Save Chief Umtuch's Choir Program
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On April 23, the Battle Ground School District made the decision to cut the choir program at Chief Umtuch, not because of poor performance, not because of lack of interest, and not because it was non-sustainable. BGEA and district administration made the decision to cut choir apparently out of a desire to homogenize the middle schools in the district, making them all provide the same offerings. Effective next school year, there will no longer be a middle school in the Battle Ground school district that has a choir program.
The decision to eliminate choir and Mr. Orofino's position as the school choir teacher is not in the best interests of Chief Umtuch students or community and does nothing to further the district's goal of inspiring excellence.
What did inspire excellence this past year?
Consider Chief Umtuch's musical theatre production of Peter Pan, a production that involved more than 60 students, and dozens of parents and community members. This production included a diverse group of students who were inspired to work hard all because of their love for music and for Mr. Orofino. More than once, a young audience member was heard saying, "I can't wait to be a student at Chief."
Consider the excellent performance by the festival choir at a regional middle school choral event, showcasing both their hard work and the district's commitment to choral arts.
Consider the choir performances sprinkled throughout the year, where students dressed up and performed music they had memorized through hard work and hours of practice.
Singing in a school choir should not be considered a luxury, reserved only for those who have the means to send their student to an out-of-district school. Singing in a school choir should be considered essential programming for students, particularly if we want to keep students engaged and interested in their education. At a time when students are becoming more and more isolated, choral music has the power to bring kids together in a meaningful way.
Please sign and share this petition if you support keeping middle school choral arts in the Battle Ground School District, and support keeping Mr. Orofino as the choir teacher at Chief Umtuch Middle School.
Consider also emailing Superintendent Mark Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Deputy Superintendent Denny Waters (email@example.com) to let them know that you value and support Mr. Orofino and the Chief Umtuch choir program.
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