Encourage students to pursue interests

To the editor,

It is time, once again, to clear up misinformation regarding the district, and choices made to improve academic outcomes for our elementary students. In a recent letter, dated Sept. 11, the writer perpetuates the idea that the RSU 21 board “supported a policy” to “cut” band from elementary school scheduling.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald

She cannot be faulted for being an advocate for students, for creativity, or for the arts. She can, however, be faulted for what appears to be an intent to share inaccurate information, despite many corrections to her statements. The inaccuracies lie in her assertion that band is being taken away from students, and that the board made the decision for this to happen.

1. Building principals began conversations last spring regarding the inconsistency in core curriculum administration across elementary schools. They determined that band could be moved to a time that did not disrupt critical core curriculum and approached music teachers and the administration with the problem and solution.

2. The solution was developed by building principals, communicated to music teachers in the spring, and subsequently the community at large in a July board meeting, to inform everyone of their decision to move band to recess or morning meeting – one day a week.


Moving a supplemental opportunity to engage in music (outside of allied arts classes which occur weekly) is not cutting band. It is shifting it to a time when it will not disrupt the administration of core curriculum. It is also not “setting it up to fail.” What is setting our students up for failure is not acknowledging the learning loss that COVID created, and the need to regain ground in growth and achievement in curriculum that has required standards and time frames in which they need to be administered, per the Department of Education. What is setting our students up for failure is operating on the premise that the shift in time of day is a catastrophic event.

Students will continue to be able to participate in band. In the case of students at Mildred L. Day School, after a years-long hiatus, they will finally be able to participate again. Our children are resilient if we set them up to be. We need to model that behavior, show them that change can be managed, and encourage them to continue to pursue their interests despite that minor change, if band is one of their interests.

Erin Nadeau


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