BP School Board to decide fate of band trip
The Bethel Park School Board will make a decision at its October meeting as to whether the spring music department trip will be school sponsored or not.
Every spring, members of the high school musical groups including the marching band, symphonic band, symphonic orchestra, concert band, Top 21, jazz ensemble and percussion ensemble take an out-of-state excursion. Every third year, including this year, the trip is to Disney World.
Last year, over 200 students, four teachers, two nurses, one administrator and several parent chaperones made the spring trip. Students and boosters raised money for the journey through several fundraising events including five hoagie sales.
According to Vicki Flotta, district director of communications, the district’s financial support for that adventure was around $8,000 and included the salaries for the staff and substitutes as well as overtime for the school nurses.
The district has a policy of not funding trips that are not related to the curriculum. District officials said the tour can go on as planned, but that it will not be contributing financially.
The decision about the music department trip was made in order “to be consistent with the policy of non-curriculum based trips being non-school sponsored, said Bethel Park Superintendent Nancy Rose.
Several residents argued that the annual music department event should be school sponsored because the musical groups always put on performances during the trips.
“It is definitely tied to the curriculum,” said Pam Dobos. “It is their time to shine and show what they are able to do.”
Donna Dowd, whose daughter, Oliva, is a student band director, also urged district officials to reconsider.
“It’s the most exciting trip for the students,” Dowd said.
Band booster officials did not respond to requests for comment.