Del Sol Academy teacher seeks ‘Guitar Heroes,’ asks for help from community

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County School District (CCSD) performing arts teachers are adapting to distance education.

8 News Now took a look at their efforts and how they’re working together to make this year successful.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty because we’re redeveloping and recreating our classes,” said Paul Kleemann, a guitar teacher at Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts. “This is my fourth year.”

This is also Kleemann’s first year doing full-time distance education. He met with us off campus because of school COVID-19 policies and shared his concerns.

“Trying to reinvent how we’re going to provide these opportunities for our students” he said.

Kleemann says performing arts teachers around the district are talking with each other, finding the best ways to do distance education.

“I know that people thought, ‘Oh my gosh, the performing arts are not going to be able to survive through this.’ But we’re surviving,” said Kim Ritzer, Green Valley High School choir director.

Ritzer says performing arts educators continue to adapt, from learning new apps for virtual performances to finding additional resources.

“A lot of the music publishing companies are letting us PDF the music so that we can send it to the kids, and so they’ll have it without copyright,” she explained.

But an issue for some educators, including Kleemann, is inventory.

“If you have an extra guitar around the house that you’re not using, you’re willing to give it to a child to practice during the school year, that would be great,” said Kleemann.

He has about 65 guitars for roughly 200 students.

“How am I going to teach my class to them, and how are they going to get a guitar?” Kleemann questioned.

It’s a problem he’s addressing with supervisors.

“If I don’t end up with enough, they’ve talked about pairing down my classes, and that would hurt some kids who really want to take the class.”

Kleeman posted about the issue on social media and received positive feedback, even from Zappos.

“They’re willing to do a 1:1 match, so I can get another guitar donated, they’ll match that guitar up to 70, or they can give me a flat donation,” he explained. “So, I’m working on the details.”

It’s an effort to maintain music education during the pandemic.

“I’m hoping through this Hail Mary process, I end up with enough guitars I can pass on to my students,” Kleemann said.

He plans to share any extra guitars that come in with other schools, ensuring students keep the music playing at home.

For more information about Kleemann and donating to his cause, click here. You can also email him at: kleempe@nv.ccsd.net.

CCSD thanked the community for its support and gave an update on performing arts programs during distance learning in a statement, which reads:

The Clark County School District (CCSD) welcomes and appreciates community support to ensure our students receive a rich and rigorous education in the classroom. This is one example of how the community comes together to support educators to make CCSD #1 for kids.

Additionally, CCSD’s School-Community Partnership Office works with local community and business partners to provide supplies for schools through a number of supply drives throughout the year. Community and private organizations interested in partnering with CCSD may contact the CCSD School-Community Partnership Office by emailing partnership@nv.ccsd.net for more information.

The Humanities Department, which oversees the Fine and Performing Arts programs within CCSD, continues to work directly with individual schools to assist performing arts teachers in developing and delivering rich online content. CCSD’s Humanities Department continues to identify quality online applications to enhance distance education which are crucial for unique situations in which students do not have access to instruments. Additionally, the Humanities Department is working to support teachers in creating virtual events to maintain a performance focus and community connection for our students.

Clark County School District

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