Torrington Public Schools Recognized National for Music Education Efforts

April 14, 2014

Torrington Public Schools

TORRINGTON, CONN. (March 26, 2014) – The NAMM Foundation recognizes Torrington Public Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation. Torrington is the only school district from Litchfield County and only one of two school districts nation wide that have received this national designation fourteen times. Torrington joins 376 districts across the country to receive the prestigious distinction in 2014.

Compared to the other twelve school districts in Connecticut to receiving this honor, Torrington is in the lowest Connecticut State Department of Education District Reference Group and is the most diverse. In spite of this, the district has been honored more than any other district in CT, a total of 14 times, and is only one of two school districts nation-wide to have reached that level.

In its 15th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of the schools’ core curriculum. The Best Communities for Music Education program plays an important part of the NAMM Foundation’s efforts to make music education part of the core curriculum assuring that the benefits of music making are available to every child. Numerous studies have demonstrated that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, lower disciplinary action and keep kids in schools.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

As Torrington finalizes its 2014–2015 budgets, the announcement of this year’s Best Communities for Music Education designation brings attention to the importance of keeping music education part of school’s core education and music’s vital role in student success in school.

Praise for the Torrington Public Schools Music Department

“On behalf of the City of Torrington, I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to our music teachers, students and supporters of the music programs in our public schools. This marks 14th years of recognition as – “Best Communities for Music Education in America for 2014”! We are proud and grateful for the positive impact that our music programs have on our students, schools and community. At a time when schools are looking for ways to keep students engaged, get parents involved and bring school spirit to our public schools, one only needs to look to the Torrington music programs” – Elinor Carbone – Mayor City of Torrington

“This award is earned because the Torrington Public Schools have music teachers who engage students in the learning process, provide exceptional instruction, demonstrate a commitment to the Arts, and understand the significant role that music plays in educating the whole child”. Cheryl Kloczko – Superintendent of Schools Torrington, Connecticut

“Torrington has made a long lasting commitment to embrace music education, and I applaud them for their efforts and successes. Incorporating music in the classroom gives students the opportunity to grow creatively, experiment with self-expression, and take part in hands-on learning experiences. Torrington administrators, teachers and students should be proud of this incredible recognition. “Connecticut State Senator Kevin Witkos

“The Torrington music departments have done an amazing job with our students. The accomplishments made, are remarkable, and to have been honored as one of the best music communities in America, for the 14th year, speaks volumes as to who our music teachers and students are and their excellence. I’m so very proud of our great group of musicians and your achievements!!! Congratulations to you all” Michelle L Cook State Representative 65th District Torrington

“At a time when many of our nation’s students are suffering through a meager, test preparation curriculum, it is heartening to know that there are small cities like Torrington that maintain their commitment to provide ALL children with a balanced, high-quality education that includes music and the other arts. Torrington’s students will be far better prepared for successful adult lives as a result” Scott C. Shuler, Ph.D. Arts Consultant State of Connecticut Department of Education

“I want to congratulate our local schools for effectively incorporating music into their curriculums for over a decade. It is very important to expose students to music education and encourage them to engage in creative and inventive thinking. Children of all ages have benefited greatly from Torrington’s strong programming, and I am pleased to see the schools recognized for another year of leadership in music education.” Connecticut State Senator Clark Chapin (R-30)