I have heard from SO many of you about the importance of the Arts in our schools and your concerns. I am learning more as I go along and will try to share as much as I can.
Earlier this month the elective teachers were notified about upcoming changes to the 2018-2019 school year. Apparently the district is trying to transition to more “project based” learning in the middle schools. This will apparently take considerably more time out of the school day. In an effort to make the time available, they are reducing the amount of time for a number of programs including:
Speech and Drama
Music – Orchestra, Band and Choir
According to the PowerPoint presentation from the Board of Education from their 4/10/2017 meeting, you can see there is a significant reduction in time Electives to 70 minutes per day while there is an increase in Core to 280. If you look at page 11 you can see that the 70 minutes per day includes ALL of the electives I listed above, which is quite a reduction.
If you look at page 14 you can see that the first notification of the parents is slated for November 2017 with enrollment beginning January 2018. The combination of both is my concern. I’m all for improving our schools but major changes like these need to have input from parents and shouldn’t be done behind the scenes.
There have been some postings by Board of Education members that these are just tentative and nothing is official yet. I would question that simply on the facts that principals and teachers have been told and what is contained in the PowerPoint presentation listed above. From all of that, it certainly looks like it’s pretty set in stone to me. While the exact details of how it may work may not be absolute, there appears to be little doubt as to the reduction in time.
Superintendent White has reached out to me regarding a meeting and I have scheduled one for Monday afternoon. I will provide an update after the meeting.
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