Designated the best

Kelly Jacobsma directs the Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School sixth-grade band. The district was designated as one of the 2018 Best Communities in the Nation for Music Education. 

SIBLEY—The Sibley-Ocheyedan School District provides music to our ears!

At least according to the National Association of Music Merchants, which named the school district as one of the 2018 Best Communities in the Nation for Music Education.

The National Association of Music Merchants is a nonprofit organization started in 1901, and is considered the trade association of the international music industry.

“The Sibley-Ocheyedan community has a long and rich heritage of excellence in music,” said Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School band director Kelly Jacobsma. “The communities and school support music education in a very visible and profound way. We have very active and supportive booster groups, with great parental support.

“We have a school that understands the importance of music and the arts in our daily schedule and curriculum,” he continued. “Our students and teachers really work hard to provide the best education and performance possible.

“We are all humbled by this national award, but not surprised, as this is an outstanding community for music education.”

Sibley-Ocheyedan was among the top 4 percent, or 583 districts, across the country to receive such an accolade, and one of three Iowa districts. The other two were Dubuque and Sioux City.

The designation is given to districts that display outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Schools also must recognize that music education is important to overall education for students, must have a tradition of teaching music and able to teach students to play at a high level.

In order to be named one of the best music districts in the country, staff members of the Sibley-Ocheyedan music department answered questions about music class participation and instruction time, support for the music program and community music programs, funding and facilities.

The designation also uses the Every Student Succeeds Act, which recognizes the importance of music and art in education.