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Board Approves Changes To Elementary Band Program

Beginning in 2016-17 the Seaman Elementary Band and Orchestra (SEBO) programs will change from the existing fifth and sixth grade every-other-day schedule to a sixth grade everyday class schedule and no fifth grade classes.
How will this benefit students? 
• Newly expanded curriculum
• Benchmarks for student progress
• Increased individual & small group interaction
• Easier bus scheduling
Under the current system, SEBO is  spreading out one year of instruction over two years (two days per week in fifth grade, and three days per week in sixth grade).  By implementing everyday SEBO for sixth graders, students will be able to maintain the proficiency level they are currently reaching and dramatically improve student achievement because of the significantly increased uninterrupted contact time.  Other benefits to the scheduling change include expanded learning outcomes, easier bus scheduling, and a better first-year curriculum.

Currently, there are four non-contact days for fifth grade students.  This is an eternity for the youngest players, and it is actually counterproductive to their development.  Playing in the band or orchestra requires a highly-specialized set of skills for each individual instrument and it is very difficult for instructors to keep tabs on students when they only meet two days per week.  Next year, staff will be able to observe and assist students daily, keeping them on track in a newly expanded curriculum that will include benchmarks for student progress, more individual and small group interaction, and will help put all of the students on a level playing field as they enter Seaman Middle School.

This news may come as a disappointment to the fourth graders looking forward to starting band and orchestra next year but the trade off for this short-term disappointment is a superior music education that will bring tremendous success, joy, and pride to the students when they reach sixth grade.  It’s hard to wait, but the wait will be worth it when looking at the positive effects this scheduling change will bring as the kids make their way through middle school and into the high school band and orchestra programs for years to come!