A Maryvale Middle School parent has grown tired of seeing a lack of consistency in school programs such as music, art, and health and is now taking a stand.
“These programs help build character and they provide outlets of learning that the classroom alone cannot provide and it’s important these programs remain consistent throughout the year,” said Julianne Renczkowski, parent.
Renczkowski stood before the Maryvale School Board Monday evening in an effort to make parents aware of the various issues at hand. She explained -that the state has established perimeters that only require students to receive 20 weeks of certain exploratory courses.
Therefore, if a child has music in 6th grade, they will not be exposed to it again until they attend high school. By this time, the child is liable to forget what he or she learned in the course and will have to start from scratch. Renczkowski finds this to be unacceptable and would like to see change happen, before it is too late.
“I think we need to address the state because this is a state change from what I’ve heard,” she said. “This just isn’t fair to our children.”
She further explained that programs, such as art, might be the only outlets for children that do not excel in their basic courses. Exploratory courses are said to help with eye-hand coordination, problem solving skills, and multi-tasking abilities.
Although the state has mandated this requirement, Renczkowski still believes the school board has the power to set a curriculum that would keep the students best interests in mind. President of the Maryvale School Board, Margaret Bourdette stated the district meets all mandates required by NYS, but the board will take the concern under advisement.
Maryvale School Board Superintendent Deborah Ziolkowski also wanted parents to know that the new scheduling was not done as a cost-savings measure. Although there is an art teacher retiring from the middle school, the program is not being cut.
Renczkowski is in the process of writing a letter to the state to find out what she needs to do to move further with her cause.
“It is our job as parents and educators to do what is best for the children. We strongly recommend we work in a collaborative way to keep these programs viable to raise well rounded, successful, life long learners,” she said.
The Maryvale School District also adopted their budget proposal for the 2014-2015 school year. The $36.4 million budget is still below the tax cap levy and would raise school taxes to 3.54 percent. Since the district is under the tax cap, the budget only needs one vote above 50 percent to pass.