Local Band Directors Release Plan for Fall Programs

Local Band Directors Release Plan for Fall Programs

By Zach Hester, Reporter • zach@southerntorch.com

PHOTO: Plainview High School's marching band performs at 2018's DeKalb County Exhibition. (Zach Hester | Southern Torch)

DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. — Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, how to safely reopen schools and extracurricular activities has become an area of concern for not just students — but teachers as well. 

This week, Patrick Roszell, who serves as band director at Sylvania, released a list of guidelines for conducting his band program in the fall. 

“First and foremost, your child’s safety, as well as my safety, is my number one priority,” he said via Facebook. “I refuse to put anyone in a situation where anyone could be exposed.”

Roszell’s guidelines, which were co-created by all six of DeKalb County’s band directors, include the following:

  • Travel: No away football games, exhibitions, or contests will be attended.
  • Uniforms: Students will not be required to wear traditional uniforms. Students will wear an alternative uniform of a polo shirt, khaki shorts, sneakers, and a belt.

“I know these are some big changes, and I assure you that we are not acting alone,” Roszell stated. “We will not compromise the health and safety of our students for entertainment.” 

“We have some amazing and passionate Band Directors in the county, and we are always thinking ahead and weighing every possible outcome of every scenario,” said Geraldine band director Lauren Lingerfelt Roszell. “In formulating these guidelines, I and the other authors communicated with upwards of thirty other band directors throughout the state to discuss what their prescribed guidelines were, where their concerns lie, and how they are planning to proceed into the fall.”

“Even though the fall will look different this year, we will still be working diligently towards our mission in the classroom and on our campuses,” she continued. “Moving forward, we remain cognizant of the fact that there will always be uncertainty, but we will continue to collaborate with one another to alleviate as much of that uncertainty as possible.”

Roszell also stated that several directors from across the area have asked for these guidelines to apply in their own programs. 

“These guidelines are for your child’s as well as my safety,” he concluded. “I, like most of you, have parents and in-laws, that are above 65, and have health issues. I refuse to do anything that will endanger them.”

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