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Canton Parents Ask Education Officials to Reconsider Proposal to Eliminate a Third-Grade Teaching Position

February 24, 2016 Schools No Comments
Numerous parents spoke at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night. Photo by John Fitts

Numerous parents spoke at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

During a Wednesday night hearing on Superintendent Kevin Case’s proposed 2016-2017 Canton Schools budget, numerous parents urged the Board of Education to reconsider a proposal to eliminate a third-grade teaching position.

In addition to its potential effect on someone’s employment, several parents said larger class sizes at the third-grade level would have a negative effect on students.

Under the proposed budget plan, the number of third-grade “sections,” or classrooms, would go from 6 to 5, with average class sizes going from the current 19 and 20 to a projected 22 and 23.

While the class sizes would be the same as the current group of second graders have now, parents said that number is too high.

Joanna Balgach, a Canton resident and second grade teacher in Granby, said the size of her class this year is 22, a hard task with the ever-increasing demands on teachers. Balgach said she can provide more attention to each student when she gets a class of 18.

“There’s a radical different between 18 and 19 versus 23,” she said.

Case’s proposed 2016-2017 budget is $25,422, 314, a 2.09 percent increase over the 2015-2016 approved budget of $24,901,796, Case said it’s been a tough budget process.

Known contractual and cost increases alone would have generated a budget with a 4.7-percent increase, Case said. … Continue Reading

Winter Festival Online Auction Ends at 10 p.m. Thursday

February 24, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments


The 2016 Winter Festival online auction benefiting the Cherry Brook Primary & Canton Intermediate Schools ends Thursday at 10 p.m. The online auction featuring hundreds of generously donated items raises money to fund purchases at both schools that are above and beyond the school budget such as classroom technology and playground enhancements.

Check out the items up for bid and share the auction link with friends and family at http://www.BiddingforGood.com/CantonPTO

Winners will be able to pick up their items on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Canton Intermediate School, or most items can be shipped for a nominal fee.

Board of Education Budget Hearing Moved to Wednesday

February 23, 2016 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

With expected snow Tuesday, and early dismissal at Canton Public Schools, administrators have postponed the Board of Education meeting as well and set a new location.

On Tuesday, Canton Schools followed an early release schedule and the  p.m. budget information session has been canceled.

Some weather forecasters are predicting snow to start falling after 1 p.m. The National Weather Service is predicting snow will come mostly after 5 p.m. Snow is expected to change into freezing rain into Wednesday morning. After 8 a.m. Wednesday, the precipitation is expected to change to all rain.

Superintendent Kevin Case said the Board of Education meeting, set for 7 p.m. will be postponed until Wednesday and will now take place in the Canton High School library.  … Continue Reading

Budget Meetings Now Set for Wednesday

February 22, 2016 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

Please note the Board of Education meeting is now postponed to Wednesday and will now take place at the high school. 

Those interested in commenting on the proposed education or general government budgets will have the chance to do so this week.

The boards of Education and Selectmen will both hold budget meetings this week as they peruse proposals from School Superintendent Kevin D. Case and town Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner. Generally those boards will make some changes before adopting a proposal that will then be forwarded to the Board of Finance.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, the Board of Education will host a meeting which includes a public hearing on Case’s proposed 2016-2017 budget of of $25,422,314, a $520,518, or 2.09 percent increase over approved 2015-2016 spending levels. The meeting takes place at Canton High School.

Earlier in the day, Case will hold budget informational sessions  – slated for 10 a.m. at the Community Center and 2 p.m. at Cherry Brook Primary School. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: CHS Boys Basketball Team Honors its Seniors

February 20, 2016 Schools, Sports No Comments

The Canton Warriors varsity boys basketball team honored its seniors Friday night with a host of festivities. Each player received a commemorative jersey, a special introduction before the game and more. Parents handed out photo cutouts of each player that provided for plenty of fun in the stands. The game itself didn’t go the way the Warriors hoped as they Enfield squeaked out a 42-38 win

The Warriors, who are 14-5, finish their regular season Monday with away action against Classical Magnet.

Honored on Friday, with information provided by the team, were: … Continue Reading

True North in Collinsville Offers Educational Alternative for Teens

Finn Begley, 15, of Canton and Robert Siegel, co-director of True North Teen Learning Alternative, check out the inner working of vintage camera equipment. Photo by John Fitts

Alternative Education Forum Set for Sunday

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE — For more than three years, Darrell Cookman and Robert Siegel talked about starting a teen education alternative.

Last fall, that dream became reality as Cookman, of Canton, and Siegel, a resident of New Hartford, opened the doors to “True North Teen Learning Alternative,” a “Montessori-Inspired, self-directed learning community” that currently has three teen “members.”

Here students are encouraged to pursue their own patterns rather than a specific number of requirements and classroom times.  There are focused guilds such as Artisan and Tech, classes and tutorials but also a flexible structure, four-day school week and no grades. Students and parents, teens and instructors work together in setting individualized curriculum in those areas or others. Additionally, True North can help teens explore potential interests, the two said. … Continue Reading

Bidding for Winter Festival Online Auction Starts Thursday Morning

By John Fitts 

CANTON – Whether you’re looking for a family getaway, a night of fine dining, summer music lessons for the kids, a Patriots pre-season game, student-created art or a myriad of other items, the 2016 Winter Festival Online Auction is just the place. Your children could even have the chance to ride in an antique bus on the first day of school or a fire engine at the Memorial Day parade.

OriginalThe bidding starts at 10 a.m. Thursday and proceeds, which are often close to $30,000, are split between Parent Teacher Organizations at Cherry Brook Primary and Canton Intermediate Schools.

“It’s a great way to support the local schools,” Anne Marie Pelletier, co-president of the Cherry Brook PTO, said, adding that bidding for most items starts well below retail value.

“The best part of this fundraiser is it provides families with things they can use and they need, while the proceeds go to benefit the schools,” said Jen Rottkamp, president of the Canton Intermediate School PTO. … Continue Reading

Emily Briggs Scores 1,000th Point at Canton High School

February 17, 2016 Schools, Sports No Comments

Lady Warriors Also Celebrate Senior Night

By John Fitts 

The Canton Girls Varsity basketball team ended its regular season on a high note Tuesday as junior Emily Briggs scored her 1,000th career point – and more – during a 69-37 victory against Sports and Medical Sciences Academy. Additionally the team celebrated its seniors.

Coming into the game, Briggs needed just 10 points to reach 1,000 and ended the night with 26.

“To score 1,000 points in three years tells you something about the type of player she is in the offensive end,” said coach Brian Medeiros. “I’m happy it happened here at home. It was great to get the community support behind her. She’s a great kid; She deserves it.” … Continue Reading

Bryan DeMarco Named to Seton Hall Dean’s List

February 16, 2016 Schools No Comments

Bryan DeMarco, a Canton H.S. 2015 Graduate was named to the Dean’s List at Seton Hall University/Stillman School of Business for the Fall 2015 Semester.  Bryan is majoring in Accounting/Finance.

‘Parent to Parent: It Takes a Village’ Seminars Continue on Feb. 21, March 6

February 16, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments

Submitted release 

Canton Youth Services continues its ‘Parent to Parent: It Takes a Village’ seminars on Feb. 21 with a session on social media. On March 6, the group will host a seminar on communicating with teens.

The free parent support group open to any parents who would like a place to share parenting issues, stress management techniques or simply to seek the support of others experiencing similar life situations. Light refreshments will be served. … Continue Reading


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