The Long Beach City School District was one of the 172 school districts across the country, and 16 on Long Island to be recognized as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. On May 4, the NAMM Foundation announced the results of its 12th annual Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support for music education in schools.
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, their 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.
Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and the data was reviewed by advisory organizations. The 2011 survey was conducted in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.
More than 1,600 students participate in the Long Beach School District’s 36 bands, orchestras and choral ensembles. Students in grades 5-12 participate in All-State, All-County, LISFA and NYSSMA festivals. In 2010, one student earned All-State honors, 46 qualified for All-County, and four were chosen to perform at the Long Island String Festival. The High School Marching Band participates every year in the Newsday Marching Band Festival held at Hofstra University. 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, and the only guitar program in which students present a multi-act stage show at the end of the year. Middle school and high 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 is a well-deserved recognition for the 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 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: http://www.nammfoundation.org/research/best-communities-music-education-united-states