For the 16th year, the NAMM Foundation has recognized Roanoke County Public Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation.
According to a press release from Roanoke County Public Schools, this award recognizes Roanoke County Public Schools is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
“The administration and the school board believe strongly in providing our students with many opportunities to experience all forms of fine arts,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely.
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Roanoke County Public Schools answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.
Roanoke County Public Schools was named a Best Community for Music Education from 2002-2004, in 2006, and from 2008-2019.