Parent asks Valley Grove to invest more in musical program

Valley Grove School Board members heard from parent Jill Harry at their meeting this week, and she encouraged the school district to invest more into its musical program and positions.

Harry said that investing in the program could attract more people who want to be involved with the musical and would help students to view it as a year-long process instead of just for a short period of time.

To have students view it as a year-round program, Harry said the district should treat the music program the way it treats its basketball program, for example, in which the coaches know the players, which helps them know what positions to put the athletes in.

In similar terms, if the musical crew knows the students prior to the auditions in December, they can anticipate where the students’ talents are, which would help them pick the shows, Harry said.

“Getting kids involved in things like that requires almost a year-round philosophy in terms of getting (the students) prepared,” Harry said Wednesday. She also mentioned that getting to know the kids before the December auditions would add to helping them view it as a year-round program.

The basketball program and musical usually start around the same time and have a similar duration, Harry said.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Harry pointed out there were only 13 Rocky Grove students in this year’s musical, which is less than in previous years.

This past year, the school had brought in a main director “who didn’t know the students at all, which wasn’t working because she didn’t know what the students were capable of,” Harry said Wednesday.

“Let’s figure out a way to do it better next year and make improvements,” she told the board Monday.

School board president Brandon Winger said the district will continue to support the musical program the best it can.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the board discussed the amount of field trips that have been requested lately.

Several school board members expressed their concern about the number of field trip requests listed on Monday’s agenda and on previous agendas.

Board members said they would prefer to have field trips for an upcoming school year approved over the summer or, at the very latest, October of that school year.

They said this is due to the board wanting to control the costs of field trips and wanting to minimize the time students are out of the classroom.

Board members also said they want to make sure that when students leave the classroom for a field trip, it’s for an educational reason.

None of the field trips on Monday’s agenda were approved as that action will take place at next week’s meeting.