McNair provides general music education for all students Kindergarten through sixth grade, orchestra instruction beginning in fourth grade, and band and chorus instruction beginning in fifth grade. Instruction is aligned with the curriculum, and students are exposed to world cultures and instruments. FCPS undertakes a program assessment in fine arts at the sixth-grade level. These art and music assessments at the sixth-grade level will engage all sixth-grade students in real-life, authentic challenges to which the students will respond with their cumulative knowledge, skills, problem-solving ability, and creativity.
Results from these student products and performances will be used not to grade students, nor to direct their coursework or career paths, but rather to direct teachers and Instructional Services in new emphases and priorities within the elementary art and music Program of Studies that will aid all students in being successful in alignment with 21st Century Skills and aptitudes.
These 21st Century Skills include: creativity and innovation skills; critical thinking and problem-solving skills; communication and collaboration skills; and life and career skills such as flexibility and adaptability, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, productivity and accountability, and leadership and responsibility. Therefore, these assessments are designed to emphasize and capture deep understanding rather than shallow knowledge, and actively engage students in solving meaningful problems.