Both sides air concerns on CCS music assignment issue

    For vocal music director Randy Hayes, it’s a matter of what’s best for students.
    For the Chase County Schools’ administration, it’s a budget issue that a teacher be instructing seven full periods of class, as well as utilizing that teacher’s talents to their fullest.
    Coming to an agreement, however, on how those two scenarios play out in CCS teaching schedules may not have been totally resolved after hours of discussion at the May and June school board meetings.
    At last week’s meeting, Hayes asked the school board members to reverse the administration’s scheduling decisions for 2017-18, which had him teaching both band and choir in grades 9-12. Band instruction would have been a new class for him at the high school level.
    In turn, music teacher Agnes Strand would teach both band and choir in grades 5-8, which would have given her the grade 7-8 choir programs for the first time at CCS.
    In the end, Supt. Joey Lefdal said he was backing away from the schedule changes proposed for next year for both Hayes and Strand, “because it’s not worth my fight.”
    Board members noted that Strand, who sent a letter to them, was supportive of the changes for next year.
    About 15 patrons were present for last week’s meeting, most in support of Hayes remaining as the sole vocal music teacher in grades 7-12.
    Hayes said the music programs at CCS would become mediocre if the administration’s schedule changes remained in place.
    He distributed two pages of background on contest superiors won by his music students, noting the importance of one-on-one contact with students for contest entries.
    He also questioned the effect having a teacher (Strand) who hadn’t taught junior high choir before would have on the foundation-building for high school.
    While Hayes will keep his 7-12 vocal music choir and show choir programs, it was unclear at the June 13 meeting what else he will be teaching in the 2017-18 school year.
    That’s because the entire schedule will have to be reworked, both Lefdal and 7-12 Principal Chad Scheel said.

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