BIS Moves Forward With New Music Plan

Under a new proposed music plan, Jazz Band classes move to zero period.

After cutting a few music classes from the regular school day earlier this year, Burlingame Intermediate School officials will move forward with placing Advanced Jazz Band, Intermediate Jazz Band and Concert Band in zero period for the current school year.

Due to staff reductions, Intermediate Jazz Band and Advanced Jazz Band, which have historically met during the school day, were moved to zero period twice a week, with 7th/8th grade Concert Band meeting twice a week, either at zero period or after school Tuesday, and 6th grade Jazz Band meeting after school Tuesday, as well. All Jazz Band members are required to participate in Concert Band.

Under the new schedule, Advanced Jazz Band and Intermediate Jazz Band both meet twice a week during zero period and flux in and out of Concert Band, which meets five days a week during zero period. Another teacher will be hired for zero period, funded through the Burlingame Community for Education Foundation.

“We explored three different options,” said Burlingame Intermediate School Principal Pam Scott. “That way students are getting music five days a week.”

The other options identified were having Jazz Band meet during lunch or placing Jazz Band back into the school day with Concert Band remaining at zero period.

While school officials quickly determined lunch provided inadequate playing time, counselors did rework schedules for the 31 Advanced Jazz Band students and the 20 other non-music students whose schedules would be impacted by replacing Advanced Jazz Band back in the school day.

However, if a music class was replaced in the day, students with one elective would have a tough choice. For example, a student who participates in band and takes Italian as an elective would have to choose between the two if his music class was placed back in the school day.

“If [Jazz Band is at] zero, everybody keeps their schedule,” Scott said. “Everybody can participate.”

Parents expressed concern that attending zero period five days a week was asking too much of students, and some might change their minds about participating in music.

Moving forward, the district will convene a committee on the future and scheduling of the BIS music program for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. The current solution is only expected to last through this year.

“It’s not a perfect answer, but I think it tries to replicate what’s to come,” said Trustee Greg Land, referring to a more demanding high school schedule. “I think it’s a start.”


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