High School Creative Arts

When students enter high school, those students wishing to prepare to pursue the fine arts in college may elect to specialize in a fine arts track. Currently students can choose from Visual Arts, Choral Performance or Theater Arts. Electives available in high school are listed below. Fine arts students should consult with the Director of Fine Arts to develop a logical progression for taking these courses.


  • Foundational Drawing (one semester for ½ credit; offered first semester only). This course teaches students the basic principles of drawing that are universal to all design disciplines — mass, volume, form, contour, texture, light and shadow. These principles, introduced through lecture demonstrations, are applied to figure drawing, still life, landscape, architectural, and abstract subjects. Individual instruction in drawing with pencil, charcoal, pastel, and ink is geared to students of all levels. Students may repeat this course to improve skills.
  • Studio Art (one semester for ½ credit). This course will introduce students to various forms of the visual arts, including painting, drawing, and three-dimensional media. Students will learn how to look at a work of art, identify and compare key characteristics in artworks, and understand the role that art has played throughout history. Through hands-on activities, virtual museum tours, discussion and research, students will develop an overall appreciation for the art they encounter in their daily lives. Students may repeat this course as an advanced segment.
  • AP Studio Art (offered if demand warrants; prerequisite: Studio Art and/or Foundational Drawing and permission of the teacher). In this course, the student develops a complete portfolio of artwork (Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design), demonstrating both concentration in a particular medium and breadth of abilities across various media. This course prepares the students to submit their portfolio for evaluation in the spring, serving as a direct demonstration of their achievement.
  • AP Art History (offered if demand warrants; prerequisite: permission of the teacher). In this course, students will use critical thinking as they develop an understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting, and other media, from ancient times to today. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender and the functions and effects of works of art. This course prepares the student for the AP Art History exam in the spring.
  • Digital Media and Design (one semester for ½ credit; offered one semester only. May count as fulfilling either the Technology or the Fine Arts requirement, but not both.) This fast-paced course introduces students to Adobe PhotoShop CS4 as they master basic to advanced image editing and compositing techniques. Students will gain exposure to graphic design fundamentals along with a deeper understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Students may repeat this course as an advanced segment.
  • 3-D Modeling and Design (one semester for ½ credit; offered second semester only. Required for STEM students; may count as fulfilling either the Technology or the Fine Arts requirement for the general diploma as well.) This course provides an introduction to the use of three-dimensional modeling software, particularly in an engineering and design context.


  • Choir (may be repeated for credit; one-half credit per semester) Choir students will learn some basic sight singing skills along with some challenging choral compositions. They will be competing in fine arts competitions and will be involved with the Christmas program and spring recital. Please note: Special events and performances require student participation in additional rehearsals. Students will need to arrange their schedules so that they are able to participate in these rehearsals. The performance participation grade for the class is determined by participation during rehearsals and performances. There will be extra rehearsals scheduled up to two weeks prior to a major performance.
  • Music Appreciation (offered if demand warrants; one semester for ½ credit). This course is designed for the high school student who wants to learn the foundational basics of music. Over a semester, each student will study the four main pillars of music: instruments, elements of music, forms of music and a brief history of music including a look at some important composers of each era. The student will learn basic music theory (how to read a music rhythm, melody and harmony as well as identifying basic forms of music such as the fugue, theme and variations, concerto and opera) and how music developed over periods of time (from the Middle Ages to the present). Students will study how music impacts society and what careers can be pursued in the fields of music. There will be quizzes, tests and hands-on classroom work as the student learns to appreciate music at a deeper level.


  • Drama (may be repeated for credit; one-half credit per semester) This provides students with an increased appreciation of and additional experience in theater as an art form. The student will act, direct, or be technically involved in scene development, one-act plays, or full length productions. They will read, write, and evaluate plays as well as view and critique electronic and live performances. History, culture, and technology will be examined, and career opportunities will be explored. Through creating theater, students will grow in their ability to comprehend the world and to communicate with others. Because this is a performance-based class, performances require student participation in additional rehearsals evenings and weekends. Students will need to arrange their schedules in advance to accommodate these additional time commitments.


At the permission of the Band Director, high school and advanced band students may participate in a Jazz Ensemble. Desired instrumentation includes guitar, bass guitar, drums, sax, clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, baritone and piano. A variety of performance opportunities are made available throughout the year, for internal and external audiences.

At the permission of the Praise Team Leader, students may participate on the Praise Team.



Theater Technical Staff: High school students have the opportunity to apply for theater technical positions to support the Middle and High School Drama Troupes. There are four major drama productions each school year. High school students are trained by the Director of Fine Arts in the following areas:

  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Set/Prop Design
  • Stage Management

Students gain leadership and time management skills, valuable technical experience and service hours for participating in these extracurricular activities.

Assistant Drama Director: At the invitation of the Fine Arts Director, an advanced high school drama student participates as Assistant Director for either the winter or spring Middle School drama production. This student participates in all after school rehearsals and performances, leads pre-rehearsal warm-ups, assists in stage direction and blocking, and works with individual students on characterization and stage movement. This assignment provides the Assistant Director with valuable leadership, mentoring and time management experience.

After School and Summer Art Camp Teacher’s Assistant: Advanced high school fine arts students may apply as Teacher’s Assistant for the after school arts programs and/or summer art camp. Applications must be approved by the Director of Fine Arts prior to interviewing for these positions. These positions may or may not be paid positions. The programs are all fee-based and are completely self-funded. The student assistant helps the classroom teacher with preparation of supplies, assists students with assigned projects, cleans up the classroom at the end of the lesson and performs other duties as assigned by the lead teacher. Teacher’s assistants are provided with valuable leadership, mentoring and time management experience.


On an informal basis, advanced chorus, visual art and drama students are asked to mentor other students in the classroom.


Annually CCS offers our high school students the opportunity for international travel, as we explore the art, architecture and culture of other countries. In years past we have traveled to England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Greece. We contract with a tour company that specializes in educational tours, EF Tours. EF is a world leader in educational travel with over 40 years of experience. There is no better way than travel to ignite a students’ curiosity about the world around them and motivate them to become lifelong learners!
CCS generously provides CCHS seniors a travel stipend to participate in this international travel opportunity. Seniors receive $150 for every year they have consecutively attended CCS, including their senior year. For example, a senior who joined CCS in 7th grade would receive a stipend of $900.