The decision by the Seine River School Board to cover band instrument rentals for junior high students has been received very positively.
The board made the decision back in May to implemented for this school year. The discussion was part of the board's priority review at last week's meeting. Superintendent Mike Borgfjord says renting band instruments can be very costly and he adds this is a worthwhile investment in their students.
We think music is an important component of education," says Borgfjord who notes band is a requirement for junior high students in Seine River. "It’s more about equity than equality and making sure that every student has the opportunity to participate in the program without cost."
Borgfjord adds in the grand scheme of things it does not cost the division a huge amount of money but says it’s more about investing in students and giving them more opportunities.
"A lot less challenges, a lot more excitement and a lot more support," Borgfjord explains. He says teachers are also thrilled because more students are pursuing band in high school.
"We’re seeing, over the last few years, an increase in the number of students who participate in band at both the high schools in Lorette and Ste. Anne," notes Seine River's Superintendent who indicated band numbers were on the decline in those two schools in recent years.
"I think it’s something that we’re hoping to grow and develop but I think consistency and the stronger the programs you have it attracts more students as they get older. We’re seeing a positive trend in participation at both those high schools."