CLEARFIELD – Changes to individual and group music programming have been implemented at the Clearfield Area Elementary School, according to Superintendent Terry Struble.
Struble detailed these changes and the reasoning for them in an e-mail correspondence to GANT News on Monday morning.
When the district went through its school buildings consolidation, he said it was not offering general music to the fifth and sixth grade students.
“The current school year has had general music added for all students in all grades,” he explained. “This used an additional 14 periods of in-the-classroom teaching to all students.”
Struble noted that as it was previously, only those students with a direct interest were receiving music instruction in the fifth and sixth grades.
“With the change this year, all students [in] grades K-6 will be receiving music instruction at least once a week,” he said.
According to Struble, the group ensembles in the third and fourth grades were pulled out from the regular classroom time in past years. This impacted the time spent in class for all the remaining students.
As a result, he said when the schedule was rebuilt for the elementary school this year, there was a time built in for remediation and band, orchestra and choir. With two teachers, this allows for 10 groups or ensembles per week.
For example, a fifth grade student who participates in strings, band and choir is scheduled twice a week to miss their class for lessons. Then, they have three periods out of five of the remediation and band, orchestra and choir.
“In effect, that student will have three group practices a week and two lessons,” Struble explained.
“It was also a goal to provide as many students as possible with the experience of having an instrument and lesson time as available.”
Struble said some discussions involved eliminating everything, except for at the fifth and sixth grade levels. However, he said this would not have provided students in the third and fourth grades with any additional music opportunities.
When asked if the music program changes require the school board’s approval, Struble said: “… In the same way the music program grew without formal board approval for items beyond the classroom, they can also be reduced, as needed.”
The Clearfield school board will hold a regular meeting tonight at 6 p.m., in the library at the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School.