The Beacon City School District was busy this summer. According to Beacon's Superintendent Matthew Landahl, the Beacon City School District was awarded a $400,000 grant from the New York State Education Department to "expand the instrumental music program and to offer an additional world language program at the secondary level" said Dr. Landahl. Parent involvment influenced the results of this grant. “Both aspects of this grant were deeply influenced by community input through either surveys or community conversations that took place last year,” confirmed Dr. Landahl.
The grant money will be implemented over the next two school years, and will pay for:
instructional staff salaries
materials and supplies
professional development to both expand the instrumental music program and to begin an additional world language program.
Music Program Expanded for 4th Graders
Third grade students receive a special musical experience called The Calico Ball, courtesy of the Beacon Arts and Education Fund (BAEF) which was innitiated by Pete Seeger years ago. This dance residency is for every 3rd grader in the Beacon City Public School District. After weeks of practice, a performance happens in the Beacon High School at the end of the school year.
This newest grant provides an easier continuation of music to the 4th grade. According to Dr. Landahl: “The music portion of the grant will allow us to expand our instrumental music program into the 4th grade this year. We are working on hiring the teacher and the 4th grade program will be in place later this fall. The grant pays for the teacher's salary for a year and all of the materials, supplies, and most important instruments to get the program going.”
Mandarin Might Be Coming To Beacon Schools
Beacon currently offers Spanish as a world language that is taught in school. This grant will bring Mandarin closer to the classroom. “The grant is for us to offer Mandarin in the 2019-2020 school year. A key part of the grant is that it allows us to explore the best ways to do this for a year before we implement the following year. If we are not able to offer Mandarin, we will explore offering a different language. The grant pays for a year of a teacher's salary and all of the materials and supplies to get the new program going.”
Dr. Landahl gave a special thanks to Assistant Superintendent Cecilia Dansereau-Rumley for "heading up the effort," according to his article on the Beacon City School District's website.
The grant was part of a larger one totaling $28.5 million, awarded to 38 school districts across New York State as part of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment federal grant program. Read more about that here.