Petition update

Moving Up!

Sydney Astle
Severna Park, MD, United States

Mar 25, 2019 — 

    Having met with the SPHS administration today, they offered us two reasons for the termination of percussion; a lack of persons signing up and the forcing of Mr. Kilby, our music teacher, to proctor a study hall.

    First, I would like to address the claim that there is a lack of interest in percussion class, and it is therefore not worth teaching. Mr. Kilby has been told that only 7 students signed up for the class by the administration; we are unsure how this miscommunication happened, but the students know this was a mistake. We have put together a spreadsheet with the names of students who have signed up for percussion classes, and it shows that well more than 7 are eager to join. For now, we will be presenting this spreadsheet to the administration to show that there is a decent interest in percussion class.

    The underlying issue, for which we request your assistance, is that our trained music educators are being forced to proctor study halls instead of providing our students with the training they need to grow. The reason for this is a lack of funding for the arts programs. It’s not only percussion affected by this, but classes like French 1, AP Spanish Literature, and Foundations of Dance. Especially after the termination of our Latin and German programs, the absence of French 1 and AP Spanish are incredibly unfortunate for those who wish to expand their linguistic horizons. Foundations of Dance is the introductory level dance course, and without it, it is impossible to take dance without a successful audition and commitment to the dance company. Our question amidst this turmoil is ‘why do all budget cuts come directly from the arts program?’ Why is it that the theatre’s costume department’s storage space was sacrificed for the use of our athletics teams? Why was the storage crate promised to the marching band reallocated a department with no relation to the arts? Why is that when a study hall is required, percussion class is the first one to go?

    With more funding allocated to the arts programs, percussion, dance, and classical languages could all be offered, and the space promised to us with the new school could be saved. Unfortunately, this funding has not been available. This is where we need your help. We would like to ask you to email those with influence in AACPS to show your support for keeping the arts in school! We would also ask that when communicating with the administration you maintain a respectful yet firm tone, as this is the best way to ensure that our voice is heard. Thank you for your continued support! We will keep you updated.

Allison Pastine, Counselor -

George Arlotto, Superintendent AACPS -

Janine Robinson, Regional Assistant Superintendent AACPS -

Terry Gilleland, Board of Education Member Representing SPHS -

Julie Hummer, President AACPS Board of Education -

Amanda Fiedler, County Council Member -

Steuart Pittman, County Executive

Bill Goodman, Director of School Performance-

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