The Washington Times-Herald

July 18, 2013

Barr-Reeve proposes changes to music program

Changes include combining band, chorus teachers

By Lindsay Owens
The Washington Times-Herald

MONTGOMERY — The Barr-Reeve School Board heard comments from educators and  members of the public concerning music education courses for the upcoming school year Wednesday.

A standing-room-only crowd was on hand to discuss the potential changes in the structure of music courses for grades five through 12, with one teacher teaching both band and chorus at the high school.

Superintendent Travis Madison and members of the school board stressed that none of the decisions were set in stone yet but as it currently stands,

Stephanie O'Brian will be teaching all band courses as well as chorus at the high school level and Jayna Schwartz was approved to teach elementary music.

 A discussion of the possible elimination of a reduction of the number of days per week students in 5th grade would attend and was also discussed.

  "It all comes down to instructional time and I wish we had time for everything but in fifth grade so much teachers have to cover," said Madison.

 Joyce Hawkins, former choir director and elementary music teacher, said that one individual teaching both chorus and band would be like one person coaching two sports in the same season.

"I think teachers would have to pick and chose what students participated in and the students would lose out on great opportunities," Hawkins said.

 "I don't have all the answers right now. Our goal is provide as good of a program now as we have in the past for our kids," said Madison. "I know we can do that. Will it be the same as it was in the past? No."

Check out the Friday edition of the Times Herald for more details from the meeting.