August 17, 2020
Dear Trustees and District and School Administrators,
As we prepare to begin the new school year, we wanted to follow up from our June letter to you with several updates about school music programs in BC. We know that you are hard at work setting up your schools and communities for a successful school year.
The Ministry of Education, BC Centre for Disease Control, and Coalition for Music Education in BC have provided direction for safe music learning. Specifically:
The Ministry’s Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings indicates that “Electives (e.g. Fine Arts education, etc.) are important to student health and well-being and staff in these programs should be:
reassured these programs will continue to the extent possible throughout each stage; and
be supported in finding creative ways to redesign/deliver courses, if needed.”
Pages 23 & 27 of this Ministry document offers further details for music programs
The CMEBC has developed Guidelines for Music Classes in BC During COVID-19. This document has been reviewed by the Ministry of Education and BCCDC and includes the feedback of BC Medical Health Officials. It is listed as a source of reference in the Ministry’s document referenced above.
Key take-aways from these documents include:
Music classes can and should continue during all phases of BC’s Education Restart Plan
Students can sing and play instruments safely in groups with the appropriate physical distancing and cleaning procedures
Music educators are ready to make the necessary adaptations to offer safe and engaging music programs during all phases of the Restart Plan
The CMEBC has been working in close partnership with the British Columbia Music Educators Association, the Ministry of Education, and the BCCDC. During the summer, we have met numerous times with the Ministry, the BCCDC, and hosted a series of music education town hall meetings with teachers. We are depending on the support of our school boards and district and school administrators, and will be maintaining open lines of communication to offer support and be sure that music education remains available to every student. It is so important that we all work together to support our school music programs during this time.
On the CMEBC website, you can find a list of resources for your school’s music programs. Please reach out to us anytime if you have questions or need support.
Sending you wishes for a successful school year as we navigate these new challenges together.
Christin Reardon MacLellan,
on behalf of the CMEBC Board of Directors
Download a copy of of this letter.