Sculpture Studio, Ceramics, Advanced Sculpture and Ceramics, Visual Arts, Computer Generated Art, Advanced Computer Generated Art, Art Major 1, 2, and 3, as well as, Advanced and Advanced Placement Art. At the High School our Advanced fine arts and Computer Art students have a reputation for winning top awards in our local Congressional Art show, Hussian School of Art's annual competition, the Antonelli Institute's bi-annual juried competition, to name a few.
Finally, our culminating activity for the production and aesthetic appreciation of our students' hard work and creative endeavours, as well as, the involvement of our community at large, is our Annual Upper Darby School District Arts Festival, held on a Saturday with the Schoener Music Festival every spring. Please join us for this outstanding event! Details will be posted on our website.
Family & Consumer Science
The Family & Consumer Sciences encompass courses in Cooking, Sewing, Design, Child Development, and Adult Roles. Students enrolled in the Family & Consumer Science courses have the opportunity to learn the theories and apply the knowledge in the course through a variety of real-world applications. The courses in Foods introduce students to new foods and preparation techniques across a range of styles and cultures. In the spring, the Baking and Hospitality class creates a menu and prepares the food at the annual Upper Darby Education Association banquet. Students in the Textile and Design courses learn the elements of style, and have the opportunity to create clothing to wear, and design spaces in which to live. The Child Development courses give students information and experiences with parenting, budgeting, and real-world challenges that adults face. Our Pre-School lab provides an academic pre-school experience for local children, while affording our high school students the opportunity to put their lessons into practice, under the supervision of an Upper Darby High School teacher.
The Family and Consumer Sciences department offers and provides an opportunity for students to manage with reason and creativity the challenges across the life span of living and working in a global society. The department’s goals are to help students to become independent in order to balance work and family. Emphasis is on teaching life skills, career exploration, and preparation of marketable skill.
Health & Physical Education
Health and Physical Education
The Health and Physical Education program in the Upper Darby School District is designed to motivate and encourage active participation in developing life skills for optimal mental, social, and physical health. High-quality, standards-based physical education instruction helps students learn not only the skills and knowledge required to be physically fit and active, but it also gives them the confidence and positive attitude necessary to participate in physical activities.
The framework for physical education in Upper Darby Schools, grades 1 through 12, is an essential resource for the development, implementation, and evaluation of standards-based physical education programs and instruction. It reinforces the importance of physical education as a vital component of our students' educational experience and its contribution to each student's health and well being, social development, and readiness to learn.
Physical education is a planned sequential program that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity areas. Quality physical education should promote, through a variety of planned activities, each student's optimum physical, mental, emotional and social development, and should provide activities and sports that all students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives. Qualified, trained teachers teach physical education.
Health Education includes aspects of physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Through our Health program, students learn about the importance of making responsible decisions and being aware of themselves and others. A strong understanding of the need to be aware of one's own emotional strengths and weaknesses, and appropriately managing them in social interactions, provides the foundation for successful transition into the responsibilities of adulthood. The skills of collaboration and good decision-making, as well as the consquences of poor decision-making, are essential tools for students to implement throughout their lives.
The Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education describe what students should know and be able to do by the end of third, sixth, ninth and twelfth grade. The standards are sequential across the grade levels and reflect the increasing complexity and rigor that students are expected to achieve. By becoming and remaining physically, mentally, socially and emotionally healthy, students will increase their chances of achieving to their highest academic potential.
The categories associated with the Academic Standards for Health, Safety and Physical Education are:
- concepts of health
- healthful living
- safety and injury prevention
- physical activity
- the principles and strategies of movement.
Fast-forward to the future. A generation of students in Upper Darby is benefiting from standards-based physical education instruction. As young adults these individuals are physically active and fit. They understand the benefits of regular physical activity and know how to plan and implement their own fitness-and-wellness programs. Having mastered the necessary movement skills to participate confidently in many different forms of physical activity, they are ready to challenge themselves by pursuing new forms of movement. These young adults analyze their own movement performance on the basis of biomechanics principles. They develop their own learning plans for improving their motor skills and learning new ones. With an understanding of developmentally appropriate activities, they can plan and implement physical activities for young children and children with special needs. They also enjoy the social interactions that arise out of their involvement in physical activity and take responsibility for their interactions with others. They will maintain an active and healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.
The Music Program of the Upper Darby School District gives students the opportunity to succeed in all forms of musical expression. The curricular areas address the Music Educators National Conference Standards, and the National Standards for Arts and Humanities.
The Elementary School curriculum is Orff concentrated, and focuses on the main concepts of singing, playing, listening, creating, theory and movement. Additionally, students can be involved in performing choruses, bands, and orchestras. Instrumental instruction is offered to players from grades 3 (strings), 4, and 5.
The Middle School curriculum ranges from the elements of music and musical theater, styles of music and popular music, from the 1950's to the present. All grades have a sequential progression of piano skills in keyboard labs. Instrumental sectionals, vocal classes and before school rehearsals allow young performers to participate in a myriad of school and community activities.
The High School offers a broad array of choral and instrumental performance based courses in addition to Piano Keyboard/Theory. Music students are given countless opportunities to perform with major cultural institutions within the area. Our marching band, indoor guard and drum line , which are extra-curricular, compete in regional and national festivals. Auditioned choral groups travel yearly to participate in adjudicated performances. All of the music performances allow students to serve the community, and to expand their horizons as maturing young people.
The culmination of all musical activities is the annual Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation Gala. Through the guided expertise of the district music staff, a concert that features all of the districts' musicians, raises substantial funds to offer grants to teachers. This event is one of great pride to Upper Darby and the fourteen schools within this vast and diverse school district where all children can flourish in the musical world.
Business, Computers, and Information Technology
As defined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, "Business education involves teaching students the fundamentals, theories, and processes of business, while focusing on skills and strategies essential for success in life and the workplace." The Upper Darby School District aids students in learning these skills with a variety of elective options including Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Business Law and Management, Marketing, and Personal Finance.
Technology and Engineering Education
In a challenging job environment, it is more critical than ever that students complete their high school education with strong academic and technical skills that prepare them for college-level studies and successful careers. To allow students to develop and grow their technical acumen, The Upper Darby School District offers students a variety of courses in the fields of Home Mechanics, Construction Technology, Engineering, Desktop Publishing, Robotics, CAD, and Drafting and Design.
World Languages ~ French, Spanish, Mandarin
Upper Darby School District's World Languages Program is designed to develop a student's proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading and writing a language that is not his/her native tongue. Some qualified students may begin their study of World Languages in grade 6. Students can then decide to take either French or Spanish in grades 7 and 8. Some students complete either French 1 or Spanish 1 by the end of their middle school years. The World Languages sequence for students at UDHS who complete the middle school program begins with French 2 or Spanish 2. Students without middle school experience can take beginning French or Spanish in 9th grade. Beginning Mandarin is also available UDHS. Upper Darby High School offers French, Spanish or Mandarin, levels 1 through 4. Qualified students may take AP French or Spanish.
Pennsylvania Academic Standards for World Languages can be found at PDE or by clicking the link below for the Proposed Standards pdf