Music Department Receives National Recognition
The Ballston Spa Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Ballston Spa is one of the 4% of public school districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2021. The district has received the recognition for five consecutive years, starting in 2017.
“All of us who have experienced music education and musical involvement in our schools, at college, or in our communities know the value that it can have on our quality of life,” said Ken Slentz, Superintendent of Schools. “Once again this national recognition highlights the commitment of our community, our school board, and certainly our talented staff to providing an excellent music education to our students.”
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Ballston Spa answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, music education during the Covid pandemic and about community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“We are honored to receive this designation for our fifth year in a row. This is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our music staff, administration, and community to provide high quality music education and opportunities for all of our students,” indicated Brian Retersdorf, BSCSD K-12 Music Coordinator.
This award recognizes that Ballston Spa is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, designates music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children. The NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education Award and the state level implementation of the federal ESSA law bring attention to the importance of keeping music education part of curriculum offerings and available to all students. It also highlights music’s vital role in students’ overall success in school and the personal benefits of making music.
The district annually celebrates Music in Our Schools month during March with several special events, including an annual Pops Concert for the school community and acknowledging students who have performed in state and regional honors groups at a Board of Education meeting. The district extends congratulations to all the students, staff and families involved in the Ballston Spa music community. Additional information about the music program in the Ballston Spa schools is available on the department’s webpages or call 884-7150.
Ballston Spa Music Department Receives National Recognition - Saratoga TODAY