Changes to PSSD Music Programs

Changes to Prairie Spirit Band Program – 2016/17 School Year

Dear parents/guardians:

Prairie Spirit School Division is pleased to announce some changes to the East and West band programs for the 2016/17 school year. We conducted a survey of educators, parents and students (current, former and prospective) in January 2016, with the purpose of increasing engagement and participation in our band programs. The survey identified several barriers to participation in the band programs. The most significant barrier is the current after-school rehearsal format, which is part of the instructional time.

What are the changes?

• Starting in September 2016, students in grades 6-12 will be bussed to band rehearsals, at a central hub, on every other Wednesday afternoon (1 to 4:30 p.m.).

• East band hub – Allan Composite School

• West band hub – Lord Asquith School

• At these rehearsals, all students will receive intensive instruction and a variety of musical experiences including:

o Senior and intermediate band rehearsals

o Instruction from our entire Music Education Team (four instructors)

o Sectionals – separate rehearsals for brass, woodwind, percussion, etc.

o Opportunities for performance and jamming

o Time to pursue a range of high school music credits

o Jazz ensembles

o Theory and composition

Why were these changes made?

Our surveys indicated that the after-school rehearsals were the most significant barrier to participation in band. These rehearsals often conflict with other extra-curricular activities and make a very long day for students. We believe that the new format will offer a high quality musical experience for all band students.

What was the process that led to these changes?

Last September, the Prairie Spirit Music Education Team began a consultation process that led to these changes. The Music Education Team consulted with administrators, senior School Division administration, the Prairie Spirit Board of Education, the East and West Band Parents’ Associations, the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Spirit bus garage.

How you can support your child?

• We are interested in hearing from you as we move ahead. Please provide feedback to your band teacher or to Dave Carter, Coordinator of Schools and Learning.

• The bi-weekly rehearsals are an essential part of the band program. Please encourage your child to attend the rehearsals.

• We have parent organizations for both the East and West band programs.

Please get involved in your Band Parents’ Association to support your child and this programming. Thank you for your support of the Prairie Spirit band programs,

Adam Streisel, William Martin, AJ Ward, Kendra Worman, Dave Carter

PRAIRIE SPIRIT MUSIC EDUCATION TEAM