State Sen. Pam Helming is joining other local school officials calling for arts programs to be resumed.
They were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, but as high risk high school sports resume – many voiced concerns about the arts being forgotten. She is asking the state to review its guidance for music and the arts in K-12 schools, after the state released guidance for high school sports to start this week.
Sen. Helming is inviting constituents to join this effort by signing her online Let Them Play petition here.
“The state heard the voices of our student athletes and coaches in resuming high school sports. Now, we need the state to hear the voices of our student musicians and artists, and their teachers, and safely resume music and the arts in our schools. Programs like band, chorus and theatre support students academically, developmentally and socially and foster their unique talents and creativity. Look at any school district and you’ll see how incredibly our young people have followed the rules during this pandemic to keep themselves and others safe. They are simply asking for equal consideration to be able to do what they love to do. As with sports, our schools and teachers are ready to conduct music and arts programs safely, but they cannot move forward without the state’s partnership,” Helming said.
Canandaigua Superintendent Jamie Farr agreed. “Considering how school districts across our state have proven they can operate safely in the midst of a pandemic, I remain hopeful we will be given the opportunity to make necessary adjustments such that our students and staff can run their programs for the second half of the school year,” he said. “It can be done safely. Each school district has so many talented artists and musicians, yet the restrictions we are under does not allow them to showcase their talents and engage in the things they are most passionate about. They are missing an opportunity to safely participate in doing what they most love and they deserve better. They deserve serious consideration for change in the restrictions we are currently operating within.”
Auburn Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said that all extracurriculars should be treated equally. “With the start up of high risk sports, music and theater should be allowed to start up. We need to meet the needs of all students and provide the same opportunities for all kids,” he added.
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