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Images of Canton: Finding Success on the Stage

Canton Music Theatre will present “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” March 17-19.

Shows take place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19. Pre-sale tickets are $8 for seniors and students and $12 for adults. At the door, the prices are $10 and $15. The production is in conjunction with Music Theatre International. For tickets, call 860-693-7707, or log on to cantonmusictheatre.org. Also, see more in this week’s Valley Press.

School Board Looks to Reduce Proposed Cuts to Non-Certified Staff

March 8, 2017 Schools No Comments

While the Board of Education on Tuesday reduced Superintendent Kevin D. Case’s budget proposal, it also looked to reduce the impact on non-certified staff members.

Earlier this year, Case introduced his budget proposal of $25, 629,086, which would have represented a 1.84 percent increase in spending. In that budget, Case said he had made the very difficult decision to reduce 12 Full-time equivalent non-certified staff positions  – ones that cover such positions as tutors and paraprofessionals.

On Tuesday, the Board of Education voted to pass along to the Board of Finance a proposal of $25,466,086, a 1.19 percent increase. The board found savings in line items such as professional development, custodial supplies, technology, a proposed .25 Capstone (senior projects) coordinator. However, the board added back in three non-certified staff positions.

Later this month, the Board of Finance, will begin looking at school and town government budgets. The finance board will be grappling with ways to deal with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal for drastic cuts in state aid.

The Board of Selectmen will be discussing the town side budget Wednesday night.

Residents Air Opinions on Trump Chant to Canton Board of Education

March 8, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Canton plays Classical earlier this year (This is not the night of the alleged incident).

By John Fitts 

Several parents spoke out Tuesday about the “Trump” chant controversy, while superintendent Kevin D. Case disclosed that additional comments were made during the recent basketball game.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28 Hartford-based Classical Magnet School visited Canton High School and squeaked out a 48-47 win in the NCCC Tournament semifinal.

During the game, according to school administrators, a small group of student spectators chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” while Classical players were on the free-throw line.

School administrators quickly condemned the action, and particularly the tone of the comments, as being divisive and crossing a line.

At the Board of Education Tuesday, several parents continued the debate over the context of such comments.  … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Songs of the Continents

The Canton Public Schools Music Department recently presented “Songs of the Continent.” The March 2 concert, held at Canton High School, featured the freshman chorus, concert choir and chamber singers. Brett Gottheimer directed the performances with Diana Lawler as accompanist. See http://www.cantonmusic.org for upcoming concerts

‘Modified’ Code Yellow at Two Canton Schools Friday

March 3, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Two Canton schools have been placed on a “Modified Code Yellow” Friday. The issue is related to the controversy – and fallout – following a controversial incident at a Canton High School basketball game earlier this week when some students yelled “Trump, Trump, Trump” while an opposing team was on the foul line.

School officials said the tone used in the comments made it inappropriate. The incident, and reaction to it, have stirred much controversy in town and well beyond.

The incident also resulted in social media posts some parents took as threatening to Canton schools and case said outdoor recess was canceled at Cherry Brook and Canton Intermediate to allay fears.

“With the concern many parents have, I want to be sure all students are in a safe environment,” Case told Canton Compass in a message.

For more on the incident, see our previous story and next week’s Valley Press, which will include other perspectives.

Following is Case’s email to parents.

“I am writing this message to you as a follow-up to my message to you last evening. As I wrote last evening, there are no credible threats against any of our schools. As a safety precaution, however, I wanted you to know that I placed Cherry Brook Primary School and Canton Intermediate School in a modified Code Yellow status this afternoon which means that there is no outdoor recess.

Parents are free to enter and leave the building as normal.

As always, we want our students to feel safe and secure in our schools. Student safety is our top priority.

Have a good afternoon and a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Kevin D. Case

Superintendent of Schools”

Canton Girls Advance to Quarterfinals

March 2, 2017 Schools, Sports No Comments

Emily Briggs scored 26 points and Belle Magna added 15 to lead Canton to a 70-40 win over Windham in the second round of the Class S girls basketball state tournament.
Leading 38-34 at halftime, Canton outscored Windham 32-6 in the last two quarters.
No. 3 seed Canton, the reigning state champion, hosts No. 22 Windsor Locks in the quarterfinals March 7 at 7 p.m.
See more in next week’s Valley Press.
– Dave Heuschkel

School officials: In context, ‘Trump,Trump, Trump’ chant perceived as ‘divisive’

March 1, 2017 Community, Schools 10 Comments

Editor’s Note: We are working to get more perspectives on this story. Please see more in next week’s Valley Press. If anyone would like to speak on the incident, please email jfitts@turleyct.com, I’d especially love to talk to people who attended the game. 

By John Fitts 

CANTON — Following alleged chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump” by some Canton students to an opposing team during a Tuesday evening basketball game, school officials have gone on record saying the behavior was perceived “divisive” and “disrespectful.”

The incident came during a boys game against Hartford-based Classical Magnet School when approximately 7 to 8 Canton students  yelled “Trump, Trump, Trump” while the opponents were on the free-throw line, said Superintendent Kevin  D. Case. On Thursday, Case said the tone of the chants was at issue, more than the exact words.

Two school administrators curtailed the activity at the game but Case acknowledged that some of the kids continued it after the game.

Some in the community are contending the students chose a patriotic theme for costume night and were reacting to an anti-Trump atmosphere in the schools. Others feel the chant clearly had racist overtones.

Following the incident that night, community members from both teams expressed their disappointment and the students were spoken to, Case said. Additionally, administrators met with the entire student body on Wednesday.

In a letter to parents, principal Andrew F. DiPippo said “many people perceived these comments to be divisive in the context of an athletic event.”

“While students’ right to free speech and forming educated opinions about politics and current events is a cornerstone of our education system, the exact point where political opinion converges with disrespect, discrimination, or hate speech must be separated,” he, in part, wrote. “We have a reputation as a welcoming community, and these students crossed this line with their comments and have damaged our reputation. As principal, I am disheartened that our message of community has not resonated with all students.” … Continue Reading

Canton Dollars for Scholars announces 2017 season

February 28, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Print

Submitted Release 

Canton Dollars for Scholars announces their 2017 scholarship season. Online applications will be accepted from Wednesday, March 1 through Friday, March 31. High school seniors residing in Canton may apply regardless of whether they attend Canton High School or a private, parochial or homeschool program. Scholarships are offered for a broad range of post-secondary programs including vocational and technical schools as well as two-year and four-year college degrees.

Canton Dollars for Scholars seeks the well-rounded student who is achieving his or her personal best grades while serving the school, community and the greater good. CDFS focuses on school involvement, work and community commitments.  Teacher recommendations and financial information are not considered or required, however, the student may provide this info if they want to pursue certain national scholarships through our parent organization, Scholarship America.

Students and parents can find information on both local Canton scholarships and national awards by visiting the CDFS website at www.canton.dollarsforscholars.org. Anyone interested in making a donation to support the scholarship programs should visit the website as well.

Board of Education to Host Budget Hearing, Selectmen to Continue Discussion

February 21, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

The newly adopted town seal.

CANTON — There will be several relevant meetings this week as local officials continue to grapple with how to refine their 2017-18 budget plans in light of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposal that includes steep cuts in state aid. 

With recent budget proposals by Schools superintendent Kevin D. Case and Chief Administrative Officer Robert H. Skinner, the town, under normal circumstances, would be looking at a very preliminary budget of  $38,264,351, an increase of 1.87 percent, which would result in a .22 mill rate increase, impacting the “average” taxpayer $53. And those numbers would likely be trimmed even more after further scrutiny by the boards of education, selectman and finance. 

However, this year is much different from most. The boards of education and selectmen are still reviewing the respective proposals but more importantly, the town is grappling with how to prepare for cuts proposed by the governor and whether the state legislature will restore some or all of the funding. At a recent “super board” meeting, Skinner told town officials from various boards that the governor’s reductions in state aid, combined with some additional expenses and other changes, would result in a revenue reduction of $2,117,067 for the fiscal year.If everything else were to stay the same, that average taxpayer, whose home is assessed at some $238,000, would be looking at an increase more along the lines of $707 under the governor’s plan.

Officials are hopeful that the state legislature will take action and, this week, will receive an update from state Sen. Kevin Witkos and state Rep. Tim LeGeyt. Both officials will be in town Wednesday night to provide updates – first at a Board of Education budget hearing and then to the Board of Selectmen. … Continue Reading

Canton Boys Win Conference Title

February 17, 2017 Community, Schools No Comments

Canton junior Ryan Enns drives to the hoop.
Photo by Dave Heuschkel

By Dave Heuschkel

For the first time in 35 years, the Canton High boys basketball team are conference champions. The Warriors clinched the North Central Connecticut Conference regular season title Thursday night with a 55-33 win over East Granby.

Junior Ryan Enns led the Warriors with 14 points and senior Ethan Burke scored 12 as Canton won its first conference title since 1982. The Warriors went 17-3 overall, 15-1 in the conference.

The 17 regular season wins are the most by Canton since Craig Archambault took over in 2012. Of his five teams, he said this is the youngest. With the exception of Burke and junior Luke Brown, most of the players saw little or no varsity action on the team that went 14-6 in the regular season a year ago.

But Burke, the only returning starter, doesn’t think the Warriors overachieved. He said something occurred a year ago that made him truly believe this team could win a conference title. Read the story in the Feb. 23 edition of the Valley Press.

… Continue Reading

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