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DDTwo: One of the Best Communities for Music Ed
Dorchester School District Two has been named as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education,” by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for its outstanding commitment to music education. In its 22nd year, this awards program recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders who have made music education an integral part of a child’s education. Designations are given to districts that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and consistent access to music education. Dorchester School District Two also received this national award in 2018.
Through a rigorous application process for the Best Communities designation, Dorchester School District Two answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“The recognition of being named as a Best Community for Music Education spotlights the excellent work of our teachers,” states district Director of Fine Arts Jason Walsh. “The outstanding support of our Superintendent and School Board provides a quality culture where the fine arts are an integral part of students’ education experience. To be able to achieve this distinction with all of the challenges of the pandemic is a testament to their commitment to students,” says Walsh.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, researchers have found that students who are involved in music are more likely to graduate from high school, and to attend college as well.
Dorchester District Two schools offer fine arts courses in all schools that include choral music, orchestra, strings, band, piano, steel drums, theater, dance, visual arts, and other core art areas. The school district’s fine arts programs have garnered a number of state and national awards over the years in recognition of the innovative art education offered in district schools. The national Kennedy Center Creative Ticket Award was presented on three separate occasions to Rollings Middle School of the Arts, Windsor Hill Arts Infused Elementary, and Dorchester School District Two for their quality fine arts programs. In addition, the school district received an Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education that totaled $1.8 million over four years to develop and implement a K-8 curriculum that integrated the National Core Arts Standards into the state standards for ELA and math.