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Carlmont Instrumental Music Needs a Full-time Assistant Director

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Carlmont Instrumental Music Petition

  1. The Carlmont Instrumental Music enrollment has steadily grown for ten years – from 165 students in 2007 to over 300 this school year. Enrollment has hovered around 300 for the past four years. The music programs at the various schools that feed Carlmont continue to grow with increased district-wide enrollment. It is practical to assume that Carlmont’s program will also continue to grow. Instrumental Music program needs staffing to match the number of students who sign up for the program, and also to prepare for future enrollment growth.
  2. For most instructional subjects, the ratio of students to teacher is capped at 170. It is not feasible to expect one teacher to run a nearly 300-student program, or to confront a variable staffing arrangement year after year.
  3. There should be a second full time tenure track teacher (assistant director) position to attract a second high quality instructor and ensure long-term stability for the program.
  4. Instrumental music represents one of the largest groups of students in the High School. Parents are some of the most involved in the school.
  5. Of concern is the fact that for the last few years, funding the program has had an ad hoc approach which creates uncertainty around a successful and popular program. The lack of stability is evidenced by Lieven Smart’s departure. His departure is an unfortunate occurrence that highlights an underlying problem - a lack of district funding and permanent commitment to appropriately staffing the music program.
  6. There is much respect for John DaBaldo and the program that he’s built. We want to ensure that the hard work that’s been done to build this success is recognized and continues. The instrumental music program is a community of students who support each other and collectively have won awards that place them as one of the best in the Bay Area. The achievements like CMEA awards and top festival awards are very much like winning a sports championship.
  7. To meet the long term needs of this vital program and take steps to ensure a consistent and reliable model to staffing for more than 300 students that clearly requires more than 1 person to run it.

We, the undersigned, respectfully urge the Sequoia Union High School District and Carlmont’s Administration to fund a second full-time position for Carlmont Instrumental Music. Doing so will help ensure the program continues to thrive.

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