Anaheim Elementary, Anaheim Union High, Capistrano Unified, Garden Grove Unified and Irvine Unified were among the 19 districts in California — and only four percent of districts nationwide — to receive this prestigious honor for their commitment to music and education.
The award came as no surprise to districts like Irvine Unified, which for the ninth consecutive year has received this prestigious honor.
In a press release, Irvine Unified Director of Arts Education Brad Van Patten said the honor was particularly special given this unprecedented year.
“We continue to be inspired by the ingenuity of our teachers and the resilience of our kids,” said Patten. “IUSD has made an unwavering commitment to arts and music education. We believe they are an essential part of preparing students for college and career and we are proud to offer robust programming for all of our students.”
Garden Grove Unified was recognized for the third consecutive year.
“This is an exceptional accomplishment that reflects the hard work and dedication of our visual and performing arts teachers,” said Dina Nguyen, GGUSD Board of Education trustee. “Even with the challenges brought on by the pandemic, our teachers rose to the occasion to continue providing our students with an exceptional arts education.”
Now in its 22nd year, the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation Best Communities for Music Education award is given to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. It recognizes communities for the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders for making music part of a well-rounded education.
To qualify for the designation, districts met criteria around music education funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.
Los Angeles Unified students who will attend in-person classes for the first time since March 2020 must get a baseline COVID-19 test before returning next week and they must take follow-up tests each week after.
And, during a media briefing on Thursday morning, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau reiterated that vaccines cannot be mandated nor does the county plan to force COVID-19 vaccinations on children or turn schools into mass vaccination centers.