Re: COVID Aftermath
Posted by Inner-City BD II on 12/1/2020, 8:33 am, in reply to "COVID Aftermath"
It's not just the upcoming rebuild. It's how LONG and FAR-REACHING this rebuild will be. |
It's how it is dramatically different from county to county, district to district, city to city, and even school to school.
Take Dallas County. The county guidelines recommend that no indoor wind playing occur. Some school districts in Dallas County are following that 100% - no playing indoors. Some are playing indoors, distanced.
Add to that scheduling inequalities. I see my kids ONCE a week for 80 minutes. (block scheduling and alpha split, with a possible second contact once every four weeks). Students are not allowed on campus unless it is their alpha day or unless they have extracurricular practice. Once the practice is over, they're required to leave.
Some of my friends in a nearby district actually don't have a band program this semester. One school decided to "pod" their kids so that their teachers travel from room to room, but the kids stay in one classroom all day long. If you had an elective class that had kids from multiple "pods" you don't anymore. Those kids that aren't in the band "pod" don't get band. Those kids who weren't band kids but are in the "band" pod have to have band now - and they're required to teach them!
Twenty miles away in another district, they have had full in-person learning from the first day of school, with some students and parents opting out. They've had 80% or higher attendance in every class. They have close to 100% attendance on Zoom calls - and it's basically business as normal.
People in that second situation may in decent shape going forward. The first? That MS program is effectively destroyed. Every kid currently in that program will have to transition out before "normalcy" can be restored - and even then, the "advanced" kids in 8th grade won't be what they were 5 years previously since they won't have had those strong players pushing them the year before.
Add to that what will happen to high school programs. (I'm a HS director.) We're going to be seeing the consequences of these enrollment decisions for the next seven plus years. If schools choose to opt out of UIL this year (and who could blame them?) then EVERY kid in the MS program next year will have never prepared for UIL contest. Only SOME of the incoming 9th grade (those kids that were in the top ensembles as 7th graders) next year will have ever been to UIL, and that only if they went to a UIL before the COVID shutdown.
We're going to be taking kids that have never had to put together a successful UIL program and trying to do just that - on the back of shaky and inconsistent teaching (regardless of the quality of instructor, which is a whole other issue) due to online instruction - and somehow, we're going to have to take those kids who have never successfully performed Grade 1 literature and play Grade 3-4-5 stuff with them at UIL contest, depending upon school size.
You can say "rely on your upperclassmen" - and that's true to an extent - but consider that next year, the juniors will have had about a full year of real high school band (half year before shutdown, and if we're lucky a year's worth of real teaching if they're online - it's NOT the same), the sophomores will be a complete mixed bag, and some of the freshmen will have not touched an instrument consistently in 18 months.
Many students will choose to quit, in these situations. I know my band's enrollment halved this year - 100 kids down to 55, with the majority of those contacted saying some variation on "my mom doesn't want me in band with COVID" as a reason. If they come back? Great! But they won't be in any better shape than they left, will they?
We're realistically looking at a decade before HS bands are "back" to where they should be, unless you have VERY dedicated parents and students who have private lesson staff and high quality instruction. We'll still have PLENTY of great performances - but there will be a noticeable downtick in performance level for the next few years.