We believe that a vital music program is essential to the learning success of our students and the creative life of the Monona Grove School District. And we believe that a fourth- and fifth-grade strings program, open to all, is an important foundation for music programs offered in later grades -- from orchestra to band to choir to show choir to stage musicals. Monona Grove has built a statewide reputation on the scale and quality of our music offerings. And the success of these music programs is closely tied to academic achievement and engagement across the district.
Of course, the existence of any academic program is not enough. Qualified and experienced teachers are the engines that drive their success. This means teachers not only with general knowledge of the category, but also with specific qualifications and experience in the discipline. We are pleased with the retention of our fourth- and fifth-grade strings program in the face of deep budget cuts. But we urge the district leadership to support that decision with the best qualified and most experienced teachers for the task.
For a strings program, at every grade level, this means teachers with specific qualifications and experience with stringed instruments.
The undersigned therefore request:
that Monona Grove School District retains its commitment to fourth- and fifth-grade strings as a foundation for our district-wide music programs;
and that staffing selection and assignments give priority to qualified and experienced teachers in the specialized disciplines of strings, band, and choir.
We know these are challenging financial times for the district. And we commit to working with the district board, administration, teachers, and staff to navigate these difficult choices.
We are a group of Monona and Cottage Grove community members in Wisconsin who are passionate about strong music programs and experiences for all students.
District resident Andrew Taylor drafted the petition text with help from Jill and Brent Ruffridge, Sue Carr, Leslie Frank-Taylor, Kris Lehker, John DeBacher, Chris Zenger, Sally Buffat, Chris Whelley, Mary O'Connor, Kathy Van Abel, Jennifer Pickel, and others.