The elementary art program of Fairfax County Public Schools is exploratory and conceptual. Children explore a variety of thinking processes, art forms, materials, techniques, and sources of inspiration to solve artmaking challenges and make meaning of their world. The elementary art program is designed with a sustained focus on “A Sense of Place” providing students opportunities to question, explore, and document their perception of their place in the world. “A Sense of Place” is an enduring idea that validates the experiences of young artists, helps them understand what it means to be human, and challenges them to be more empathetic to the people, cultures, and environments they encounter. At each grade level, “A Sense of Place” is explored through a different, developmentally appropriate theme.

The themes or “Big Ideas” for each grade level are as follows:

  • Kindergarten - Self
  • Grade 1 - Family
  • Grade 2 - Community
  • Grade 3 - Culture
  • Grade 4 - Time
  • Grade 5 - Globalization

Grading in Visual Arts

Students receive four grades for Visual Arts on their progress report. One each in the areas of CommunicateCreateRespond & Connect, and Effort. Grades can vary from quarter to quarter based on a student’s comfort level and strength with different media. 


Engages in the creative process to develop artworks and express meaning

  • Use planning and reflection to guide artworks
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Develop and communicate relevant and original ideas in artwork


Applies art media techniques appropriately to produce artworks

  • Exhibit understanding of art techniques and processes
  • Apply art fundamentals in artworks
  • Develop excellence through practice with a variety of art materials
  • Make purposeful decisions when creating art

Respond & Connect

Demonstrate an understanding of art by engaging with art history, culture, criticism, and aesthetics.

  • Reflect on and respond to artworks through critical and aesthetic discussions
  • Understand the connections among art, artists, history, and culture
  • Use vocabulary appropriately to identify and describe artwork


  • Use time for art creation
  • Work at personal best level
  • Follow directions independently
  • Show respect for yourself, peers, teacher, and classroom

Students will receive a mark of 4, 3, 2, 1, N/T, or N/A

4Consistently Demonstrates3Usually Demonstrates2Sometimes Demonstrates
1Seldom DemonstratesN/TNot TaughtN/ANot Assessed

Why Art Matters

Art Teaches kids to...

*respect others  * start a dialogue * experiment with materials *observe * find their voice * self-evaluate * make connections * express  themselves * learn from their mistakes * clean up * reflect on their work * embrace diversity * persevere *  have an opinion * appreciate beauty * break away from  stereotypes * envision solutions * value   aesthetics * see another point of view * innovate *

Art develops future inventors, architects, and dreamers, nurturing the very skills they'll need to paint or create their masterpieces on their canvas of life.

3D Artwork

2D Artwork

Our Staff

Art Teacher: Thomas Baybrook

Art Teacher: Michael Wills