Imagine this please: Your child is a member/children are members of any Clare Football/Basketball/Baseball/Softball/ Volleyball/Tennis/Golf/ ad infinitum Team and this team has had an event scheduled for an entire school year. Suddenly, the week just prior to the event the high school band director schedules a concert forcing the cancellation of the event.
Not possible, you say. Well, you’re right. But the opposite occurs repeatedly.
The latest occurred just this week as Mrs. Sapienza, Clare’s current band director, readied her Middle School Bands for their final concert. This event, like all concerts/plays/trips/etc., was placed on the overall school schedule, as required by school policy, prior to the end of the 2013 school year. The school athletic director, an employee with no classroom teaching assignments, is, unless there has been a change in school operations, charged with “riding-herd” on the schedule so as to avoid conflicts. Were he to take his position seriously, to manage the overall schedule to avoid conflicts in a manner equitable to all and not just athletics, these would not happen. He has the time to see-these-things-coming.
Once, and only once, in my 26 year stint here in Clare the high school principal, William Newkirk, stepped in to resolve a conflict between the CHS Band State Festival Trip (on a Saturday) and a softball tournament that had evolved just prior to the annual band event. Principal Newkirk’s decision resolved the problem with the decision “band students were to go with the band.”
How good it would be to have a William Newkirk refereeing this current tromping on the Middle School Bands with both a 7th grade class trip to a Loons Game and Middle School Track Meet. Both were scheduled long after Mrs. Sapienza’s concert was entered.
Does anybody care? Even band parents? They should be outraged. Do the coaches care? I, personally, know the answer. Do the school administrators care? If not, they refuse to consider all student opportunities as equals and thereby give credence to my view that “what drives schools is the smell of locker rooms.”
Ken Feneley, Retired
Clare Bands 1967 – 93