Music Teachers Resign over Dist. 2 Changes
Kmitch, Justin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Justin Kmitch Daily Herald Staff Writer
Not wanting to see "nearly a decade of work unraveled," two leaders of Bensenville Elementary District 2's instrumental music program are leaving to take jobs outside the district.
Band program director Stacey Larsen and assistant director Jennifer Kuhn both said they decided in May to leave the school system.
That's when District 2 approved a revised schedule for this fall that will remove band classes from the regular curriculum and move them to before and after school for sixth- through eighth-graders at Blackhawk Middle School.
"I guess I can only speak for myself. But I would not have had any interest in looking for new jobs if the district wouldn't have approved these changes," said Larsen, a nine-year district veteran who worries her efforts are being "unraveled."
Kuhn, who spent seven years teaching in District 2, said her decision was also spurred by the schedule changes.
Superintendent William Jordan has called the reorganization necessary for the district to respond to lagging standardized test scores in reading and math and to eliminate some congestion at Blackhawk during the school day.
Moving the band program to before and after school, he said, will allow the district to increase the time students spend on math and reading during regular school hours.
"It's unfortunate the administration has seen it necessary to raise the test scores and essentially remove the music program," Larsen said.
"When I teach my students, I believe in quality over quantity, and I believe removing the fine arts from the school day diminishes the curriculum," she said. "That's not something I want to be associated with."
Kuhn said she spent years watching the band program grow "larger and better every year. …