Need to Knows

Materials Needed:

I try and provide as many materials as I can to your student. The one thing I do ask your students to bring to class is a sketchbook (8x10 bound. Please no glued in pages, they fall out and work gets lost) a non-mechanical pencil, and eraser. I will have pencils available if your student forgets to bring one to class. I will also provide a place for your students’ sketchbook if they choose to leave it in the classroom. If your student chooses to leave thier sketchbook in the studio they are still responsable for doing the weekly work. Also, even though I will try to keep sketchbooks seperated and orginized, due to the volume of sketchbooks often left here I am not responsable if your sketchbook is lost or stolen.


Temet Nosce:  The key to finding a purpose and fulfillment in life begins with knowing and understanding yourself. We are each born with this knowledge but finding a purpose and achieving fulfillment requires the sharing of knowledge, wisdom, and support.

Benjamin Tasker Art Student Core Values:

  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  • Excellence 





  • Students will wait outside the classroom patiently and quietly until the instructor has invited them into the studio.
  • Students will enter the studio and place all books and bags in the designated area so that we can keep the tables clear for working. Students will then pick up their sketchbooks and proceed with the days warm up activity or weekly artist of the week journal entry that will be written on the board. Always read the board upon entry, it will tell you what we are doing. 
  • Students will respond to each spoken "Class" by the instructor with a "Yes" followed Then by "eyes on me." at that time I should have all students’ attention for instruction. If I have to say it more than three times class will get an infraction. Time is important to me and if you use it up by not paying attention when asked, I will take your time in return. 
  • Students need to remain at their assigned seats. If students are not in their assigned seats, they will be marked absent or tardy. This is to assure that you get the appropriate credit for work done. Students from other classes are not permitted, students found in class after tardy bell will be sent to thier classes assistant principle. 

Warm ups:

  • Students will have 5min set on the timer after the ringing of the tardy bell. There will be no talking to make sure ALL students have a chance to finish. If you finish early you may quietly work on something else. 
  • Students will be graded on every warmup as it is being done. Note: Warmups do fall under classwork and are worth 50% of your grade, doing or not doing warmups can greatly affect your grade in either direction. 


Studio Time:

  • Assignments:  The first 10min of class is set aside for the days instruction, directions, or project information. Refrain from conversations during this time. Tables or students who continue to disrupt during this time will receive an infraction.
  • Check out: Supplies are available for check out at the art studio instructors desk. Students are responsible for all materials used, please be respectful with the materials, they are the only ones we have. Any student found throwing or breaking materials will receive and infraction, resulting in a possible call home, administrative writeup (PS74) and/ or will be responsible for the possible replacement of the materials.
  • Noise: Noise level must remain at conversation level and below the volume of the studio music playing. Volumes "Too loud" or "out of control" will result in the losing of privileges in the art studio.
  • Leaving Class: Students who leave class (being, they have crossed the black line at the entrance/exit of the door) without permission and without a pass will not be allowed back into the room until a pass from the office or another administrator is given. those students who open my door without permission or leave the room during studio time, even to see what’s going on in the hallway will be written up. If you have friends that wish to visit during class time or are in my hallway when they should not be will be documented and sent to administration for skipping class. 
  • Moving about the studio: This year students will have assigned seats, Movement about the studio is no longer permited unless you are getting supplies from the materials table. If you are out of your seat without a reason or purpose you will receive an infraction. There are four students to a table, If permission is given to move seats from the instructor; only on free draw friday, no more than five students will be allowed at any given table. Sitting on tables or moving chairs without permission is prohibited. 

Clean up:

  • All Students are responsible for the cleanup of their table, including the pushing in of all chairs, the cleaning of table tops, and all surrounding areas. Unkept areas will result in administrative action. I will hold you back if the studio is not ready for the next class.
  • Five mins before the release bell the empirial march from Star Wars will play, this means its time for clean up. Not picking up after yourself may cause the loss of free draw friday.
  • Graffiti: We have new tables, I will check all tables for graffiti, if found the table will receive an infraction, resulting in a call home, write up, or taking away of privileges. 
  • Chairs: All chairs are to remain at the tables they belong to, four chairs to a table. If chairs are moved, That table will receive an infraction and may lose classroom movement privilages for the rest of the semester.


  • After cleanup students may retrieve their books and bags and wait at their tables until the bell rings. Students  will not be released until all cell phones are put away and every student is sitting in thier assigned seat. chairs must be returned so there are 4 chairs per table. Students should not line up at the door and no one should move until I say you are free to go. 


  • Students will use the restroom before they get to the art studio or at lunch, emergency passes will only be given on a case by case basis and will be timed. Three emergency passes will be issued per student each quarter. those students who elect to leave class after they have used up thier passes will lose points that could effect their grade in the class. 
  • Students will sign the pass log out sheet with the time they leave and the time they return. They will also put their name and time on the pass,  that is if ANY permission is given to leave the room.


  • Students who wish to go to other classes for projects or work must have a signed pass from that teacher. do not ask to go to another class if you have not first talked to that teacher and gotten a pass. I am no longer able to let you leave the class to visit other teachers or go to thier locker. 

Cell Phone: (N/A) Due to over use and the ability to not regulate their usage, cell phones are no longer permitted unless specified by instructor. 

  • If the Cell phone Classroom contract (available here).has been signed, Students may use their cell phones for . . .
    • Listening to music (with headphones and only if instructor has given permission to do so)
      • Personal earbuds and headphones must be put away before leaving the studio. 
    • Look up art related materials
  • Refer to contract for rules and consequences related to cell phone usage and violations.
  • We are not responsible  for lost or stolen cell phones

Classroom Phone:

  • Students will sometimes be asked to answer the classroom phone, please be courteous and answer with "Mr. Ralphs Room "or " Art Studio".
  • Do not interrogate the person on the other end, take the message or get the instructors attention to take the phone.

Food and Drink:

  • Food will not be permitted in the art studio of any kind, unless permission has been granted for special class activities.
  • Water will be allowed but only in a bottle with a top. If you spill something clean it up or the privilege will be removed.

Digital Studio: (N/A) 

  • Students are not allowed to use the computers unless they have completed their daily assignment and work, asked for permission, and checked out a keyboard from the instructor. Keyboards will be returned to the instructor when cleanup has been announced.


  • Students are graded on a five-tier rubric. I do not grade on ones’ proficiency in art, I grade on their willingness to try and accomplish the work given to them. The only way to fail is by not doing the work.
  • Time management:  The main thing I do look at is how you use your time. If I give you three class periods to do an assignment, I expect you to use that class time. I will not give high grades if you throw something together on the last day. Likewise, I will not give high grades if you work quickly and give me a subpar assignment on the first day also.
  • Good Faith Effort: Student will receive at least a 50% if the student tries there best to complete an assignment to the best of their ability. A zero can still be given if a student does not meet the minimal requirments outlined when completeing their work. (Example: Putting your name on an assignment does not earn you a 50%). An automatic zero will be given for cheating, unlawfully absents,not turning in work in a reasonable time, or attempted to pass off other students work as their own. 
  • Grade Breakdown: The Art Studio grades are on a different percentage scale than most classes. You will see that class work is a far greater percentage than assessments. 

                           Class Work=50%            Homework=20%          Assessments=30%


  • As part of Marylands Every Student Suceeds Act (ESSA) Accountability Plan, PGCPS is monitoring each schools chronic absentee rate, student by student. They will work collaboratively to implement intervention plans and strategies if the student is absent four days in a quarter, nine days in a semester, and 18 days in a school year (10% of the school year, 180 days). This includes excused and unexcused absences as well as out of school suspensions. 


  • You need to do at least one sketch per week (between 17 to 19 for the semester) in your sketchbook from the list provided here or click sketchbook list on the navigation bar. The purpose of a sketchbook is to strengthen your drawing skills, encourage you to look harder at things, use your imagination, explore techniques that interest you, and challenge you. The sketches are to be full page, in color ( just adding value or gray scale is not promitted) and mush show that time was taken.  

Weekly Artist Journal entries:

  • Every week there will be an  Artist of the week journal entry  that will be completed in your sketchbook. The information will be presented to you at the beginning of class similar to a warmup. Monthly assessments will be given after four entries. You will be able to use your notes (in other words, do them!)     

Extra Credit: 

  • 5pt Extra credit will be given for
    • A Selfie with a piece of street art (Not Graffiti)
    • A Selfie at a Museum with a piece of art you liked
    • Attending a Play and filling out the event worksheet
    • Attending a Volunteer event (exp. run, or charity event) and fill out the event worksheet
    • Writing a one-page summary of a work of art or artist

Assemblies/Lunch/Fire Drills:

  • Students will line up in a straight line and calmly walk in single file outside the room when told to do so. Students will proceed to the end of the hallway and will stop. Students will wait for further instructions. During a fire drill, students will walk calmly and quietly out the side door and proceed to the field next to the batting cage to be counted.
  • Lunch students are responsible for the cleaning up of their assigned lunch area. If everyone cleans up thier own mess you can leave the lunch room in a timely manner. Those students who show initiative and clean up without being prompted will not go unnoticed. 
  • You are required to stay in the lunch room and your designated lunch tables. I do understand that lunch is a chance to talk with people you may not have classes with, make sure you are at your required table and following directions when I drop you off and return to pick you up from the lunch room. The time in between, please act responsibly. 

Lock Down:

  • We live in a very disturbing time where we need to think about unwanted individuals coming into our schools. Please take lock downs seriously. If a lock down is given the door will be shut and locked. The shutter over the window will be closed and the lights will be turned off. Students will divide and enter into either the kiln room or the supply room locking the door behind them (two doors are better than one) sit quietly away from sight. You are up aginst a main wall and can still be heard outside the room,students making noise, laughing, or not taking things seriously during a drill will be given an infraction. Your safety is not a joke to me. 

No Go Areas:

  • Kiln Room, Supply Room, Work Closets, and behind the instructors’ desk, unless invited or instructed to do so.


  • Fighting is a serious infraction and will be dealt with according to district and school policy.
  • Students filming, yelling, or running to see the fight will be considered involved in the fight. These students will be treated just as if they were a part of the fight themselves.
    • I understand we all have bad days and we sometimes need time to cool off or get away from a situation, so it doesn't get worse. I will give each student a one MOD pass to just chill, put your head down, and get your head back in the game. You are still responsible for all work so choose wisely when you use this.
    • As a person who suffers from anxiety and depression, my door is always open if you need someone to talk to. I am not licensed and must recommend you talk with the schools’ administration first, but if you feel you have nowhere left to turn, I am here for you. Be advised that I must report anything I am told if you plan on hurting yourself or others. also if it has anything to do with your safety, health, or well-being.
  • Bullying: Bullying of any kind will not be tolerated (Physical or Cyber) In or out of school. If you are found to be bullying anyone; my students or not, all administrative actions available to me will be used to stop the infraction.
    • If you are a victim of bullying, please feel free to come by and talk with me. No one deserves to feel unsafe, or afraid to come to school.

Infractions (ART)

  • Individuals: After three individual infractions I will contact your parents or gaurdian to work on stopping the problems in class.  After, if the issues continue I will submit paperwork (PS74).
  • The class will be given three chances in a two-week period designated by the word ART being completely turned over on the board
    • Verbal warning will first be given
    • 1st Infraction of (ART): class loses free draw Friday
    • 2nd Infraction of (ART): class will be given a quiz on that Friday
    • 3rd infraction of (ART): Quiz and loss of all privileges for the remainder of the time.

Table Points:

  • Table points will be given and taken away during the semester, special perks will be given to the tables and classes that have the most points.

Free Draw Friday: (N/A) Free Draw Fridays are no longer implemented, it has been replaced with continued instruction or assessment. 

  • When a class successfully completes a two-week cycle; on their MODs Friday, students can receive free draw Friday. Free draw Friday is a reward for following directions and being on task.

Free draw Friday is not a time for running around and goofing off, you will still follow all classroom directions. Use it to complete homework from other classes and reclaim your weekend. If you do use the time to be on your cell phones, stay in your seat and keep converstions to a normal noise level.



  •  You are required to treat any and all substitutes with the same respect you would me or any other aministrator or teacher. The class should run just as if I was here. If upon my return the subtitute has informed me of any disruption, you will lose privilages associated with the disruption, and I will issue a PS74 to those involved in the disruption. 

I am a very chill teacher who likes to have fun, joke around, give students time to unwind, allow them to talk quietly with fellow classmates, and be creative. But I am also a Veteran of the armed forces and I expect my students to be respectful, disciplined, and show integrity when in the studio. How you choose to act in the studio determines if you have chill Mr. Ralph, or you have military Mr. Ralph. The choice is yours.

Integrity: I will not lie for you. do not use me as an excuse if you are caught doing something you were not suppose to do or you were somewhere you were not suppose to be. Own up to your own mistakes. "If you want to live life on your own terms, you have to be willing to crash and burn." I am more willing to forgive you when you appoligize. 

I am not one who likes to yell or raise my voice, but if you make the studio or school unsafe for any of my students I will find a way to make sure you do not return to one or both.

The Art Studio is a positive space for all artists, only kind words and actions will be tolerated.