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APS board accepts donated instruments

3/16/2017 - South Side Leader
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By Maggie DeMellier

At the March 13 Akron Public Schools (APS) Board of Education meeting, the board heard from Tommy Bruno, general manager of WAPS 91.3 FM, The Summit. The radio station is owned by the district and funded by donations and grants, said Board President Patrick Bravo.

Through the Music Alive program created by The Summit, the station solicits second-hand musical instruments from listeners to distribute to APS students.

The board accepted the donation of five musical instruments through the program and with that donation, Bruno said Music Alive reached a milestone of 325 total instruments received for APS students since the inception of the program. Thanks to the Music Alive program partner, Taylor Band & Orchestra, all instruments are assessed and refurbished before being presented to the APS Music Department for distribution to students, according to district officials.

According to Superintendent David James, the radio station serves as a significant source of public relations for the district, providing nearly 4,000 APS announcements annually. He said similar coverage on commercial stations would cost $250,000 to $1 million.

For additional information about donating instruments, contact Music Alive Coordinator Marilyn Stroud at marilyn@thesummit.fm.

The board also passed a resolution to accept The Summit’s fiscal operation procedures.

In other business, the board:

• accepted a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation for National Inventors Hall of Fame School ... Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Learning High School, for $3,000 to support a problem-based learning experience in collaboration with Akron Steel Treating. Students will work with manufacturing experts to build robots and test them to complete specific operations for the company, according to district officials; and

• approved policies that address issues including care of students with chronic health conditions, student accidents and animals on school property.

Board member Debbie Walsh, co-chair of the Instructional Policy & Student Achievement Committee, discussed a timeline for the board’s consideration of the College and Career Academies of Akron (CCA) Master Plan. CCA is a new high school educational model that links academic subjects to career themes, said district officials. Students and teachers work with community partners to explore a variety of college and career options.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for students,” Walsh said. “It prepares students for college or to enter the workplace. We want community involvement in what this will look like.”

She encouraged parental involvement over the next few weeks and said the master plan will be presented to the board at its April 10 meeting.

In the meantime, she said, parents are encouraged to attend one of the sessions to get information and provide feedback: March 21 at 6 p.m. at North High School, located at 985 Gorge Blvd., and March 23 at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Firestone Community Learning Center, 470 Castle Blvd.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for March 29, two days later than usual, at 5:30 p.m. at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 70 N. Broadway St.

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