Specials – Art/Spanish/PE/Tech/Music/Library

Brown International Academy Specials

Brown students are well-rounded learners. We are proud to offer five specials programs: Visual Arts, Music, Physical Education, Technology and Spanish. Students rotate Specials every 3 weeks, so they have plenty of time to develop their skills. Over the course of the year, all students will experience all of the Specials programs through our Specials Schedule.

Visual Arts
Jesse Bott
Art is a visual language, a form of communication that shares one’s ideas and lived experiences. Students at Brown will explore and play with this type of communication developing a deep and meaningful translation of thought. With every unit or problem introduced, students will not only grapple with various ways of visually communicating their ideas, but also establish a relationship with the process of making. The hope is that this philosophy will allow for unique individual artwork to emerge. Over time students will build on the previous year’s experiments to grow as thoughtful creators.
Benjamin Herman
“The object of art is to give life shape.”
The importance of the arts in education and his passion for performance is what inspired Ben Herman to become a performing arts teacher. Ben began his performing arts journey at the age of 5 when he began writing music and plays and performing in the community. This excitement led him to pursue degrees in vocal music and theater. He is excited to bring his passion for teaching performing arts to Brown International Academy.

When he is not in the classroom, Ben enjoys hiking, landscaping, yoga and travel. He has adventured through 19 countries and 42 states. Ben is also a registered yoga teacher for adult and children’s yoga.

Physical Education
George Petro
A love of movement and physical activity are some of the primary contributors to the lifelong maintenance of a healthy body and lifestyle. It is the goal of Brown’s physical education and dance program to foster such a passion in our students by introducing them to dances and physical activities that are as enjoyable as they are challenging.

From Kindergarten and 1st grade where we are learning about spatial awareness, exploring new equipment and discovering new ways to exercise our bodies, all the way up to fifth grade where we are finding the value of teamwork through adventure challenges, creating personalized fitness plans, and developing creative movement compositions. By the time a student leaves Brown, they will have the necessary skills to lead long, healthy, active lives.

Sarah Aragon

Foreign language instruction is a unique feature of IB schools — our language is Spanish. The Spanish program at Brown International is geared toward fostering cognitive flexibility: when children are fluent in two languages, they know more than one word for the same object or concept. Because words have different connotations and ideas in different languages, children build a more complex understanding of vocabulary and the world. A bilingual child not only can speak two languages, but can think about the world in more complicated ways. For this reason, the Spanish program at Brown is a perfect complement to our IB program.

During Spanish, students learn language structures (phrases) and vocabulary related to school-wide IB units. Students work in cooperative groups, act-out concepts, learn songs and play games. Native Spanish speakers are given the opportunity to improve reading and writing skills and to support Spanish learners in a trusting environment.

Michelle Townley

The computer lab at Brown has recently been updated with 34 new Mac computers and they are beautiful! Students at all grade levels spend time learning how to use our equipment properly and have the knowledge to be safe online. Digital citizenship skills, such as what they should/should not share online, preventing cyberbullying, reducing digital footprints, and avoiding plagiarism, are taught at all grade levels. Google for Education applications are used with students first through 5th grade including Google Documents, Slides, Spreadsheets, and Classroom. In the middle of the year students practice typing and research skills, eventually using what they’ve learned to create presentations in various digital formats. During the last trimester older students learn basic coding skills and use them to complete a series of challenges. The overall goal of the Educational Technology program at Brown is to extend classroom learning while developing safe and respectful 21st century learners.

Check out Brown’s Technology website.

Melissa Capozza
Through a district grant and Brown’s Read-a-thon, the library has recently undergone a make over, with new paint, carpet, furniture, and technology. In addition, through district funds and proceeds from book fairs, new titles of books that support the curriculum and recreational reading needs of students are regularly added to the library. Melissa Capozza collaboratively plans and teaches with classroom teachers to expand children’s research and literacy skills in their explorations of our Units of Inquiry in the Primary Years Programme (PYP).

Thanks to a grant from the Carmel Hill Foundation, Brown implements the Accelerated Reader program. Accelerated Reader is a motivational reading program that helps students choose books at their level and allows them to take computerized tests to assess their comprehension. To find out more about Accelerated Reader, please visit their website. You can check the AR level of a book by visiting AR book finder. 

  • Need to online research at home? Visit http://lion.dpsk12.org. The online databases like Pebble Go for grade K-3 or World Almanac for Kids for grade 2-5 are excellent alternatives to searching for age appropriate material on Google.
  • Interested in checking out E- books via Overdrive? Visit http;//dpsk12.lib.overdrive.com.
    • Username: Students will need their 6 digit ID
    • Password: birthday in the mmddyyyy format