To: Superintendent David Dimbleby Hilton Central School District Board of Education From: HCSD Families Re:Restoration of Funds for Beginner Band and Chorus Date: March 29, 2011
This petition is a request that you maintain the current level of funding for Beginner Band and Chorus in the 2011-12 Hilton Central School District Budget. Your proposed cuts will create a tremendous void and deprive many students of the gift of music.
We as a district stand apart from others in our area because Hilton Central has an unrivaled reputation for an outstanding curriculum that includes music programs. As you may know, the Hilton Central School District was named one of the "Best Communities for Music Education" by The National Association of Music Merchants, on May 5, 2010. This was the second time, in as many years, that our district has received such an honor. To quote Hilton Music Program Coordinator Nancy Russo, “We have a balanced music program which promotes well-rounded students as well as valuing music equally with sports, academics and other activities.” Our tradition of music education is well respected and well known.
The introduction of Band and Chorus programs to elementary aged students sets the stage for life-long music lovers and appreciation of the arts. Music is a part of our curriculum. Additionally, both parents and educators (from every discipline) attribute a significant part of a child's academic success to singing in a choir or playing an instrument. The study of music contributes to young people’s development through heightened skills in listening, reading, self-expression, and creativity. We do not consider the music program to be an extracurricular activity. As a matter of fact, the morning ensemble was once a part of the regular school day. The before school practices were implemented to accommodate necessary scheduling changes. Music education is just that – education and should not be compared to more traditional extracurricular activities.
Hilton Central has always recognized music as an important program of study. As we conclude the month of March, which happens to be Music in Our Schools Month, we ask you to reconsider this proposed spending cut. As parents and taxpayers we are very well aware of the economic realities engulfing our state today. However, we know that a slash to education and curriculum is a great disservice to our children and the community as a whole. Please take a moment to review your numbers and identify spending reductions that do not penalize the individuals we are obligated to educate.
The Beginner Band and Chorus programs currently reach many students from throughout the three elementary schools. These students, from third through sixth grades, choose to come to school an hour early two times a week. They are dedicated and hard working. Please do not send a message to them that says such a commitment is meaningless and their passion eliminated. Thank you for your consideration of our request.