Letter: Protect art programming

To the Editor:
We at NEA-Ridgefield are writing this letter to express our belief in the importance of maintaining full-time art positions at the elementary level. Our mission at NEA-R is first and foremost to advocate for teachers. Knowing the powerful role all teachers play in social-emotional learning and overall development of our children, it is imperative that we do all we can to preserve ALL teachers. We urge the Board of Education to preserve these positions at 100%. 
Embedded in our mission is the belief in maintaining quality, balanced programming for our students. We recognize the level of time involved in creating the amazing art program experiences our youngest students enjoy. We recognize that even a seemingly small cut to hours will significantly impact what our art teachers are able to provide our students. In light of recent decisions to funnel money to math programming from funding for outside consultants (a move NEA-R fully supports), we urge the BOE to be aware of the perception such a move, coupled with reducing art programming, may create. 
The mark of a great school district is the ability to preserve and protect that which we value — even when it is difficult to do so. We at NEA-R value our teachers. And we value balanced programming. We urge the BOE to protect our elementary art positions.
Jeanne Deming

Steve Ruland

Robin Collins

Dave Yolen

Mike Hougasian
NEA-Ridgefield Executive Council