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WHSS to launch new Integrated Arts program

December 9, 2020

MOUNT FOREST, Ontario – Wellington Heights Secondary School is launching a new creative program for students.

The program will combine music and drama, but will offer students so much more than that.

“The beauty of the Integrated Arts program is that it can be student-driven,” said Charlotte Ristich, Drama, English and Integrated Arts teacher at WHSS. “It’s an open course with learning expectations that can be applied to many different areas of the arts, such as music, drama, dance, photography, videography, digital art, and even emerging fields like makeup artistry.”

Ristich said that WHSS students who are interested in drama, music, drama, dance, or other art forms can all find a home in this new program. “So many art forms do often coexist and it’s important for students to see how these different forms can integrate with each other,” she said.

The idea for the program came through collaboration between school staff in the arts department and school administration. It’s an innovative way to ensure students have access to a rich arts program even with smaller enrolment numbers at the school.

“The Integrated Arts course seemed like a natural fit as it would allow students the opportunity to be exposed to both music and drama together,” said Adam Barnard, the current Head of Arts and French at WHSS.

“One of the things that I find most exciting about this new program is the opportunity for staff and students to grow the program from the ground up,” said Barnard. “Each year we will get to see growth in the classroom and in the school as a whole.  I am also excited to see where the students will take this program. The dual nature of the course will allow students to make connections between drama and music that may never have been possible if they had just taken one or the other,” he said.

The program will be offered to WHSS students in Semester 2 and both Ristich and Barnard believe student interest will be strong. “There are many students at WHSS who are passionate about the arts and are looking for a way to express themselves,” said Barnard.

“My hope is that offering this new, exciting program will increase interest and involvement in the arts at our school and in the community,” said Ristich.

WHSS students will begin course selection for next year in mid-December.  Semester 2 (Quadmesters 3 and 4) will run from February 3 to June 29, 2021. 

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