Update from Mr. Boyd

Good afternoon everyone,

I know we all have to decide by Friday which model your student will be utilizing for school this year. I have received many questions and I wanted to share the answers I have with you, which I assure you are not near enough at this point.

OCPS has provided some information on their website regarding the three options you have before you. Here are those options and how they impact your band student.

Face to Face – This is the most like traditional school. Regarding band, students in face to face can expect to play their instruments every day. With our current facilities, we can spread out our large ensembles into multiple spaces and practice with social distancing. Exact details will not be available until we know how many students we have in Face to Face, but even if every band student chose this option, we could make it work.

LaunchED – I am sure you all are familiar with the LaunchED model. Essentially the students will follow their regular schedule from home on their computer. Obviously this makes playing their instrument with the face to face class possible, but not ideal for direct feedback from us. The good news with LaunchED is that the students are permitted to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, which is band. One concern many had was that students selecting LaunchED had to stay for a semester, but we just heard some GREAT news! Students can opt out of LaunchED and into Face to Face after the first nine weeks! Once we know the numbers of students selecting this model, we will make plans for rehearsals/activities to involve all students on a voluntary basis.

Virtual school – if you are planning this, the options for band are a little more difficult. We have had students in the past do virtual school and only take electives at the school.  If you want to do that talk to your counselor, but I believe you would still select the Face to Face model. I believe duel enrollment works the same. Regardless, please talk to your counselor if you are planning to do virtual school and want to be in band.

So if you choose Face to Face or LaunchED, we will find a way for us to rehearse together. As I said, Face to Face will be playing everyday, taking all possible precautions while doing so. 

As I mentioned in a previous email, OCPS has postponed fall sports, including marching band. To be clear, postponed does not mean cancelled. We will resume activities when it is safe for us to do so. We don’t know what that will look like, only time will tell. OCPS has not postponed concert band, jazz band and solo and ensemble. We will move forward with those, with appropriate precautions. 

Lastly, there are no adequate words to describe the situation we are in and the decisions we all have to make. I want to tell you Mr. Steger, Mr. Krahn and I, along with our administration and our new principal, Mr. Turner, will do everything we can to make this work out. I know this is a troubling time, but we will make it through this together. We will still make lifelong friends and make beautiful music together!

Thank you all for your patience, I will continue to update you with more answers as they become available. 

Ken Boyd

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