Mrs. Simkus

I am very excited to have your child in Art class this year!

Now that the 2018-19 school year is underway, I want to introduce myself, provide contact information, and explain the objectives of the choice-based art program in your child’s building.

I will teach Kindergarten through Fifth Grades. I have been teaching art for more than twenty years. In addition to teaching, I am a painter who works mainly in acrylics, and a writer who has published articles about art instruction in trade magazines such as Arts and Activities.

Contact Information

Art is basically a form of communication and to that end, we'd like to encourage you to reach out to me if you have questions regarding your child’s performance. I divide my time between Lincoln and Norton Creek and this sometimes makes it challenging to meet every parent/guardian in person. If you need to reach me, I am best accessible via email joyce.simkus@d303.org

Art Education Today

Just like everything in the world, art education at the elementary school level continues evolving. Over the past several years, we’ve transitioned from the old fashioned, teacher-led art classroom, to a more dynamic, choice-based learning environment. What does this mean? In the past, art class was centered around the finished product, where every student came home with the same exact paint-by-numbers creation. It was a byproduct of the industrial age, where students were being taught to be exactly the same as one another. Today we place more emphasis on the creative process and steering students toward their own unique talents. This is where students learn, create and express ideas in different ways, using a broad range of materials. We have high expectations for each student and part of our evaluation process is challenging their ideas, decisions and interpretations. We discuss these things on a weekly basis with the students and it gives us a great deal of satisfaction realizing they are going to be the creative, innovative, self-disciplined leaders in business, education, service, the trades and the creative arts of the future.