Osseo Area Schools was honored with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education designation. Its exceptional commitment to music education makes it the only district to receive this award for 10 consecutive years.
The extensive award application is given to the districts that prove outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to its students. Christine Weatherman, the district’s music program specialist, says the award is a celebration of innovative and resourceful music programs.
Weatherman believes the comprehensive nature of the program sets the Osseo district apart. She says, “We check off all the boxes … Our district makes three promises to students and families: The students will be given numerous opportunities in each area of study, they will be given support along the way and we will partner with the community … This award is an affirmation that we are living our district mission statement.”
Osseo district offers 28 classes for students, from jazz band to music theory, to fit each student’s taste and style, and all elementary students participate in music classes. Weatherman says the experienced staff play a huge roll in the success of the music programs, since over 60 percent of teachers have advanced degrees. Osseo music students don’t stay in the classroom. They participate in community events and perform in concerts.
The goal of Osseo’s music programs is to help its students thrive. Weatherman says that students involved in music tend to excel in other areas of life and learn teamwork, confidence and listening skills. Music students also begin to see their classmates as family. “Parents tell us all the time how students would be lost if they didn’t have [music groups]. Performing groups turn into a family for the kids and a place to feel safe.”
District 279 serves 20,000 students from Maple Grove, Osseo, Corcoran, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Dayton, Plymouth and Rogers.