Public Comments During Emergency OPMA Rules for COVID-19
Public comments for school board meetings will continue under the emergency Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) rules. While these rules are in effect, individuals may submit public comments by completing the Central Kitsap School District Public Comment Form prior to a board meeting.

The school board president will note topics that were submitted prior to the board meeting. The board does not respond to public comments during the meeting. All public comment submissions will be provided to each board member. They will also be posted to this webpage. Comments are posted as submitted.

Comments Submitted for July 8, 2020, Board Meeting:

Paul & Deirdre Treadway
6014 Minning Ln NW
First, we had to ask Eric Greene for directions on how to attend this Zoom meeting. You don't make it easy for parents to access this public meeting. We believe you could do a much better job of advertising meetings and soliciting feedback from parents.

Second, we agree with Eric Greene on the subject of our lack of faith in WA public education "higher headquarters." Parents have been saddled with forced home schooling for 70 days to date. The state and CKS have had plenty of time to figure out our return to class plan for Fall 2020. Dr. Prince stated that we have 70 more days. Dr. Prince, your answer is unacceptable. Parents have work and life obligations beyond the walls of our homes. We are not certified educators. Forced home schooling without a tangible end date is unacceptable.

Third, the bulk of your meeting consisted of mostly self-congratulatory fluff. Most board members seem to be under the impression that things are going just great. We parents are not impressed and do not agree that the state of public education for our kids is peachy. We parents strongly believe that you board members should be advocating for the return of our students to class rooms, Fall 2020. The #1 priority for us parents is to see our kids back in the classroom. We would really appreciate it if the board would focus on getting classrooms back on line and less on fluff programs (Imagine Learning).

Thanks for your attention.
Respectfully,
Paul & Deirdre Treadway

Jeremy Faxon
I want my children to have the opportunity we were expecting of having them start band/orchestra in fifth grade.  Please re-instate the Student Program for SY 20-21.

DJ Sweet
3340 NW Shadow Glen Blvd
Students and staff will be returning to an environment that has radically changed from the one we left on March 13th. The events during the shutdown have led to changes beyond wearing masks. There has been another social distancing that has worsened over the previous months; a greater political distancing that is as equal a threat to our nation’s health and well-being as COVID-19.

 

In the current political climate, the offering of a different solution to a commonly recognized problem doesn’t make one merely wrong, but rather, it is viewed as evil. Opponents cast their political foes as the devil. This characterization precludes compromise which is paramount to the American system because one does not make a deal with the devil.

It is because of this time of divisiveness with a looming, contentious election season, that the board must affirm the principle that a difference of opinion does not constitute harassment, intimidation, and bullying contained in the language of Policy 3207 that states, “This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment.” Additionally, the district should provide training to students and staff on living with differing opinions to support a community of ideological tolerance. The “Second Step” curriculum provides a solid foundation but a greater emphasis is now required given the coarsening, and sometimes violent, reactions that arise to a non-threatening statement. The Central Kitsap School District should not permit the “Heckler’s Veto” - that is prevalent elsewhere -  to take hold here and stifle speech that is considered offensive just because it differs from the prevailing orthodoxy.

Central Kitsap Schools should continue to be a place where all students can express their closely held opinions openly. Discussions of political, religious, and/or philosophical topics should be fostered in an atmosphere of civility to find a solution founded upon the doctrine of “Fairness for All.” Staff should ensure that all students are protected in sharing their core values within the Constitutionally proscribed limits.  As Oliver Wendell Holmes famously stated, the Constitution “is made for people of fundamentally differing views.” May this also be said of the Central Kitsap School District.

Respectfully submitted,
DJ Sweet

Patricia Cummins
3103 Tullibee Cir Q25
I have a few concerns about how classes will look in the fall. There are a few school districts already announcing their plans for the fall and I want to be sure our district has consider all the aspects that goes into them.  Ideally I would like to see my children return to school as normal and as full time as possible.  I know social distancing is very important. I have seen schools serve breakfast in classrooms and I imagine serving lunch in them wouldn't be much harder. It would indeed limit large groups of children in the cafeteria. As far as specials go maybe the PE Music and librarians could travel to the the classrooms. Yes its not as ideal but most certainly way better then at home. I would also like my children to be held responsible for cleaning. They are certainly capable of wiping desks and washing hands under supervision. They need to be educated on the importance of it.  A few things I have heard is about this 2 group model where students are split into A and B groups, going to school only twice a week. There are 2 flaws I see with this. First, you would have to insure that all children from one family attend school on the same day other wise both groups are going to be exposed to each other.  Second, those who have to go to daycare are then going to be exposed to another set of kids then bring it back when they return to school for their school days. For example, if I child attends school on Monday and Tuesday but then because both parents are working (or if its a single parent home) they have to go to daycare that takes kids from multiple schools now all schools with kids in those programs run the risk of an outbreak. If the kids just attended school an outbreak could possibly be contained to one school rather than multiple.  Finally, online learning isn't working. So many people agree. Our kids are our future and we are doing them a great disservice. Technology has its benefits yes but nothing can replace the learning that takes place in a classroom. There is social aspect that is so important. I'm not talking about them talking and playing, while that is very important,  I'm talking about the motivation that comes from being around ones peers. I had teachers explain to me that they understand the difficulty I was having in getting my children to write verses in a classroom setting. In a classroom they have peers all expected to do the same work. So when it was writing time that's what was expected to do because that was what everyone was doing. To wrap this all up and to stay as close to topic as possible. I'm concerned for us as a society that doesn't see the importance of education. To allow social activities to reopen where social distancing and wearing masks is almost unthinkable i.e. restaurants and then to look at schools and think the children are going to be a problem. You can easily wear a mask at almost all times of the day in a school setting minus lunch time. You cannot do so as easily at a bar where the main objective is to drink, kind of hard to do with a mask. These children are our future they deserve the best education we can give them and if it looks anything like the spring we are not giving them our best.

Jeremy Faxon
#ckmusicmatters
I implore you to find funding to reinstate the fifth grade band and orchestra program.  As a MS Music Teacher, I am very concerned about the looming cut and the catastrophic results that will ripple through the middle school, and then the high school programs, as we lose that vital year of learning.

Jeremy Faxon
#ckmusicmatters
My oldest child will is two years away from fifth grade.  Please reinstate the fifth grade band & orchestra program so that he and all of our other children in the district continue to receive this developmentally important year of learning experience.


Jeremy Faxon
Opening Schools as it stands now is unsafe.  As a Teacher, as things stand right now, I am not comfortable returning to buildings.  Cases are on the rise, not all people in the Community are following safety procedures.  Our Public Health Situation is getting more risky by the day right now.  I am not comfortable exposing my family members to exposure to the virus by returning to buildings at this time.  As a district I hope that we are working to ensure that we can provide all of our families with wifi access and electronic devices so that all of our students can engage in next year's online learning.

Jeremy Faxon
As a Parent, I am not comfortable sending my child into a school building in the fall.  We sure would love him to have those social interactions back, but not at the risk of the health of all of our Family Members.  Our Public Health Situation in Kitsap County is getting worse on a daily basis right now.  Yes, we want to get back to normal as soon as we safely can, but that time is not now.  Cases of the virus are increasing and lives are not something that we should risk.  Hopefully the district is working to ensure wifi access and devices to every student so that all students can engage in next year's online learning.

Erin
Music instruction is incredibly important. It's one of the few programs that keeps kids interested in school, boosts their academics and test scores, and increases literacy (especially when instrumental music is begun at an early age - the sooner the better!). It's appalling that OSPI left music instruction out of their pandemic guidelines almost entirely. Therefore it is YOUR responsibility to make appropriate guidelines to ensure that Music happens in this district. Figure out a way to do so before students suffer. #ckmusicmatters

Heidi Hartman
CK Music Matters. Keep band in schools.

Sadi Hager-Wentz
2321 Trenton Ave NE
#ckmusicmatters it has been proven that music helps in the development of young minds and bodies. Taking away this program is detrimental to the academic and social learning of our children.

Lynn Beeman
As a CKSD staff member, I very much appreciate the care and concern our District has shown to us thus far during COVID. I urge you to continue to put SAFETY FIRST for BOTH staff and students when formulating plans for the 2020-2021 school year. I feel the plans (how we teach, online or in person) should be based on what Phase of Gov. Inslee's plan we are in. Families need to understand plans could change based on the number of positive COVID cases in the community.

Bob Carter
MusicMatters! Please consider to keep 5th Grade Band/Orchestra for the 2020/2021 school year and beyond. The school district always is wanting public input but in this case the school board is not wanting to discuss this matter at a school board meeting. Since there are over 4,000 members of the community that is showing interest in keeping the 5th grade Band/Orchestra they do not appear to be listening to the people they represent. This appears to be a top down decision.

During the last school board meeting it was stated that Fairview Middle School would not be replaced due to loss of Impact Funding. What is the plan to renovate the current school? Repairs are needed.


Rebecca Gore
2816 schley Blvd Bremerton wa 98310
If we go to schooling being 2 days in person and 3 days online and two different groups rotating that creates much more exposure to the teachers and staff therefore more exposure to our children. For us working parents we have to send our children to school 2 days and child care the other three days. So children will be sharing their classroom germs and then their childcare germs with their teacher, who then sees all the children. We may as well open the class rooms to full capacity and only have the exposure from the children in the class. If parents do not want their children in class they can choose to use an online homeschooling program. I also feel that it's a bad deal for teachers who are trying to teach. They will teach two days of lessons, send those children home to do online work to use their new skills while the teacher teaches the other group the same material. At that rate they will only get thru half their schooling. Many children need in person teaching, they need their special groups to focus on their needs or they will be at risk for falling more behind. Online schooling was not very productive in my house hold with a kindergartener, 2nd grader and a 7th grader. Having many different things going on for each child. Them rotating thru grandparents houses for childcare and each person trying to help them with their work because I am a single mother who has to work to pay the bills and am an essential healthcare worker.

Jeff
6780 NW Quiet View Land
Send our kids back to school full time (5 days a week). The CDC and WHO have stated that COVID 19 has a lower mortality rate than Influenza (common flu) for kids 18 years and younger, there is over whelming data around the world that confirms the CDC and WHO findings. The data now shows that due to school closures around the country the child abuse rates are on the rise, child reading levels are declining up to 35%, online classes/zoom meeting are poorly attended and not effective. 

If there are teachers/faculty that are older and have underlying health conditions, special precautions should be put in place by the school district to protect them. If kids only go to school 2 day a week where are they suppose to go the other 3 days? If the kids go to day care the other 3 days do you not think that diseases would not spread there? If the 2 day a week schooling is implemented this would cause immense not needed stain on working families. The risks of keeping our kids out of school far out weighs the risks of keeping them in school.

Melissa
Silverdale
What is the plan for next year and if you do not intend on having a full working week, how do you plan to ensure a equal experience for all? How do you intend to support and meet kids needs with IEP's? How are ensuring that kids have all resources available to succeed?



Comments Submitted for June 24, 2020

Jeremy Faxon
#ckmusicmatters
Please re-instate Fifth Grade Band/Orchestra for SY '20-'21.

Jeremy Faxon
I want my children to have the opportunity we were expecting of having them start band/orchestra in fifth grade. Please re-instate the Student Program for SY 20-21.

Alicia Rodenko
16126 Bay Ridge Dr NW, Poulsbo 98370
CK Music Matters. Retain 5th grade instrumental music

Betsy Brady
8575 Covina Loop NE 98311
#ckmusicmatters

Tara Barros
6575 White Peaks Lane NW
When the kids can finally go back to school they are going to need music more than ever. Please reconsider cutting 5th grade band and orchestra. #ckmusicma

Mallory Wilhelm
I am still hopeful that you will make cuts anywhere and everywhere else you possibly could before limiting academic opportunities for students. Music cuts are among the first that you’ve announced! The cuts to 5th grade orchestra and band are not being compensated for with extra music instruction and therefore are just purposefully widening the achievement gap in this community. All students have the right to a comprehensive music education, not just the students whose families can afford private lessons. An hour-ish a week of general music instruction and large ensembles only offered 6-12th grade is not enough for many students. 5th grade instrumental music gave them a chance to catch up with their peers in private lessons. Please, don’t cast aside music as a viable college major or career choice for these children. This is not a club or a game or stress relief. It’s comprehensive education.

Michael Faxon
PO Box 138, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Please don't remove band instruction from the elementary school curriculum. My grandson is so looking forward to it, and it would be so beneficial to him. Thank you.

Megan Webster
2224 Soundview Ave, Bremerton WA 98310
#ckmusicmatters

Erin
422 N. I St
Central Kitsap Music Programs should not be slashed! Students deserve the lifelong neurological and social benefits (proven by science) that they can gain from 5th grade band and orchestra. #ckmusicmatters

Tom Guenther
#ckmusicmatters

Danilo Tadeo
#ckmusicmatters

Shelly Devlin
914 N Montgomery Ave, Bremerton, WA 98312
CK music matters! I have had an opportunity to work with many students and music educators in the CK district over the years. The importance of positive self-expression thought the arts has never been more important than in this day and age. Nothing gives a better understanding of various cultures than an arts education. Support Music and the Arts! 

Sondra Shamrell
#ckmusicmatters
Please do not cut the 5th grade band/orchestra programs. They are vital to the well-being of not only the musical community but the community at large as well as the overall educational health and well-being of student life and life in general. Music. Is. Important.

Denise Tracy
769 NW Saddle Creek Ln
I am grateful to be a parent that was invited to be on one of the Fall 2021 re-entry teams for CKSD. I don't know how many other parents or students are on the other re-entry teams. If there are not many parents and students on these teams, I encourage the board and superintendent to include more parents and students. Many families have a lot of a feedback for the district. While some parents will be disgruntled no matter how next fall looks, many parents understand that forming a re-entry plan that is safe, equitable and effective is not easy, and they have some ideas and want to help. If you haven't already, please include parents and students on the re-entry teams. Also, as the district continues to evaluate it's long range facility plan, I urge you to consider how social distancing and frequent hand washing play a role in new and remodeled facilities. I realize nobody knows how long our new "normal" of social distancing, facemasks, and extra handwashing will last. It could be short-term, but it could also be long-term. The Covid-19 pandemic caught everyone off-guard, but it would be naive of the district to not take into account the possibility of the need for continued social distancing as it plans future construction projects.

Kristopher Doughty
1237 Hurricane CT NW, Silverdale WA
All the information given to parents right now regarding the options the school board is considering for school to resume in the fall all consist of at home learning. Does the school board not recognize the immense burden that places on parent, especially those households that have two parents working full time? What are your plans for those families who cannot be home to teach their children? How can you expect parents to work full time and be a teacher, which they did not go to school for? What are your plans regarding requiring face masks for students? How can you expect an elementary school student to keep a mask on their face for 6 hours a day? This virus has already been an incredible burden to families in Kitsap County, and from everything being discussed, the future looks even worse for families of the Central Kitsap School District. You cannot keep taking our tax dollars and not provide the education our children deserve. Online learning was and will be a detriment to our children. Our teachers did the best they could given the circumstances, but our kids were not well served this spring by the guidelines issued by this board and I hope the plans for the future school year are altered because they look just as bad as this spring was. 

Bob Carter
There has been more than 4,000 citizens involved with the Central Kitsap School District wanting to keep the 5th grade Band/Orchestra. The School Board owes it to the citizens they represent in their district to discuss this at a school board meeting. Eliminating the 5th grade Band/Orchestra could affect the Middle School Marching Bands which involves 6th,7th and 8th graders. It appears that the CK Administration has told the school Board not to talk about this issue. Communication is not a strong point within the CK District. Open communication is vital with the citizens within the district.

Kristin Guy
There are still many things I’d like to address. How we can cut a music program, yet afford to pay our superintendent almost $1000/day for the next 3 years, not including raises and benefits?! Or renovate the administration building surroundings to include nicer outdoor spots?! Or spend money on another curriculum for math when so much money already went into Imagine Learning?! My 5th grade daughter used IXL for almost all of her at home learning this year. It is a terrible program that discourages kids almost the second they start using it. Have you actually watched any students use this program? Asked for feedback from parents who watched their kids struggle (mine was in the Venture program, btw)? The program does not teach, but instead makes you answer questions and when you get it wrong your score is actually bumped down and you have to answer more questions to get back to where you were. And all the while a clock is ticking away distracting and discouraging you that you are taking so long. Stick with the program on which you have already spent the money you didn’t have. Don’t subject our kids to this discouraging program that costs more money “we don’t have.”

Comments Submitted for June 3, 2020

Erica Cramer
#ckmusicmatters Don’t cut the arts! They are vitally important in our schools for equity of our low income kids and crucial development skills for all of our students!

Kaylee Ludwig
5th grade music was the savior of my childhood. It kept me engaged in school by integrating even my least favorite topics into my favorite thing: music. Without 5th grade music starting that fire I never would’ve dedicated time past that point. I chose to take a foreign language starting in middle school, meaning I needed to pay for summer school PE. Without learning my passion and seeing first-hand the effects that music can have on a child, who’s to say my parents would’ve bet that Sumer school money on me sticking to an instrument all school year? My life is defined by my identity, and a huge part of that is music. It kept me away from the darker parts of kitsap county, and even took me out of the country later in highschool because I stuck with something I had started so long ago, during such a formative time. Taking away music is not a delay in opportunity for these children, it will have dire community effects that one can only begin to predict. Make the decision to invest in our youth. Think long and hard about EVERY angle that will have ramifications if you go through with this decision. Make it work for the kids . There is always a way. #cksdmusicmatters

Cameron Grant
The community has spoken, with overwhelming support i might add. But i digress, and simply say what the people have said. CK music matters.

Melody Stroud
3390 NE Arrowhead Dr, Bremerton, WA
Please reconsider the cancellation of the 5th grade band/orchestra. It means so much to the children it helps them express themselves during a crucial time in their life l, also it increases grades and brain development. It would be detrimental on so many levels of this program was canceled.

Comments Submitted for May 27, 2020

Cindy Putman
Music is a form of communication and self expression otherwise out of reach of some students.  It opens parts of the brain that other disciplines cannot.  For some, it is their only time of success.  For some it is their best access to joy, teamwork, and pride.  #ckmusicmatters. It has been very disheartening at this time, of all times, to get shut out of the district's decision-making process.  It feels like we're being kicked while we're down. I did appreciate Dr. Prince's apology.  Thank you.

Rachel Randich
I learned the clarinet in 5th grade from Mr. Faxon. I later went on to receive several music scholarships that helped pay for college. Learning an instrument changed the path of my life. IT IS ESSENTIAL. Music programs help fundamentally shape children and strengthen different parts of the brain that would otherwise be untouched. It enhances skills, confidence, and  team work that is not gained in a science class. The music program was a safe place for me and many others, do not take that away. It is also an activity that students of all socioeconomic backgrounds are able to participate in; either by buying or borrowing an instrument. There are other corners that can be cut for cost, but the music program is not one of them. Music is a must!

Jen Jennings
13801 Chambana Pl NW
I teach 5th grade elementary band at 6 schools in CK.  My 20th year teaching a variety of 5-9 band. I taught CKMS, 5/6 in the elementary, and now 5th only.  Some observations over the years is that learning an instrument in a group setting provides development and use of both sides of the brain.  Music is a language that helps with literacy and math.  It helps students work in a group to acheive one goal.  Band and Orchestra develop listening skills, social emotional skills, working with others cooperatively.  Over the years many students  have told me that band is their favorite class in school or that it is the only class they enjoy.  Students need these options even in elementary.  Not more sitting in desks.  How are you saving money by cutting this program?  Are we not funded by the Levy?  Please talk with the community and your music teachers.  


Monique Griffin
6374 Jagger Pl NE
My child was able to get better test scores because of being part of band. Also he or she excelled in band when they might not have been great at other subjects. #CKMUSICMATTERS

Kaitlyn Davis
101 West Olympic Place, Apt 413, Seattle, WA
Dear Board Members, Please keep the music programs. I was educated by Jeremy Faxon, your music teacher at CK, in 5th and 6th grade. Jeremy not only taught me music, but compassion, sustainability, and leadership. Music is a place for students to express themselves in ways that words and math simply cannot. It is also an indisputable fact that learning an instrument increases cognitive ability, as well as dexterity, breathing, and ability to focus. You must find a way to keep these programs. Who will play your fight song at games? Your students are suffering greatly during these times. Who will bring them together and rally once school is back in session? It will be your band students. If you cut band in elementary and middle school, how can these students hope to have developed skills by high school? Band was the heart of my school growing up and I'm sure it is the heart of yours. There wasn't a lot for kids to hope for in my town growing up, but band was something that gave me a reason to live on some days. I knew that my band friends would always be there for me. It's more than just music, it's collaboration and connection. I'm now 26. I live far away from my band friends, but we have always stayed friends. And I know the music programs mean this much to your students as well. Thank you for your time. Warmly, Kaitlyn Davis

Pat Brown
9301 Mickelberry Road NW
Please find a way to support 5th Grade band.

Giremine
5th grade band is essential. It shouldn’t be cut, plain and simple. It allows kids in elementary to be exposed to band before being thrown into the environment of middle school. Band, and the music programs of CKSD have given rise to a number of phenomenal students. 

The camaraderie students build, to the joy of learning music, and to the countless memories I’ve made through the band from 5th grade all the way to 12 grade, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. To grow as individuals and to nurture the growth of working with others, band was and is still essential. Without the foundation of 5th grade band, I doubt I would have continued to pursue music. Without that, I wouldn’t be have the person I am now.

Christina Camarena
13344 Ridgelane Dr NW, Silverdale, WA
I’m addition to the already research-based proof of the many ways the music education helps students learn more effectively and have better coping skills in school and life, music is just amazing! Learning an instrument brings a life-long love of music that brings joy to us throughout our lives. I began violin in the 2nd grade at my elementary school in Massachusetts and stayed with it through college. The community of friends I built over the years through my orchestras provided me a support system through the most difficult of times in my childhood. When I pick my violin up now, I am filled with happiness and grateful that I was in school districts that supported music. It helped my self confidence and provided me adults and friends whom I trusted. Music teachers changed my life for the better and I can’t imagine a life without them. Many students do not have the economic means for private lessons—those children also deserve opportunities to make connections with music and playing instruments. It is a matter of equity and access. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunities I had and wish the same for my children and all of the children. What is a community without art and music? What is a community without a collective love and appreciation for these elements of life that are integral for happiness and fulfillment? Isn’t the school’s job to prepare young people to be educated and caring humans and to build communities on love and support? Music education supports this goal. Please allow my 1st grader the experience of playing his violin with his friends in orchestra at his school when he gets to the 5th grade. Music should not always be the first thing threatened when budgets are right! The arts are as important a part of a full and well-rounded educational experience as any other subject. Thank you, Christina

Peggy Manchester
2514 Sheridan Rd
Why music? Music is science. Music is mathematical. Music is a foreign language. Music is history. Music is physical education. Music develops insight and demands research. Music is all of these things but mostly music is art.

Arielle Brown
Music inspired so much of my life!! I started in 5th grade and it made be a better leader and helped me decide what I wanted to do for a career!!! I was so excited when my little sister who is in elementary school said she wanted to learn and instrument and be apart of a band or orchestra. I played violin all the way through senior year. Because of 5th and 6th orchestra I was able to start 7th grade leading my section of violins. The music program is more than just learning an instrument, you learn leadership, working with large groups, listening, breathing (Thank you Faxon), you can learn patience and the manners, communication with classmates and teachers. You’re exposed to colleges and for some students that is the first bit of exposure they get. The Music programs has opened so many doors for me and my siblings. It’s far more than just playing an instrument. Please don’t do this.

Tina and Matt Corbo
Dear Central Kitsap School District Board Members,

As you meet to discuss how to open Central Kitsap schools in the fall for the 2020–21 school year school year we request that you consider the following:

  1. Open the schools with the traditional schedules and social interactions.
  2. Many Central Kitsap students’ academic, social, mental and physical health will suffer if they are not allowed back into traditional classrooms with peer-to-peer interactions this fall.
  3. Keep in mind that, as of May 5th, according to the Kitsap Public Health district there have only been 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Central Kitsap since March 14th. This is a rate of 48 per 100,000 residents. These data indicate that it is safe in Central Kitsap to return to school with little to no modifications from traditional learning.
  4. Put politics and fear aside and focus on our collective mission to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to be successful.
  5. Do not look at what other school districts are doing. All districts have unique situations. Think about what is suitable for our Central Kitsap Schools and act on that even if it is different than what other school districts choose to do.
  6. Keep in mind that all students and families will be affected by your decisions and know that you cannot please everyone.

Often it is easiest to follow outside recommendations and make decisions based on what others are doing. It is also easy to make decisions based on the perception of what is popular. Consider being a leader by making the tough decisions that may not be popular but that are right for the students and families of Central Kitsap Schools.

Every year schools have to deal with the transmission of different viruses and health issues. Illness is a part of life that we cannot avoid and attempting to can lead to other, more dangerous consequences. Many of the modifications being suggested in the news are driven by fear of one particular virus. On the other hand, rotating schedules, continuing to use remote learning and taking away activities that involve human contact will cause lasting damage to the academic and emotional stability of our students. Please consider opening the schools in a traditional manner this September while still offering the alternative learning options that are available through Barker Creek for families that do not wish to use the traditional system. Thank you for your time and consideration as you face the monumental task of making this decision.

Respectfully,
Tina and Matt Corbo
Parents of two CKSD students

Tina and Matt Corbo
In your announcement “What will next year look like?” we notice that all three potential models include online learning.  Please make this an option, not a requirement. While we recognize that some families will be afraid to send their kids to school in person, please understand that online learning absolutely does not work for many families.  The main purpose of school is to provide education for students so that they can become successful adults.  To learn to navigate the world and become successful, students need to have in person contact with peers and staff members.  Online learning does not provide the education that our students need.  Online learning deprives students of much needed peer contact which will lead to mental health issues ranging from mild depression to increased suicide rates.  It also creates many health issues associated with too much time looking at an electronic device.  Again, if you must use online learning please make it optional, not a requirement.  Allow families to choose to send their kids to school for in-person traditional learning.

Robert Carter 
There seems to be a lot of community interest in keeping the 5th grade band/orchestra for the 2020/2021 school year and beyond but it seems the tax payers are being ignored. The school board is to represent the citizens in their district but this is not being accomplished. At the last board meeting they only mentioned that there were 55 public comments submitted on this topic but failed to say that there was a petition in these comments that had an excess of 4000 signatures to keep the 5th grade band/orchestra in the 2020/2021 school year. I would like to see that this topic be brought up at a school board meeting and to hear what the board members thoughts are. It appears the school board does not care about community feed back. At a recent school board meeting (5/13/2020) I submitted a comment sheet on this topic and received a canned response from the CK Superintendent but did not answer my question, (Is the 5th grade band/orchestra going to have classes the same way as they were at the start of this year 2019/2020 for next school year 2020/2021 providing the students are in their classrooms?) This requires a yes or no answer. The districts cuts were made without input from stake holders such as music staff, families or the community (levy voters).

Tara Barros
6575 White Peaks Ln NW, Bremerton, WA
Please reconsider the decision to eliminate 5th grade band and orchestra. I firmly believe this is a mistake, to the detriment of the students.

Jeremy Faxon
As a Middle School Band & Orchestra Teacher in the District, I am concerned about how Cutting 5th Grade Band & Orchestra will affect our future Middle School Music Offerings.

- MS Marching Band may no longer march in our Community Parades due to a gap created in experience levels between grades, and a lack of experience.  This video has received over 5,300 views! 61 shares on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=231653958287573

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzVZ99loDFE&feature=youtu.be

The Community enjoys and expects us.  It might be lost as a casualty of cutting 5th Grade Band & Orchestra.

- Our 6th Gr. Band Retreat will cease to exist.

- FMS Jazz Offerings will be reduced.

- The FMS Full Symphony Orchestra, which provides students with a full symphony experience at no cost, may cease to exist.

I urge CKSD to reinstate the 5th Gr. Band/Orch. Program for SY '20-'21.  Restore this Student Program for a year.  Allowing us to re-evaluate, with accurate financial figures that will be published in November, our financial situation so that we can make an informed decision at that point.

Alicia Rodenko
16126 Bay Ridge Dr NW
I support keeping 5th grade band and orchestra!  

Jeremy Faxon

As a CKSD Parent, I have been looking forward to my current third grader starting Band or Orchestra when he gets to 5th grade.  We also plan on having our three year old attend CKSD and participate in 5th Grade Band or Orchestra.  Please do not CUT this Student Program.

From an equity standpoint, we engage the 60-70% of our students in Instrumental Education in fifth grade.  With this cut, that percentage will decrease when they start the program in middle school, where the students are in a different Social/Emotional situation.  I would love for our children to be able to engage in their Instrumental Education in Fifth Grade, with a majority of their classmates, as planned.

Please restore this Student Program for SY '20-'21.  Restore the program for one year.  Buying time for the district to have a clear understanding of their financial situation when accurate numbers are released in November.

Donna Raymond

4111 NW Essex St, Bremerton, WA
CK music matters. Keep the 5th grade music program.  The program was a benefit to both of my boys in their journey through school. As a teacher,  the program was beneficial to many of my students.

Tom Guenther
#ckmusicmatters

Tom Guenther
Stop silencing the voice of the people! Stop ignoring the fact that over 4,000 people think 5th grade band/orch should stay in CK. Stop taking for granted that this is the best place for music west of Seattle. You are putting that in jeopardy!

Kim Clark
#ckmusicmatters

Ryan Moniz
#ckmusicmatters

Andrew Monday
#ckmusicmatters

Kelli McAuley
I’m commenting once again to show my support for the 5th grade band and orchestra program and to ask for the cutting of the 5th grade program to be reconsidered. CKSD is known for this special 5th grade program where students have instrumental music classes every day. When I was at a string teachers conference last summer I heard from a lot of other teachers in the state that they admired our 5th grade program and the support it gathered from our district. These same teachers were in shock when they heard the program was being cut. CKSD has a strong reputation across the state when it comes to music. I think we should keep it that way by preserving the things that contribute to that reputation.

Gabriel Palmer
#ckmusicmatters

When you remove the 5th grade band/orchestra program all secondary programs will suffer in skill and shrink in numbers. Instrumental music in CKSD will be greatly diminished.  

Michael Cotier
1704 Elizabeth Ave.
I strongly feel that the elimination of elementary band and orchestra is a grave mistake. As a fifth and sixth grader, the band and orchestra program is the only thing that kept me wanting to come to school each day. Don't deprive our students of the same opportunity.

Mallory Wilhelm
I’m writing today to once again ask that you reconsider your plans to cut 5th grade band and orchestra in CKSD. I’m writing to you as a concerned member of your music faculty who is frightened that these cuts were made during such a fragile time and feels like my own superintendent and school board are unreachable and out of touch with their employees. To date I have only received form-type emails addressed to district parents (my children are not school aged and we do not live in the district) or emails sent to the entire music staff and felt ignored and shut down at last week’s meeting. This is very upsetting. I’m also writing as a trained musician. I have both a Bachelors and Masters in Music and my grad school work focused on educational psychology and music’s affects on the brain. If you would like any insight into the many benefits of music on those who study it, I’d be happy to share some of the more profound research on the subject, but I can see many of those facts and statistics have been shared with you already. I hope you’ve read them. My last public comment addressed the fact that cutting these programs is in direct conflict with the cultural competency and equity work our district is doing and I believe you are doing this community a great disservice by dismissing that this early in your tenure here and during these first rounds of budget discussions. It’s easy for educators to forget that because music (and other arts, technologies, and foreign languages) are not tested subjects that they are not valid academic subjects, possible college majors, and potential careers for our students. Dr. Prince, you have mentioned, repeatedly that because you are keeping general music in place, these students will have no gap in music learning. Please ask any of the wonderful teachers on our elementary music staff if they think the 1:15/wk they see their students on average is “enough.” Have you spoken to any of them about this cut? You seem confident that some of our students will still be able to be successful musicians and you may be right. Families that are able to provide private lessons out of pocket for their students will probably have students playing well enough to keep up with the status quo without affecting our secondary instrumental teachers. You and I all know which kinds of families that favors and who you’d be casting aside for the sake of the budget. If 5th grade band and orchestra are cut, you are purposefully choosing to widen the gap in CKSD in one area we were outperforming other nearby districts. It’s not worth it.

Valerie Behling
#ckmusicmatters

I am so deeply saddened that a plan eliminating 5th grade band has been suggested as a budget balancing solution. You want kids engaged, parents engaged, and families engaged in this district year round. But the proposed removal of a stepping stone to a program that carries a students through their years (and possibly into adult life like me) is extremely short sighted.

I ask that you leave the program in place as it stands through this next school year, as this years numbers should not be considered an accurate reflection of your budget.

Valerie Behling
#ckmusicmatters

Lida Haskett

6355 Colonial Village Loop, Manassas VA
Please reconsider your decision to defund 5th grade orchestra and band. Music programs for elementary students are crucial in normal times, and essential in tough times. #ckmusicmatters

Norm Behling
#CKmusicmatters.    I know that there are times that we must look to cut programs in order to meet short falls.  For some reason music seems to be one of the first to be considered for cutting, yet statistics show the immense positive affect music has on an individual's learning.  Cutting music at the 5th grade level negatively effects a long term path to individual and group growth in our youth.  Although this may seem like a simple way to meet the short falls, it has long lasting ramifications that are invaluable.  It would be a huge mistake to go down this road.  If it had not been for music offered to me at the 5th grade level, it is quite probable that I would not have graduated high school.  To explain that would take pages and probably seems like an extreme comment; but it is the truth.  Please look at other programs that don't have the affect losing our 5th grade music programs would have.

Julie Gillies
2895 Aegean Blvd NE
Please support 5th grade band & orchestra.  Our students need the opportunity to a music education beginning in elementary school.  

Josh D.
PO Box 60, Seabeck, WA
As a product of CK school district and the CK music program I can't tell you how much music has helped me be succeful in the real world. #ckmusicmatters

Kristin Guy
Please do not be duplicitous.  If you ask for feedback actually read these comments and respond specifically.  A generic canned response does nothing to make people feel heard. 

#ckmusicmatters

Krista Radeke 
6388 Hamma Hamma Ln NE Bremerton, WA 
As a working parent of 4 CKSD students I find myself extra busy these last couple of months. I have found myself wearing “hats” I hadn’t planned on wearing. I’ve run graduation apparel to my senior during his lunch hour so he can participate in the tassel turn for graduation, I have been an Honors English proofreader for my sophomore, the PE coach for my middle schooler, and teacher/tutor for my elementary kiddo. 

On May 13th, I was one of the many people who listened in to the school board meeting.  I found myself being very frustrated of the handling of several of the topics and realized that I need to be more involved in our district. I am frustrated by the way high school grading is being done, I’m frustrated by the lack of consistency in school/class work across our schools/teachers, and I am frustrated by the lack of creativity when it comes to graduation ceremonies. Even with all that the thing that concerns me most is what seems like a tremendous lack of transparency in the planning for next year. Our district used to be so much better at communicating with parents and getting community feedback, that no longer seems to be the case.

At the last school board meeting you mentioned the 50+ comments made to the school board about saving the fifth grade band and orchestra programs, and the 6 comments about graduation and how those 6 comments represented many more because of a petition that was being circulated. It seems to me that you are giving more attention to a few hundred (graduation) than the thousands of signatures obtained by those of us trying to save the music program. I am a parent of a senior, I get that the graduation issue is pressing due to time constraints - but this is a one time and done deal. Cutting the 5th grade instrumental music program will affect close to that many students, every year going forward. Please rethink your decision to cut this critical program.

I have emailed you the current (as of 4:30pm on May 27, 2020) pdf of all signatures and comments on the petition to save this program. Here are the link for the google docs for your additional reference.

SAVE BAND & ORCHESTRA PETITION - SIGNATURES (4,241)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BgGfKmkQ5fkizZKoJuH_r9BDKGP53ek3/view?usp=sharing 

SAVE BAND & ORCHESTRA PETITION - COMMENTS (31 pages of comments)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_g1GKxfLK9Thocc-2zg4P4cdiiPYDgT9/view?usp=sharing 

Please advise on how to get these submitted into the record of this meeting.

Please listen to what we are saying, we deserve to be heard.
Respectfully,
Krista Radeke

Mackenzie Finney 
6819 Stampede Blvd NW, Bremerton, WA 
#ckmusicmatters

Shawna Schroers 
6819 Stampede Blvd NW, Bremerton, WA 
ckmusicmatters

Miranda Hogue 
6819 Stampede Blvd NW, Bremerton, WA 
#ckmusicmatters
My daughter will start kindergarten with CK schools next school year. She loves music in all forms and will definitely participate in band. I hope she gets the opportunity to start in 5th grade and have the full positive impact of band. Please reconsider cutting the program.

Katarina Harrington
4691 Seabeck-Holly Rd NW
What plans are in place for Seabeck Elementary?

Comments Submitted for May 13, 2020

Krista Radeke
6388 Hamma Hamma Ln NE
Termination of 5th Grade Band & Orchestra Program

May 12, 2020

Superintendent Prince and Members of the Central Kitsap School Board,

I am respectfully requesting that you reconsider your decision to cut the 5th Grade Band and Orchestra Programs in Central Kitsap School District.

I will admit that emotions on this issue runs high for my family. I am the proud parent of 3 CKSD career musicians who all started playing in 5th grade and a fourth grader who already has her instrument picked out for next year. I understand there are budget issues at hand. This unique situation in our world has caused us all to make adjustments we otherwise wouldn’t but making cuts with this level of impact at a time when families have limited interaction with school staff, and without normal avenues of communication and public input, seems ill advised at best.

When I first heard of the decision to end 5th grade band and orchestra, I was heartbroken, even angry, but I walked away from the issue to better gather my thoughts. The next day I started an online petition that grew beyond what I would have imagined. I’m sure you are very much aware of its existence. As of now it stands with 4,188 signatures. The comments are worth your time to read them, you owe it to your constituents and the students of our district to read every single one of them.

I emailed in my concerns as soon as I heard about this decision and received a “canned” email response, which I’m sure was due to the unexpected amount of communication received regarding the decision to cancel 5th grade band & orchestra. In the email response I received it stated:

“Our desire to continue providing strong music programs across our district has not wavered. We believe music education is an important part of ensuring our students receive a well-rounded education. Moving forward, we will continue offering music instruction to all elementary students in their general music classes. We will offer more specialized music courses beginning in middle school. “

I cannot believe that you honestly think that cutting 1 year of a program will not have long lasting effects on that program moving forward. You cannot realistically expect that a whole lost year of music education could ever be made up. You would not expect that of any core subject, and music/instrumental education is no different. As we have been doing school at home I have had the pleasure of hearing my 6th grader practice her saxophone and give lessons to her 4th grade sister on how to play the clarinet which have been priceless, but I am also painfully aware that my youngest will never have the opportunities that her siblings have moving forward – that she will always be a year behind them in her musical education.

Band has been a refuge for my oldest who is on the Autism Spectrum, and it’s where he made his first real friend. In my son’s own words “Band encouraged me to be the best I can be and helped me to express myself through music.”

Band was a place to shine for my oldest daughter when she struggled in the classroom. Gaining confidence in band helped lead her to successes in the classroom; she is now taking honors classes and getting high marks at OHS. She says being in band is fun, “You get to make friends, and band has given me many great opportunities that I wouldn’t have experienced in any other setting.”

My middle daughter has seized opportunities in band that my other children didn’t take advantage of. Halfway through 5th grade she switched instruments, passing the tests required to do so, and now in 6th grade has been participating in Jazz Band. She says band allows her to be creative, “Band is different than regular music class because you learn new skills and you get to make music.”

As I mentioned before my youngest was looking forward to joining band next year. She says she was looking forward to being in band, learning the drums “because it’s fun.”

I am going to assume you know that there are countless studies on the benefits of instrumental music and its long reaching impacts into the classroom and the achievement levels of student musicians compared to non-musicians. I simply cannot understand how canceling 5th grade band and orchestra is in any way beneficial to the students of Central Kitsap School District. As emotionally charged as this issue is, objective research shows the positive effect that music education has on student performance and achievement, which is your duty as school administrators to consider. You are choosing to put the education of CKSD students at a disadvantage.

There isn’t a person whose life hasn’t been impacted in some way by music. Everyone has a favorite song or artist, most couples have “their” song, music is the soundtracks to our lives. As to why music matters, why 5th grade band and orchestra matter, I would like to close with a few quotes from my all-time favorite movie, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”.

“Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want…. Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about.”

When talking to the school board about art/music department cuts I would like to echo Mr. Holland’s statement when he was told that their course of action was the best they could do: “Then your best isn’t good enough.”

Be creative, think outside the box, do what we count on you to do. Give our children the well-rounded education they deserve. Save 5th Grade Band & Orchestra.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,
Krista Radeke

A link to the online petition create to address the issue of the termination of the 5th Grade Band & Orchestra programs

http://chng.it/Wt4JxV7xmv

Please take the time to read all the comments.

Jeremy Faxon
(1) 
District plans to cut 5th Gr. Band/Orchestra. Decision made with no input form stakeholders, District Music Coordinator, families, community. Poor response to outcry from community. Bad PR twisting on the line about "enhanced opportunities in MS," instead of calling it what it is, cutting 5th Band/Orch. Your Voters are enraged.

(2) #ckmusicmatters
Dr. Prince and Board Members,
I implore you to maintain our fifth grade band & orchestra program. We can use the $800K Covid-19 savings to maintain the program for the 20-21 SY. Our budget gap for 19-20 is being overestimated. When our actual figures for 19-20 come in November, that will allow us to make an informed decision for the future. Our fifth grade instrumental program is a stellar model. It engages over 70% of our students in the program. We will not engage near that many in a MS only model. MS class periods are too long for sixth graders, they have competing electives, and are in a new social and developmental situation. Also, I would be very concerned about how this cut of a student program will affect our future levy votes in the community. Over 4,200 people have signed and commented on this petition of support. http://chng.it/dStmfSBdwh Please show the community that you listen to their feedback. I am optimistic that District Leadership can be innovative and maintain this student program. Thank you for your support.

(3) My son is a little over a year away from joining fifth grade band and orchestra in CKSD. He attends CKSD from out of district. This is one of the reasons he attends CKSD. We would have to reconsider his enrollment if you cut this program. This is an important elementary school experience for him. He needs this program before middle school. Please maintain fifth grade band and orchestra. Especially in our current environment, we don't want to invite the public backlash. Take the out that has been presented to us. Use the Cover-19 savings to restore this student program for SY 20-21. Be brave and innovative. We believe in your ability to do the right thing. We believe that CKSD can maintain elementary band and orchestra, and still be financially responsible for our children's future. We have a second kid coming into kindergarten in two years, and plan on CKSD enrollment. Hopefully you can help us continue with that plan by maintaining this student program.

Holly
Silverdale
For the budget cuts, cutting music is not the answer. sports or any extra activities curriculum should go first. I would love to give evidence that music helps more in a child's brain development before sports ever would.

Crystal Johnson

314 Shore Drive, Bremerton, WA
Please don’t cancel 5th grade band and orchestra. 5th grade is already quite late for learning an instrument and many students don’t have access to private lessons. As a professional musician myself who grew up in CKSD and started playing an additional instrument in 5th grade band, I know the value and importance of an early music education. While general music is wonderful and helps to promote musical literacy, it does not replace the discipline of learning an instrument for mastery. It is so important to have kids be exposed to playing in an ensemble as well as the self-discipline of regular practice before they have the demands of a more rigorous middle school schedule. CKSD has always had an exceptional music program because of the value it has typically placed in the arts, and part of that reason I believe is because it has stayed the course in offering 5th grade band and orchestra. Especially in light of the new auditoriums you recently built, it seems to send a mixed message to now cut back on the music program. If you want to see these beautiful auditoriums filled with flourishing musicians, please listen to your middle school and high school music educators when they say their programs will suffer due to cutting 5th grade band and orchestra. Please reconsider your decision. Thank you.

Ellen Seymour
8044 Icicle PL NW
There are substantial positive long term benefits of instrumental instruction introduced in the early years of education. Why is CK district board choosing to extinguish a program that has a proven, positive effect on improving the cognitive and emotional success of their student body? Removing the 5th grade instrumental curriculum is a step towards hobbling the educational potential of the district’s own students. The district, by definition, has an obligation to make every attempt to provide the best possible educational opportunities for its student body. Has the district truly exhausted researching all avenues of retrench prior to moving forward with this decision?

Musical instrument instruction in the elementary age years has a proven positive impact on cognitive capabilities in other academic subjects. Why wouldn’t the district perform an extensive, exhaustive review and do absolutely everything in it’s power to not only retain this curriculum, but bolster it?

I respectfully ask the board to review and thoughtfully consider the following citations, thoroughly understanding the potential long term impact of removing 5th grade instrumental instruction:

https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2019-34936-001.html

2019 American Psychological Association

“Participation in school music (especially instrumental music) was related to higher exam scores, and students with higher levels of school music engagement had higher exam scores.”

“Music participation was related to higher scores on all 4 subjects and these relationships were stronger for instrumental music than vocal music (Cohen’s d range: .28 to .44 [small-medium effect sizes] and .05 to .13 [null-small effect sizes]). School music achievement positively related to scores on all subjects; such relationships were stronger for achievement in instrumental music compared with vocal music.”

“A long-term/multiyear involvement in music education/training may be especially important for cognitive benefits to more strongly manifest. For instance, longer durations/histories of music training were positively related to performance on EF tasks (Degé et al., 2011), while Chan, Ho, and Cheung (1998) found evidence of higher verbal memory scores among adults who had received music training from an earlier age (before age 12) relative to those who began at a later stage.”

“Also, ensemble music-making is collaborative and generally noncompetitive, an aspect of music that has been found to be associated with enhanced school climate and social interactions within school contexts (Bastian, 2000; Gouzouasis & Henderson, 2012). Students’ experiences of positive academic and disciplinary school climate, in turn, are related to academic achievement and decreased school drop-out (Rumberger & Lim, 2008).”

“Among students who took music courses, students who took instrumental music courses had significantly higher exam mean scores than students who took vocal music courses, across all four academic subjects (Table 3).”

“Students who took instrumental music had exam means that were between +3.10 (English 10) and +5.11 (Math 10) higher than students who took no music. Cohen’s d effect sizes characterizing these mean exam differences tended to be higher for the instrumental music group (ranging from 0.28, for English 12, to 0.44, for Science 10) than for the vocal music group (ranging from 0.05, for Math 10, to 0.13, for Science 10).”

“A high level of sustained engagement in music may represent a positive multiyear trajectory of involvement, commitment to, and dedication for learning and performing music—which in turn may support higher academic achievement through greater development of skills such as motivation, persistence, as well as executive functioning. Moreover, higher levels of sustained engagement in instrumental music was more strongly associated with higher exam scores in English, math, and science than was higher sustained engagement in vocal music.”

“The observed effect sizes, particularly regarding instrumental music, were substantive.5 In fact, the effect sizes observed when comparing those in the very highly engaged instrumental music group with the no music group (even after adjustment for numerous confounders) were of a magnitude greater than the average annual gains in reading, science, and math that are seen during the high school years in the U.S. context (Bloom et al., 2008). In other words, students in the present study sample that were highly engaged in instrumental music were, on average, over 1 year ahead in their math, English, and science skills, compared with those peers not engaged in school music.”

“Music aptitude, IQ, learning transfer, and the developing brain”

“In recent decades, neuroscientists have refined their understanding of music learning in relation to brain processes. For the interpretation of results, it may be useful to draw from that body of work, as it seems plausible that the kinds of skills gained through learning to play an instrument, including auditory, audiation, reading, and executive skills on different instruments (e.g., keyboard, string, percussion, and wind instruments), could positively impact auditory and motor regions of the brain (Hyde et al., 2009). Such changes, in turn, may positively affect other areas of students’ understanding, such as in understanding mathematical concepts (see Rogenmoser, Kernbach, Schlaug, & Gaser, 2018; Schlaug & Bangert, 2008; Schneider et al., 2005)."

“In light of the literature that has shed light on possible mechanisms between music learning and cognitive, social, and emotional development, this study concludes by reiterating the “call for school music” made by Zuk et al. (2014), who argue that degrading or eliminating school music programs may, in fact, have detrimental outcomes on math, science, and language skills, as well as on cognitive development overall. In extending the literature, the results of this study seem to indicate that music engagement sustained from childhood into adolescence—and more of it, particularly instrumental music—may lead to doing better in school.”

Please keep 5th grade CK band/orchestra instruction. Will the board please consider the positive, cascading effect which early instrument instruction has on the developing brain resulting in increased capabilities in academic achievement? I respectfully ask the board to read and consider the following citations:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/06/b-c-students-who-took-music-classes-scored-higher-than-peers-in-math-science-and-english-study/

25 Jun 2019

“Secondary school students who take music classes in school perform better in math, science and English than their nonmusical peers, according to a new large-scale study in British Columbia. And the more involved students are in their school music programs, the higher their academic exam scores tend to be.”

“The study, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Educational Psychology on Monday, examined the school records of nearly 113,000 public school students in B.C. It found those who took music classes over many years, starting as early as Grade 5, had higher Grade 10 and Grade 12 exam scores in math, science and English than those who did not participate in music.”

“This was particularly the case among students who learned to play an instrument (compared with vocal music) and were more involved in their school orchestra and band programs, said Peter Gouzouasis, a professor at the University of British Columbia and one of the study authors. These highly engaged music students were, on average, one year ahead of their nonmusical peers in academics, he said.”

Thank you for your time.

Kristin Guy
I am very concerned about the cutting of the 5th grade instrumental program. The decision was made with absolutely no feedback from anyone it concerned or related. Both times the announcement was made (teachers first, then families) it followed a CLOSING of comments to the board. This tells me that you did not want anyone’s input. And I can see why- because we as voters passed a levy to fund programs like this particular one. And I understand the 5th grade instrumental program was specifically advertised to be a part of that funding. How is it that you can make decisions without us for funds that we voted to give for these particular programs? Many of us have now lost trust in the district and are going to be hesitant to vote for levies in the future! That is not good for our school system!

I am curious to know if any of these 5 administrative positions advertised as being cut were from the superintendents department. And why are we paying salaries for 2 superintendents right now but we can’t fund the teachers who are actually working with students?! This decision causes issues through the district from elementary through high school. Are the middle school teachers now expected to add an additional beginning band/orchestra class to their already full schedules? And think about what the secondary instrumental program will look like in a couple years. Our district has been fortunate to have large, quality secondary instrumental programs. This will devastate these programs. The playing will be inferior, the numbers will be smaller, and it will not be an equitable program anymore. Those who have money will be able to start their interested students in private instruction to make up for the cut, but those who won’t will have to wait, and most likely not even participate in instrumental music because they did not get the chance in 5th grade.

Money for budget issues should be found in other, non-student ways. At the very least, information should be shared in a way in which those who are affected by the decision can have a say. Because honestly- what is the point of this comment? You will listen because you have to, but you have already made the decision. So why are we even here? Our input is obviously ignored and not wanted.

Robert Carter
Please keep the 5th Grade Band/Orchestra for the 2020/2021 school year and beyond. This is not the right time to take away programs from students. I have not seen anything official from the Central Kitsap School District about possible budget cuts in music but it was leaked in a totally unofficial way and this is not the correct way to communicate with the public. Open communication with the Central Kitsap voters is definitely not the strong point with the Central Kitsap School District. I believe if you don't start the music programs until 6th grade you loose more students trying band which would be a big mistake. My grandson played in the 5th grade band at Woodlands and he really looked forward dressing up and playing in their concerts during the school year. My grandson has been playing in band since 5th grade and now at Fairview MS and this has been a positive experience for him. It gives kids an outlet to excel besides athletics. Please, DO NOT ELIMINATE THE 5TH GRADE BAND/ORCHESTRA.

Thomas Guenther
#ckmusicmatters

Please reconsider the decision to cut 5th grade band and orchestra!

Darcy C
As a senior, is this all we are worth? A virtual graduation. I don't know about you, but that is not how to show that you care about your seniors. There are a lot of angry seniors because of the idea of this virtual graduation.

Chris Thomas
This email is in strong support of the 5th grade bands and orchestras in the Central Kitsap School District.

It's an outrage that the district would plan to make such a monumental cut during a pandemic, with so little discussion and lead time. CK bands and orchestra teachers are well known for their hard work and effectiveness, and their students are well known for their willingness to rise to the occasion and perform with passion and maturity.

This rash decision at the district level doesn't honor any of that. This potential decision is shortsighted and outrageous.

Study after study have shown that the earlier one starts to learn an instrument, the better they fair in a cross section of important metrics later in life.

I implore each of you to try saving money elsewhere or elsewhen.

Satomi Raska
4700 NW 82nd St.
What would students remember from this year? Would they remember that despite all the cancellations, the school tried its best to give students a sense of normalcy? Or that on top of all the cancellations, the school decided to cancel more things?

I am sure that you are aware of the benefits of music, especially at a younger age. Hearing from another parent that 5th-grade band/orchestra was being cut surprised me not only because there was no communication from the district first, but also because I trusted in the district to value music. Action speaks louder. CKSD's statement, "Our desire to continue providing strong music programs across our district has not wavered" is contradicting. If it is the case why would the CKSD plan to eliminate the program under parents' radar without trying to save it first? Parents should have been given the chance to voice their opinions prior to the announcement.

I hope you will listen to 4,200 people who feel that keeping the 5th-grade band/orchestra program is a worthy cause despite the difficult time we are in and are able to show us that you are really listening.

Ezra Kealoha
4532 NW Inverness Ct, Bremerton, WA
I believe an “at-home graduation” does not really give any of us seniors the closure we really need. many of my friends, including myself don’t feel the same motivation to want to even start our freshman year at college next year because we feel that we aren’t truly “finishing high school”. Many of us have dreamed of the day we get to walk across that stage and receive our diploma. Even if our families have to watch from home, it’s still the feeling of stepping over that bridge of completion that is most important. A possible last chance to see the teachers that motivated us to get to where we are today would mean to world to all of us. Thank you.

Christina Mejia
10175 Lonerock Ln NW, Seabeck, WA
(1) I am a parent of a Senior at Klahowya and have recently been made aware that the only option being offered for a commencement ceremony is a virtual one. I reached out to Jody Woolf to share an idea for our graduates and she responded first thing Monday morning, 5/11, by asking me for my suggestion and indicated that several committees were working on a Virtual Graduation Ceremony and a Drive-Thru event and indicated that the District was struggling with the ideas that had been presented because they do "not follow the WA state guidelines for Stay at Home order as well as Social Distancing." Before I could present the idea, a notice was posted on Facebook today with the decision for Virtual Graduation.

I began circulating a petition late Friday nigh, 5/8, to see if there was a demand for a Drive-thru graduation and as it turns out, there is, as evidenced by the 646 signatures from seniors and family members collected over the last 3 days. As a parent and tax payer, I am disappointed that I and my son were not taken into account when making such an important decision. I have also been talking with other parents and I am not aware of any parent or student that was taken into account in the decision making of this event. This solution is not acceptable to my family or to me and I want to know your reasoning behind not doing a Drive-Thru Graduation ceremony instead of a Virtual Graduation Ceremony. We do not want a Virtual Graduation Ceremony. If a Drive-Thru event can be organized to pick up caps and gowns, one can be organized to coordinate graduation. I'd also like to offer my services to coordinate and assist with resources needed to make this happen. I will email the current signature list and comments to Kim. Here is a link to a news report covering the type of graduation for which the petition is advocating:

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/seniors-at-rancho-cucamonga-high-school-get-diplomas-in-drive-thru-ceremony/2358459/?fbclid=IwAR1nafgrW8AJs_FewiSYCwX__FZr5Jjk4jme38_3Nr6TdO1MRAJ7UWfosX0 

(2) I am hereby submitting my draft proposed solution for graduation that is in line with the Governor's Stay at Home and Social Distancing orders and what for what the seniors are asking. We do not want any part of the graduation ceremony to be unnecessarily virtual. I am offering my services to take the lead and make this happen. Please see the previous comments submitted by me for today's meeting.
________________________________________________________
Drive-In Graduation Speeches & Walk across stage)

The idea is to use a hybrid of the Governor approved Drive-in Services guidelines (plan below) and a drive-thru walk-across-the-stage as outlined below, plus live video streaming to YouTube.

DRIVE-IN GRADUATION SPEECHES:

Principal’s message, senior speeches, and other commencement performances would take place one at a time using the format outlined below. When the designated student speaker is up, the family can exit to take photos and then everyone goes back into the car.

A Drive-In Graduation Speeches works like a drive-in movie theater, allowing the ceremony to be held while still respecting social distancing. Attendees park in your parking lot or a grassy area and stay in their vehicles and tune in to a live service broadcast via a local radio station, through a local FM transmitter, or through live streaming. (I am willing to reach out to the drive-in theater for use of their facilities or to look for a field big enough to use for his purpose.)

Before hosting drive-in graduation speeches:
1. Determine broadcast capabilities. Are you planning to livestream your service or broadcast to FM radio? If you’re planning to host an FM radio broadcast, you’ll need a radio transmitter. These can typically be purchased for around $200 and allow you to broadcast an FM signal within approximately one mile. Consider asking a local radio station if it has interest in partnering with you. Many stations are friendly to the local content you can provide.
2. Control traffic flow. To minimize the risk of a fender-bender, use volunteers to guide vehicles in an orderly fashion. Fill the parking lot from front-to-back to maximize space.
3. Be visible. Make sure any staff or volunteers wear hi-visibility safety vests so they can be easily seen by vehicles. Make sure volunteers and staff maintain at least six feet of separation from others. Also, you may want to emphasize the use of masks and gloves among staff and volunteers to convey an extra measure of safety and care.*
4. Let people know to shelter-in-vehicle. Communicate to attendees that they must stay in their vehicles with windows rolled up. This maintains appropriate distancing and avoids the temptation to talk to friends in neighboring vehicles. Encourage drivers to “clap” or greet each other by beeping their car horns.
5. Keep your facility or the off-site facility being used closed. Communicate with attendees beforehand that restroom facilities and child care will be unavailable.
6. Don’t use printed programs. To minimize exposure, send attendees the service information via email or post online so they can view it on their own devices. Alert attendees prior to the service to bring their own Bibles.
7. Alert local authorities beforehand so they’re aware of the gathering.
By following some practical guidance, may still be able to creatively host graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WALK ACROSS STAGE:

Each student, along with no more than “X” family members, will drive their vehicle to the ______ parking lot off of (whatever street). You will proceed to ____________, and drive to the __________. Students will remove their personal face covering and receive a commemorative face covering and gloves that may be worn during the ceremony. Students will be guided to the commencement stage area where they will be filmed as they walk on to the stage to be greeted (no handshaking) by their principal and handed a diploma (or diploma cover?). Up to four family members-with protective face coverings-may take pictures from a designated safe area. After receiving their diploma (or diploma cover?), they will have the opportunity to remove their face covering and have their picture taken by a professional photographer. Students and families will then proceed back to their cars and drive back to the viewing area.

YOUTUBE LIVE STREAMING:

Live stream the entire thing like Olympic College

Danielle Chinnock
1325 Johnstown Road, Cheasapeake, VA
I taught at woodlands elementary for 3 years and LOVED every minute. We moved only because of the navy. It was such a joy to see the 5th graders learning band and orchestra, applying those skills to other areas of their elementary career. It saddens me to hear this is considered less than a staple. I started in 5th grade and don’t think I would have tried an instrument if it started in middle school when there were so many other elective options.

Erica Cramer
Music education matters - the key to success with arts in your schools is to start early. It’s already a shame that 6th grade is the first visual arts class for so many students. I hope you don’t let this happen for music also.

Rain Martin
4302 Center St. Apt Z101, Tacoma, WA
I support having all 5th grade band/orchestra/music programs available to all students. I graduated from OHS in 2012 after being in band since 5th grade at Cottonwood Ele, through my time at Fairview, and through high school, having been selected for several honor bands, time as a drum major in my senior year, etc. Being a “band kid” was my favorite part of my time in school. Playing an instrument was fun, reading music is a great skill to have, and it is equivalent to a team sport in my book because everyone must work together to achieve a common goal.

Starting band in 5th grade gave me an identity to hold on to through my identity-forming teen years, which is a rough time for all students, trying to figure out who we are going to be. It was nice being in 5th and 6th grade band because a lot of us stuck around through the transfer into middle school, giving me a sense of belonging in an already confusing new world. Same thing happened transferring to high school, where in a sea of new things, people, and expectations, I was able to see familiar faces, and often familiar teacher since we had the opportunity to work with older kids in mixed age groups.

I had wonderful experiences and opportunities in my band years; solo/ensemble, band contest, matching band, PLU honor band, the WAM tour of Europe for two weeks... some of these were once in a lifetime experiences. Looking back, I am so grateful to have found something I love. I still have my “real” flute from my high school years, I even still pick it up occasionally.

Statistically speaking, we all know extracurricular activities promote academic success in students, so why would we end an early learning program that has meant so much to so many? Do not end the 5th grade band an orchestra program. This class happens during some major formative identity and skill building times for students. This program allows identity continuation through school years that can be a struggle for many. This program promotes extracurricular involvement and academic success. We need it to continue.

Josh
#ckmusicmatters

Shawna Schroers
9711 Danwood Lane #33, Silverdale, WA
ckelementarymusicmatters

Steven John Satak
7300 Blackbird Drive NE
To all: I thought 5th grade was where kids started learning music. That is, after they've reached the age of reason and begun to be truly teachable - but a couple of years before their hormones start to kick in. I still think that.

My son John did great, starting at ten. He chose flute, bucking his peers to make that choice, while making some lifelong friends. Playing what was considered a 'girl's instrument' by his peers caused him to develop a certain mental toughness, a 'thick skin', as it were. Asked why he chose it in the face of opposition from his buddies, he said 'I liked it. It was complicated.' He found it a challenge to play, and focused on that.

Age 10 is a perfect time to start the discipline, physical training and musical appreciation that comes with music. This is when we teach a kid to create something OF their own, something beautiful, yet not ON their own. The child is taught to acquire and perfect a craft and be a good follower. Later he or she will learn to act as a member of a team towards a goal, while developing the people skills required of a leader.

But the one comes before the other, make no mistake. And without sufficient time, the teaching of music - and all that goes with it - is cut short by competition with other studies and the desire to compete in the arenas of popularity and l'amour.

Music builds the character required of good citizens, and these days the sooner we start, the better.

Kara Hartman
I am an Olympic high school Alumni, I am a music minor and started out as a music major because of falling in love with band. Guess when I started? You got it, fifth grade. I did band and choir through out jr high and high school. My junior and senior year 3 of my 7 courses were music courses. All because I started in 5th grade. I hated elementary school, I use to beg not to go, that is until I joined band. Band gave me a family when I started jr high. Band has taken me to 11 countries outside of the US. My jazz choir won competitions and recorded professionally, I’ve played my clarinet in London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. If I had not started in 5th grade I probably would have been too nervous to try it in jr high. As a future teacher from PLU, I can promise you that if you don’t have a music program starting in the elementary school I will never work for you. My cohort members will never work for you. Because #CKMusicMatters.

Charissa Manglona
I believe the 5th grade instrumental program is an imperative gateway for students to be introduced to music/instruments they would have otherwise never had access to. Many families do not have additional funds to seek private lessons for their children to pursue music. At least through the 5th grade program, a student has the opportunity to figure out what direction musically he/she would want to go. We have excellent instrumental educators involved in the 5th grade program, and the educators in the MS and HS programs are simply amazing. All 3 of my children participated in the 5th grade instrumental program and 2 have continued on through the MS and HS programs. All 3 started out playing the clarinet. Of the two who continued on, one switched to percussions in 6th grade while the other switched to Tenor Saxophone in 6th grade. My daughter, who will be a Junior for the 2020-2021 school year and plays Tenor Sax, has shared with me on numerous occasions, Band has been the one consistent piece that she has always enjoyed, it's the one place she has always felt safe with her classmates and has maintained lasting friendships since 5th grade because they have all continued band together, and it has guided her improvement, confidence, and leadership skills. She has been offered an opportunity outside of the school program to travel to Europe for a 16-day musical tour. These types of opportunities were created because her passion for instrumental music began with her 5th grade band program, and her Band Director who helped pave the way for her love for instrumental music. Please reconsider cutting the 5th grade instrumental program for the 2020-2021 school year. Thank you. #ckmusicmatters

Mallory Wilhelm
When considering significant cuts to the music program, please remember that music is a valid academic subject that we are exposing these children to. It’s a possible college major, career choice, or life-enriching activity that is no different than any other late elementary/secondary class these students will take. However, this change will only further the achievement gap between students who are able to take private lessons and students whose schooling is in our hands. Cutting 5th grade band and orchestra would mean choosing to purposefully widen that gap which goes against our very natures as educators. I hope you will reconsider and find another place in the budget to make these cuts.

Keira Merwine
I am writing in regards to the 5th grade band and orchestra program in Central Kitsap and the proposal to cut the program as a cost-saving initiative. I feel this is a short-sighted and detrimental decision that will negatively impact not only students and families but the community at large for years to come.

There are untold stories of students who struggle in standard classrooms but thrive in music. For example: a young man was continuously brought to IEP, 504 and behavior meetings as he continued to struggle in his classes. His teachers continually railed on his distracting behavior, his low reading scores, his in ability to focus and that he was just a lost cause. His orchestra teacher was shocked - he was not this way in her class but thrived. Sure, he had his moments as all students do, but through orchestra, she was able to connect with him over a long period of time (starting in 5th grade) to mentor him, grow him (as a person AND as a musician) and show him BELIEF in his abilities. Now, he is a successful bass player in New York, backing up professional musicians as well as playing in his own performing and recording jazz band. This would NOT have been possible had he not started orchestra in 5th grade and had a teacher who was able to feed into him over YEARS and fight for him and his growth.

To that orchestra teacher - she herself came from a non-musical family. Were it not for the 5th grade orchestra program at her school, she never would have picked up the violin, joined the Seattle Youth Symphony, studied music at the University of Washington (receiving her degree in Education), going on to teach Orchestra, and supporting the student previously mentioned. Without 5th grade orchestra, she wouldn't have ever started and that boy would not have had the advocate he so desperately needed. He would have fallen through the cracks and the NUMEROUS other students she impacted would have as well.

And just to be clear - this story is about my mother who is still teaching and leading orchestras and one of her students. Based STRONGLY in truth and reality and only one of the MANY stories demonstrating the power of the 5th grade band and orchestra program in ANY school district.

5th grade orchestra and band goes FAR beyond a budget line item. It is an essential gateway for students who would otherwise be lost. I implore the school board of Central Kitsap to maintain the 5th grade orchestra and band programs and consider other options for balancing the budget.

Mackenzie Finney
Hello board members,
My name is Mackenzie and I am a 2017 graduate of Olympic High. When I was in fifth grade at woodlands elementary I decided to join band. I continued to play for the next seven years. Those seven years played a crucial part in the formation of who I am today. Music taught me so much more than how to play an instrument. Music taught me responsibility, punctuality, respect and courage. Music showed me what is possible through hard work and dedication. Elementary band and orchestra remains critical today. Students who are not introduced to band and orchestra in the elementary will most likely not choose to join in middle school. I am asking you to find another solution. Keep 5th grade band and orchestra. #ckmusicmatters

Denise Tracy
769 NW Saddle Creek Ln, Bremerton, WA
I am saddened and disappointed that CKSD will not have 5th grade band and orchestra next year. It is a great program, with a large percentage of student participation. Understanding that cuts need to be made, I wish 5th grade band and orchestra had been changed to one or two days a week instead of eliminated entirely.

Valerie Behling
2417 Nae Blossom Place, Bremerton, WA
#ckmusicmatters. Very short sighted of the board to even consider eliminating the 5th grade instrumental music program. 5th graders are the perfect age to start new things/try them without all the other distractions and electives that are thrown at them in middle school. The district has just built a beautiful performing arts center at CK... who is going to be using it in a few years? I would hope the board would seriously reconsider this direction.

Gwen K. Adams
27334 Balmoral Pl NE, Kingston, WA
I have worked with the children of CK for many years through community theatre and music instruction. I took 5th grade band (oboe). I was involved in numerous other activities in middle school and high school but My music is one of the only ones I still use today, 40 years later - not cheerleading, or basketball, or dance team, or yearbook ... music. Had I waited until middle school there would be too many distractions and other choices. Having completed 5th grade band, it was my choice to continue music or sacrifice it for other things. Give children that early chance to appreciate music. Those early learners like me become the teachers, choir directors, church leaders, and musical theatre directors in our community. Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Jim Stevens
9723 60th St Ct W, University Place, WA
As an educational representative for Ted Brown Music Company, I have proudly served the Central Kitsap Schools since the mid 1970's. Central Kitsap Schools Music Department has always been the crown jewel of the region. The music department has been strong because of the commitment to instrumental music in grade school, middle school and high school. When anyone wants an even better crop, they never prune the roots of the tree. Cutting off a successful program at the roots will be detrimental to the entire program. For me personally, my fifth grade start in band provided me with a full life musically and a career in the industry. For those students that do not achieve lifelong participation, they still have achieved a greater appreciation for the arts and become strong supporters of the arts. Math and science are not the end all for an educated student. Creative problem solving comes as a result of learning how to think creatively and only the arts provides that learning process. I beg that you reconsider the cancellation of 5th grade instrumental music in Central KItsap Schools. Sincerely, Jim Stevens

Deborah Rice
947 NE Saturn Lane, Bremerton, WA
It has been proven time and time again that music education benefits students in many academic areas. I'm sure the school board has researched this information and I am surprised that there is any thought of eliminating music education at the elementary level. Research shows reading scores improved and students with a good music education program score higher on standardized tests. A quality education must involve all aspects of learning. It has clearly been shown that music education helps students in many areas of learning. Please do not eliminate music education at the elementary level.

Tara Barros
6575 White Peaks Lane NW
I am very disappointed in the plan to eliminate 5th grade band and orchestra. Please reconsider this decision. I support these music programs for 5th grade students.

Madison Sasaki
Without 5th grade band, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to develop a foundation in music theory and performance that lead me to explore high school theatre and choir. Now, I am pursuing a Drama Performance Major with high hopes of attending UW School of Drama to follow the MFA Acting program in the future. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the elementary music programs. For kids who don’t plan on pursuing the arts in college, 5th grade band and orchestra has proven to still be highly beneficial. Studies show that when students include the arts in their curriculum, their overall grades go up. Their mental health may be improved. Some people just need an escape from the pressure of academics and music has been here to relieve stress and invite light into our lives for centuries. Don’t take away such a pure source of happiness and education from our children.

Elsa Haddock
5th grade band is a huge stepping stone for so many students. Not only does it provide them with a skill, but it encourages creativity with children. The students will be set back exponentially by not being able to learn the fundamentals, and essentially, the whole band program through middle and high school will have to change to accommodate the late learning. Let’s please try to keep kids motivated to explore their creative abilities, rather than completely stripping them of any chance to express themselves.

Anna Borer
Writing to voice support 5th grade band/orchestra. Please continue to support the arts! This program is so valuable. My son participated and it was his first instrument. He is now in middle school and flourishing in choir and piano lessons. This introduction to instruments is just so valuable (I also played viola in my elementary and ended up playing piano, in addition to singing, acting, and dancing). Ms. McAuley is a fantastic teacher and it would be a huge loss to remove her from this position. She is a gentle, welcoming soul, just perfect for introducing kids at such a critical age to what they could pursue in middle and high school arts. Our community is rich with opportunities and support for the arts and it is one of the reasons we chose to live in the CKSD. Please don't degrade the qualities of CKSD that have drawn many of us here.

Heidi Hartman
1552 NW Vermont Ct, Bremerton, WA
Please keep band in elementary schools.

I have three students who have participated in band in the elementary school. It was one of the highlights of their time at Woodlands--it was a big deal to finally be old enough to participate in band, work towards a goal, and show their fellow students, family and friends how much they achieved by performing at their concerts.

It was vital for them to have that year to learn how much they enjoyed band so that they opted to use their valuable elective choices to continue with instrumental music. As they continued in band, it gave them a place to fit in and belong during the rough transition to middle and high school. It gave them wonderful opportunities for growth and leadership. It gave them a place to express themselves.

Because of band, I have one student who is going to become a teacher--she is in her senior year at college. She started her college career with the idea that she wanted to be a band teacher.

Because of band, I have another student who was able to find friends even though she struggles with that area. Band has also given her a place to express her emotions and find an outlet during the school day. It continues to be vital to her academic success in high school.

Because of band, I have a student who wants to pursue becoming a professional musician. He was honored to participate in the Jr State Jazz band this year--it was both and honor and a challenge for him to play at that level--it has made him want to improve even more in his musicianship.

Our family has opted to stay within the Central Kitsap School District specifically because of the music programs. We feel that music is vital to our children's education. We had the opportunity to purchase a home outside of the district but did not do so--because the music program was not as valued or supported as CKSD.

This foundation year of band, at the elementary level is vital to the success of the middle and high school music programs. Please continue to show that you really do value music in our schools by keeping this foundational program in our elementary schools.

Music Matters.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Marybeth Norby
Walla Walla, WA
I am writing in support of keeping 5th grade band and orchestra in your school district. There is clear data that children who feel a sense of belonging and joy are more likely to do well in school and succeed. 5th grade is a turning point for many children as their bodies and brains are changing so fast, Music has always been a way for many people to stay connected. The benefit of these music programs by far out way the cost involved. Please look at the research and consider keeping 5th grade music strong in your community.

Marybeth Norby, Walla Walla Public School Music Teacher

Cameron Grant
Music. As simple as it is, does so many things. Music brings people together, touches our emotions, allows us to speak where words cannot, educates, and teaches passion and commitment. The list and possibilities for musics benefits are endless. Having the opportunity to have this in my life when I was young changed me for the better despite difficult times, and helped me become the person I am to this very day. It will continue to impact my life for as long as I live. The very same Distsrict that once gave me the opportunity to thrive and express myself through music, is now attempting to take this very same life changing opportunity from the current youth and future youth. I stand by Jeremy Faxon, who was not just a teacher, but also a mentor and opportunity creator in my life through music to fight this. If you have ever experienced the feelings that occur when you relate to a song, or have ever had the opportunity to express yourself through music you know just how impactful and important it is to keep this opportunity available. To take away this choice from the youth who may want or need this opportunity is wrong and unjust. If you have any feelings about music, please take a moment to read this and support my fellow musicians and the thriving youth by signing and sharing. Give them the opportunity they deserve to have.

Stanley Yantis
510 E Mason Lake Drive E, Grapeview, WA
I have taught 5th grade band for 41 years 37 in the North Mason School District Belfair WA. I know how being in band or orchestra not only enriches the student's lives but the entire family and community. It would be sad to see such an important part of our local culture fail to be supported.

Kirsten Bakke
Please reconsider keeping 5th grade band and orchestra. My 4th grader has been looking forward to joining band and gaining new “music friends “ since he was just little. He sees the world through music and wants to play music for a living. I myself was able to do orchestra in 5th grade, and it helped me walk into middle school with more confidence knowing I had played in and was in orchestra. Thank you for your time in considering this.

Briana Faxon
31466 State Highway 3 NE, Poulsbo, WA
Hi. I am a parent of a Woodlands Elementary third grader, as well as a musician. However, I am not a professional musician -- I am a musician since I learned flute in the fifth grade. I would like to give a little bit of my story. (I am also the spouse of an instrumental music teacher in CKSD, but this is not applicable to my story -- I say this in full disclosure).

As a fifth grader, the coolest thing a kid could do in my school was join band. We all got to try out instruments and pick which one we wanted. I picked the flute. My parents did a ""rent to own"" on my instrument, and I got to play in beginning band. I loved it! The following year, my family moved to a district that started band in 6th grade (as part of their middle school). Band was not necessarily the "cool" thing to do, only about half of the small district was involved. I still was involved and played keyboard and flute that year. I participated in band from 6th - 9th grade at this school. My family moved again at this point, and as an incoming 10th grader I again felt like I was going to be lost. I was going to a much bigger school (3A as opposed to B). However, as soon as I stepped foot into that band room, it was like I was home. I spent any time I could in the band room from 10th - 12th grade. This was not because I had to, but the students I wanted to be around -- the kind, driven, and familiar people, were all there.

My main reason for writing is that if I would have not had the opportunity to join in 5th grade and instead was to join in 6th grade at a new school, I probably would not have done it -- I desperately wanted to fit in, and since my family did not have a lot of disposable income, I would probably have opted to not do it and "followed the crowd."

I attended Washington State University and was the first person to graduate from my family with a college degree in zoology. Along the way, I was a member of the Cougar Marching Band, WSU's symphonic band, and took classes on jazz history. Again, the friends I "automatically" had when I went to college were in these groups. I accomplished my degree not through help from my counselors, or my science teachers, but through support of my band family. This is how I learned how to apply to college, how to do the FAFSA, and where ALL my social emotional learning came from. We worked through problems as a class. As an AVID teacher and coordinator in the Bremerton School District, I can tell you the classes function differently but the support students receive is similar. I also can tell you that students who are in instrumental music make up a large portion of my Advanced Placement science course, and almost always have. There is also global evidence to support that learning an instrument is similar enough that it supports students doing better in school, and some evidence points to it being a way to help our "at-risk" students. This probably isn't due to them having an instrument and knowing how to play. It all comes down to SEL and a sense of belonging SOMEWHERE.

I continue to play as a creative outlet. As the section leader of the flute section for the Poulsbo Community Orchestra, I wholeheartedly believe that if I did not have the opportunity for music, my life would have been completely different in a negative way. As a parent, I want my child to have that same opportunity to grow and be supported by a group of teachers and peers who will eventually become family.

I urge you to rethink this decision. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further. Thank you for your time.

Martha Patterson
10911 Lobelia Ave NW
I am a veteran educator, having taught in 3 states and multiple schools at both the secondary and elementary level. I have taught in districts where elementary students were able to join band and orchestra, and those that were not. My observations of students who are exposed to instrumental music in the elementary years are: they are more engaged in school; students who may struggle academically are able to find success in music; music prepares the students for math, as musical theory has many components of math; music classes give students the opportunity to be part of a team, working on a common goal; music provides students with structure outside of an academic setting. Given wht we are facing when schools re open, not havig the option for music or the arts for our studnts dealing with trauma will create far greater issues. Please reconsider doing away with elementary band programs. It will create irreperable damage to our schools and students.

Nathan Shorb
2505 Valencia St, Bellingham, WA
#ckmusicmatters

Music is important for so many reasons as it is an outlet for students who don't fit in with sports or with math or other subject areas. Without the important subjects of music and drama we would do our students a disservice in developing key skills upon which our culture thrives.

Musical theatre and music class were very important to me while in CK Schools and I was that student that didn't fit in anywhere else. Being accepted into theatre literally saved my life and gave me purpose.

Please consider funding these programs to the fullest. Thank you for your time.

Amy Knob
#ckmusicmatters

It's amazing what studying music does for the brain, especially a child's brain. Learning music helps kids with all the other areas of study as well including math, English, history, art, science. You name it and it's connected to learning music. Studying music stretches the brain in a unique way!

All kids should have the opportunity to begin playing in a band and exercising their brain through music beginning in 5th grade, at the latest! Taking this great opportunity away from your students is a huge disservice to their education. The school district's responsibility is to help each and every student explore and strengthen their interests and support them in reaching their full potential as contributing members of society. By removing band and orchestra at the 5th grade level, the district is disregarding their responsibility to each of their students. Just like with other subjects, starting young is important for success. I would hope that the district would want to continue to move forward and improve all school programs. This decision is moving backwards. Thank you for your time.

Erinn Olson
3330 Phillips Ave, Bremerton, WA
Music education has shown in countless studies to be of great value not only in improved math and reading scores,but also in keeping some kids in school at all. For many of the students that struggle in other areas their music programs have proven to be the one thing they feel confident about. To cut music education is to deprive these students of that experience. I am not only a veteran educator, but a product of an award winning music program myself. The experiences I had in my general music classes in elementary school and my orchestra classes in middle and high school are a very big part of what made me who I am today. Not only should the program not be cut, but music should be expanded.

Miranda Hogue
#ckmusicmatters

Lida Haskett
6355 Colonial Village Loop
To Whom It May Concern:

I live on the opposite coast, but am writing for the sake of my extended family in Washington State, and for ALL of the families in Washington State, urging that elementary school music programs not be cut out of school budgets. All three of my children benefitted greatly from music programs starting in elementary school: both orchestras and bands. Especially in these tough times as we face a World Pandemic, music is even more important as learning how to play an instrument, and then to play in harmony with others, truly touches the soul and is part of a universal language. Music fosters brain growth and diversity of learning skills per scientific research studies, and is a doorway to appreciation of learning new concepts, regardless of the field. The ""Music/Math"" Connection has long been noted also, especially important in these times of declining STEM enrollment in college. Fostering a lifelong ability to play music, not only just appreciate it, is crucial and should not be stunted and left to later learning years. Sincerely, Lida Stout Haskett

Stephanie and John Bento
Our grandsons attend Woodlands. We were so looking forward to attending 5th grade concerts. Giving kids the opportunity to try band before middle school and "what is cool" kicks in is so important. Having 5th grade band and orchestra is one of the things that sets Central Kitsap apart from the rest. Not having the opportunity would be sad.

Scott Meredith
In regards to the 5th grade band and orchestra programs, a line must be drawn and cuts must be found elsewhere. Keeping these programs at this stage of childhood development is essential for the young person to develop and grow as a productive citizen. We are essentially cutting them off at their knees and offer zero chance to pick this skill up at a later time. The 5th grade beginning point is the start of a sequence that never ends. If kids are not allowed to explore at this early stage there is a high likelihood they will never start. Please consider the students. Find a way to make this work.

Kelli McAuley
3902 Valley Dr., Bremerton, WA
I have taught 5th grade orchestra for 4 years with the CK district. It has been my joy to start these eager young students in their instrumental studies every year. The process for 5th grade students joining orchestra is actually rather long. Students are given the opportunity to hear 5th grade groups at school assemblies every year, in 4th grade they are exposed to the instruments in their general music class, and then get the chance to physically try-out 3 or more different instruments in order to choose the instrument that suits them best. All of this happens during school hours in 4th grade. At the start of 5th grade students have a chance to attend both band and orchestra classes for a week to meet us, the teachers, and to decide which group might be best for them. Students look forward to this opportunity for years until they are finally old enough to get to participate.

Once they have had the chance to learn and grow in a small class environment (my average class size is 20-25 students) they are told they must make a choice for middle school. Every year I have students begging me to be their teacher in middle school. They are nervous about the new school, they are nervous about the size of the school population, and they are terrified to begin middle school. They are looking for something familiar. Nothing about starting music in middle school is familiar or comfortable.

Starting band and orchestra in middle school will add more stress to these already stressed-out students. Currently, they are able to learn an instrument in a nurturing environment with a lot of support from peers and teachers. Beginning in middle school will cut that support. Those students who feel overwhelmed will drop out more frequently, assuming they even choose to be vulnerable in trying something new in the first place.
Our 5th grade programs provide a solid support for learning in all subjects (music literacy has been found to boost scores in reading and math) and we offer books and instruments for use, free of charge, to students and families who can’t afford them on their own. Our accessible programs are assisting in “closing the gap” and if you remove the program you will see a change in the way students succeed academically in 5th grade.

I am proud of the work I do with these students and I hope the district can think twice about removing a program that has benefits that last far into the future.

Maleah Nicholson
6813 Townsend Ln, Bremerton, WA
As a current seventh grader at Fairview Middle School, orchestra has become part of my life. I started in fifth grade and learned the basics, to read music and learned to love an instrument. It was a right of passage as a fifth grader in elementary to get to have orchestra or band since we don’t have camp or outdoor school or anything like that, it was what we looked forward to. I am positive that if I went into middle school without playing and the integration that we did with the middle school that I would have never been a part of it. Going into middle school is stressful and starting an instrument when you’re already nervous is something that many won’t do. Right now I am very proud of our group of musicians and the program will not be as successful if it starts in middle school. Our teachers are super dedicated to their jobs and work so hard to get us to where we are in our playing that this isn’t fair to anyone. I hope that you can reconsider for the students, staff and future of our districts music programs. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Maleah Nicholson
Former PineCrest current Fairview 7th grader

Kaylee Ludwig
5th grade music was the savior of my childhood. It kept me engaged in school by integrating even my least favorite topics into my favorite thing: music. Without 5th grade music starting that fire I never would’ve dedicated time past that point. I chose to take a foreign language starting in middle school, meaning I needed to pay for summer school PE. Without learning my passion and seeing first-hand the effects that music can have on a child, who’s to say my parents would’ve bet that Sumer school money on me sticking to an instrument all school year? My life is defined by my identity, and a huge part of that is music. It kept me away from the darker parts of kitsap county, and even took me out of the country later in highschool because I stuck with something I had started so long ago, during such a formative time. Taking away music is not a delay in opportunity for these children, it will have dire community effects that one can only begin to predict. Make the decision to invest in our youth. Think long and hard about EVERY angle that will have ramifications if you go through with this decision. Make it work for the kids . There is always a way. #cksdmusicmatters

Tyler Nicholson
6813 Townsend Ln NE, Bremerton, WA
5th grade band/orchestra is important to establish music and instrument basics before entering middle school. The Band and Orchestra teachers for the grade school were very experienced and did a great job teaching students an appreciation for music. Cutting this will considerably hamper the middle school teacher from advancing the skills and love for music. Music is something that needs to be taught at as young of an age as possible and opens children’s minds and allows them to learn other skills with greater ease. It is not something that can be pushed further and further along in the educational system. There are students that excel at band and orchestra that haven’t excelled before and this helps them in loving other parts of school. #CKMusicMatters

Alicia Rodenko
16126 Bay Ridge Dr NW
Music education is an important part of many children’s education. The CK school district has been a beacon in this area for providing quality music education beginning in elementary school. That program draws students from other districts and is used by this district to raise financial and community support, but is the first on the cutting block.

Cutting fifth grade instrumental music means that students will have to make the choice to commit financially to an instrument when they only have one elective in sixth grade. This will lead to students dropping out of the program before they’ve even begun, an effect that will trickle upward into the secondary program. Students will not have that year to try new instruments, create a connection with their instrument, create a love for instrumental music.

Looking at many of the top students in our district, they are music students. Higher level programs are looking for students who have had musical experience, as it creates a well-rounded individual. It shows dedication. Where is that dedication from the district?

Financially, the cut makes very little sense. When money is poured into math curriculum, sports, and other areas, what is the saving of $250,000 for such an important program saying to your community? I urge you to make the right choice and save 5th grade instrumental music!

Patti Hesson
246 Weatherstone Ln M104, Bremerton, WA
#ckmusicmatters My son attended all 3 schools, and participated in the Music program starting in 5th grade. Between Me C, and Mr Faxon my son was inspired to continue with music, as well as his studies. As an IEP student, music was an outlet, something he could feel good about and be proud to be a part of. Without Music, I truly believe he may have been a drop out. Starting music early is so important to our students. welfare and well-being, being apart of a family in school, and out! Please reconsider 5th grade band it is so important to so many students. Is it really worth the risk to our young people to take it away from them? I don't think so. #ckmusicmatters#dontgiveuponourkids

James Hunt
2417 19th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA
Dear Board Members,
It has come to my attention that you are considering cutting the 5th grade band and orchestra programs next year. Please reconsider. Cutting the beginning program for even one year will have a ripple effect on the program for a minimum of 7 years and most likely a decade. I have seen this many times in the past and I have seen some programs never fully recover (Federal Way) and others admit that it was a mistake and add the beginning program back (North Thurston, Puyallup) only after seeing that is was a very bad decision. I liken it to chopping off a trees roots. You do not see it for while, but eventually it kills the tree. As a long time beginning band and high school band instructor I can only tell you from experience that this will have an impact far beyond whatever you might currently believe. Please do not take this step.
Thanks,
Jim Hunt

Peggy Manchester
2514 Sheridan Rd
Why music? Music is science. Music is mathematical. Music is a foreign language. Music is history. Music is physical education. Music develops insight and demands research. Music is all of these things but mostly music is art.