Ketchikan’s school board is being asked to approve a trip to New York in 2023 for Ketchikan High School’s concert band. The board has to approve all out-of-state travel.
Ketchikan High School’s band director, Bradley Crowe, writes in a memo to the board that the band was accepted to play at the New York Wind Band Festival in 2023 after a successful audition.
Crowe writes that only about half a dozen high school ensembles are accepted for the festival every year. They’d work with festival faculty and get feedback on their performance. The trip would culminate with a performance from the high school band at Carnegie Hall.
Band members and faculty would attend a concert of the New York Philharmonic, take a river cruise around New York and see a show on Broadway.
Crowe writes that the five-day trip would be, in his words, “unforgettable for the students and a milestone for the Kayhi Band Program.” Crowe estimates the cost at around $2,200 per person for 40 students and 15 chaperones. Crowe didn’t say whether that cost would be borne by the district or staff and students.
In other business, the board will consider accepting a nearly $2 million grant from the state funded by a federal coronavirus relief package signed into law late last year. The money is partly intended to help the district address the loss of academic progress that stemmed from the initial closure of schools in March. Ketchikan’s students are currently learning in-person at all district schools. The $2 million has to be spent by September of 2023.
Finally, the board is scheduled to consider minor tweaks to this year’s school calendar and discuss what the calendar should look like next school year. A draft of the 2021-2022 calendar shows students returning on Thursday, Aug. 26 and ending the year on June 3, 2022.
The board is also set to discuss when school staff may be able to access the COVID-19 vaccine. Ketchikan’s teachers’ union recently released a statement asking the state to move teachers up on its list of priorities — the state is currently seeking to vaccinate everyone 65 and up before moving to essential workers, including teachers.
Ketchikan’s school board is scheduled to meet Wednesday in the White Cliff Building at 1900 First Ave. Public comment will be heard at the beginning and end of the meeting. It’s broadcast on local cable channels and live-streamed at the borough’s website.