5 Local School Districts Receive Prestigious Best Communities For Music Education Designation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.
The NAMM Foundation designated 307 school districts across the country as Best Communities for Music Education in a record-breaking year for participation.
Among the 307 nationwide districts, 5 of them are located in the Town of Huntington. These include Commack, Half Hollow Hills, Huntington, Northport/East Northport and South Huntington.
Huntington Superintendent Jim Polansky stated, “This award reaffirms something that we already know, but it is still a proud moment to have our music students and staff honored on the national stage! I share my congratulations with Mrs. Fretz, and with all of our K-12 music teachers and students. Genuinely well deserved. Each individual involved has added his or her contribution to an outstanding performing arts program in Huntington!”
“We are very excited to be ranked as one of the best communities in America for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation,” said Dr. Dave Bennardo, Superintendent of South Huntington Schools. “This award speaks volumes about the talent of our students and teachers as well as the importance that our parents and school district place upon music education.”
South Huntington Schools Director for Art, Dance, Music, and Adult Education, Vincent D’Ulisse said, “We are very fortunate in that we receive tremendous support for the arts in South Huntington, and are extremely proud of our music students and their outstanding teachers.”
The Best Communities designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep designation comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum. This year, nearly 2000 schools and school districts participated in the survey – an increase of 366% from 2012, resulting in a record number of designations. This year’s increase in survey participation is an indication of growing support from both parents and administrators who recognize the vital role that music learning plays in student achievement.
According to NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen, the Best Communities for Music Education program is the bellwether of rising endorsement for this vital cause. “There is overwhelming research tying music education to higher overall student success in school and in life,” she said. “This designation recognizes communities for their commitment to music education and strengthens support for these programs. Having widely embraced the evidence indicating that music education yields great things in schools and communities, people are increasingly affirmative, advocating for school music curricula, and championing programs like Best Communities that recognize this commitment to music education.”
Now in its 14th year, the BCME program requires each school and district to detail funding, staffing, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. Responses are meticulously reviewed by researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.
As school districts across the United States finalize 2013-2014 budgets, the announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designees focuses attention on the importance of keeping music education part of school’s core education. Past designees report that receiving a BCME designation significantly improved their ability to preserve their schools’ music education programs.
“In my ten tears at Half Hollow Hills, I have never been more proud of the performances and accomplishments of our music students and dedication and hard work of our music staff”, commented Sal Randazzo, HHH Director of Fine Arts. “Having received the NAMM award for the third year in a row, I am truly gratified that the district is being recognized on the national level for all our achievements. It is an honor to be at the helm of such an impressive department in such a supportive community.”
“The recognition received by NAMM reaffirms the District’s outstanding music program,” stated Mr. Paul R. Infante, Director of Fine and Applied Arts from Commack School district. “This prestigious acknowledgement confirms the commitment set forth by the music teachers, the administration, the Board of Education, and most importantly, the support from the community in providing every student an all-inclusive educational experience.”
“The designation reveals the elements of music programs so educators, administrators, teachers and students can see what they have, what they need, what they have accomplished, and what work needs to be done to strengthen their music education now and for the future,” Luehrsen said.
For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
Click here for the complete list: 2013 Best Communities for Music Education.