Please reinstate Ms. Harvey's teaching position.
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On April 16, 2017, Cypress High School’s choral program learned that their new director, Ms. Melanie Harvey, was to be laid off due to budget cuts proceeding the end of the 2016-2017 school year. The district has ensured that the choral program will remain intact, but our director, Ms. Harvey, has lost her job. Ms. Harvey is the greatest thing that has happened to this program in a long time and we students believe that with the support of our community, the AUHSD Board of Trustees will hopefully acknowledge Ms. Harvey’s impact on our lives and education, and how essential she is to the program. With your participation in this petition, you are contributing to the fight to keep strong arts programs in the education system. We must emphasize the importance of music education and the fine arts as it is generally overlooked. Every signature helps us let our voice be heard.
Thank you for your time and support for students, the arts, and a dedicated teacher. Thank you for using your voice to help a teacher that has allowed her students to find theirs.
Ms. Harvey is a first-year teacher at Cypress High School, and was vulnerable to the budget cuts due to her low seniority, but has grown the choral program to new heights. Ms. Harvey is the hardest working and most influential person we have ever had the honor to have as an instructor. Her impact on the Cypress choral program includes, but is not limited to:
- The number of students signed up for the upcoming school year (2017-18) has doubled in comparison to the current school year (2016-17).
- Ms. Harvey combines show choir and concert choir into the curriculum, giving students a strong background to classical music education, and a show choir (singing and dancing) experience. She is also dedicated to making sure students are proficient in music theory.
- Ms. Harvey offered to teach a separate music class to the Special Education students at Cypress High School, but since she has been terminated that class is no longer for sure being taught. Whoever replaces her has the decision to take it or not, and it is a difficult class to teach for some teachers. Ms. Harvey was actually excited and eager to teach and give this opportunity to the Special Education students.
- Ms. Harvey organized and directed four choir shows the past school year, as well as taking the advanced group, High Voltage, to four show choir competitions, and to one choral festival along with the beginning level group, Shockwaves.
- Ms. Harvey organizes after school and weekend rehearsals, taking time out of her own personal life for the students.
- Ms. Harvey teaches not only music, but life lessons and morals. She teaches integrity, teamwork skills, and confidence.
The budget cuts by the State of California left Cypress High School without an on campus drama/theatre class, and threatened the existence of the dance program. They also completely cut the floral program. Students feel as if their arts programs are slowly diminishing. (As shown through the hashtag #savechsarts on Instagram) The arts is a calling to many students who are passionate about what they create. It is something that they can rely on for stability and communal support every single day when they walk into a choir, drama, or dance classroom. Cypress has had a different choir director every single year for the past three years. This has hindered the choral program from growing and stabilizing. If the teaching position is changed once again for the 2017-2018 school year, the program will repeat the cycle of having to reform and rebuild. Ms. Harvey was hired from outside of the district specifically for our class because there was no one else qualified for the position she took. If she leaves, then who will teach us? This causes emotional stress on the students, but also puts Ms. Harvey out of work. Every student deserves a strong music education. Ms. Harvey has provided Cypress High School with that, and could continue to impact more students’ lives with your support.
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