Special Areas Of Instruction - MCE Handbook

  • Art
    Students in first through fifth grade attend art classes for one class session each week. The Art teacher will provide a smock for each art class.  

    The art curriculum focuses on exposing students to the “Elements of Art”--line, color, shape, form, value, texture, and space. Instruction in these areas includes art history and hands-on experience in six main areas:  Painting, Printmaking, Clay, Drawing, Two and Three-Dimensional Drawing, and Weaving. All six areas are covered in each grade, with older children building upon past work. For example, as children move through five years of clay instruction they advance from making pinch pots, to pinch animals, to coil pots, to slab building, to works created using a variety of clay techniques.  

    Each primary classroom at MCE is equipped with at least two computers and a laptop. Intermediate students have access to a laptop cart containing thirty computers. In addition, all K-3 students visit the Computer Lab. Early computer instruction uses educational programs and games to help children become familiar with the technology available to them. Fourth and fifth grade students continue to work on their keyboarding and begin to integrate technology with other school work as they use computers to complete school reports using research skills to compile information with regard to their topic of study.


    Supervised Internet access is available to students only if they and their parents have signed and submitted an Internet Use Agreement form distributed at the beginning of the fourth grade year. Educational and reference sites are book-marked for all students’ use to provide easy and safe access for their work. Internet use is considered a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in cancellation of this privilege.


    School Nurse Teachers are responsible for maintaining the health office and also for teaching the New York State mandated health curriculum in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  The health topics include personal safety, drug and alcohol prevention, age appropriate growth and development, personal wellness, and nutrition. Parents are informed on a regular basis about the topics covered in their child’s classroom.  If you have any questions about the health curriculum, please contact the School Nurse Teachers at 267-1440.


    The MCE Library, open during school hours, provides students and staff with over 14,000 learning materials, including books, magazines, references works, videos, newspapers, and book & tape sets. Classes rotate through the library once a week, and may make additional visits for special projects and small group use. Supervised Internet access is also available in the library for those students who, with their parents, have signed the school’s Internet Use Agreement Form distributed in the beginning of the year.


    In grades K -2, the students’ library time is devoted to developing listening skills, learning about different genres of literature, understanding the parts of a book, and beginning to find materials for themselves. Students in grades 3-5 continue their exposure to various types of literature and receive instruction on using the catalog, reference materials, electronic and online resources, and the research process.


    Children are generally allowed to check out books for two weeks. If a book is not returned on time, a reminder notice will be sent to the student.


    The Pittsford Central School librarians provide a Summer Reading List and information on resources for students, parents, and teachers on the MCE Library website: www.pittsfordschools.org/schools.cfm?subpage=1230.


    Parent volunteers are welcome and appreciated in the library. Volunteers choose their own hours of work.


    Families also may choose to participate in the PTSA-sponsored Celebrate-with-a-Book project, in which they donate a book to the library in honor of a student’s birthday or other special event. Parents are also welcome to make use of the library’s collection of parenting materials.


    All students in MCE participate in the school’s music program. K classes attend music for 30 minutes each week , while students in grades 1-5 experience a total of 60 minutes of music instruction each week. Early instruction concentrates on exposing children to all types of music through movement, singing, playing instruments, and other activities. Older students are also introduced to reading, writing, and composing music.


    Chorus is available for interested students in grades 4-5. All students in these grades will receive a letter at the beginning of the school year inviting them to participate. Chorus is an after-school program, and children who participate in it may take the late bus home from school. The Chorus performs at the school’s winter and spring concerts.


    Band and Orchestra instrumental music lessons are available to students in MCE’s fifth grade. A letter describing this optional program will go home to parents at the end of fourth grade, and interested students will be assessed for placement in either band or orchestra. Group instrumental lessons begin during the fall of fifth grade, and occur during the school day. Band and Orchestra begin later on and are after-school programs. Students who participate may take the late bus home from school. Band and Orchestra participants perform at the school’s Winter and Spring Concerts.

    Physical Education

    Physical Education is provided for students in all grades at MCE, developing the children’s motor skills and socialization through safe and fun physical activity.


    Students in K attend PE two times a week, while those in grades 1-3 attend three weekly sessions. On PE days these students should wear sneakers, a t-shirt and shorts, or sweat pants.


    Students in grades 4-5 attend two PE periods a week. All students in these grades should have shorts without zippers, a t-shirt, socks, and sneakers for their PE classes, and must change into these clothes in the provided locker room. Because the children do not take showers after class, you may want to provide them with deodorant if appropriate. It is a good idea to periodically give your child clean clothes to bring in and exchange for those that can be brought home to be washed.


    If your child is unable to participate in physical education due to an illness or injury (e.g., sprain, fracture, stitches), a note must be submitted in writing to the School Nurse Teacher. A physician’s statement is required if your child will miss two or more physical education classes or will have limitations. The written note should explain the nature of the injury/illness, the activity limitation needed, and the expected length of the limitation.


    A student who has been excused from physical education will not be permitted to participate in after-school sport activities (e.g., roller skating) or lunch- hour recreation until they resume regular participation in the physical education program.


    Students in grades 4-5 attend science class two times a week. The students travel from their homeroom to the Science Room and are responsible for remembering and handling their materials and homework in a different setting.

    The Science curriculum introduces students to scientific problem-solving steps and uses such techniques as classifying, observing, recording, and predicting to teach scientific skills.  The emphasis is on getting students to begin to “think like a scientist” as they apply the concepts they learn in hands-on, cooperative experiments.

    Science topics are included in the K-3 curriculum, which is supplemented and enriched by the PTSA’s Science Action program, in which parent volunteers present hands-on science lessons in the classrooms three times a year.