Music Students receive BOE Recognition - March 2018

Ballston Spa Honors 88 Students during “Music in Our Schools” Month

BALLSTON SPA – “We’ve come along way from hot cross buns,” said Ballston Spa High School Music Director Tracy DeRagon.

And to prove it, the school district is taking part in “Music in Our Schools Month“, an annual program that recognizes promotes the importance of music education during March nationwide.

Eighty-eight students were honored to begin Tuesday’s Ballston Spa Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 6, with a certificate for those who participated in All County, Suburban Council and Area All State Music Festivals.

This past week was “Music Spirit Week”, which included “Rainbow” and “Dress Like a Music Teacher Day”; DeRagon expressed feigned concern at the latter. On Saturday, March 10, the High School will host their High School Pops Concert, which includes performances by the Jazz Band, (regular) Band, Orchestra, and Choir. It’s a major fundraiser for senior music scholarships, and attendees will also be able to buy Ballston Spa music apparel; last year they raised over $2,000.  A complete list of the agenda for Ballston Spa’s “Music in Our Schools” festivities can be found here.

“I cant tell you how thrilled I am to be head of this department,” DeRagon said. “We are so supportive of our kids, I see that (many) schools in the county are struggling to support their music programs, and we do not have that problem in Ballston Spa.”

After students received their certificates and took a group photo, the BSCSD Board of Education clerk, Brian Sirianni, gave a budget report and updated the board on the status of the search for a new superintendent. Schaefer presented the school district’s long term financial plan; overall, the main concern was that pilot payments from Global Foundries will continue to decrease, leading to expenses exceeding revenue by the early part of the next decade.

However, Sirianni assured the board that there were funds in reserve and “we are ready” for decreases in revenue. Some solutions he suggested was to look at potential future staffing realignment and “developing efficiencies” for Special Education.

The Board was scheduled to meet with advisory groups to get their feedback on the final four candidates to be the next BSCSD Superintendent. On the evenings of March 12 and 13, the two semifinalists will give final presentations to the community, after a day of on-site meetings.

To conclude the evening, representatives from the student council reminded the board that students were planning to stage a protest on the morning of March 14–a 17-minute walk-out in remembrance of the students who were murdered in the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last month.

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The student council issued a statement, saying that “We as a united front are organizing this event in order to advocate for stronger gun regulation, as well as gun reform, which includes no longer allowing weapons used in war to be in the hands of civilians, as well as making it harder to acquire a gun. The event taking place on the 14th of March is in no way calling for a complete ban on all guns, any indication that these are our intentions is simply false.”

The BSCSD Board of Education President, Kevin Schaefer, praised the student council for organizing the protest “by the book” and it was “entirely the right way to do it.”

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