Irene Souada 0

Keep Our music teachers full time at Southern Middle

Irene Souada 0 Comments
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Dear Dr. George Arlotto, Ed.D. Superintendent, Anne Arundel County Public Schools

We are very saddened and shocked to hear that both music positions at Southern Middle School are being reduced to part-time positions next school year. Both Mr. Albright and Mrs. Walker are exemplary teachers who we in South County are very lucky to have in our cluster, and we would hope the county and school administration would do anything they could to keep them at Southern Middle School. The arts are extremely important in children's education, but this reduction shows that these positions are not valued or respected. Music education increases test scores, improves attendance, and gives kids something to be proud of.The Women's Chorus at SMS qualified for All-State Chorus two years in a row due to Mrs. Walker's encouragement and instruction. She has worked with students after school to prepare them for auditions, and has worked with them outside of school to audition and perform in other choruses including American Choral Director's Association Children's Chorus at George Mason University. Her strive for excellence and encouragement has given her students increased confidence and a love of music.

Mr. Albright teaches Box Score, Orchestra, Concert Band and Jazz. Students have said had he is "the best teacher" they've ever had. It is our hope that the administration is aware of how much we value Mr. Albright. Two years ago, Mr. Albright was nominated to receive the Grammy Music Educator Award. Mr. Albright helps students to recognize their potential talent. The extent to which people appreciate his teaching is evident by the many years people have gotten up early for the morning rehearsals. The middle school band and orchestra ratings at the county level have increased over the years. They have on more than one occasion received a 1, a rating of Superior, which is the highest rating, or a 2, a rating of excellent. They have not received anything less because they are just that good. Mr. Albright is a responsive teacher, he helps children develop leadership skills by having ensemble Presidents and Vice Presidents. The kids learn lessons from him that stick for a lifetime. Former students have been accepted to the best universities in the country, including MIT, Penn state, University of Maryland, American University, Temple University, and many more.

Music is very important to our families and in our community. The middle school music program is the strongest bridge for continued music education between the elementary school and the high school.Research shows a direct correlation between students who participate in quality music programs and increased test scores. There are repeated studies demonstrating this, but still schools do not support these program. Not only does a good music program increase academic performance, it increases attendance, and boosts self-esteem. If we decrease these positions which would ultimately cause both teachers to leave, we would jeopardize these programs, which could have an extremely negative impact on our children's future. This is very disheartening and frustrating.

Please help us to keep these positions full-time at Southern Middle School.

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