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BenL

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  1. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    While I totally understand your logic and reasoning. 1. I don't call them middle schools because two are k-8 so for clarification within my school and district they know what we are referencing when we say feeder school, k-8 school, parochial school or when we say middle school. 2. My athletic director and other coaches refer to their middle school teams as feeder programs. So this is language ive recently adapted to using, coming from a county with 1 HS and 1 MS. It is also not to discredit the work that theyre doing because i recognize theyre separate entities. Truthfully, I'd rather teach middle school students. Middle school is my passion and id love to find the right position. So don't mistake my context of reducing them down to a single role. Im fully aware that is but one function.
  2. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    That's good to know, I wasn't entirely sure how tenure worked. I knew that you'd have to be somewhere for at least 5 years but wasn't sure about leaving. I'd love to have 10%. A few of the feeder schools I got 0 kids from. I gained more transfer students than from my feeders this year.
  3. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    I'm not as knowledgeable with WGI and indoor world but I am pretty sure we could make some sort of independent type group for something like that and collaborate between the schools and include Bardstown or students from the parochial schools. I did just have a meeting with my athletic/club organizations director who came to me first and said "we need to get you to these feeder schools, get the band to play in the hallways and generate some interest" My AD is our head football coach and hes rebuilding the football program too so he is fully on board with whatever collaboration pieces that need to take place with the feeders. Because I mentioned to him what I have said here about how 1 of our main feeder programs isn't offering band right now and tried to just make band two days a week 6th-8th grade all combined into one class so, maybe itll be him, and I meeting with other admin about what we can do.
  4. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    NCHS director and I mentioned and toyed around with this idea. Or at least having some combined rehearsals(Pre-COVID). We have also talked about county wide indoor ensembles to help strengthen our marching programs.
  5. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    To answer a few questions. (It's no question that this job could be a sinking ship) Scheduling has been the biggest frustration. I'm not going to rant much about it but basically when it came to scheduling kids in band the response was there were so many scheduling conflicts going on that it drastically limited my numbers. If I offered 1 band period then I'd have 10 students or at most 15. Due to ag/ffa course, dual credit offerings, an engineering program, and senior co-op. Hopefully with a new music teacher at one of my main feeder schools who has worked with some good competitive programs, and has agreed to be my assistant BD, one of my feeders will have a good relationship. My goal is to work out where I can go visit the feeders on some rotation schedule, if it's even gonna be possible. Also, the AP youre thinking of left TNHS. I'd like to see this program get to where it was in 2017-2018 under Alex McCoy. This program has a plethora of problems, but i do feel like so far ive left it in better shape then when I took over last year. I'm also from Western KY and some point I'd like to move closer to my family.
  6. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    Yeah that was this issue this year. Seniors are moving to a modified block schedule, so that they can co-op 2 or 3 days out of the week. So due to that and COVID I split my concert band into 2 classes 1st and 6th period. I had a "marching band" class turned percussion ensemble last year that Ive turned into another concert band class during 7th period too. Even with band offered 3 times in one day I still had kids drop due to scheduling conflicts and I've spent so much time with the counselors trying to work out scheduling. This year I have 3 band classes and 3 A&H. Last year I had 2 band classes, 3 A&H, and Guitar Class. Myself and the person at NCHS have mentioned trying to work out where we can go to the feeders on certain days of the week and the push back argument we receive is that we wouldn't be fulltime teachers so why would we get a fulltime salary.
  7. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    Well our school tries to offer a lot of activities and sports. A few sports programs have folded before due to low participation. One of which was the Wrestling team. Clubs usually are student lead, because Nelson Co Schools are about student leadership and initiative. So most clubs are student lead with a teacher sponsor. If the club doesn't have a teacher sponsor then they don't meet. Most of our sports teams maintain steady membership. But football has had to do some rebranding and heavy recruiting before I was hired. And even last year their record was only 1 win. They offer some sports at some of the schools. Our high school programs have some kids to pull from the feeder schools. But i dont know if all the feeder schools offer the same athletics. The middle school feeders have stronger athletic programs and then Boston k-8 school has a decent athletic program. New Haven k-8 school(my other feeder) doesn't seem to have as strong of programs. Athletics have had their own issues with recruitment and retention. In my personal opinion, it didn't really benefit the school district to open a 2nd high school because now our athletic teams are not as good as Bardstown's and Bethlehem's programs.
  8. BenL

    Recruitment Ideas

    I am in many of those band director forums and I see this question many times of what to do about losing kids. And really the only answer that seems to come out of this question is teach the kids that you have. Which I feel that I do a decent job of doing. In terms of feeders 2 of the 4 district feeder schools are middle schools with middle school band directors. One of which is the assistant at NCHS and the other who has a pretty staple program. But most of those kids feed into NCHS and I get a small handful. My main two feeder schools are two K-8 schools where there is a middle school band taught at one and the other the school has forced to meet only two days a week. So, due to COVID, my primary two feeder schools are not offering band right now. Hopefully when we return in the building that changes. Our school population is about 700 so I would at least like 50 kids that participate in both concert band and marching band. Because right now the ones that aren't in marching band are the ones that I don't see as much effort and dedication in. I do appreciate the direction your comment gives me though!
  9. I don't want this post to come off as a rant complaining. However, I am stumped and need ideas. I am the band director at Thomas Nelson High School in Bardstown(Nelson Co School District). This is my 2nd year. From 2018-2019 school year to when I was hired last year, the band lost a significant amount of members. The marching band went from 25-30 down to 12 and the concert band went from about 50 down to 36. Last year, I made due with 12 members. We competed in MSBA class A and we were never last at any contest. We were gearing up for a great concert assessment program and I had more interest in marching band this year. Because of COVID, our recruiting trips were canceled. But in terms of marching band, we had 12 kids show up to camp. Since then I have picked up about 4 or 5 kids. And I have had 2 kids quit so far. In terms of concert band I graduated 7. I lost an additional 9 or 10 due to co-op schedule conflicts or because director turn over. Most of my seniors this year aren't enrolled due to co-oping, my sophomores and juniors that didn't return were for various reasons. I am wondering if it is going to be worth it to grandfather in a system where to be in concert band class they have to do marching band, starting with the freshman next year. ( I went to Union Co. High and that was our requirement, Ive seen band programs where that works and where that doesn't work). TNHS pulls from 4 county feeder schools, and then a few parochial schools where the kids decide to go here instead of elsewhere. NCHS seems to maintain steady numbers in both concert and marching programs but this is something he and I both talked about. I have a lot of students who do sports and participate in concert band. So, forcing those kids to choose I feel like I would lose them. But if I start with the freshman next year, I may not lose as many. I also only gained about 6 freshman and three transfer students from schools outside our district. I am just stumped on what I should do. I have weighed competitive and non-competitive. Of course with COVID, we are non-competitive. Just frustrating to see the numbers so low and almost none of it is COVID related.
  10. BenL

    Jobs OPEN in 2020//

    I knew those, just didnt know where Centers went to.
  11. BenL

    Jobs OPEN in 2020//

    Idk if this has been said but David Centers went to East Oldham Middle.
  12. BenL

    Jobs OPEN in 2020//

    Iroquois HS and Fern Creek HS in Louisville as well.
  13. BenL

    Overdue for a comeback

    I think Daviess was the last of the western bands. Union Co had them back in 2009 but changed uniforms since then. Thats the only group I can think of. Calloway back in 2013 maybe? I loved seeing Hazard though.
  14. BenL

    Jobs OPEN in 2020//

    Heard Crittenden hired, haven't heard about Henderson South from anyone I know looking. Heard Caldwell had about 200 band students between their middle and high school. Numbers like should encourage them to have two positions. However, most those neighboring counties have fewer students, maybe one director, have seen far more success in recent years. And I hate to say that because Caldwell was a strong 2A program a couple years back. But I've seen them the last two. And it just isn't the same. I just wonder why they were fired. I know they weren't tenure. Haven't heard about anyone else leaving anywhere yet.
  15. BenL

    Jobs OPEN in 2020//

    Rumor I've heard is they hired for Crittenden Co.
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