1/8 Elementary Music Check-in

Winter 2018

Elementary Principals,

Now that we are about halfway through the school year, I’d like to take this moment to check in with you regarding VAPA’s music program at your school.  As you know, we went through major restructuring this year, and I’d like to thank you, your staff and our music teachers for the commitment to making music education accessible for our students.

With this check in, I’d like to make a few reminders about our program:

  • Music is called out as “well-rounded” academic subject in ESSA.  Music has its own set of California state content standards and is not considered extra-curricular or an “activity.
  • In fact, VAPA is one of the 5 goal areas for the district this year and board of education members regularly show their support for music and the arts.
  • When there is a class field trip, professional development, a modified bell schedule, or a campus activity such as a carnival, music teachers should be notified ahead of time.
  • Music teaching spaces need to be adequate in size, consistent, and should be without distractions
  • Music teachers should have access to custodial help for set up of their room and the moving of instruments (when applicable)
  • VAPA Music Classes are not considered prep time contractually or otherwise.  Music teachers should always have access to a classroom teacher if necessary.
  • VAPA music teachers should be informed of the needs of particular students as the law requires, including IEP and/or 504 information.Some final words about instruments: 

Classroom teacher reminders to students about bringing their instrument for music class day are very appreciated!!  A missing instrument means missing critical instruction for a whole week!

Students should consult their music teacher before purchasing an instrument—many instruments available on Amazon or at Costco, for instance, are not suitable for our music classes.

Lastly, we really appreciate the many supportive front office staff and school police who have helped recover missing instrumentsPlease feel free to contact me or Instrumental Music Specialist Mark Nicholson with any questions you might have about this memo or the program at your school.

Russ Sperling

VAPA Director