Hearing the music
School Board trustee Sharla Hales left a lot of us guessing with her claim that Douglas County “didn’t have a quality music program.”
Let’s first consider context. No one was discussing the quality of the students’ performance. No one suggested that they disliked the music selection.
But having covered the program for a long time, we can guess that it has something to do with the reaction to the departure of Douglas High School Music Director Bill Zabelsky.
We know that the simple answer to keeping Zabelsky here was to leave his job duties alone. A little extra pay would probably have helped, too.
But if that were all that were on Hales’ mind, then the answer “Hire quality people,” should have been sufficient.
The position for high school music teacher is still being advertised by the school district.
The program at the elementary schools does sound a little pasted together, what with one teacher for two schools, and the traveling associated with fifth and sixth-grade bands.
But we know people fought hard to keep those programs at the elementary schools. That they continued to survive in any form over the last few years is a testament to their resilience.
So what should the school district do differently?
We feel any improvement would require a combination of restructuring and increased resources.
Having a single person in charge of the district’s music program might be a step in the right direction, and funneling money to the program directly instead of through the principals might be another.
But isn’t the real question whether we already have the music program we’re willing to pay for? There’s always more that could be done for any program, but where those resources come from and who goes begging are decisions we elect school board trustees to make.