• Music Education Grant Boosts VAPA Academy 

    Westmont Elementary School launched its Visual & Performing Arts (VAPA) Academy in fall 2017, becoming the first elementary school in OVSD to offer a beginning band program for fourth and fifth grade students. With this is mind, Westmont worked collaboratively with Steve Venz, VAPA Coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, to pursue a funding opportunity from Buchanan Street Partners real estate firm.

    In April 2017, OVSD proudly learned it was a recipient of a $50,000 Buchanan Music Matters grant. In July, the Board voted unanimously to ratify the Buchanan Music Matters Orange County Music Education Grant and 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the Buchanan Children’s Charities and the Orange County Community Foundation.

    As a recipient of the grant, Westmont Elementary School purchased musical instruments (band, strings, and/or guitars) for its first-ever elementary band program to further expand the school’s existing performing arts offerings, including chorus and theatre. Not only are students learning to play these instruments, they also receive instruction in basic music reading skills and basic note reading, and learn basic band principles to promote competence, positivity and teamwork. Long-time elementary music teacher Kim Robles instructs students and is helping to ensure that music education remains a key program at Westmont.