Charles L Smith Fine Arts Academy

School and community members are invited to attend a Holiday Spectacular for all grades. Students are performing Tap Dance, Hip Hop and singing.

New Board members — Harriet Stratis, paper conservator and technical art historian; Paula Volent, investment officer and paper conservator; and Graeme Whitelaw, architect — bring deep expertise in philanthropy and the art world to the Institute’s board.


In addition to pursuing their own studio interests, students take courses in art history. With the guidance of a minor adviser, they can construct a minor with primary emphasis in one area of studio art or may design a minor that draws from several areas of concentration.

Courses are led by a diverse group of professors, including specialists in contemporary art (Chika Okeke-Agulu), nineteenth-century European art (Tom Clark), and African American and black diaspora arts (Emelyn Butterfield-Rosen). Other faculty members have taught art survey courses in modernism and in the history of the decorative arts.

The school’s enrollment has remained relatively flat over the past five years, with 373 students. The school’s racial makeup is 92% White and 4% Hispanic. 45-49% of the school’s students have achieved math proficiency, while 40-44% have achieved reading proficiency. The school received a Academic Excellence Certificate for scoring in the top 25% of Indiana schools in each of its core subjects: English/language arts, math and reading.


The Charles L Smith Fine Arts Academy music program offers a variety of instruments to students. Students learn to play the violin, flute, saxophone, clarinet, and percussion. They also participate in the school band, orchestra, and chorus.

The school’s choir has performed at various festivals and venues in the region, including a performance at Carnegie Hall. The band has competed in various competitions throughout the state, including a recent first-place finish in the Indiana State Marching Band Contest.

In addition to offering a robust academic program, the school has an uncompromising commitment to free and open exchange of ideas. This is evident in the school’s long-standing defense of academic freedom and its attention to the relation between college education and larger public issues of world order and human dignity. The school’s diverse community demonstrates a commitment to the arts, world culture, and service. The school’s student population is 8% minorities, compared to the state average of 35%.


Charles L Smith Fine Arts Academy offers a comprehensive technology program that includes keyboarding, introductory computer applications, and specialized software. It also offers students opportunities to participate in a variety of other technological activities, including video production, robotics, and website design.

Students in grades 7-12 use technology to explore and learn about science, history, social studies, geography, and current events. They also have the opportunity to take part in a number of other activities, such as creating a website or publishing a newspaper.

Students at this school are encouraged to learn through play and are provided with the opportunity to develop a love of learning. Teachers at this school often receive funding from DonorsChoose. This site allows donors to fund projects that would otherwise be impossible. Teachers at this school often focus on a wide range of subjects and are given the flexibility to teach their students in a way that best suits them. Students at this school are encouraged to become creative thinkers and to use their creativity to problem solve.

Physical Education

Although national influences have impacted physical education, the Cortland program has developed its own identity. As a result, the Department has historically attracted educators who desire to teach and coach. Often, local administrators rate Cortland graduates as outstanding teachers.

Current emphases focus on adventure activities, recreational sports for personal development, fitness and health-related learning, outdoor pursuits for environmental appreciation, and exercise for mental as well as physical health. Historically, the Department was more diverse in regard to gender than is now the case.

Early camp experiences offered by the Department were often work-camps, as in the case of George Fuge, a student who heroically drove his bulldozer through the dining hall fire to save the buildings at Camp Huntington. Today, the Camp Huntington facilities are operated by the SUNY Upstate Medical University and students participate in a variety of field experience assignments. Moreover, Diane Craft and Tim Davis have established a working relationship with the Wheelchair Sports Federation to assist youth with spina bifida and other disabilities in the area of adapted physical education.

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