A chorus of decisions faces the Cannon County Board of Education when it gathers Thursday night for it's regular monthly meeting at Woodbury Grammar School, beginning at 5 p.m.
The board will discuss a wide range of items, ranging from purchasing new instruments for the school system's music program to the establishment of a Virtual Enterprise Class at Cannon County High School.
CCHS music instructor and band director Steven Porter will bring three matters to the board for consideration. Topping his list will be a request for the school system to finance the purchase of three instruments, with a total price tag of nearly $10,000.
The instruments Porter is seeking include a timpani ($5371.99), a tuba ($1,829 new or 1,463.20 used) and a saxophone ($2829.00).
"The entire Instrumental Music Program in Cannon County will benefit from these instruments, not merely the High School," Porter said. "There are many aspects of Instrumental Music that are not known to the 'general public' because of the lack of emphasis on Instrumental Music."
Porter said some of the opportunities include, but are not limited to:
• Small Ensemble (e.g. Brass Quartet, Saxophone Quartet, Indoor Drumline)
• Mid-State Concert Assessment (Concert Band, Spring Semester)
• Solo and Ensemble Assessment (This assesses the individual performance of students)
• Jazz Band (All year)
• Marching Band (July-end of Football)
• Honor Bands
• Mid-State (this is an audition to find the best players in Middle Tennessee grades 7-9 and 10-12)
• All State (if a student makes Mid-State, that student will have the opportunity to audition for All State)
• Music Scholarship to college (the amount varies depending on the school) Generally, the Mid-State audition can be used to satisfy the requirements for this
• Awards and Accolades for Cannon County for participating in previously mentioned events/opportunities
"I am asking for help in getting the right tools in the hands of the students that use them. The total amount would be $9664.19. Shipping is free."
Porter says studies show music enrichment programs can boost overall student performance.
In another music education-related item, Porter will give the board an overview of the high school’s new recording project.
"We are converting one of the practice rooms in the band room to a recording studio available to the public and Cannon County High School students," Porter said. "This combines English, Foreign Language, Science, and Music with cross-curricular activities such as, but not limited to: visual understanding of sound waves/acoustics of sound; translating lyrics; putting music to prose/poetry written by students.
Porter says the project was discussed and planned at the beginning of the school year to accommodate “Project Based Learning.”
The equipment has been purchased with a grant from Cannon County Youth Dream.
"In addition, this gives Guitar Class an opportunity to experience the process of recording giving a hands-on approach," Porter said.
Also on Porter’s agenda will be a request to send a letter to businesses in Cannon County seeking their support for the annual Cannon County Fine Arts Festival 2010.
County’s Fine Arts Festival will be Tuesday, March 16, 2010. The Festival will include students from all seven schools in Cannon County (Auburn, East Side, Woodbury Grammar, Woodland, Westside and Short Mountain).
Porter says art teachers are collecting works and projects from their students to go on display in the Robert A. Harris Gym at Cannon County High School. There will be three judges to award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, as well as “Honorable Mention,” in the following category grades: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Some Grade Categories will have subheadings like: Computer Graphics, Ceramics, 2-D Art, 3-D Art, Drawing, Water Colors.
“We have 82 students involved with the Instrumental Music Program in Cannon County in grades 6th-12th. Instrumental students in grades 6th-12th will participate in a Master’s Class from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at Cannon County High School,” Porter said. “This is a class that is specific to their instrument/voice and focuses on fundamentals, technique, and practice methods.
“We have 28 students in the High School Chorus that will be attending a Vocal Master Class at the Arts Center of Cannon County. All of this culminates with a concert Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Robert A. Harris Gym.”
Porter is asking businesses for any help that is available. All proceeds/donations go to the Fine Arts Festival. The money will be used for prizes for the Arts Awards (Gifts from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.); Fees for the Clinicians, and Lunch provided for the students and Clinicians. The Clinicians are members of University Faculty, Recording/Session players, and/or Touring/Professional players.
All donations are tax deductible.
Also on the board’s agenda for Thursday:
• Further discussion and action on a proposal by Schnieder Electric Company to conduct an Energy Analysis Report for the school system. If the board agrees to have the report done, at a cost of roughly $45,000, and then moves ahead with the company’s plans, Schneider will act as a contractor and will bring in sub-contractors to do certain repairs to the different schools to make them come into compliance with what the company says will save the school system and county money. They will have their engineers come in to inspect the buildings, and then draft a plan to save that particular building money on electrical usage.
Schnieder Electric representatives have attributed the County's above average energy consumption to antiquated equipment and lack of funding to upgrade.
Schnieder's proposal includes a savings guarantee, with both the total cost of the new system and the projected savings each falling somewhere between $900k and $1.2 million, so the system essentially pays for itself over a 15-year period.
If the school system does not take the project the system will have to pay the amount. If the system does take on the project the money will be absorbed into the total loan. Schneider will make the application for the initial grant which would pay for the initial inspection and they will be there to help attain other grants for the schools for this project.
After the initial inspection Schneider will show the county how much they will save each year on power bills. Snhneider will guarantee 85% of the yearly loan payment to the lending organization; and if the savings fall short of their projection the company will write a check in an amount that would bring the amount up to their prediction.
If the board decides Thursday to sign on to the project, it will then have to make a request to the county commission to take out a loan for the study since the school system cannot borrow money.
• Hear from CCHS teacher Crystal Foster, who is planning on offering a Virtual Enterprises course at the school beginning on the Fall, and is working on a grant to purchase materials and equipment for the class. The board would need to approve the grant application before it is submitted.
Virtual Enterprises (VE) is a simulated business that is set up and run by students with the guidance of a teacher/facilitator and a business partner. This program allows students to experience all facets of being an employee in a firm in an actual business environment.
Students are involved in every aspect of a running a business, including human resources, accounting, product development, production, distribution, marketing and sales, and they engage in trade with other practice firms (VEs) around the world. This simulation enables students to understand how employees, workgroup teams, and departments interact with each other and work together for the goal of the company. In addition, the simulation conveys the expectations of the workplace.
The Virtual Enterprise is a comprehensive and student-oriented approach towards teaching and learning that provides practical and task-oriented instruction in a real-world environment. With communication links to nearly 3,000 VE firms around the world, the program exposes students to different cultures, business practices and currencies and gives students a broader international perspective.
Students engage in hands-on applications, problem solving, and written and verbal communication. In addition, students learn about a variety of careers associated with business, acquire global economic knowledge, and use technology as applied in business.
By combining a rigorous curriculum with hands-on application of many academic skills, VE aims to prepare students for both careers and college. The task-based curriculum includes a strong academic component focused on writing, speaking, math and technology skills. The program seeks to motivate students by setting high expectations and showing them the relevance of their education.
• Consider a request for a field trip to MTSU by 20 Cannon County students by Debbie Frisby, Coordinator and Cannon/Warren County Student Advisor for the METS program at MTSU.
METS stands for MTSU Educational Talent Search and is an educational enhancement program funded my the U.S. Department of Education. It is a component of MTSU and serves 6th through 12th grade students in Cannon, Coffee, Grundy and Warren counties. It guides students through the financial aid process by helping them locate local, state and federal monies while motivating them to set and pursue achievable career and educational goals.
Along with educational and financial aid counseling, METS provides participants with many opportunities to attend field trips to Tennessee colleges and area businesses, thus helping them explore a variety of options. METS advisors inspire participants to invest in their futures and achieve their fullest potential.
More than 95 percent of students who participate in METS graduate from high school, and 79 percent go to college. More than 65 percent receive financial aid and/or scholarships to attend college.
• Consider approval of the 2009-2010 CCHS Prom Rules. The CCHS Prom will be held Saturday, April 10, 2010 at Stones River Country Club in Murfreesboro. The updated rules the board will review are as follows:
1. Only eligible Juniors and Seniors attending CCHS may attend the prom.
2. In order to be eligible to attend the prom, all school debts must be paid in full prior to purchasing a ticket.
3. Students who have been placed in Lion Academy during the school year may not attend prom.
4. Students who have zero tolerance type offenses committed during the school year may not attend prom.
5. Students must be passing at least four subjects at the semester break to be eligible to attend prom.
6. The deadline for purchasing a prom ticket will be March 10, or two days after we return to school should the deadline be a snow day.
7. The principal/prom committee may deny any student the right to attend prom after their ticket has been purchased if a serious behavior incident occurs. Prom ticket will not be refunded in this case.
8. Students must wear formal attire to the prom. Dresses should be of modest neckline and hemline. If you have any question about your dress, please bring a picture of your dress for the prom committee to review.
9. Male students attending the prom must keep their shirts on at all time.
10. Any inappropriate dancing or lewd conduct will not be tolerated at the prom.
11. All school rules apply during the prom.
12. Students must arrive at the prom by 7 p.m.
13. Once students leave the prom, they are not allowed to return.