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The coronavirus and school art programs

We've talked a lot about high school sports, but what about the arts? Parents told NEWS CENTER Maine it's just as important.

MAINE, USA — Maine Principal's Association has pushed back the start of high school sports due to the pandemic. Deril and Patty Stubenrod said talking about athletics is important, but so is talking about the arts.

"Because how students process stress can be every bit as much dealt with in the physical environment as it can in the musical and drama environment too," Deril Stubenrod said.

The Stubenrod's kids, Matt and Chuck, will participate in band and chorus at Messalonskee High School this coming school year.

"As normal. As normal as they can be," Patty Stubenrod said.

But things are not normal in all schools. 

According to the Maine Band Director's Association, it voted to suspend all of its fall programs. Patty said her kids' school district has only announced cancelations for one program, drama.

Patty is one of the boosters for the arts programs in RsU 18. She said drama will be canceled for the fall,  but students at Messalonskee are encouraged to continue to rehearse in small groups so they're ready for the spring.

On, off, suspended, fundraising for these programs is always a challenge.

"There are some that just think it's just drama it's just music why is that important," Deril said.

These extra-curriculars aside, Brewer Superintendent Gregg Palmer says moving forward begins with moving ahead with classes, even in a hybrid situation.

"If you're focused on physical safety and everybody has to stay home then that's not great for social-emotional health," Palmer said.

Hybrid schedules mean in the classroom a few days a week and remote schooling at home the other days.


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