The Hillsborough County Public School District was recently honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. HCPS is one of 4% of districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2017.
“This is an incredible testimonial of the dedication of our music teachers, administrators and School Board members who provide vast and varied opportunities to support students as they develop their musical skills,” said Ted Hope, the supervisor of secondary music.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, HCPS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
HCPS is the eighth largest school system in the nation, educating more than 211,000 students. Hillsborough County is also host to the Florida Music Educator’s Professional Development Conference, one of the largest music education professional development events in the United States drawing more than 10,000 attendees including teachers, school administrators, K-12 students and their parents the opportunity to collaborate with our music educators.
This award recognizes that HCPS is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, and awaiting state implementation designates music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children.
In a series of landmark studies by researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. HCPS’s tenacious effort to improve graduation rates are specifically outlined in the district’s 5-year strategic plan with a goal of 90BY20, meaning having a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020.
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by The National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. Its mission is to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please www.nammfoundation.org.