Manchester board hears concerns about condition of band instruments

Some of the Manchester High School band instruments have fallen into disrepair.

During the Aug. 20 meeting, the Manchester Local Schools Board of Education heard from several parents who are concerned about the poor condition of band instruments.

Matthew Yates, whose daughter is in the high school band, stressed how some of the instruments are unusable. He said during the Memorial Day parade some of the band members couldn’t even make it out of the church parking lot where the parade stepped off without instruments falling apart.

Yates wants everyone to come together to address the issue.

“I don’t expect the school board, the administration or the parents to do it by their self,” Yates said.

Yates presented the board with a rough draft of what it may cost to replace some of the instruments, which is over $6,000. He said they have partnered with the Akron RubberDucks to sell tickets to help raise money and he is open to fundraising ideas.

Superintendent James Robinson said the district has an obligation to make sure things are safe for students. He said he plans to investigate the issue further.

Some parents asked about a band budget and how it works.

Robinson said each spring each building administrator has a budget, which doesn’t typically change.

Board member Cindy McDonald asked if instruments are looked at the end of each year. She said also hates the thought of students using unusable equipment.

The board said this was the first they heard of the issue and all the members stressed problems like this need to be communicated to them.

“We don’t want to be perceived as just brushing things off,” McDonald said.

Board member Jason Jividen said he also wants to make sure this situation doesn’t happen again.

In other business Aug. 20, the board:

– Approved a service agreement between the district and the Educational Service Center of Northeastern Ohio for Tuition of Visual Impaired Pupils.

– Approved a transfer from the General Fund to Bond Retirement for $14,740 for a bus payment.

– Approved the eighth grade trip to Washington D.C/Gettysburg for the 2019-20 school year which will take place May 6-8. Robinson said the date could change.

– Approved 11 policy updates and held the first reading for 12 policy updates.

– Appointed Richard Sponseller as the delegate and Jividen as the alternate for the business meeting Nov 10-12 for Capital Conference.

– Announced the new staff and retirees will be recognized at the September board meeting.

The next Manchester Schools board meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Administration Building, 6075 Manchester Road.

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This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com