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Richland Two Roadshow

Richland Two School District, SC

124 Risdon Way, Columbia, SC, USA
Richland Two School District
Director: Wendy Campbell
Category: Recruitment Event/Activity
Award: Bronze, 2020

Project Description

The purpose of the Richland Two Middle school Roadshow is to ignite a passion and interest for music education in order to attract current fifth graders who are eligible for Fine Arts classes beginning in grade six. Currently, all of the district‚Äôs elementary schools have general music and dance; however, only two offer dance and only one offers orchestra. Every year, each middle school takes fifty to one hundred students and travels to each of the district’s elementary schools and gives a performance for the 5th graders at each school, known as the “Roadshow.” There is a liaison at each middle school who coordinates this trip. The middle school band, chorus, and orchestra directors accompany their performing ensembles to play/sing for all fifth graders at each school. After the performance, there is a Question and Answer time. Students receive information about each program and receive brochures containing the needed information to sign-up for music (band, orchestra, dance, or chorus) for the upcoming school year.

Target Audience

The target audience for the Roadshow is rising sixth graders. In Richland Two, students may begin taking band, chorus, orchestra, and dance for elective credit in sixth grade. Although all students in our district have general music and art in elementary school, none have an elementary band, two have an elementary dance, and one has an elementary orchestra. Richland Two has seven middle schools which have twenty-four feeder elementary schools and Centers. Collectively, Richland Two has approximately 50% of its students who are in poverty (TANF, Medicaid, SNAP, foster child or homeless). Richland Two focuses on using arts as a tool to set students on their pathways to purpose. The Roadshow is the beginning of a lifetime passion where many students first play the cello or the trumpet (any instrument of their choice) and see their peers (middle schoolers) playing or singing and answering questions about music with enthusiasm. From this Roadshow over 600 students sign-up for middle school music arts each year.

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

Each of the seven middle schools has a “Middle School Laison.” These liaisons are all visual or performing arts teachers. The purpose of the liaison is to have a familiar face that bridges communications between the middle school and the feeder elementary schools, someone who can be contacted by the feeder schools who is a wealth of information. Because there are twenty-four feeder schools, each middle school liaison schedules a day of the Roadshow, which consists of three to four mini-concerts put on by students for students. Step one is”Checking In With your Schools.”Dates for the performance of the Roadshow are set by January 28 each year. Step 2 is “Bus and Substitute Accounts.” Each liaison is sent account information as the district provides funding for each middle school to send approximately 100 students to perform in the Roadshow. Substitutes are also provided for the Performing Arts teachers who travel with the Roadshow. Step 3 is “Piece Selection Approval.” In an effort to remain relevant and professional, all selections that will be performed at the Roadshow performance should be approved by the District Fine Arts Coordinator at minimum two weeks before the trip date. There should be one “student relevant” piece/excerpt (i.e. pep band song, movie music, pop tune, etc.) and one standard literature piece/excerpt performed at the Roadshow event. Step 4 is “Roadshow Hits the Road.” Once a date is secured by the liaison and the principal and pieces are approved, the Roadshow begins. The Roadshow runs through the month of February.

A sample day schedule is provided below:

  • Middle Elementary School Date Elem. Teacher Related Arts Time
  • Blythewood Middle Round Top Elem. 2/12 Canty 9:20-10:10
  • Blythewood Middle Catawba Trail Elem. 2/12 Burbank 11:00-111:50
  • Blythewood Middle Joseph Keels Elem. 2/12 Perkins 1:10-2:00

Once the Roadshow performance takes place, now it is time to have parents and students sign-up online for sixth-grade music. The link is uploaded to the district website where students and parents can easily access and complete the form without the fear of losing a piece of paper or the paper never getting home. The brochure and application are printed for those who do not have internet access and are also provided in Spanish for our English language Learners. Equitable access is important to us as we strive to help students find their passion in music. As the spring semester progresses, schools are sent updates with the number of students who have signed up for each of the programs. Applications are due the end of March. The last two weeks of school, the Fine Arts Coordinator sends each middle school principal and School Counseling office a list of their rising sixth graders who have signed up for Band, Chorus, Orchestra, and/or Dance. Once all Roadshows are complete, a survey is used to gather data for reflection. lastly, the Roadshow committee meets to go over data and make needed changes for the following year.

Community Impact

During the 2018-2019 school year, there were approximately 250 performances for performing arts in Richland Two. Without the Roadshow which assists in recruiting and retaining students for the arts, our students would not have these opportunities. There were 69 District Honor Choir Middle School students. 127 All-Region and/or All-State Band students, and 37 All-region and/or All-State Orchestra students with 117 Honor Orchestra members. The Roadshow lays the foundation for excellence. The community is impacted because the Roadshow serves every aspect of the performing arts. Our community truly recognizes the importance of the arts and voted in November for a multi-million bond referendum which includes the building a Fine Arts Center. Again, the Roadshow plays a part because it is the district’s intentional project to target students as they transition from elementary to middle school. All students take music and art in the elementary schools, but at grade six, it becomes student-choice. We want them to choose visual and performing arts, and efforts such as the Roadshow help ensure that.

Overall budget

$3400

Specific Budget Breakdown

  • Bus Voucher# 13*** (Muller Road Roadshow) 2/2/2019 $ 238.28
  • Bus Voucher# 13*** (Summit Parkway Roadshow) 2/5/2019 $ 162.06
  • Bus Voucher# 13*** (Blythewood MS Roadshow) 2/12/2019 $ 214.28
  • Bus Voucher# 13*** – Bus ID# 52366 (Dent’s Roadshow)2/26/2019 $ 169.21
  • Bus Voucher# 1***7 (E.L Wright Roadshow) 2/27/2019 $ 166.81
  • Bus Volucher# 13*** (Kelly Mill Roadshow) 2/27/2019 $ 205.12
  • Bus ID# 52*** (Longleaf’s Roadshow) 3/30/2019 $ 240.11
  • Substitutes $1500

What was your total program enrollment during the prior school year?

1870

What is your projected program enrollment for the current school year?

2020

New or recurring project?

Recurring

How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?

The changes made and implemented this school year are listed as follows:
New for 2019 Elementary Roadshow Visits
“There are some new changes/additions that have been made to hopefully improve the experience for us, our students, and the incoming students we will see next year in our schools.
1. No More Paper Brochures!
All parents/guardians of rising 5th-grade students will be expected to sign up online. Each school will be given 25 paper copies of the brochure (Only for those families who truly cannot gain access to the online form. Elementary teachers can copy extras if they need to).
To access the online form, go to richland2.org, click on Explore, I’m a Richland Two…Student or Parent, and the Middle School Music Form link is on the right side of your screen. Dr. Campbell is working to get this online form on each of the schools’ websites and in their newsletters.
All online registrations (and any paper brochures that are completed) must be submitted by March 31 (default date we always use, regardless of where it falls on the calendar). I will periodically share the spreadsheet data with you, so you can share it with your music colleagues and guidance departments.”

Currently, the Roadshow Committee has a meeting scheduled to make improvements for the 202019-2020 school year.

Challenges/obstacles that were encountered

The challenges and obstacles of a month-long Roadshow that involves all of the district’s middle and elementary schools are numerous and varied. One of the challenges is to find a date in the spring on which numerous schools can agree. Dates are chosen a year in advance to help alleviate conflicts. Because middle schools travel based on proximity to the elementary schools, some “Roadshows” require more travel time and gas for travel than others. Therefore, each school is provided a bus and substitutes for music teachers. Choosing which middle school band, chorus, and orchestra students travel can also be a challenge since each middle school can only take a set number of students. Schools use creative measures to make this decision; some use audition whereas some use an incentive system. Originally, this year, the brochure was not printed in Spanish; however, the need arose, and we were able to get the district’s English Language Learner Laison to translate the document to Spanish. This all happened within a two day period. Using teamwork, all obstacles were resolved, and the Roadshow ran smoothly.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

There is a projected nrollment increase from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020 by 150 students. Changes made this year include making the form available online so that brochures did not have to be printed; this reduced the risk of students losing the brochure between school and home. Additionally, the on-line form was available in Spanish to help meet the needs of English Language Learners. A survey was also used to gather reflective feedback from those on both sides of the Roadshow–elementary teachers and middle school teachers/participants. This feedback provided a baseline for strengths, areas of improvements, trends, etc. We feel that reflection aides with retention of students in the performing arts because we are continuously modifying programs for a premier results.

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

Advice for replication include the following:

  • Make sure to get an eclectic committee–general education teachers, visual and performing arts teachers, students, and parents–to plan the Roadshow.
  • Include familiar/pop tunes for relatability and student interests.
  • Have clear communication with the administration at each school.
  • Set the dates on the calendar a year in advance.
  • Budget monies for bus transportation for those who are‚ “traveling”‚ with the Roadshow.
  • Budget monies for substitute teachers for teachers traveling with the Roadshow.
  • Use a feedback tool allowing for reflection and adjustments.

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