Lawrence school board honored for music programs

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Acknowledging the Lawrence Township Public Schools’ commitment to music in the schools, the New Jersey Music Educators Association will present the Lawrence Township Public Schools Board of Education with its 2020 Outstanding School Board Award.

School district officials will pick up the award at the New Jersey Music Educators Association’s state professional development conference in Atlantic City on Feb. 21. The award, which is given in recognition of the school board’s support for music education, will be be presented during the group’s general session.

In its letter notifying school district officials of the award, the New Jersey Music Educators Association wrote that it “takes great pride in recognizing individuals that have made significant contributions to music education, both within the confines of their school district and beyond.”

“The strength of the application presented by the music teachers of your district was compelling,” the letter said. Parents also contributed to the application.

Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun said he was “thrilled” that the school board is receiving recognition from the music educators’ association.

“Even in tough budgetary times, our school board acknowledges the benefits of music in its many forms for our students, and it finds a way to fund our comprehensive programs,” Kasun said.

The school board supports a comprehensive music education program, beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade at Lawrence High School.

The music program begins in earnest in the fourth grade at the Lawrence Intermediate School. Students can choose to begin to learn a band or orchestra instrument. They may also join the chorus.

Select music ensembles start in the fifth grade. They include chamber strings, jazz band and pitch black, which is a select chorus.

At Lawrence High School, students may join the marching band or the color guard. The Red Scare marching band and the color guard recently received new uniforms and have begun to participate in competitions, school district officials said.

The school board includes money for new instruments, new sheet music and supplies for the seven schools – the four elementary schools and the Lawrence Intermediate School, the Lawrence Middle School and Lawrence High School.

The school board shows its support for the music teachers by approving their attendance at out-of-district professional development seminars and programs.

School board members also show their support for the music programs by attending student musical performances.