I would like to express my disappointment in the Keystone Central School District Board members in their gutting of the music and arts programs at Central Mountain High School, and music programs in the elementary schools in the district.
There are a lot of musically and artistically talented young people in this county and all this decision has done is basically neuter their ability to grow and nurture that talent.
When I was in school, I had found my niche in music and the arts. I was able to have great experiences through that. By the time I graduated high school, I had played with Jazz artist Denis Diblasio. I had gone to County, District, Regional and All Eastern festivals in choir, band and orchestra. I traveled all over the state with Marching Band and Indoor Drumline. And thanks to Mrs. Barbara Kellerman, who was the magnificent music and choir teacher at Bald Eagle-Nittany High School when I was in school, I even got a chance to see a number of European countries.
Now with that said, why would the school board members take advantages like this away from students? And with these cuts, it is very possible that, yes, they will take opportunities like these away from the students of the Keystone Central School District.
With only one teacher doing band, chorus and orchestra, do you think it will really be more advantageous for the students in the program? Will that one teacher be able to give all the students the lessons needed to help them learn to play their instruments outside of the one period set up for band, choir and orchestra like we had when we were in school? How will that one teacher be able to make sure that the choir, band and orchestra get the practice needed for performances throughout the year? Were any of these things actually thought about by the school board as they were making this decision?
Another thing, is that it is a proven scientific fact that having music and the arts in schools helps improve student test scores in math and sciences. In a time where this country is desperately trying to improve students test scores or are increasingly trying to find ways to improve the education students are getting in public schools, why would you gut one of the departments that has proven time and time again to improve our children's well-being?
Please reconsider this decision board members. I understand the budget does need balanced, and there have been cuts in funding coming to the school district from various entities, but cutting the Music and Arts Program is not the way to do it.