Schools and Libraries
April 23, 2014
The Long Beach City School District was one of 376 school districts across the country and 34 on Long Island to be recognized as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Each year, the NAMM Foundation acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education in schools. This is the fourth consecutive year the Long Beach City School District has earned this distinction.
According to NAMM, the Best Communities designation recognizes collaborative, from-the-ground-up efforts of teachers, administrators, students and parents who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum. The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities whose programs exemplify a strong commitment to music education. Established in 1999, BCME recognizes and celebrates schools, administrators, teachers, board members, parents and students for their support of music education and their efforts to ensure access to all students as part of the core curriculum.
The BCME program requires each school and district to detail funding, staffing, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. Responses are meticulously reviewed by researchers at the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas), and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.
More than 1,600 students participate in the Long Beach School District's 36 bands, orchestras and choral ensembles. Students participate in All-State, All-County, LISFA and NYSSMA festivals. In the 2013-14 school year, one All-State musician, two All-State alternates and 52 All-County musicians were named. Five students were invited to perform in the Long Island String Festival. The high school's marching band participates in the Newsday Marching Band Festival at Hofstra University every year. The marching band also performed at the New York City Columbus Day Parade in 2012 and 2013. The high school symphonic choir performed at Carnegie Hall in 2014. Long Beach High School is one of only a handful of schools on Long Island that offers a guitar class as part of its arts curriculum. School groups also perform at various venues throughout Long Beach as a service to the community. The high school gives talented music students the opportunity to join the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Members tutor younger musicians and perform community outreach work.
"This four-time honor recognizes our community, district leaders, teachers and parents who believe in music education and are assuring that it is part of a complete education for children in our schools," said Dr. Dale Johanson, the district's director of comprehensive arts. "It holds us up as an example of community support and commitment to music education."
A copy of the survey can be downloaded for review at www.nammfoundation.org.