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BOE Brief December 2016: A Project of Teamwork, Collaboration, Creativity and Kindness

December 20, 2016 Community, Opinion, Schools No Comments
Students work on the Community Circle Project.  Submitted Photo

Students work on the Community Circle Project.
Submitted Photo

Dear Canton Public Schools Community,

It is hard to believe it is December and we will begin the Winter recess in just a few more days. Over the past two months, the Board of Education has been busy working on new initiatives and hearing reports from various departments about the great work being done in our schools. Topics included the student-centered learning framework, technology, STEM initiatives in our schools, and an update on our Open Choice program. All of these reports can be found on our website at → http://www.cantonschools.org under “Latest News” on the homepage. You can also view our new Board of Education video on the values statement and how these values are demonstrated in our school. Be sure to check it out!

As we reflect on the spirit of the holiday season, I would like to share a story of an experience I had at Canton Intermediate School in early December. I volunteered to help with the 5th grade Community Circles project, where the 5th grade made Rose Windows to display in different locations around town. The project began on an early morning in the Canton Intermediate School gym, with the students gathered to hear a presentation about the project and learn about the process of making stained glass art.

Deb Costello, the Canton Intermediate School art teacher began by explaining the project and shared an interaction she had recently with a 6th grader who did Community Circles last year in 5th grade. This student told Mrs. Costello that the project introduced her to her now best friend in 6th grade and she did not know this person before that project. Experiences like Community Circles are important to allow our students to come together in a different setting, be grouped with students they don’t know as well, and allow them to create something that gives back to our community. While that may not be “academic” learning like Reading, Writing or Arithmetic, it is important learning that occurs — the skills of teamwork and collaboration, creativity and kindness and a sense of belonging to a larger community –skills that are needed to be successful in the world we live in today. As I walked around the gym listening and watching the students, they all had different approaches to their work– some broke down the individual tasks and assigned those, others selected a specific shape in the rose window to cut and glue. What was wonderful to see is that there was no “right” way to complete the task and that all the students were engaged with each other and their project. What a wonderful way to share art and give back to our community!

In closing, I wish all of you a Happy Holiday season. I hope you enjoy the Winter recess and time with your families.

Regards,
Julie Ausere
, Chair
Canton Board of Education

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