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McMurray Elementary Makes Changes to Music Program

New Schedule for McMurray Students for 2014-15Dear McMurray Parents: 

As we continually work to achieve our goal of providing an outstanding educational foundation for our students, we constantly evaluate our procedures and look for ways to improve our instructional delivery. Looking ahead to the 2014-2015 school year, McMurray students and staff follow a new improved schedule that increases our daily time allotted to the vital core subjects –English/Language Arts, math, social studies and science – and maintains time for our valued arts programs. 

Among the positive changes that you will note are: 
  • Switching from a 6 day schedule to a 5 day schedule rotation
  • School will begin at 8:55 a.m. daily (5 minutes earlier) making all classroom periods 39 or 40 minutes in length
  • Student instrument lessons will no longer take place during core classes, but will still take place during the school day
  • Spanish will become part of the Specials rotation in 4th and 5th grade (along with Art, Music and Phys Ed)
  • 6th graders will receive 2 days of World Language every 5 days

The changes were made based on feedback from staff and parents, and reflect instructional needs, not finances. There are no reductions in staff at McMurray with this new schedule. The additional instructional time will be beneficial not only in the depth of instruction, but it will provide more opportunities to integrate projects across content areas. 

These changes were made while maintaining all current opportunities offered to McMurray students. Student instrument lessons will be longer than in the past, and will now take place once every five days, instead of once every six days. In order to achieve our focus on the core classes without losing programs, chorus for grades 4, 5 and 6 will meet once each week after school and, 6th grade Ensemble Band and Orchestra will now be offered after school twice each week.The schedule for these after school sessions will be set at the beginning of each semester so that parents may plan and make any necessary transportation arrangements. 

More detail on these changes was provided at the McMurray PTA Meeting on Tuesday, April 15 at 9:15 a.m. in the LGI. The presentation from that meeting is below for your reference. If you have questions regarding the new schedule, please contact me at your convenience. 

Message Found on School Website -- I see this as a total disregard to the school program.  I did not hear about this until it was leaked by a disgruntled parent.  No where does it mention the 4th and 5th grade band program.  This will deplete the amount of students available to participate if it is moved to after school.  The problem will trickle up to the high school as numbers will become lower in the activities.  I am disappointed that Peters Township holds our arts program in such low regard.

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