CALL TO ACTION FROM THE JEFFCO MUSIC COMMUNITY
As we navigate constant changes in education, it is important to continue quality instruction that enriches the whole child. Jeffco has a long tradition of offering strong instrumental music programs from elementary through high school. Currently, school communities are learning how to creatively budget for personnel, programs, materials, course offerings, and other building necessities through Student Based Budgeting (SBB). We have also recently elected a new school board and we are learning how to work with a new team of leaders. While there is no current plan to remove the elementary band and orchestra program in any school, leaving these decisions to individual schools has a ripple effect in the quality of the secondary instrumental programs, and across the entire district.
Jeffco has an incredible community of instrumental music supporters, and we should continue as a community to work to ensure that our instrumental music programs grow as a guaranteed curriculum, offered to any student who wishes to play an instrument and perform in excellent ensembles district-wide. Please consider writing the Jeffco School Board (firstname.lastname@example.org) before Friday, March 11th and request that they approve the addition of Elementary Instrumental Music to the teacher contract. Let’s work to ensure that Jeffco’s Elementary Instrumental Music program is guaranteed curriculum for many years to come in every school. We know that this Board values music and arts education, but we also want to make sure they understand the value of early education in instrumental music.
A LITTLE HISTORY…
With the passage of 3A, Jeffco residents spoke clearly in November 2012 that elementary instrumental music programs were a strength in our district’s curriculum, and are valued as part of educating the whole child through the 40-year learning philosophy. Jeffco residents and alumni are proud of our traditions of hosting our own Marching Band Festival, presenting high school musical productions, and demonstrating superior performances and presentations at the annual Colorado Music Educators Conference. We also are home to the only 6th grade All County Honor Band and Orchestra in the Denver metro area. All of this begins at the elementary level when students choose their very first instrument to play in band or orchestra.
Our community has witnessed this spectrum of growth for thousands of students. Entire families have started a musical instrument in elementary school and progressed through the program to experience success all throughout their education. Through instrumental music, our kids have learned teamwork while honing individual performance skills. They have built friendships while chasing excellence through instrumental music. They have stepped out of their comfort zone to risk trying something new and have enjoyed the ride through instrumental music. When Jeffco voters passed 3A in 2012, they said they wanted elementary band and orchestra programs to remain a robust component in Jeffco students’ education. The opportunity to play a musical instrument should be available to every child in a Jeffco elementary school to ensure that this district offers a world class education to ALL students.