Broken Art

Department works through damaged supplies and instruments

Freshman Javier Nunez must play carefully on a bass due to an irreparable crack. The instrument has gone through a previous repare with a similar crack in the same region.

Students walk into their art class and sit down to begin their class period. They choose among the handful of crayons and markers. Across campus, students walk into their music class. They prepare to play an instrument but have to share one. Some instruments students want are in need of repairs or not available.

The art programs have had issues receiving the materials they have ordered through the district. For art teacher Jessica Raygoza, it’s becoming an issue. Raygoza’s 3-D art class hasn’t been able to learn what they’re supposed to. The smallest materials needed are affecting her teaching and the students’ learning.

“Since the beginning of the year there hasn’t been enough tape,” said Raygoza. “So we’re just drawing for now.” Raygoza recycles and reuses materials so students can continue working with them since her materials come unexpectedly. Raygoza says she ordered art supplies from the district on August 12 but hasn’t receive them — until now.

“We waited, kept checking on the order,” Raygoza said. “Turns out the order was never placed and we barely got them.”
“Even if the process is ‘fast’ it takes months,” Raygoza said .

Although his classes are smaller than Raygoza’s, art teacher Robert Aldrich has the same problem. He has even offered to order and pick up art supplies himself.

“The process is messed up,” he said. “With the district warehouse, you have to jump through the hoops.” Raygoza and Aldrich agree that it’s not the district’s fault that art supplies don’t reach them. The problem is too many “middlemen” are involved to order, confirm and receive supplies because something may go wrong during the process.

Aldrich says that he’s grateful, but one has to wait to get a full order. “Sometimes it comes,” Aldrich said. “Sometimes it never comes.”

Band teacher Joseph Updegraff agrees with Raygoza and Aldrich. Instead of missing art supplies, instruments cannot be used due to their damages.

“It’s not entirely the district’s fault,” Updegraff said. “It goes to the state and federal level.” Updegraff says that there isn’t enough support and funding for the arts since Common Core is currently happening. “The majority of funding is going to Common Core,” said Updegraff.

However, there is a difference, he said. “You can still use textbooks when they’re messed up,” said Updegraff. “On the other hand, instruments. Things get messed up to the point where you can’t use them anymore.”

Updegraff has paid for some consumable supplies and minor “band-aid” repairs because of the little funding. “I don’t do these things for my benefit,” said Updegraff. “I do it because it’s what they deserve. They deserve to have quality music education.”