Education

Kennewick schools planned to cut elite choir programs. Here’s what’s being done to save them

The Kennewick School District headquarters building is on West Fourth Avenue.
The Kennewick School District headquarters building is on West Fourth Avenue. Tri-City Herald file

The fate of two Kennewick elite choir programs is now in the hands of students now that school leaders have begun promoting them.

More than 200 students, teachers and parents filled the Kennewick School Board meeting last week after learning that Southridge’s Golden Voices and Kennewick High’s Mad Hatters wouldn’t return next year.

While news that the programs were going to be cut brought dozens into the meeting, the interest among students in the schools hasn’t been as intense, Superintendent Dave Bond said. The district needs to average 25 to 30 students in a high school class or they will lose money.

In Southridge, two of the three choirs had enrollment in the mid-teens, and at Kennewick the Mad Hatters had seven people sign up, chamber choir had 12 and concert choir had 16.

Administrators urged students to work on recruiting their peers while the schools help with promotion, which has now started at both schools. The bulletins ask students to see their counselor about joining the program.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.
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