Nanaimo school trustees ask for plan to enhance music programs

NANAIMO – School board gives staff five years to standardize music facilities.

The Nanaimo school board has requested staff develop an enhanced program for music in elementary schools.

Trustees approved the business committee recommendation at their Nov. 26 board meeting and it could include new construction or alterations at schools, subject to money being available.

The setup of music programs at primary schools had been discussed at several teacher-trustee liaison committee meetings, said Jamie Brennan, trustee and business committee chairman.

He said the physical layout of music programs varies. Some schools offer them in multi-purpose rooms, while others in classrooms or portables.

“There are a couple of issues. One is the programs themselves. The board would like to see music programs enhanced. We used to have elementary band in most of our schools and now it’s kind of here and there. Also, we’d like to make sure that the physical plans, the facilities, are capable of housing a music program and dealing with the increase in noise generated.

“So that may require some new build, it may require some renovations and some sort of alteration of the schools and some of the rooms. So we’ve given [staff] five years in which to bring that up to speed,” said Brennan.

While work will be dependent on funding, Brennan said there is money in the school district’s capital fund to accommodate any alterations.

He said the board of trustees will check in with staff periodically to see how the initiative is progressing.