Rogers: Orchestra will remain at all middle school campuses

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Downing Middle School Orchestra Teacher Bethany Hardwick helps a student.

Orchestra will remain at all middle school campuses for the 2020-21 school year, according to a notice sent out on Friday from Lewisville Independent School District Superintendent Kevin Rogers, in response to parents’ concerns about the district’s decision to close three LISD middle school orchestras.

Rogers’ announcement is as follows:

“On the recommendation of Fine Arts Director Amanda Drinkwater, LISD leadership has decided to reevaluate the proposed changes to the program. We believe more time is necessary to determine the best course of action. 

In short – orchestra will remain at all middle school campuses for the 2020-21 school year. 

Board meeting
Because the district is taking no action at this time, there will be no discussion of orchestra at an upcoming board meeting. It is possible the topic could be added to a future agenda to provide the Board with an update. If this occurs, the date and time will be communicated to all current orchestra families. 

What does this mean for current fifth-grade students?
Current fifth-graders who want to participate in orchestra will attend their zoned middle school unless parents wish to pursue a transfer as part of the district’s open transfer policy. 

Dr. Kevin Rogers, Superintendent, Lewisville Independent School District

How did we get here?
I want to be very clear – the reasons we considered selected sites for orchestra consolidation still remain valid in my opinion. However, after hearing concerns from parents, students, and staff, we believe it is in the best interest of our students – which is ALWAYS our focus – to further examine orchestra in LISD. 

How do we move forward from here? 
It has been my experience that engaging in meaningful dialogue can result in a win-win for all involved, and certainly creates the opportunity for a deeper understanding of the issue. We will continue to examine this topic from all angles and will keep you informed on our progress. We will share additional information on how you can be involved prior to any decision being made. I am grateful the LISD Board and administration proudly supports all programs. 

Thank you!
Finally, I want to say thank you for your passionate advocacy for music education in LISD. I believe people can respectfully disagree on the best path forward, but I will always encourage our students and parents to share your thoughts on any topic that is important to you. Our district is at its best when we come together to provide the best possible educational opportunities for our students. Our schools are the cornerstones of the communities we serve, and I am proud to partner with you.”

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