There are a lot of big and exciting changes in store for the 2015-2016 band of pirates!
One exciting new thing to look out for this year is the bi-monthly Band News Letter. In an effort to further improve our communications, Ryan McCracken, Band Booster Secretary, has suggested the idea of creating a new band newsletter. In the past, it was actually a requirement for the Band Boosters (formerly the Charlestown Band Parents) to write a monthly newsletter and pass it out to both schools in order to keep students and their parents informed about current and upcoming band, marching band, and color guard events. Over time, the newsletters stopped due to various reasons.
“The newsletters stopping is something that I feel could have led to deteriorating communications and the passing of information over the years.” said McCracken.
The purpose of the newsletters was simple, to inform students and their parents about events. The newsletter included short articles and interesting bits of information on concerts and performances, on future plans, and on goals. The newsletter also included an updated calendar to keep everyone on the same page. It was more than just a small bit of information for parents and students, it was an expected part of the regular band routine.
“When the newsletters ended, all information was passed by word of mouth and by occasional letters sent home to parents.” said McCracken. “If a student forgot to tell their parents or left the occasional letter in the band room, parents never heard about it.”
The improved communication from the newsletters increased parent involvement in band booster fundraisers, student involvement in extracurricular activities related to the band and color guard, and also served as a recruiting tool for middle school students who were learning about the high school band, marching band, and color guard programs through the letters.
“When the newsletters stopped, we likely lost a valuable recruiting tool, especially for the middle school. The middle school students stopped hearing so much about what was to come. When they got into high school, they weren’t as excited or motivated to participate in marching band or color guard.” said McCracken.
One big discussion the band boosters had is the cost of printing so much paper, especially if some of the papers never made it home to parents. This is why the Band Boosters, on top of sending home physical copies with students, have decided to post the letter on the website and links to it on our social media accounts.
“If a student leaves it at school, it will be posted online too. We could also email it to students and parents to give an extra copy. There will be no way for a parent not to have access to it, whether they have access to a computer at home or not, they will be able to get the letters one way or another.” said McCracken.
A problem ran into in the past was just sending one form of communication to parents. The Band Boosters, back as far as 2008, attempted to email things to parents. Many emails never received a response or were never seen. Currently, there are also a large number of parents who still do not use computers or do not have access to a computer at their house. These are reasons why, as McCracken argues, paper copies must also be sent home, so that there are various means for information to reach parents.
“When I was in band, I always felt that a newsletter could have been a tremendous help. So many parents would say they didn’t know when things are because their kids forgot to tell them or a letter sent out never reached them.” said McCracken.
An exciting feature for the newsletters is the fact that, as with the website, Band Council members will be responsible for creating articles for the website and designing the bi-monthly newsletter with guidance from the Band Boosters.
The Band Council is an elected board of students that represent all grades, 6th through 12th, within the band program. There are also other positions including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Webmaster(s). All of these positions could help to make these projects move forward. On top of representing the students of our band program, the band council will work to keep them informed and to recruit new students.
“I have always felt that the Band Council can serve as an important leadership, communications, and recruitment role for our band program. This is why I want to heavily involve them in our new projects.” said McCracken. “I was once Band Council president and these are initiatives I tried to push through while I was in there.”
Keep an eye out for our upcoming bi-monthly newsletters that will be sent home with your students and online at charlestownbandofpirates.com. This year, the Band of Pirates means business when it comes to recruitment and communications.
Are you interested in helping the band boosters? Our first meeting of the 2015-2016 school year is Thursday, August 6th at 7:00pm in the Charlestown High School band room!