Key Quotes From Elementary Scheduling Survey

Complete results and responses available at http://results.GilbertMusicMatters.com. If there is a key quote from the complete results that you would suggest should be included on this summary page, please contact Jason Barney at jason@jasonbarney.com

Question #7: What do you think the impact would be if elementary band and strings instructional time was reduced?

28 - Date: 3/7/10 3:44 AM

"Our elementary school is one that has implemented one of the pilot programs & I have already seen the impact it has had on my 6th grader. Last year she was very excited about being in band & even tried out for honor band. This year she hasn't enjoyed band as much as she used to & I firmly believe that it is because she hasn't had the instructional time to be able to learn her instrument the same way that she & my older children did. I also believe it is going to more difficult for a child to want to try an instrument later on in jr. high or high school if they don't have that beginning earlier."

47 - Date: 3/7/10 2:08 PM

We would not see the impact of cuts until 3-5 years down the road, and then it would be in the secondary programs.

49 - Date: 3/7/10 2:31 PM

The impact would be huge. The loss of the sectional time between brass and woodwinds in band would make it almost impossible to teach any sort of fundamental skills to either. Add in less overall instruction time and the quality and skill of the music groups goes way down, and that in effect chain reactions up to the Jr. High and then to the High school.

58 - Date: 3/7/10 4:07 PM

You would have fewer kids pursuing music in the jr high and high school level. You would have more kids with more empty time on their hands. You would have stagnant growth and brain development, and you would severely reduce the well-roundedness of their education. These kids would miss out on all the factors I mentioned above. They would miss out on large-group effort, participation, and cooperation, and the exhilaration of performance and their final product, the trips with great friends, the hard work where they can actually see the benefit of that work, and the joy they bring to others with their music. To reduce music in the schools would be devastating. Please don't think that music is an easy place to cut because so few students grow up nowadays to make a living as a professional clarinet or euphonium player, or viola, or singing French arias. This is NOT the main focus of music education! Music education is not here to create future professional musicians, but to contribute to a strong educational foundation in skill building, self discipline, character qualities, and work ethic that WILL make the student successful in whatever they choose.

195 - Date: 3/8/10 3:58 PM

I do not feel it would be negative at all. In the schedules given, band and strings will still have twice as much time as any other special area. It is necessary that a change be made for the better of all elementary grade levels over meeting the wants of a very small portion of students of whom are involved in band/strings.

199 - Date: 3/8/10 4:13 PM

Researchers and educators agree that a window of opportunity exists where children can effectively learn an instrument and gain the intellectual, social and personal benefits. That window opens in elementary school and closes in junior high. By reducing elementary instructional time, the child's opportunity to learn within that open window is diminished. Over 80% of our 5th graders are in band or strings. Reducing instructional time impacts this window of opportunity for 80% of our students. This impacts test scores for 80% of our students, and social and personal development for 80% of our students.

202 - Date: 3/8/10 4:19 PM

I believe that reducing music education in elementary schools would negatively impact the entire district, as well as the individual students. Ultimately I believe it would lead to our schools' national performance rates going down. Parents specifically choose to put their children in the Gilbert schools because of their excellent and nationally recognized music education opportunities, and if these programs were reduced or cut, they will choose other districts that do fully support their performing arts programs. And since our music students are among our highest academic achievers, this would affect our overall scores as well as our ability to draw the best of the best to our district.

131 - Date: 3/8/10 4:04 AM

If elementary band and strings program was reduced the students' academic performance would greatly improve. First of all, there would be much more classroom instructional time, without the interruptions. Also, common prep time will allow teachers to better prepare as a team, rather than having the feeling of working on an island. Finally, if students were able to have more P.E. time, then they will have improved focus during the day. As a classroom teacher, I have found that there is far less discipline problems on P.E. days than there are on other days.

266 - Date: 3/8/10 9:47 PM

As a string teacher, I know that the students who generally remain in the music programs throughout their school career, usually do better in all academic areas. I believe the overall academic achievement of the students in the Gilbert district will be affected if the music instruction is cut. Our children need to learn refinement as well as reading and arithmetic.

307 - Date: 3/9/10 1:25 AM

Again, Band and strings is elective and instrumental music is not for everyone. My children may prefer art or athletics or even chess club instead. Only about 1/2 of 5th and 6th students participate in Band and Strings and that equated to what.... about 10% of the school?! If this program needs to be cut in order for ALL (100% of students including kindergartners) to have opportunities to participate in special area instruction then so be it.

335 - Date: 3/9/10 3:34 AM

There would be a great impact on not just the elementary schools, but also on the junior high and high schools. My brother is currently in one of the schools on the pilot program and he is learning viola. I volunteer at a school that is not on the pilot program and they are weeks ahead of those on the pilot program. I can see the major difference between the kids at the school I volunteer for and my brother. It is hard for me to see my brother so far behind, because when he gets into junior high and high school, the teachers are going to have to back-track and catch up the students who were on the pilot programs before they can learn what they are supposed to be learning for that level in the class. If teachers have to keep going back to previous lessons before they can teach what they are supposed to teach, then everyone will eventually get behind and no one will be at the level they once were at. Thus, the premiere music program of Gilbert will cease to exist.

352 - Date: 3/9/10 7:30 AM

By reducing elementary school music instruction, you are reducing a whole section of a child's education. Music is not simply a time to relax, anyone who has attempted to play a musical instrument can attest that it is not easy. Music instruction teaches self discipline and work ethic. Music is something that children can literally see themselves improve in day by day and can therefore give them confidence in their own abilities. I believe that by reducing this instruction you will not see an improvement in any other area of study, but actually a decrease in the children's attention span as well as in their creative thinking and problem solving techniques.

392 - Date: 3/9/10 5:56 PM

I am a musician of 26 years--I began the violin at the age of three, so I have an understanding of music in our lives, especially in the lives of children. There is a window of time in a person's life, where learning is absorbed more efficiently, the brain engages and develops more rapidly---that window is childhood. Research gives us FACTS that music is a strong stimulus for such learning. Not only would reducing music instructional time take opportunity for musical success away from the child, but it would also take developmental opportunity away as well. So many of us, so many children, respond better to music than to lecture or word. To take that chance from them would be thievery--you would be taking something that isn't yours to take. I do understand schedule issues and politics, but there are other ways to solve the problem besides cutting some of the most valuable resources in our schools. Period.

406 - Date: 3/9/10 7:54 PM

As a parent whose children were positively affected by your art programs, (specifically music but also photography and art), I believe the impact would be quite profound. Not only the children who play, but also the assemblies where they perform would be affected. The exposure of these children to music they most likely will never hear in their homes is what opens the world to them, and at the same time it opens their minds to new ideas. I strongly believe that one special responsibility of Gilbert Schools is to introduce children to thoughts that they might not have heard at home. Only in this way do we continue to progress as a people through time. If I only know what my parents were taught and they only from their parents, we would have a much smaller world of progress and thought.

511 - Date: 3/10/10 5:07 PM

It would reduce interest in progressing to higher levels, which in turn would damage the JR High and HS programs eventually. (Those kids in orchestra, choir and band are some of the highest achievers scholastically - don't kill the golden goose, or you'll kill the Golden Scholars.

Question #10: Any other comments or suggestions on how to balance elementary scheduling and music instruction?

1 - Date: 3/6/10 2:36 PM

Think creatively! When faced with these sorts of issues, the tendency is to take the easy way out - and that almost always means dropping something. There is no way for a layperson such as me can give you an answer. Yet, I have seen that creative districts throughout the country have found ways to address their concerns, raised their test scores, and found ways to be more efficient when they have set their minds to it. Do NOT take the easy way out - WORK CREATIVELY and with groups of concerned and intelligent people (administrators, teachers, parents, staff, university experts, etc.).

2 - Date: 3/6/10 2:57 PM

Has the district studied other options to solving this problem? I have not heard of any solutions they have sought out. With over 100,000 elementary schools in the United States, I am confident this problem has been addressed and overcome before.

3 - Date: 3/6/10 3:21 PM

Gilbert Public Schools has a reputation in this state as one of the best. One of the reasons for this reputation is for their STRONG support of the arts. Cutting any time in any elementary arts programs hurts this reputation and more importantly the students opportunities to learn in a variety of ways. The arts provide different ways for students to learn which creates new connections in their cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning. Learning in the music helps build important pathways in the brain, ESPECIALLY at a younger age, like in elementary school. Why would we reduce any learning time in a subject, music, that stimulates the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor pathways more than any other in the school, especially at this young age. This cut suggestion does NOT help the students in their potential to learn.

4 - Date: 3/6/10 3:31 PM

I do not know the exact schedule of classes for these elementary students. I would need more information and would want to consider standard test scores in subject areas and have an overall view of the school's performance before trying to suggest a way to balance the elementary scheduling. Though it may not be the greatest decision extending school hours by even 15 minutes would give over 1 hr of extra instruction during the week.

5 - Date: 3/6/10 5:10 PM

I like the 6 day, because then those students who have specials on a Monday holiday or a half day, do not always lose their special. You keep talking about teachers being able to have a planning period together. This still will not happen, because one teacher will always have computers, and they are with their students during computers. How will that work out?

6 - Date: 3/6/10 5:41 PM

"Volunteers, volunteers, volunteers. There HAS to be a way to streamline the schedule without cutting what little art and physical activity our children already receive. As well, the ALP primary program has already been reduced, which creates a problem for teachers with bored students in their classrooms (trust me, I know this from experience!) Cutting programs only increases future problems. Again, I know for a fact that our elementary school does not make use of parent volunteers. Many charter schools insist on parent volunteers. It's the only way they offer what the do with smaller classrooms to boot!"

13 - Date: 3/7/10 12:04 AM

Teachers are asking for longer instructional periods. Without a break from the monotony of a classroom, students will become restless. They will act out more and find other ways to leave the room. The extra time will be wasted in disciplinary procedures and the instructional time will be the same as it is now.

22 - Date: 3/7/10 7:25 AM

I understand that the teachers want less interruptions and they want to meet together as a grade level weekly. I have had 4 children go to school here from kindergarten up and this problem has never come up before. If it wasn't your turn to go to band or strings then my children used the extra time as study hall to get caught up on homework or get extra help from the teacher on something they didn't understand. This was beneficial to them. I think extra thought should be done on how to help the grade level teachers with their needs without having band and strings take the brunt of the hit. Cutting one area so drastically is unfair!

23 - Date: 3/7/10 7:36 AM

"The district currently performs strongly. Before making changes you should do research, and collect data, then make a recommendation based on that data. I am appalled that you are making decisions based on a random, unscientific, and EMOTIONAL study. I find it shocking that you have not bench marked the 48 states ahead of us or created a study that makes recommendations based on data. I am shocked that any of you hold positions of authority over our children as you are making decisions on appearance and wailing by people who aren't even capable of organizing tennis shoes."

24 - Date: 3/7/10 7:45 AM

Since I wasn't an elementary school teacher, I don't have the knowledge of what the scheduling problems are. However, in reading the problems at the top of this survey, it seems to me that none of them are more important than keeping music as fully a part of the curriculum as it has always been. Why is it necessary that all teachers have a commom prep time as long as they have prep time? What does the music time have to do with the inefficiency of study hall downtime? I know that interruptions make teaching blocks of information more difficult, but I think teachers are good at adapting to whatever schedule they need to in order to get information out. If students are called out to music and miss some of the instruction, they can be given handouts, a short explanation, and allowed to ask questions of the teacher and other students if they don't understand what they missed. As a high school teacher, many of my students would come and go for various activities. I just had to figure out how to catch them up when they got back. I didn't try to take away from the other activities so that I would have more instructional time in the classroom (and yes, art and photography had reading, writing, testing, and, of course "lab" or performance work which was all interrupted at times). Perhaps I don't fully understand the problem on the elementary school level... but I DO know that cutting time from the music programs are a very bad idea. My daughter was in choir and band from elementary through junior high school and it was a very important part of her education; she learned things that she could not have learned in any other way.

25 - Date: 3/7/10 8:25 AM

I don't think the teachers should be so concerned about having the same time to prep. In the high schools, the teachers mostly meet after school and are definitely able to plan all of their lessons, so I do not understand why elementary school teachers cannot do the same. I don't know how to solve the predicament our district is in, but I do know that the answer is not to cut back on music.

33 - Date: 3/7/10 4:07 PM

Go back to the basics. Reading, writing, math, music, physical/sports education, foreign language. Classes like "Life Skills" can be incorporated into the core classes, and MUSIC. For example, marching band teaches you skills to be successful in life: Preparedness, safety, sanitation, exercise, money management (participants work to earn money to participate), personal grooming, time management (strict schedule, they learn how to be where they need to be when they need to be there, and the consequences), weight control (these kids work), decision making, self discipline, and earn SELF ESTEEM. Many of these things can NOT be taught in a classroom but must be the result of desire, work, and effort. Music classes are enhanced by demonstrations, group activities, music labs, guest speakers, and cooperative learning experiences. They even learn about clothing and sewing by caring for their uniforms and concert attire. The elements found in "Life Skills" and "Clothing Counts" can be covered in other various areas of education, including the music program. Many of the things schools are trying to teach as main subjects (self-esteem, money management, safety, mental health, etc.) are really strong by-products of solid music programs.

35 - Date: 3/7/10 4:47 PM

Any changes to the schedule should not reduce the amount of music time and sectionals. Sectionals are important since most students do not take private lessons. I also feel that it is very important to NOT reduce the support we have for the music teachers. They do lots of work that they don't get paid for, and cutting further may result in loosing some of our best music teachers. They should get more support, such as teachers aids and pay for the time they put in for the many performance events during the year.

36 - Date: 3/7/10 5:53 PM

Before we take a hatchet to the music education for schedule or budget, GPS should take the hatchet to GCA first and align the ratios and funding for GCA, with the the GPS averages.

40 - Date: 3/7/10 6:28 PM

A five day schedule is much less confusing to students, parents, subs, and provides time for teams to meet.

42 - Date: 3/7/10 6:43 PM

I believe that the two alternative scheduling options suggested by Gilbert Music Matters should be reviewed by the district as possible options.

51 - Date: 3/7/10 11:28 PM

Accept the proposed five day schedule, it is what is best for all students. Band and strings at the elementary level reach only a small minority of students. An entire elementary schedule revolves around the block schedule. The proposed five day schedule still gives band and strings instruction twice as much instruction as any other special area.

57 - Date: 3/8/10 12:44 AM

Teachers do not necessarily want common planning time. Teachers will lose 50 minutes per week of instruction time (look at the schedule and do the math). Use the half days that are scheduled now for actual planning time instead of making teachers jump through more hoops.

65 - Date: 3/8/10 3:01 AM

Scheduling on the 6-day cycle so that grade levels have a common "specials" time is possible with overload teachers sent to campuses at the right times. The common "specials" time facilitates scheduling of all kinds of Special Education classes which is very important.

66 - Date: 3/8/10 3:01 AM

Academics MUST come first. Our students are tested every year in reading, writing and math. At some grade levels they have added science as well. Classroom teacher need the time to prepare their students with the curriculum that the state has deemed vital to their education.

67 - Date: 3/8/10 3:16 AM

5 schedule day is fine. Just keep instrumental SECTIONALS. ( Not based on home room teacher)

72 - Date: 3/8/10 4:04 AM

I have been working at a school that is piloting the five day schedule and have found nothing but positive results from the switch. Over the past two years, I have actually been able to find the time to fit in all required standards. The Years before the change it was nearly impossible to find time to fit in both social studies and science every day, which is currently no longer a problem. I also found it very difficult to teach all the math standards before A.I.M.S. week and can now fit them in before spring break.

74 - Date: 3/8/10 4:40 AM

If things need to be cut out, we need to start cutting all the "fluff" stuff like assemblies, half days in the same week as a holiday, etc.

75 - Date: 3/8/10 4:55 AM

(1) I've seen that elem & elem music teachers don't put as much emphasis on SINGING as what was done years ago. I'd like to see more SINGING rather than spending time teaching everyone Kodaly, and Orff rhythm instruments. Same with Solfege' - it's great to learn, but not required for elem. levels. Let's get back to the basics of SINGING, and LOTS OF IT, in grades K-4! We are losing a part of our American heritage when a child doesn't even know the words to ""For He's a Jolly Good Fellow..."" and the Stephen Foster songs. I have some private students that don't know our National Anthem, or the words to it! This would never be the case if we were in China! This is terrible.

(2) Introducing Recorders in 3rd grade isn't fair to the students because here in GPS they can't start an instrument in school until 5th grade. Better to wait until the last half of 4th grade for recorders, unless you can move instrument starting to 4th grade, like Mesa Public Schools does. Mesa kids have a year ahead of GPS kids in terms of instrument instruction, so they have a better chance of excelling in the extra-curricular orchestral groups around the area.

(3) Elem kids do NOT need an HOUR of art at a time. Most of them have difficulty focusing and concentrating for 20-30 minutes, some even for 5 minutes! Art projects could be scoped down or broken into 2-part teaching sessions. Getting the art teacher in the classroom once every 6 days instead of once every 12 days would be better for the kids. A lot of the kids can't remember the art teacher's name when they come so few and far between.

(4) Computers for 1/2 hour once every 6 days isn't reasonable either. Kids nowdays need to be using computers every few days, or daily. I'd like to see a laptop on every student's desk, for use part of the day, from 3rd grade on up, when they're pretty fluent with typing. This is the future, and AZ is behind the times.

(5) Going to the library about once a week is good. As a parent, it would be easier for parents to remember that library day is ALWAYS on (name the day of the week). Same with PE, and remembering tennis shoes. Actually, we had lockers and cubby holes for our PE shoes when we were growing up. Maybe we need more cubby-holes in the classrooms.

(6) I feel strongly that students should have a chance to go to music class at least every other day. As a teacher, I know that retention drops significantly after 8 hours, and drops again after 24 hours. Don't reduce time in music class or music teachers will be spending a lot of time RE-TEACHING concepts they've already addressed

103 - Date: 3/8/10 4:13 PM

The driving force that I hear behind changing from a six to a five day rotation is that it will be easier for parents to remember to dress their kids in PE shoes. The same parents that forget to dress their kids in PE shoes on a six day schedule are the same ones who will forget to do so on a five day schedule. We've lived with a six day schedule for 11 years. It has not been a problem for my family. It works. Reducing the rotation to a five day cuts the amount of meets for Music and PE for the entire school year. Also, the five day schedule doesn't account for zero days as the six day schedule does. When you put this on paper, its a significant difference. I'd say keep the six day rotation. Changing to a five day creates additional scheduling problems.

105 - Date: 3/8/10 4:19 PM

I believe we should look to our teachers to help find a solution to this problem. They are the ones who are most directly affected by all of this, and they are certainly the ones to have ideas and opinions on how to solve the different scheduling problems. It is very difficult for those who are not directly involved in the hour to hour operations of a school day to judge how to solve any real or perceived scheduling problems. I hope you are also surveying and asking every 4th, 5th, and 6th grade teacher (regular classroom and music, art and other electives) for their ideas and input. If you as a district let them know that music education is a priority, teachers will be able to give you ideas on restructuring the school day to allow for all educational needs to be met. This could include reducing unnecessary and redundant staff or district meetings, taking a serious look at any national tests we are administering and the time spent in the classroom preparing for those tests, and/or tweaking time spent on assemblies, pep rallies, or anything else that is outside of the normal educational experience (and I include things like music education, pe, and library time in that "normal educational experience") which takes time away from the classrooms.

117 - Date: 3/8/10 7:02 PM

"study hall" or "enrichment" would not be needed if library, PE and computers were integrated into the 6 day block rotation. I know this could be a scheduling nightmare but I think it is a possible solution. Also general music students could receive 3 or 4 days of music on the rotation rather than 2

118 - Date: 3/8/10 7:12 PM

"This is not about balancing music, but about balancing an academic program that allows easier scheduling for Special Education. I am dumbfounded why the music people do not see that scheduling for academic purposes is soooo much more important. If I had a Special Education student, I would be so upset that my students miss many subjects to be pulled for resource instruction. AND if I knew that the district thought about a 5 day schedule and didn't do it because of Band and Strings, I would be disgusted with the decision. If we reduce the minutes of Band and Strings, Kindergarten students will receive specials and if we stay on a 6 day schedule, then kinders will not get specials but Band and Strings will still have 4 out of 6 days to see their students. This is a no-brainer to me. Band and Strings needs to compromise."

123 - Date: 3/8/10 7:47 PM

"I am unaware that there is a problem with scheduling.

1. schedule consistency--is this for the teachers, parents or students? I can only speak for the parents and students. Frankly, we don't care what the schedule is as long as we have a calendar we can refer to. The kids go where they are told to go, they don't worry about the ""consistency"" and neither do I.

2. study hall downtime? I don't even know what this is. My elementary kids don't have Study Hall as far as I know.

3. Common prep time for classroom teachers. Why do the teachers need to prepare at the same time? They have individual classes and would seem to be able to sufficiently prepare at individual times. Do they want to have camaraderie or socialize or check on what or how their co-workers are doing things? They could do this at recess, before or after school or on their own time.

4. Allow for longer periods of instructional time in the classroom (chunking). If the concept is not sufficiently taught before the students leave for music or another special, it seems simple to continue the teaching where they left off. Seems very common sense. With the teachers aware of the schedule, they are competent souls who seems to easily adjust their teaching to the schedule time they have with the students. It seems like we are being a little ultra sensitive to issues that are not a problem. Creating problems where done really exist??"

124 - Date: 3/8/10 7:47 PM

Base the instruction in applications that will help each of the students to learn how to solve life's problems; So they learn what to do when they are faced with situations where they do not know what to do. It is not just about music, schedules, teacher convieniences, or systemic structural contrivances -- it ust be about increasing student problem solving and creativity.

129 - Date: 3/8/10 8:43 PM

I wish the school board was aware of how much time was wasted in the classrooms--perhaps this wouldn't be an issue. Did you know that both of the elementary schools my kids have (and are)attended regularly show movies on Fridays? Every time there is a half day, meaningful instruction rarely takes place.

139 - Date: 3/8/10 11:01 PM

As a strings teacher, I believe it is extremely important to retain rehearsals with "like instruments". Young players need to be in smaller groups with their own instrument type to be able to learn the clef and fingerings specific to their instrument.

169 - Date: 3/9/10 3:24 AM

It has been a while since I have been in elementary school but I remember to this day just about every activity I got to do while in music class in elementary school. I loved learning about dancing, music, instruments, and singing. I know it is a different time now but I don't think music should be lost in time. Music is part of our everyday lives if we start cutting music now what will we have 30 years from now? I guess it will all be classical music, because of the lack of respect and attention music recieves now!

213 - Date: 3/10/10 12:05 AM

How about starting band.orchestra instruction in fourth grade, so even though it's less time per years, it's an extra year.

221 - Date: 3/10/10 2:31 AM

Research supports PE, Art and Music programs. Stop going to conferences and high tech gizzmos. Money spent in Music, Library, Art and PE pays for themselves. TEachers need a break in their day to multitask and allow for prep time especially with increased classroom sizes!!!!!

227 - Date: 3/10/10 3:49 AM

"I have worked the six day schedule and I have worked the five day schedule. The five day schedule is far and away a more practical schedule. It allows for common planning time and blocks of time for teachers to teach. It seems to me that if we are truly looking at educating the whole child we will look to academics first, then provide the students with opportunities to experience art, music, library, and especially PE. If there were to be any special I would like to see more time devoted to it would be PE. With childhood obesity running rampant, health concerns now and in the future are of much greater concern to me that having a fraction of the elementary students become proficient at their musical instruments.

262 - Date: 3/10/10 7:34 PM

"Look at the success that Gilbert has enjoyed in achieving high academic performance! Why would we adopt a 5-day schedule unless we ABSOLUETLY knew that this change would cause better results then the current 6-day schedule? Is our current GPS Board playing ""Russian-roulette"" with the academic performance of our school systems? If they cannot absolutely assure us that a change would lead to better academic performance... then they are playing ""Russian-roulette"" and this is unacceptable. Can the GPS Board point to ANY school District in Arizona who is using the proposed 5-day schedule that is generating better results than the results being generated by the 6-day schedule? Can the GPS Board point to ANY school District in America who is using the proposed 5-day schedule that is generating better results? If the current GPS Board cannot point to other school districts generating better results with the proposed 5-day schedule… then our GPS Board has NOT done their homework and should NOT proceed with the change - period!"

271 - Date: 3/10/10 9:22 PM

Maybe the district should reduce the amount of !/2 days and school breaks that they currently give in order to have more time for classroom scheduling of study hall,instruction,and prep time for the teachers. Back in my day, we got Christmas break and Spring break only with maybe 2 possibly 3 half days a school year. Seems like everytime you turn around theres a half day either right before or after one week break??? I have a suggestion for another way to save costs. Eliminate the on site school psychologists in each school and have just one for all the schools in the district at each level. ie; Elementary, Jr. High, and High school. You already have a social worker in each elementary school and from my experience with both it`s a duplication of duties and in most cases unnecessary. Take that money savings and apply it to the budget over-run and spare the proposed education cuts!!!

312 - Date: 3/12/10 7:51 PM

I think that the "need" to create common prep time is unfounded. The students are already released 1/2 day early at least once a month. Additionally, study hall is great if used appropriately. My daughter is frequently told that her homework is to be done at home, not during block, which is truly a waste of that time, not that other students are using it for music. I also feel that block time is a great way for teachers to do one-on-one tutoring, or catch-up lessons with students NOT in band or orchestra. There are many ways to make that time productive and educational for students who choose not to play an instrument, without penalizing those that do. The chorus program at our school is very poorly attended, as the practices are held after school. If chorus was a option during the block time, that would increase participation in that program.

331 - Date: 3/19/10 4:52 PM

The academic teachers need to be shown the value of music and the other specials. Educators are responsible for the whole student, not just reading and writing and math. Music is a tool that can help the academic teachers. It should not be viewed as a "throw-away" subject. More advocacy needs to happen in order for the academically minded folks to understand the value of music. Advocacy needs to happen at all levels all the time!

Question #4: Any other comments on the quality and/or importance of music education in Gilbert?

1 - Date: 3/6/10 2:36 PM

Music offers so MANY benefits for so many students - a cut that is basically designed to help administration is against the best interests of the students. The skills promoted in music classes are constantly being shown to be major - and not just for those that might continue in music beyond school. This proposed cut is really of the "short term gain/long term pain" for students. I also think some parents will find this move lacking true educational value and take their children out of the district.

11 - Date: 3/6/10 6:06 PM

"There are at least two life lessons that I have learned in band that I never learned in other Academic classes:

1- It is not Win/Lose it is Win/Win. If a basketball team has a player that is worse than everybody else, then they bench them. They are not allowed to play because coaches want their team to have the best players always playing. In band however, if one player is struggling more than everyone else, there is no bench for them to go sit on. Band is only as good as their weakest link, therefore Band is constantly trying to help each other. If one person loses, everybody does.

2- Never quit until it is perfect. If a kid get's a 95% on a quiz, they aren't going to go back up to their teacher and tell them they want to retake it. The kid will not retake it every day until he gets a 100%. In Band, if you mess up one day, you come back the next and you make it better in some way. Band is constantly trying to improve their performance, right up until the very last day.

In my opinion, if a person knows these values and lives by them, then they will succeed in life."

12 - Date: 3/6/10 6:50 PM

I see an extremely high quality music program in the schools my kids are attending and I think it would be a travesty if any of these programs were cut or lessened. The level of professionalism and ability and care that the teachers exhibit towards the students is fantastic.

18 - Date: 3/6/10 8:21 PM

I think it is particularly important that young students are exposed to music. Many will not have the opportunity to have any exposure to real music (pop radio does not count) if the schools do not provide them with the exposure. If music is eliminated from the elementary schools, in general, only students from higher social-economic groups will have expose to music instruction. That does not seem right.

23 - Date: 3/6/10 11:37 PM

"The question above is somewhat misleading. That is, there is no proposal to cut back the junior high or high school program, only the elementary program. That is not one of the options. Music is an important part of GPS and it should remain so. However, more importantly academics is and will suffer if more consistent time is not given to math, LA, science and social studies in the elementary school. With both the state and federal government putting more pressure on students to increase learning so they are competitive with students in other countries more emphasis is needed on academics."

124 - Date: 3/8/10 4:55 AM

Gilbert Public Schools has, over the years, created a historical precedence that music is important, and an important part of academic achievement. It is a proven fact that students that participate in some music education K-12 have higher test scores, and they've learned the discipline and concentration that it takes to reach higher than average/good enough in order to succeed. Learning to concentrate is required in order to learn how to read. Learning to read music teaches students pattern recognition, and to be able to see differences, in order to learn science and classification. Music teaches students to learn to distinguish quantities, sizes and volumes, which is required to understand mathematics. Music teaches students to learn to see order and organization and learn to keep things in their place and understand how life has sequences to events. Learning to get along with others in musical groups helps students learn to get along with other personality types for their whole life. Music teaches students fine coordination skills that help students learn how to write properly and carry out games and sports activities. Practically every other aspect of learning is enhanced by music education skills. Instead of reducing music time, the school board should be increasing it, as that would make the classroom teacher's jobs easier! Don't put this school district back to the way it was in the 1930's and 1940's and 1950's. We're used to seeing GPS students SUCCEED and EXCEL; MUSIC EDUCATION has helped make this happen!!!

127 - Date: 3/8/10 5:01 AM

"Music is many different things to many people. For some, it allows them to be GOOD at something as well as enjoy it. To others, it is a good way to work with fellow human beings to reach a common goal. Music provides an escape for someone with a bad home life. or for some, music brings friends when they can't find them anywhere else. Music is a beautiful language that will not only increase a student's math and reading skills, but it will teach them to appreciate hard work and beauty.

Music has been a huge part of history. I do not want to be a part of a generation that tries to cut and diminish one of the only things that stays constant in life. think of every movie you have ever seen. every night you went out dancing. every coffee shop and restaurant you have dined in. church on Sundays, etc. music is such a powerful thing. it sets the mood for all of these events. without the music, it would not be the same. but it cannot stay the same. it needs to develop and grow. music gives so much to the world, especially to it's musicians. a large portion of these musicians are elementary, middle, and high school students. let music give back to them. do NOT cut the programs. we owe it to the future. without art, where do you expect kids to grow as individuals and intellectuals? where do they get a voice in their school systems?"

56 - Date: 3/7/10 4:30 PM

I believe one of the strongest roots of the quality is in the sectional time that was in the original 6 day program.

90 - Date: 3/7/10 11:29 PM

The number of students participating in music programs in our High schools is an indication of how many families view music as extremely important. Can this be ignored? It takes years to produce the quality of musicians we have in our High school. A student can't just condition themselves for a year and suddenly be an excellent violinist or trombonist. They need to start young and have adequate training. Reducing the time spent in band and orchestra would negatively affect the incredible program we now have.

50 - Date: 3/7/10 3:24 PM

I don't think the school board understands the importance of music in school. They only think about money. So school board think of it this way: You cut music in all schools, Approximately 180 kids in orchestra (high school) and approximately 250 in band (high school). So now you have Approximately 430 kids that are out of a class. SO now the school board now has to pay for more classes to put these kids in...Who don't want to be there. Maybe instead of cutting music or putting it to after school, which a lot of people can't do... they have jobs too...they have to pay bills too, maybe we cut some sports stuff too, to make it equal; how about Instead of paying for nice buses for the players to ride in, even though they are only going about 10 miles. I'm pretty sure they can ride in a regular school bus like everyone else. If the music kids can do it, to NAU, if think they can handle it. So I don't know how much the school board is going to cut. MHS is already walking around in the dark! I think that there are other things that need to be taking care of first, and music is the last thing that should be the last thing on people's minds!

80 - Date: 3/7/10 9:10 PM

Gilbert offers music education at a higher level of quality than most other surrounding districts. This alone is not enough to defend it, if it truly causes other subject areas in our district to be thrown into chaos; however, the value of a good music education is impossible to overestimate. If music educators lose their effectiveness through the adjustment of a schedule based on the complaints and frustrations of a few people in other areas, then we truly are allowing the minority to dictate to the majority.?