On July 8th we were given guidelines that we have to follow as a marching band unit.
The list of guidelines is extensive and significantly restricts what we are able to do and how we are able to teach. The restrictions include social distancing requirements that would be impossible to adhere to as we learn how to march and set drill. Most problematic for us is the restriction that students are not permitted to play wind instruments, until further notice.
As you can imagine, holding a band camp with these restrictions, along with those already in place, will prevent us from creating a productive and meaningful experience for our students.
Several major studies will be released in the coming weeks, evaluating aerosol spray transmission and the use of wind instruments. Once those studies are released and reviewed, we can make a more informed decision with regards to playing wind instruments in a large group setting.
So, at this time we are going to change our plans. We are canceling marching band camp for our winds and percussion students. We would like to offer instruction to our color guard members during the week of July 20-24. More information will be sent directly to the color guard members regarding those practice sessions. Now, our intention is to reassess the guidelines and restrictions over the next few weeks and begin with marching band once school begins. We do still plan on having some version of marching band for our students.
Our executive board met this evening and we are committed to giving a complete refund to all who have paid the initial $225 deposit for marching band camp. Please be patient as we work on returning those funds over the course of the next few days.
We have been making some really tough decisions behind the scenes. We are appreciative of the support and flexibility of our band community. We will get through this, and we will continue to keep the safety and well-being of our student musicians at the fore-front of our minds.
I have had MANY questions regarding the option of remote learning and extra-curricular activities. This has been a very hot topic since the release of the back to school playbook on July 8th. The answer is YES; you may do remote learning and still participate in extra-curricular activities. I encourage all parents to make the decision that best suits your situation and your family’s needs.
I will communicate additional information to you as it becomes available, so stay tuned! Whatever parameters we are working in, we will do our best to create a meaningful band experience for each student this fall.
Todd Manson and Josh Singleton –
Band Directors at Ola High School