Rochester Community Schools Receive National Recognition

RCS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Rochester Community Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for the second year in a row. RCS joined 476 districts from across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2016. The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in their efforts to provide all students with access to music and education.

“The comprehensive curriculum the RCS staff offers empowers students to be involved in music from the first day of school through graduation. As teachers, we see evidence of our students applying their commitment to music far beyond graduation. Many of our musician graduates are pursuing music as a career, and many more contribute to their communities as members of music ensembles or as informed music consumers throughout their adult life. That indication of our success as educators is invaluable,” said RCS Music Program Coordinator Cheryl Ogonowski.

RCS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

RCS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, RCS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instructional time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“We are very proud of our music educators and the students and families who embrace the arts,” said Executive Director of Elementary Education Michael Behrmann.

Music classes are offered to students in Kindergarten through fifth grade (K-5) for 30 minutes, twice a week. Those learners have access to a variety of percussion instruments, xylophones, and keyboards. The young students also sing and use movement in music classes and create original compositions.

At the Middle School level, grades 6-8, students select either vocal or instrumental music class and meet daily. The ensembles build on the skills and understanding levels developed each year with progressively challenging music selections.

High School students in grades 9-12 are offered opportunities to take choral and band classes, which continue to challenge musical performers in the core ensembles. Additional music programs include marching band, guitar, music theory, and exploring music to meet the interests of a variety of students. The district is also looking into the feasibility of enhancing music programs to include string instruments.


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