Salisbury Township School District’s music programs have been on life support for the past few years, with extremely low enrollment numbers for band, chorus and music classes, but now the programs have come back from the brink of death.
School officials gave the school directors encouraging news Monday: enrollment numbers for district music programs have gone up across the board.
Enrollment in the high school band jumped from only eight students this year to 24 students for the 2011-12 school year, said Salisbury High School Assistant Principal Bill Dovico. And 80 students signed up for chorus for the upcoming school year, he said.
Enrollment in music classes has also increased dramatically, with more students choosing them as alternate electives. Introduction to keyboarding and piano has expanded from two to four sections.
Salisbury Middle School's enrollment in music programs has increased: 52 students enrolled in concert band, 24 students in jazz band and 61 students in chorus, according to Assistant Principal Ken Parliman.
A team of administrators, music teachers and guidance counselors have been studying the challenges the district faces and strategies they can use to overcome them to improve music enrollment.
They identified some of the challenges as staffing and administration changes, scheduling, the district's small size and the transition of ninth grade students from the middle school to the high school next year.
They said the new schedule at the high school will give students more opportunity to take music elective courses.