North Hills School District is one of only seven districts in Allegheny County to receive one of the two prestigious designations awarded this year. Schools in 471 districts across the country also have been recognized.
The SupportMusic Merit Award is awarded to individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
“It is an honor to be one of the 472 districts and schools nationwide to be selected, and this recognition is a testament to the incredible educators and talented students who instruct and learn in North Hills High School’s valued music education program,” said Dr. Patrick J. Mannarino, North Hills School District’s superintendent.
At North Hills School District, approximately two out of every three students has taken part in a music class or related activity during the 2013-14 school year. A total of 14 different classes are taught at North Hills High School, and the district offers 45 different music courses to elementary and secondary students.
A Columbia University study found that children who play music do better in school, are more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express ideas. According to a recent Gallup Pool, 94 percent of Americans consider music to be part of a well-rounded education.
Established in 1999, the Best Communities for Music Education from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation honors school districts and school buildings that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education programs as part of the schools’ core curriculum and exemplify commitment and support for music education.
To be considered for the designation, district educators are required to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses are verified with school officials and reviewed by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.