FROM THE DESK OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CANTON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Greetings Canton Community!  As we sit over halfway through the summer, it is hard to believe that we are only a month away from the start of school.  The staff have spent a great deal of time in careful planning and preparation for the students and teachers as they look to return to school.  The first day of school for students is Monday, August 27th, and the faculty and staff will be reporting for in-service on Thursday, August 23rd. I thought it was important for me to share with the students, parents, and community some of the exciting opportunities we have planned for the 2018-2019 school year.  It continues to be our mission to Focus on Learning:  Every child, every day, "The Warrior Way!"

The district is proud to announce a partnership with the Friendship House to provide services through a Community and School Based Behavioral Health (CSBBH) mental health program.  This program will service up to 24 students in grades K-6 starting at the end of September or early October.  The CSBBH Team is based in the school but delivers services to the youth and family in the school, home, and community settings as needed. Each team is comprised of a number of licensed, master’s prepared clinicians and bachelor’s prepared staff who work together to serve a flexibly sized caseload of youth and families. As compared to other community-based behavioral health services, the CSBBH Team delivers services to the youth in a more flexible manner at times of clinical need.  We are excited to begin this new endeavor with our partners at Friendship House and are confident it will have a positive impact on our students and families in the district.

We are also excited about the new opportunities that our senior high school students will have based on the newly developed schedule.  After surveying students and teachers, we determined that we would be able to offer more diversity on the courses we currently offer. We will be removing the CKU (Catching Kids Up) period for many of the students at the high school and provide additional course options for our students. Those students who used the CKU period for additional support will have to get this support during this period or an alternative option will be made available so those students can receive the additional resources they may need.

This summer the business office has spent countless hours updating our new school district webpage.  Please take time to view our new look.  We are currently working toward full functionality of the calendar section, but we believe the new website allows us to provide enhancements that were not available to us in the past.  Also, remember to watch our sporting events live through our webpage (live stream). Our students worked very diligently in the spring and we are excited to provide our first event this fall with our football team. More information on the live stream will be forthcoming later this summer/fall. You can also “like” us on Facebook (Canton Area School District) and/or “follow” us on Twitter (@CASDSuperinten1).

We are also very excited about some of the new opportunities we will have at the Northern Tier Career Center (NTCC). Currently, we have over 45 students in grades 11-12 that will be attending the program this year.  In the spring of last year, we were able to collaborate with the Troy Area School District and move from a school district that attends the morning session to the afternoon session.  This gave use the additional flexibility to increase our course options at the high school.  These schedule changes will have no impact on the start and end time to school, but will maximize the learning for all of our students.  Finally, our students will have the opportunity to benefit from a new career pathway called Information Sciences and Technology.  This program was made possible through partnership with the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus.  We are very excited about this opportunity for our students.

We will be beginning implementation of the Tier 2 PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) program.  Interventions within Tier 2 are more intensive since a smaller number of students require these services. Common Tier 2 support practices involve small groups of students or simple individualized intervention strategies. Tier 2 support is designed for use in schools where there are more students needing behavior support than can be supported via intensive and individual Tier 3 support, and for students who are at risk of chronic problem behavior, but for whom high intensity interventions are not essential (Office of Special Education, 2017). Our faculty and staff will be receiving training throughout the school year to learn how and when to implement the Tier 2 level of supports.

We are also excited about our new partnership with the Lighthouse of Faith Church this fall.  The district will be partnering with this church to provide after school homework support to students in our elementary school.  We are hoping to have the program off the ground and running by the end of October.  The purpose of this program is to provide a partnership with the local organization who is willing to offer academic supports to our students with resources outside of our school.  Our hope is to expand this program in the coming years through other community partnerships.

At the end of the last school year, the Canton Jr/Sr High School enabled a pilot program for cell phone usage during the school day.  Students were permitted to use their cell phones during their lunch period and between classes. After carefully gathering data from the students and staff, we decided to return to our original policy where student will only be able to use their cell phone before and after school hours.  Details will be outlined in the student handbook that will go home with each child at the beginning of the school year.  We appreciate parental cooperation on this issue as we anticipate our students wanting to communicate with parents during school hours.

Finally, I wanted to inform the public that we received word in the middle of July that we will not be able to provide our Pre-K Counts program for the 2018-2019 school year.   Recall, this program was provided to about 15 pre-school age students through a partnership with the BLaST Intermediate Unit last year.  Because of changes required of the program, we looked to partner with the Bradford-Tioga Head Start program to offer a Pre-K Counts program.  We learned that funding from the state was no longer available for this service, and therefore, we will be unable to provide this support to our preschool students.  However, we will continue with the partnership with the Bradford-Tioga Head Start program at our elementary school.  Should you have any questions with this program, please feel free to contact the Bradford-Tioga Head Start.

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Canton Area School District, I would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable rest of the summer. We are looking for the opportunity to continually support the students of the Canton community, and we are excited about the many learning experiences we have prepared for the upcoming school year.

Yours in Education,

Eric Briggs, Superintendent of Schools

Reference:

Office of Special Education Programs. (2017). What is school-wide PBIS? Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Retrieved from https://www.pbis.org/school

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