Canton to mull orchestra future
The finance committee of the Canton Area School Board will meet this week to discuss the feasibility of keeping the orchestra program.
The committee will meet at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in the administrative conference room, according to district business manager Mark Jannone.
A string instrument and orchestra phase-out plan hit a discordant note at the last school board meeting.
The proposal was tabled after many people, mostly students, spoke out against the plan.
At the meeting, school board member Judy Sourbeer made the motion to table the decision.
"You all know I'm for the kids," she said.
She wanted it tabled until the board could look into the matter further.
According to the district, teacher Diana Bailey submitted the three-year phase-out plan
At the end of three years, under the plan, any student who has not learned to play a traditional band instrument would "play his/her string instrument in the band or elsewhere in the community."
The district once employed two teachers, one to teach band and one to teach orchestra, and when the orchestra teacher retired, the position wasn't replaced, in order to save money. Since then, Bailey has been teaching both band and orchestra, but she is no longer willing to teach orchestra, because she states that there aren't enough hours in the workday for her to teach both programs.
"If I could be cloned, it would be fine," she said at the meeting.
During the public comment period, several people spoke in support of the orchestra program.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: email@example.com.