I am preparing to approach my principals for a change in the instrumental music program for next year. Our lessons are "pull-outs"(rotating acdemic and special area classes), and our rehearsals have been early morning/after school. The early morning and after school rehearsals did not help due to the majority of students are bussed and arrive late in the rehearsals. I also had to run a different pull-out schedule for the pre-PSSA testing and was not allowed to have lessons at all during the 2 week time of the PSSA testing. So---hopefully, I can convince my principals into making instrumental music an actual class next year instead of pull-outs. Many of the teachers complained about the students missing their classes and sometimes the students were made to decide between coming to lessons and receiving a "0" for missing their class or staying in their academic class. Even though my principals supported the instrumental lessons, the teachers were still putting students in the position of choosing between the two. Our schedule is a alternate A/B 4 X 4 block schedule. When separating the day in to periods, we have 9 periods (45 minutes) in the day. The student population is also split up into lower house/upper house and into two communities; Arts and Health. This separates the full enrollment of 900 students into 4 communities of 250 students. The school year is split up into 3 trimesters. The academics stay the same, however, the special areas rotate for each of the trimesters. A student will have a period of General Music and a period of another special area for one trimester, then switch to other special areas for the other two semesters. The students arrive by bus at school at 8:00 AM and go to early room until 8:25 AM. This is also the time when I have the early rehearsals. Most of the students are bussed and have no other way to school. Sometimes the rehearsals may run from 10-20 minutes - which is not really beneficial.It would be so much better to have the instrumental music as a class, however, I am having trouble figuring out how I can have the students all school year. I teach both band and strings. The groups we have are the following: concert band, string orchestra, jazz band, chamber strings, marching band, drumline, and color guard. All of these, except for the concert band and string orchestra rehearsal after school. Oh--and by the way, I do not receive any stipend for any of the extra groups. My colleagues in the other 2 middle schools in my district only have the concert band and string orchestra. I have also taken the student groups to many festivals and competitions, competing with other schools. This is our first year to compete in the TIA Indoor Guard with drumline and colorguard. Our groups have been very successful this year and have been recognized by the community. If there is anyone who can give me some advice or any input of a workable schedule, I would greatly appreciate it. I feel now is the time to present it to the principals for next year's possibilities. At this moment, I am holding 153 students in the band program and 57 students in the string program.
Any Advice Please?.......
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