SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation has recognized the South Orange–Maplewood School District for its commitment to music education with a 2020 Best Communities for Music Education Award. The district has received this designation for more than six consecutive years.
James Manno, district supervisor of fine and performing arts, submitted the district’s application and supporting data to the NAMM Foundation in October 2019, and received the good news about receiving this national honor on April 8.
Additionally, this year the district’s music department was one of 10 districts across the nation to be invited by NAMM Foundation to participate in a research study. Some of the benefits of participating in this research study include: providing objective, reliable music education cost information for a variety of district contexts for supporting the advocacy efforts of federal, state and local music education supporters around the country. The findings from this study will provide local school district decision-makers with hard data on the real costs of music education programs as they make decisions about programs and budgets in their districts. The knowledge gained from this study will inform the development of a guide for impactful investments districts and schools can make to take their music program up a notch, whether by improving quality, expanding access to more students or providing more variety in music offerings. Participation will also provide school districts with a comprehensive assessment of their own investment in music education, showing how they compare to similar districts included in the study.