August 16th, 2018

Aiken County School District is First in State to Participate in National Music Program

Aiken County Public Schools is the only district in South Carolina to be chosen to participate in a national music education program.

The district will participate in the Music Education District Support Services, or MEDSS, program, started by the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, for the next three years, said Lance Stockton, the district’s director of Fine Arts. He made the announcement Tuesday at the Aiken County School Board’s regular meeting.

Aiken County Public Schools will join the Houston Independent School District, Atlanta Public Schools, Metro Nashville, Los Angeles and the New York City Department of Education in the program, Stockton said.

“I want to thank you for your continued support of the arts in Aiken County, and I look forward to taking another step forward in becoming the premier school district,” Stockton said.

MEDSS is a partnership with school districts to enhance and sustain quality, sequential music education programs, Stockton said.

The program includes a program audit of classes and students, an instrument inventory audit and an instrument inventory needs assessment. MEDSS also provides professional development and instrument repair workshops for teachers.

When the audits are complete, schools can apply for grants through the foundation.

Stockton also announced that a fourth school, Aiken Elementary, has received a Distinguished Arts Program Grant, joining East Aiken School of the Arts, Aiken Middle School and New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School.

Each school will receive $12,600, totaling more than $50,000 for arts programs, Stockton said.

The grants assist schools and districts in developing and implementing initiatives that support quality arts education programs and significantly increase student achievement in the arts, Stockton said.

Source: Aiken Standard