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2010 Hermes Gold Award Winner

Roanoke County Public Schools one of top 100 communities for music education


The NAMM Foundation has announced the results of its eleventh annual “Best Communities for Music Education” survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education in schools.

Once again, Roanoke County Public Schools has been recognized as one of the nation’s best communities for music education and one of only six school systems in Virginia.  The school system received this distinction in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, and again in 2010.

As the economy challenges state and local school budgets to adequately support education, the 174 school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate the unwavering commitment to provide music education for their students. The NAMM Foundation’s mission is to ensure that all children have access to quality music education programs that encourage lifelong participation in music making.

“We are committed to providing quality arts instruction for our students,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lorraine Lange.  “We believe the arts are an important part of the learning process,” Lange added.

“Past designees have benefited by receiving this mark of excellence, but this year’s economic environment is challenging for many communities,” says Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “Even having earned this designation, schools are working hard to keep programs strong in the midst of some of the deepest education cuts seen in decades. We hope this award presented at this critical time will compel communities to re-consider cuts that we know are in play in many districts across the U.S.”

The 2010 survey, which opened on Thursday, January 17, and ended Friday, March 12, was available to all districts nationwide. This year, teachers and school district administrators, representing communities across the country, participated in the web-based survey. The districts were measured across curricular and programmatic criteria as well as public support of their music programs. The survey was developed and administered by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

Throughout the survey’s 11 years, many districts have reported that making the “Best Communities” list has had a positive effect on their ability to preserve music for their students amid budget cuts in arts programs.

More information about the Best Communities for Music Education can be found at the following link:
http://www.nammfoundation.org/press-room/namm-foundation-survey-reveals-best-communities-music-education-united-states

(Last updated 5/5/10)