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The Lee H. Kellogg School is a very small and antiquated K-8 school.
It services all of Falls Village, Connecticut's 147 elementary and middle
school students. There has been no significant increase in enrollment, yet
modernization and renovation is sorely needed to meet fire and safety
codes, to increase classroom space for the combination K,1,2 grades, and to
provide an art room and a music room. At one time there were dedicated
music and art rooms, but the art and music programs were moved 'to the
carts' due to the relatively recent expansion of the special education
facilities and the installation of a computer room.
The school renovation and addition plans have failed to pass town
referendum votes three times, once by only one vote! The school has been a
volatile topic at town and school board meetings, on the street, as well as
in all the local papers and radio talk shows. Tempers and law suits are
flaring. Most folks agree that something needs to be done, but our town has
a shrinking tax base and a town hall, fire house, and a town garage which
are also long overdue for renovations.
Now its back at the drawing board to discuss developing a new
renovation plan. One of our more vocal taxpayers said at a recent board of
education meeting that to save money, the new school addition should
include a combination room to serve both the music and art programs. This
idea sounds logical at first. Music and art are each offered only two days
a week, so both part time teachers could share to make full time use of one
room. Of course it sure would be nice to retire the carts!
However, as music and art teachers we're a little concerned about the
practical implications of such a dual purpose room. For example, just how
does the combination of paint and piano sound? What about woodwinds, white
glue, clay, and clarinets? How will the musician's chairs and music stands
fit around the tables and equipment needed for art production?
More specifically, our queries are these:
1. What are some positive aspects of combining a music and art program
into one room?
2. What are some negative considerations of such a combination?
3. If you have worked in a combination art and music room, what were
some of your practical solutions?
4. Do you have any other creative ideas for providing inexpensive yet
practical space for both the music and art programs?
We would love to hear from anyone with insight into our situation, so
that we're better prepared to make informed suggestions to the planning
Mark Alexander, Art on the Cart
Barbara Collins, Music on the Cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, Connecticut