CLEARFIELD – A parent is not only trying to save the music program at Clearfield Area Elementary School, but also the history and tradition of the program district-wide for years to come.
On Monday night, Shannon Dysard asked if any progress had been made in terms of either hiring an extra teacher or finding volunteers to provide music programming to students.
She said it was heartbreaking to hear about students dropping out of the music programs. She said lessons were 20 minutes and it took about 10 minutes to set up.
“What can you learn in 10 minutes?” Dysard asked. “What instrument can you learn to play in 10 minutes? What can you learn at your job in 10 minutes?”
She said it would also be difficult for parents to coordinate their work schedules around before- or after-school music lessons. She asked if it would be possible to have a volunteer busing system for after-school lessons.
Struble said so far as music program volunteers, there are safety and security concerns. If music lessons are held during the day, he said space also becomes an issue.
Dysard said parents have been addressing issues at board meetings month after month since last spring. She asked when the district would make any progress and what the hold-up was.
Struble said the district hadn’t reached the next step in the process mainly due to the lack of resources and staff. Dysard said parents and teachers have brought ideas to the board and nothing has happened.
Business Administrator Sam Maney said the district has supported the music program district-wide, and in recent years, it’s invested in band equipment and uniforms.
“The board has been getting black eyes when we really shouldn’t be,” said board member Tim Morgan. Maney asked Dysard to taken into consideration what the district has done, noting there hasn’t been any reduction in any staff.
Dysard said parents were fighting to save the elementary program. She said without a strong elementary program, there wouldn’t be a wonderful district choir or high school marching band trophies.
She asked district officials to consider having another meeting with the parents to brainstorm ideas to save the elementary music program.
Dysard also asked if there would be any upcoming elementary music concerts. Superintendent Terry Struble confirmed there would be and that information would be distributed to parents in the near future.