SIDNEY — The notes of recorders filled the air at Monday night’s Sidney City Schools Board of Education meeting.
Fourth-grade students in Wendy Schlenker’s music class performed various songs on their recorders as part of the presentation about the programs at Northwood Elementary School.
“The passion they learn for music begins in elementary school,” said Principal Eric Barr.
Schlenker is with the students from kindergarten through fifth-grade at the school, said Barr.
“My goal is to encourage and develop music literature for them,” said Schlenker. “In the third- and fourth-grades, they learn to read notes. In the fifth-grade we expand on that for band, choir and orchestra at the middle school and high school.”
Schlenker, who has been with the district for 19 years, said she has created a recorder karate program. As the students learn more about music, they earn ribbons, which are tied to their recorders. The goal is to have a “black ribbon” recorder.
“I want to instill their love and inspiration of music,” said Schlenker.
Schlenker told a story about one of the students, Miles Steenrod, who found an app for playing the recorder. The family purchased it and Miles’s two older brothers, Levi and Isaiah, have made it a family affair playing their instruments together. The older Steenrod brothers play the cello and violin and they accompanied the fourth-graders Monday night on one of the songs they performed.
“I have always had supportive administrators,” said Schlenker. “We have a great arts program in Sidney. Not many schools have an orchestra program like we do.”
Students performing at the board meeting were Myles Steenrod, Isaiah Steenrod, Levi Steenrod, Taylor VanGorden, Tatum Money, Joni Martin, Benjamin Luthman, Natalie Noe, Kylie Harrod, Nevaeh Owen, Eleanor Wigley, Kalesha Rush and Lauren Westgerdes.
Superintendent John Scheu also recognized three high school music groups which competed at the OMEA (Ohio Music Educators Association) contest.
“I am very proud of the success of our music programs,” said Scheu.
Three groups, he said, received superior ratings at the contest. Honored during Monday’s meeting were the Sidney High School Orchestra, Women’s Glee and Symphonic Choir.
Stephanie Wilson, president of the Sidney Music Boosters, and members of each group accepted proclamations from Scheu.
“We are blessed at Sidney High School with our music program,” said Wilson.
Teachers Nikki Inman, Katie Harbaugh and Laura Schwein, along with instructional support staff Jill Hanke and Lindsay Geuy, involved with the NWEA Map program gave an update on how they feel the information is being utilized in the district.
They said the testing allows them to see the progress of the students in their classrooms. They can also compare data from different grades to see if there is a “gap” in the and find an immediate way to fix the problem.
The teachers said they discuss the test results with the students so they understand what the scores mean. The students have a sense of accomplishment with what they’ve done so far in the classroom.
The tests, they said, are geared to each student’s level of achievement. As the student does better, the tests get more difficult. If the student struggles, then the test scales back to help them achieve their learning goals.
A student profile is created through the program. It gives learning statements on where the child should be at their age/grade level.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.