K–12 Schools + Teachers



SCMA is a museum where where students are the agents of meaning making, gathering evidence from the works of art (visual texts) to support their interpretation. Each SCMA visit is customized to meet the needs of each school and aligned to State and Common Core Standards. K-12 teachers are asked to share their learning objectives and potential curriculum connections when planning a school visit to assist museum educators in best meeting their needs. Let us be your partners in planning an engaging and rigorous visit that promotes visual literacy and exposes students to a memorable and meaningful museum experience.


Guided visits may be scheduled: October–December and February–June Tuesday–Friday 10:30AM & 11:30 & 1 PM 
Trained Student Museum Educators lead K-12 students in guided conversations about works of art, encouraging them to look closely, share connections, and offer differing perspectives. These museum educators engage students through multiple learning modalities, and object-based visits often include observational drawing, gallery games, movement, and written text in addition to dynamic questioning strategies.

Self-guided visits may be scheduled for any time when the Museum is open to the public. Teachers are welcome to lead their own tours through the Museum or develop materials for students to use in the galleries. Gallery stools, clipboards and pencils are available to self-guided groups upon request.


A 10:1 ratio of children to adult chaperones is required for self-guided and guided visits.

Please fill out Group Visit Request Form at least 3 weeks in advance of an intended visit.

Tips for Planning a Visit

Four floors of galleries provided unlimited opportunities for active learning in the Museum. Visit the Museum in advance or peruse the collections online. K-12 groups may visit permanent collection galleries or focus their exploration in one of SCMA's current changing exhibitions.

Bus Subsidies

When making a reservation, K-12 school groups can request a bus subsidy of up to $200 to defray transportation costs to the Museum. Each school can request the bus subsidy up to four times per school year. The subsidy is a reimbursement—teachers download the Bus Subsidy Form and send it in with any additional paperwork after the visit. Funds are granted on a first-come, first served basis. Bus Subsidies are generously funded by Museum Members and other contributors, and can take 6-8 weeks to process. If a K-12 school visits both the College’s Lyman Plant House (“Botanic Garden”) and SCMA for guided tours, the school may be eligible for Bus Subsidies from each institution.

K–12 Teacher Resources

Pre- and post-visit lesson plans featuring works of art from SCMA’s permanent and changing galleries are available in our growing collection of K–12 Teacher Resources (Please note Rights and Usage). Art on view at the museum may rotate; contact us to find out if works of art your group wants to see will be on view during your visit.

Teacher Workshops

Day-long teacher workshops—led by a variety of professionals including Museum staff, College faculty, and local artists—are usually offered each semester. The Teacher Workshops aim to connect K–12 curricula with works of art on display at the Museum. Teachers from all subject areas are encouraged to attend. A certificate of attendance is given to participants, which can be redeemed for Professional Development Points (PDPs). Upcoming Teacher Programs are listed in the Events calendar.

Teachers’ Pass

All K-12 teachers may request a free admission pass to visit the Museum to plan a field trip. Email Gina Hall at ghall@smith.edu with your desired visit planning date. 

Educator Membership

Consider supporting the Museum’s Education programs by becoming an Educator Member. Members receive discounts on Teacher Workshop fees.