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Welcome to the Arts Academy and Arts Department at John Dewey High School where we strive to prepare our students for a basis in art that will grow in complexity and their understanding of the world and love of art will last their lifetimes making them better humans.

We strive to prepare students each day grounding  in our founder's wisdom - “Art is not the possession of the few who are recognized writers, painters, musicians; it is the authentic expression of any and all individuality. Those who have the gift of creative expression in unusually large measure disclose the meaning of the individuality of others to those others. In participating in the work of art, they become artists in their activity. They learn to know and honor individuality in whatever form it appears. The fountains of creative activity are discovered and released. The free individuality which is the source of art is also the final source of creative development in time.  —John Dewey


The John Dewey Arts Department consists of three tracks -

Fine Arts

Performing Arts - Theater

Performing Arts - Dance

All students have the opportunity to participate in and track towards the Arts Endorsed Diplomma which recognizes their commitment to the Arts and culminates in an Citywide examination that validates that commitment. 

All students select a track of study and progress through the classes required in that track of study. Students confer with their Guidance Counselor Ms. Diana Natale regarding when to take the appropriate elective classes in their focus elective and progress through the coursework during their tenure at JDHS. 

We are happy to announce that John Dewey High School’s Art Department has been selected to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative with NY State embarking upon a portfolio based assessment system where students will begin their portfolios in Freshman year and graduate with a bank of work representing their progression within their art discipline. 

At JDHS, we are committed to preparing students to enter the competitive workforce and are always exploring new internship opportunities, partnerships and work based learning for our students to be exposed to looking at the world through new lenses.  I have the distinct privilege of being the STEM Academy and Arts Academy Assistant Principal where I seek ways to blend the two forms of discipline together to prepare our students for fast changing workforce where our students will have several careers and will need to reinvent themselves.  With a grounding in the Core Academics, the Arts and exposure to STEM, JDHS students are future ready and capable of entering jobs that don’t even exist yet.  As Georgia O’Keefe, the famous panter once said, “To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage.” and our students lead with courage with their preparations, relationships and coursework that begin here in school.
Nancy J. Woods
Assistant Principal
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