Congratulations to Eric and Leanne Ratica and Kimberly Brenstuhl!

For the FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, the Norwayne Local School District has been honored with the "Best Communities for Music Education" designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Norwayne joins 754 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2020. The Norwayne District is one of only 47 districts in Ohio to receive the award.

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, representatives from the Norwayne district answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

This award recognizes that Norwayne is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015, replaces No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing—while leaving behind subject such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of well-rounded education for all children.