Music students at Great Neck South High School will enjoy extra support come the new 2015-16 school. The Great Neck School District’s Board of Education recently approved a South High request a plan for the school’s extra classroom acitivity to establish the NYSSMA Club (New York State School Music Association Club) in the fall.
The NYSSMA Club is also slated to have a separate NYSSMA account for all transactions related to the student participation in NYSSMA. It was stated that this participation in NYSSMA will not incurany additonal costs for the school district.
NYSSMA is a professional organization that evaluates student musicians in New York State, from elementary school through high school. Each spring, students register through their school music programs to attend NYSSMA Evaluation Fesstivals, where they are judged, These festivals take place at local middle schools and high schools. Generally, county high schools take turns hosting the festival every few years. At each festsival students perform scales, a solo or ensemble piece of their choice from the designated NYSSMA repertoire and a sight reading piece Instruments evaluated incude voice, piano, strings, woodwinds/brasses and percussion. Participation is voluntary and independent of the school district’s music program.
New South Middle School Course Approval
In addition to the school board approval of support for students in the NYSSMA program, the school board also recently approved a new Great Neck South Middle School course. This new course, MakerSpaceLab, will introduce students to a true hands-on STEM environment. This course will allow students to collaborate, create, fabricate and explore creative thinking in a mentored situation. This type of environment will mirror real world “makerspaces” which are considered to be the place where people produce projects with significant mational impacts.
South Middle School’s MakerSpaceLa elective will combine colllaboration, design, engineering, fabrication and education. Students will be programming first robots, writing code, desining new inventions and buiilding them using wood, plastic, paper and 3D printer and more.
However, although this new course received school board approval, a caution was noted. Course approval does not gguarantee staffing or other resources will be available in the budget. There is also the consideration of putting additional constraints on the master schedule; unreasonably small classes may not be able to be justified. And, some courses may overlap with extra-curricular courses.