NPSD Named to 2019 Best Communities for Music Education List by National Association of Music Merchants

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Photo of students.

The North Penn School District (NPSD) is proud to announce that it has once again been honored with the "Best Communities for Music Education" designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. North Penn joins 623 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2019.

In cooperation with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, and based on survey results, each year the NAMM Foundation selects school districts to be recognized as being among the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME), while individual schools with excellent music education receive the Support Music Merit Award (SMMA).

Now in its 20th year, the awards program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education.

The designation takes on added significance this year with new research showing strong ties between K-12 school students who actively participate in school music education programs and overall student success. A recent study of students in the Chicago Public Schools by brain researchers at Northwestern University, detailed in Neuroscientist and Education Week, builds on previous findings that participation in music education programs helps improves brain function, discipline and language development.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, North Penn answered 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 Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

This award recognizes that North Penn is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, replaces No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subject such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children.

"In the North Penn School District, music education is not thought of merely as an 'add on,' but is respected as an educational priority," said Dr. Curtis Dietrich, Superintendent of the NPSD. "Receiving this designation once again speaks volumes to the outstanding music educators that we here at NPSD are fortunate enough to offer our students. I'd like to extend my most sincere thanks to these teachers in the district whose passion for their craft transcends to our students and instills in them the importance of music not only in our community, but in our everyday lives."

Congratulations once again to our hardworking staff, students and families for bringing this distinguished honor back to North Penn for another year.

Click here to learn more about the NAMM's Best Communities for Music Education.

Click here to see a full list of 2019 Best Communities For Music Education Districts.