Every year, school administrators are faced with tough decisions. One of the hardest is balancing the rising cost of educating children with the declining budget. I disagree with the decisions being made at Rim Country Middle school affecting the Chorus and Art classes. While learning a new language and offering ISS (in school suspension) are of value, I do not believe they should be offered at the expense of existing, successful programs already in place during the school day. Cutting chorus and art has very little to do with the budget and everything to do with Mr. Larby's opinion of what is an effective education for children today.
I had never sung in a chorus until I was a junior in high school. That choir experience taught me to work as part of a team, built my self-confidence through performance experiences, and showed me what a selfless gift music is. Because of a junior high chorus teacher, I discovered a joy that has never left my life. Thirty-one years later I still sing, in a Praise Band, in Payson Choral Society, and everyday in my classroom.
I had Spanish in both junior and senior high school. While I do not use Spanish daily, I do remember one phrase, "Mas valle tarde que nunca," "Better late than never." Mr. Larby and Mr. Weissenfels, do not wait until it is too late.
Please work to keep chorus in the school day. Consider the long term effects this program has in students' lives and in the future of our community. If staff, parents, and administrators work together chorus and art can remain in the school day. Let Rim country voices be heard. Do not allow this positive experience in the lives of kids to be silenced.
We share ourselves when we share our song and our art.
Daria Mason, Fine arts educator