Westport schools' music programs have been cited with a "Best Communities for Music Education" designation from the National Association of Music Merchants.

"Westport has long possessed a unique insight and understanding of the important role music plays in the education of the whole child," Thomas Scavone, the school district's music supervisor, said in a statement. "Receiving this designation for the third year in a row reflects the district's sustained commitment to a high quality preK-12 music education program."

Now in its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education recognizes school districts that "have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of schools' core curriculum," according to the press release.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by the Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.