April 11, 2022
Hello, Supporters of MCPASD Music,
The district administration has decided to cut the 4th grade orchestra. This decision is a result of the large MCPASD budget deficit due to stagnant enrollment & rising inflation. HERE is a slide presentation we shared with our district administrators, outlining the popularity and growth of 4th grade orchestra, the positive impact on learning and belonging, the potential negative ramifications of such a cut, and why it's important to start orchestra in 4th grade.
CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US WITH 2 THINGS?
1. We are asking that anyone who supports MCPASD music, and the 4th grade orchestra curriculum specifically, to please contact our district administrators and school board members to voice positive support for keeping 4th grade orchestra a part of the school district offering. Let them know that this cut might be easy for them but is not wise over time in terms of money, public relations, or (most importantly) student education. Please consider the following as you contact these people:
Remain positive and respectful at all times. Assume positive intent and remember that the people involved in decision making at the district level are in a difficult spot.
Ask that they commit to hiring a new person for the 4th grade position so that this wonderful opportunity can continue for all students.
Our 4th grade orchestra classes are making great strides in the culture of belonging and are in line with the equity work that our district values so highly. Losing a positive community and another adult who builds connections and relationships would not be a good thing for our 7
Research shows time and time again the benefits of music study. HERE is an example.
Right now, 286 4th graders are learning in orchestra classes, which represents almost 60% of all 4th grade students in our district. This is an all-time high, showing that even a global pandemic has not slowed the high interest in this popular music education opportunity.
Personal stories are good: talk about a person you know who benefited from the 4th grade strings classes.
The effects of a loss of 4th grade orchestra would eventually touch all musicians in our district. As enrollment and learning declines, it changes the musical opportunities of all music students.
The loss of enrollment in orchestra will pressure administrators to add classes in other encores, costing the district more money than it saves in years to come.
If there is no way to keep 4th grade for the 2022-23 school year, ask them to pledge to bring it back the following year rather than having the cut be permanent. The people most affected by this in the short term are this year’s 3rd grade students. Longer term, it will affect every student who comes through our district elementary schools. Therefore, if you know a family with a 3rd grader or with younger children, please reach out to them so they can also contact our administrators and school board members.
2. Please attend a Board of Education Meeting. There are Board of Education meetings scheduled on two more Mondays in April, 4/11 and 4/25. Citizens at these meetings are always allowed to speak, and a personal (and respectful) call for keeping 4th grade orchestra enters the discussion into a public forum. Meetings are held at the District Services Center at 7106 South Ave. Middleton, WI. Meetings begin at 7:00 pm.
Please attend the meeting on Monday, April 25 at 7pm at Kromrey Middle School.
Our district leaders:
Superintendent Dr. Dana Monogue: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Superintendent Sherri Cyra: email@example.com
Director of Middle School Education Keith Schneider: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Elementary Education Marybeth Paulisse: email@example.com
Board President Bob Hesselbein: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board VP Bob Green: email@example.com
Board Clerk Simrnjit Seerha: firstname.lastname@example.org [former MCPASD 4th grade string musician]
Treasurer Minza Karim: email@example.com
Board Member Annette Ashley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Member Brian Bonti: email@example.com
Board Member Sheila Hibner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Member Paul Kinne: email@example.com