VOICE YOUR CONCERNS
As you know, singing and wind instrument playing are fully banned in our Nova Scotia schools, but did you know that students are allowed to participate in physical education classes unmasked, without gathering limits. It is vital that students have access to music programs, including singing in school and significant research has proven it can be done safely. The impact of the bans that have been imposed off and on throughout the pandemic will be long lasting and we need to see this policy reversed for the sake of our students.
- This letter was sent to the government outlining research & the many reasons why singing/playing should be allowed in schools.
- A follow-up letter was sent out last Friday, linked here.
- The Back to School policy banned singing and wind playing entirely, but allows students to participate in physical education classes unmasked, without gathering limits.
- Parents and music educators began speaking up about this inequity and the importance of music in schools. Here are a few highlights:
We are asking you to lend your voice to these efforts. We know you’re busy, so we’ve created a template for you to use below. If you would like to add personal details or experiences, please feel free.
Music is not an extra. Music is a core component of our education system. This need is urgent. Please take a moment from your day to make a difference in Nova Scotia schools. You represent students whose lives have been forever changed by music and your voice really CAN make a difference.
Nova Scotia students are in school because it is the best place for their well being. Our children rely on music making in school for their mental health and well being. This ban on singing and playing is negatively impacting Nova Scotia students and music programs, and these impacts will be long lasting.
I have heard interviews and read Letters to the Editor outlining the inequity in school policies for music students and I agree: students should be allowed to sing and play in school, especially considering that students are able to participate in physical education class without any gathering limit and without masks.
I have read the open letter sent to you and other government elected officials and employees on January 10, 2022 by national and provincial organizations, including the Nova Scotia Band Association and Nova Scotia Choral Federation. The letter cites current research and outlines the many reasons singing and playing can and should be allowed in schools. I encourage you to review its contents and ensure students are able to return to music making through singing and playing in our schools.
I request a personal reply to my email on this very serious matter.
firstname.lastname@example.org,Educ-DM@novascotia.ca,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Health.Minister@novascotia.ca, email@example.com, Robert.Strang@novascotia.ca, Kelly.Dean@novascotia.ca, Vanessa.Chouinard@novascotia.ca, PREMIER@novascotia.ca
Who else do I contact?
Below you will find recommendations for the most effective avenues of communication in order to have your concerns addressed. The NSCF and NSMEC thank you for your support on behalf of all Nova Scotia choral community – we are stronger together.
AND YOUR LOCAL REGIONAL CENTRE CONTACTS:
Regional Centres for Education Avenues of Communication:
Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Halifax Regional Centre for Education firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, MBreen@hrce.ca
South Shore Regional Centre for Education firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Strait Regional Centre for Education email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tri-County Regional Centre for Education email@example.com
It is recommended that you voice your concerns to your regional representatives in the following sequence:
Fellow Parents (Music/Band Auxiliary, Home & School, School Advisory Co
Local School Principal
Local Family of Schools Supervisor
Regional Program Coordinator
Regional System Supervisor
Regional Executive Director of Education
You can find contact more information for your Regional Centre for Education here.
Political Avenues of Communication:
Minister and Deputy Minister of Education – Contact Information
Opposition Parties’ Education Critic – Liberal, New Democratic Party
Local Member of the Legislative Assembly – Find your MLA
For concerns related to community choral programs the NSCF recommends contacting the following public officials:
Local Municipal Councillor
Local Municipal Chief Administrative Officer
Local Municipal Department of Recreation and Culture
FOLLOW and SHARE Nova Scotia Choral Federation with your friends and followers. Spread the word that #MusicMatters!!