Petition Closed
Petitioning Superintendent Jason VanFossen and 6 others

Maine Endwell School District - Save the Music!: Keep 4th & 5th grade Band & Orchestra

NOTHING GROWS WHEN YOU CUT OFF THE ROOTS. Since the beginning of the district over 50 years ago, musical and academic excellence have gone hand in hand. Eliminating one of these factors is HIGHLY risky. The Maine Endwell School District is proposing ELIMINATING 4th and 5th grade band AND orchestra. Over the last several years, they have eliminated third grade strings, 4th grade band (lessons only). They have also greatly reduced contact time at the elementary school from every day to twice a six day cycle. In addition, they have not replaced three music positions when the teachers retired. Another music teacher is retiring this year, and the response to eliminate completely the 4/5 Band & Orchestra. HOW MUCH MORE MONEY NEEDS TO BE SAVE FROM THE SAME DEPARTMENT?? It has not yet been stated how many music faculty will potentially laid off.....but KNOW THIS: the sports are only taking a $17,000 +/- cut. This does not even equal a teaching position. The elimination of just one position in the department is saving $70,000 plus benefits. They claim all of the cuts are equal in nature. We do not see this as equal. This is a "district of leadership", operating on the principles of Covey, yet the Covey principles are not being practiced. FACTS: 75% of past Valedictorian/Salutatorian pairs have been involved in music. Over 110 students JUST this year participated in All County Band, Chorus, Orchestra. About two dozen participated in Area All-State (competing against 7 other counties). SIX were selected for All-State (competing against the entire state)...of these 6, 2 were ALSO awarded alternate positions - thus earning TWO seats at All-State. Most schools have 1 go once in a blue moon. TWO students were selected for ALL-EASTERN, competing against from students throughout the east. This happens once a career - maybe. ONE student performed at carnegie hall this year.
We need to show them that music is IMPERATIVE to an education. It is the one subject that is truly co-curricular. Music is not only CORE, it is ENCORE.

Letter to
Superintendent Jason VanFossen
Board of Education Maine Endwell Board of Education
Senator Charles Schumer
and 4 others
State Senator Thomas Libous
State Representative Donna Lupardo
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Keep 4th & 5th grade Band & Orchestra in Homer Brink & Maine Memorial. Our childrens' future depends on it. Nothing grows if you cut off its roots. Music is the one true subject that is co/cross-curricular. Music is math, music is language(s), music is art, music is science, music is physical education, music is social studies. Music is an international language, calling upon the deepest parts of the human soul, allowing it to communicate with everyone regardless of language, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. MUSIC TEACHES WHAT TESTS DO NOT. Cooperation, team-work, expression, compassion, humility, creativity, discipline, listening skills, interpretation skills, community, self-esteem, pride, organization, planning skills.....the list goes on. These are all important life skills. To delay this instruction until the 6th grade when the students are being pulled in a million different directions is a recipe for disaster. To save $60,000+ on one teacher's retirement (not to mention his benefits and the salary and benefits of the last three retirees), but only cut $17,000 from sports is an atrocity and not fair NOR equal. How much money needs to be saved from the same department?? Our kids NEED this. Not every child is an athlete, writer, mathematician, scientist, engineer, carpenter.....but EVERY child has the desire to create something and to be part of a "winning" team - a team that wins with each performance!!

Kris Gilbert started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,124 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.