Dear FP Bruin Band Family,
I hope you are all well and staying safe and healthy. Various important decisions have been made in the past few weeks that will guide us in the 2020-2021 school year. I know it can be challenging to keep up with numerous announcements from a number of sources. Listed below are the Who, What, and How that directly impact our band for this school year.
- PWCS School Board oversees all school related activities and facilities in our school division. Their decisions dictate how our school division navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the School Board here.
- VHSL (Virginia High School League) is a state organization that sanctions interscholastic athletic competition among public high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VHSL determines regulations and schedules for all sports and other club activities. Read more about the VHSL here.
- VBODA (Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association) is a state organization of high school, middle school, and elementary school band and orchestra directors whose mission is to help promote opportunities of music education to K-12 students. VBODA determines regulations and schedules for all band events (State Marching Assessment, District Concert Band Assessment, District Band Auditions/Festival, Virginia Honor Band). Read more about VBODA here.
- PWCS School Board – On Wednesday July 22nd, the PWCS School Board vote confirmed that PWCS will be opening with 100% virtual learning starting on September 8th. You can read more details about the meeting at this link.
- VHSL – On Monday July 27th, the VHSL approved Model 3. In this model, no sports or athletic activities will take place from September to December. Winter sports like basketball or indoor track will take place December 14 – February 20. Fall sports like cheer or football have been moved to February 15 – May 1. You can read more details at this link.
- VBODA – On Wednesday July 22nd, VBODA announced that they are cancelling Marching Assessment 2020.
How does all of this affect you as a band student and us as a band family?
- Band Camp and all traditional marching season events (August – October) are cancelled. With that being said, the MBB Staff is still planning to provide digital interaction with students and assign special projects.
- The Booster Board and I will determine the best method of processing dues reimbursements. If you wish for us to hold your student’s dues until the spring or the following season, we are happy to do that. We are also happy to refund you as well!
- The county band directors have collectively agreed that no live band rehearsals will be held before live instruction occurs in the classroom.
- Since Marching Band is technically a fall class, we are still waiting on guidance from the county on what will happen with those class hours and credits.
- VHSL decisions to shift football to a spring schedule will create scheduling friction with VBODA events and our curricular classes. We will wait and see how these schedules evolve and evaluate what is most important to us at that time.
- I expect instrument rental distribution procedures will be announced before virtual school starts. I will do my best to make sure these resources are safely available as soon as I receive guidance from FPHS administration.
Finally, I want you all to know that we will provide an enriching and challenging virtual band curriculum for all of our students. The cornerstone of this curriculum will be remote recording projects which will turn into digital concerts. The MBB 2020 Leadership is currently in the process of creating their own recording project entitled The Friendship 7 Project, which will be released in August. We are also in the midst of discussing a video collaboration for our current production STEVIE 70.
Thank you as always for your support, patience, and understanding as we work through these challenges together. We will make the best out of this situation and continue with the standard of excellence that the Forest Park High School Marching Bruin Band is known for across Virginia!