Bedford Schools Music Department Now Gathering Parent Feedback for Program Review

By Kim Siebert MacPhail

Bedford Schools’ Music Department is currently conducting a program review that will culminate in a presentation to be made to the School Committee next year. As part of the study, parent questionnaires that ask how students experience the music program have been posted on the district’s website at:  https://www.bedford.k12.ma.us/component/content/article/121-news-district/827-parent-survey-about-bedford-music-.html.

The surveys—one for each of the four schools—ask questions such as how high a value the respondent places on music education; if class size is a factor in their child’s satisfaction with music classes; whether there is a general understanding of the music curriculum; whether music teachers seem prepared for their classes,and if the teachers are accessible to address parental concerns.

“The survey questions are designed to help us understand what we need to do to have the best music program possible,” said Nicole O’Toole, Program Administrator. “First, we ask what the dream is. Then,we figure out how we can provide that within the limitations of budget and time.”

As part of the study— in addition to parent feedback— a visiting team of music educators from other towns will evaluate Bedford’s program. While there are no MCAS or Common Core requirements for music, Bedford continues to support a high level of arts education and adheres to national and state standards in music education.

According to O’Toole, the Music Department—along with Physical Education—is one of the last departments to conduct a program review. Parent surveys about Physical Education are anticipated later this academic year.

In other Music Department news, O’Toole announced that “Footloose!” will be the BHS musical this spring. “Once Upon a Mattress” will be performed by the John Glenn Middle School.  O’Toole emphasized that the community is warmly welcomed to all musical as well as dramatic performances throughout the year, including the individual or so-called“vertical” band, orchestra, and choral concerts and the Tournament of Plays. To access the school performing arts calendar, visit: https://www.bedford.k12.ma.us/images/stories/pdfs/bhs/music/calendar.pdf

Also, the booster group for school music, Patrons of Music Students (POMS), has recently launched its own website where music program information and performance videos can be viewed:https://www.bedfordpoms.org/

The BHS Marching Band’s presented a 3-star bronze medal performance at theMassachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) Finals on Sunday, October 28.

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