Phoenix-Talent School District implements 5th-grade band

PHOENIX, Ore. – Phoenix-Talent 5th graders are getting a new elective this school year. It’s all thanks to one teacher.

Like much of the nation, school districts are facing teacher shortages. But the Phoenix-Talent School District is seeing a shortage of students interested in music programs. Mike DeRoest is taking it upon himself to not only teach high school band but now 5th-grade band.

“I’m hoping this will get more kids into the program, get them excited to play band so that they’ll stick with it and get those numbers at the high school back up,” said DeRoest.

Currently, the high schools only have 25 students enrolled in marching band.

About 160 students are taking advantage of the district’s new band class. Rogue Valley Symphony is also donating instruments to the three schools.

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