Cazenovia named one of nation’s best communities for music education

— Cazenovia Central School District has been named one the nation’s 376 “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.

The foundation’s BCME program, which honors districts and schools that set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education, applauds the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who work to assure music education is part of the core curriculum.

“It is an honor to receive this shared recognition that acknowledges our school music program and also the community that supports it,” said Teresa Campbell, Cazenovia High School’s choral director and fine arts department leader. “Clearly, the arts are valued in Cazenovia. Our students are fortunate to live in a place where the benefits of a solid music education are placed at the same level as other curricular programs. This continued support from our community, administration and the board of education is greatly appreciated.”

More than 2,000 schools and school districts participated in this year’s BCME survey.

Cazenovia was one of eight districts in Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES to earn the BCME distinction, along with Baldwinsville, Chittenango, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt, Liverpool and West Genesee. Fourteen districts throughout the four-county Central New York region made the list.

“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the Support Music Merit Award bring hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”

Now in its 15th year, the BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. The NAMM Foundation, with the assistance of researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) evaluate participants on these factors. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and greater access to music education.

Laura Ryan is the Cazenovia CSD public information officer.

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