The Montgomery High School Music Department has earned the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, 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, Montgomery High School representatives answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“It is an honor for our MHS Music Department to be recognized with this award. Involvement in Choir and Band are extremely important to developing the whole child,” Montgomery High School Choir Director Heather Orr said. “Our music programs have great kids, incredible parents, and we are fortunate to have an amazing administration. I am just thrilled about their unending support and dedication to the music programs.”
Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic, provides a valuable way to keep students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.
“This program has shown me how to go above and beyond in all that I do,” Montgomery HS Senior Lydia Wilson said. “We could easily just stop at being “great”, but we’ve always had the mindset that we can constantly do better in all that we do, so I’ve learned that and implemented it in life outside of choir.”