School system recognized by NAMM for outstanding arts instruction
The NAMM Foundation has announced the results of its thirteenth annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education in schools.
Once again, Roanoke County Public Schools has been recognized as one of the nation’s best communities for music education and one of only six school systems in Virginia. The school system received this distinction in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and again in 2012.
As the economy challenges state and local school budgets to adequately support education, the 176 school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate the unwavering commitment to provide music education for their students. The NAMM Foundation’s mission is to ensure that all children have access to quality music education programs that encourage lifelong participation in music making.
“We are committed to providing quality arts instruction for our students,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lorraine Lange. “We believe the arts are an important part of the learning process,” Lange added.
Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs. NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen, encourages communities to use the designation as a cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs.
“We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts,” said Luehrsen. “We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.”
Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data.
Submitted by Chuck Lionberger, Roanoke County Public Schools.