Music program curtailment leads to furlough: Courses to be redistributed for next school year


Music program curtailment leads to changes in Freedom Area School District.

Hannah Shumsky, Asst. News Editor

At the May 14 Board meeting, after the School Board came out of executive session, they approved a district-wide music program curtailment, or reduction, which will result in one part-time music teacher being furloughed due to a district-wide enrollment decline. As a result of the furlough, courses in the music department will be redistributed to fill other teachers’ schedules.

“The curtailment means that the district will be reducing the size of the Music Department by [one half] of a position. Unfortunately, that means that Mrs. [Hillary] Frankenstein, middle school general music teacher, will be subject to furlough from her position,” Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Fuller said. After Frankenstein’s furlough, there will only be three music teachers in the district: Mrs. Jennifer Newman, Mr. Rob James and Mr. Keith Kovalic.

FASD’s student population has decreased by 160 students over the last five years, which was the reasoning for the curtailment.

“We do not anticipate that there will be any other impact to the music department,” Fuller said.

Although the curtailment and furlough will take effect on June 30, after school is out for the summer, students may see their teachers teaching different classes next school year. While no classes are planned to be eliminated as a result of the curtailment, some courses will be need to be realigned or redistributed among other teachers to make up for the furlough. The music department teachers and any other teachers involved in the course rearrangement will meet after the school year has ended to determine the best solution for arrangement.

“Here at the high school, we are trying to make sure there’s as little impact on our programs as possible and, looking at the scheduling, we will be able to keep band and chorus intact more or less as they happened this year. The big change will be in DTV, which will most likely be moved to another [teacher’s] schedule,” FHS Principal, Mr. William Deal said.

“The Freedom Area School District has always had an incredibly strong music program,” Fuller said. “Although the loss of this position is a difficult situation, we still have very high expectations for our music program. This was a very difficult decision to make. Despite this reduction, the Board and Administration are fully supportive of the department and the students it serves.”