Curriculum changes in the elementary schools: reducing Music and PE education
Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of conversation in our community about the proposed curriculum changes in our elementary schools. The District intends to significantly reduce Physical Education (PE) and Music education in order to allow for more time for Digital Literacy, STEM, and Art time. While many of us agree that a holistic review of the curriculum and school day is warranted, a number of our community members have raised a number of questions about the factors in this decision.
At last night’s Board meeting, this change was discussed a number of times by administration, the Board, and several members of our community, including teachers in our District as well as others. If you were not able to attend, we encourage you to watch the recording and contact the administration and/or Board members with questions or concerns you have. Superintendent Niedzwiecki has graciously reiterated her “open door” policy.
Superintendent comments: ~33 and ~57 minute marks
Board member comments: ~46 minute mark
Community member comments: ~58 minute mark
Several Board members shared that they have heard from families both positive feedback, as well as concern, about the changes. The community members who spoke all shared significant concerns about this curriculum approach. They discussed the numerous scientific studies that have demonstrated the critical importance of music education at a young age to learning and success at older ages, the positive impact PE education has on lifelong health as well as behavior in the classroom, the lack of rigor in the survey used to justify this change, concerns about more screen time for children (Digital Literacy), the effectiveness of stand-alone STEM classes, and the personal impact music education as had on themselves and their loved ones.
A few resources as you consider the impact this change will have on our children and community:
- 2/21 Board meeting where the process used and curriculum was discussed in more detail: ~27 minute mark
- Article: “Want Smarter Kids? Teach Music, Not Coding”
- CDC on Physical Education
We thank our teachers, families, and community members for their support of all of our students for the benefit of their lifelong learning and success. Again, we encourage you to share your feedback and thoughts with the administration and Board.