William Floyd Schools

Fine Arts Department shares portfolio project success at statewide conference


The William Floyd School District Fine Arts Department, led by chairperson Theresa Bianco, recently presented at the 74th annual New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA) Conference in Binghamton, N.Y., to share the district’s success and the positive impact that hosting portfolio project adjudication events has on students and their academic success. The NYSATA portfolio project is an authentic assessment tool based on the NYS Learning standards that provides students with an opportunity to present portfolios of their work at regional adjudication events. Student portfolios provide evidence of understanding and student learning in the visual arts.

“Our school district has had the most students participating in adjudication for several years now, and we keep growing, and student success keeps growing,” said William Floyd School District Fine Arts chairperson Theresa Bianco, who attended the conference with William Floyd High School art teacher Erika Licausi. Bianco, who also serves as a NYSATA Region 10 (Suffolk County) board member, and Licausi, shared their presentation, “The Impact of the Portfolio Project,” a discussion of the success that developing a portfolio has on districtwide learning, along with student involvement in art and other areas.

The presentation, which provided information for other districts on how to grow a portfolio program in their school/district, also shared best practices, the challenges that educators face, as well as ways to encourage students to share and discuss their artwork. They also discussed advocating for the importance of art in a changing educational arena, as well as the piloting of the Individual Arts Assessment Pathway, a new graduation pathway option in which students demonstrate, through a collection of creative works, growth over time that meets New York State’s Learning Standards for the arts. 

Bianco and Licausi also shared a video highlighting William Floyd’s Portfolio Project, which NYSATA has requested to use on their website to share with educators all across the state. 

Last year, the William Floyd School District was selected as only one of two districts statewide to receive NYSATA’s Special Citation for a school district/university, an award acknowledging excellence in an institution that provides a significant contribution to arts education.

This year’s Portfolio Project adjudication event is scheduled for April 22 and Region 10 schools are eligible to attend.


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