School district likely to strike up the band again

Written by Dick Mason, The Observer October 28, 2013 10:17 am
Music likely will return to the Elgin School District in 2014-15.

The Elgin School Board is set to make restoring the district’s music teacher position a priority for the next school year. The board seriously discussed doing this at a goal-setting work session last week.

“We would like to add back our music teacher position,” said Elgin School District
Superintendent Wayne
Herron. 

The school district cut its music teacher position several years ago because of a budget shortfall. The district, however, is now in a position to add back the position because of an additional $70,000 it will receive from the state in 2014-15. The money will be the Elgin School District’s share of $100 million in additional funding for schools legislators approved during a special session earlier this month. The money will be raised by a package of tax increases.

Herron said that although the state is focusing on reading, math, writing and science in its assessment tests, it would be a mistake to look past other subjects.

“We want to provide our students with as rich an education as possible,” Herron said.

The Elgin School Board also is set to retain its goal of having at least 90 percent of its third-graders meeting the state benchmark for reading proficiency. This is a critical objective because research indicates that children not reading at grade level by third grade often have a difficult time catching up academically with their classmates.

The Elgin School District has its 90-percent reading goal for third-graders for several years as part of its Read to Succeed program. The program promotes reading education in the school district and parental involvement in reading. Parents are encouraged to begin reading to their children at an early age. Parents, sometimes even before their children are born, are provided with information from the school district on helping their sons and daughters develop reading skills, Herron said.