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School District U-46 Recognized as One of the "Best Communities for Music Education" for the Sixth Year in a Row



June 12, 2024 - The School District U-46 Board of Education on Monday honored the District’s music education program and music educators after U-46 was recognized as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” by a national foundation for the sixth year in a row.


The designation comes from the NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 15,000 member companies and individual professionals around the world.


The Best Communities for Music Education designation, now in its 25th year, is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.


U-46 was one of less than three dozen school districts in Illinois to receive the honor. U-46 Fine Arts Coordinator Jaimie Giraldo accepted the Accent on Achievement certificate from the Board of Education.


“This recognition is a testament to our exceptional teachers and the robust instructional opportunities we offer our students,” Giraldo said. “Our dedicated music educators and supportive community have created an environment where students can thrive and develop their musical talents. We are proud of this achievement and committed to continuing our tradition of excellence in music education.”


One of the unique musical opportunities that U-46 is known for is its Mariachi instruction offered at several middle and high schools, as well as the Mariachi Joya Dorada de U-46, an extracurricular performance ensemble composed of students.


For the past week, the District has hosted professional development workshops for Mariachi instructors from U-46, school districts around Chicagoland, and from California and Pennsylvania. To wrap up the week, about 35 of the Mariachi teachers will perform a free concert on Friday, June 14, at 3:30 p.m. at the Downtown Elgin Market on South Riverside Drive.