What was the rubric process like for your team?
It was a bit challenging for us to get everyone together in the same room due to some family issues that were taking place, as well as the later part of the school year. Therefore, we had to do quite a bit of it in isolation and then try to bring the component parts together. This helped to provide opportunity for some individual reflection, but then we missed out on some of the conversation and dialogue that can exist as you collectively reflect. From the school’s side, Dana Demant (classroom teacher), Jeff Fuller (principal), and Kirsten Woodward (parent of a student in the music program and teacher within the building) reflected—sometime spent individually and some together. From the Shedd’s side, Ginevra Ralph, Jim Ralph, and Heidi Turnquist were involved in their reflection.
As was mentioned, much of this process was not done with everyone at the table; however, when we did bring some of us together, there was mostly agreement among team members about where we were and areas that we could continue to work. No major differences came out of the process.
Did filling out the rubric help you reflect on your project’s progress?
It definitely was helpful to see the progress that we have made. A couple of main insights—we were reminded about how vast and wide our goals had been originally. We had the best of intentions, yet had a fairly open goal of bringing access to music to all of our community. As we have narrowed our focus a bit—really focusing on instrumental coaching during the school day and opportunities during the school day for all of our students to experience music appreciation—we have found much more success. We also realized how “normal” and integral this program is to our school community now. This is simply how we teach music and I believe is how our students expect to learn music.
Our main area for improvement and added attention is truly around future funding for this project. If it has become the standard for how we need to teach our band and orchestra classes, how do we go about procuring funding for it to continue to make it happen after year five. Do we continue to look for additional grants to make it possible? Do we look at increasing the fees for band and orchestra classes to try to bridge that gap?
What feedback do you have about the rubric or the pilot process?
The rubric is good and seems to place the right amount of value on the things that we have identified as being the most important through this pilot process. It would have been helpful to have the rubric in advance so that you know what you are looking for and striving to accomplish. Of course, that wasn’t possible, but hopefully it will be helpful for other programs that are looking to accomplish this in the future as well as a recalibration for us as we continue on.