EDINBURG – The Fine Arts Department of the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District recently earned the Best Communities for Music Education award for the fifth consecutive year. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation honored Edinburg CISD with the designation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

“We are once again honored and proud that Edinburg CISD has received this prestigious award,” ECISD Fine Arts Director Nelinda Villarreal said. “We want to thank all of our students, parents, teachers, staff and our board members for their continued support of our award-winning music programs.”

According to the NAMM Foundation, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

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

The ECISD Fine Arts Department offers several programs that begin at the elementary school level and continue into the high school level, including music, choir, mariachi, guitar, art, band and orchestra.

“All elementary students have at least 45 minutes to 50 minutes of music, art, theatre or dance all embedded within the same program at the elementary level,” Villarreal said. “Once they get into middle school, they can go on ahead and decide what they want to do.”

This award recognizes that Edinburg CISD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.