Back to School

Charlotte Campbell and Sean Sullivan board the bus heading to the Hansen School. (Michelle Stark photo)

Charlotte Campbell and Sean Sullivan board the bus heading to the Hansen School. (Michelle Stark photo)

Click here to see video coverage of the first day of school courtesy of Canton Community TV.

School officials and high school student representatives reported a good start to the new school year on Thursday, September 3. The two new student representatives told the School Committee that students were pleased to receive another 40 minutes to get to school (8 a.m. versus the previous starting time of 7:20 a.m.), and School Business Manager Barry Nectow reported better than expected traffic and delivery times for the new bus routes.

Nectow did report a few glitches with the new bus schedule, as some drivers arrived earlier than the published times and had to go back to pick up some students. Some of the middle school students also had trouble finding their buses in the afternoon; bus drivers reported more traffic in the afternoon; and some of the delivery times were published incorrectly.

Nectow said overall it was a good day and all problems that occurred on September 3 were fixable and would be corrected. Interim School Superintendent Jen Henderson commended Nectow and staffer Leslie Tamarkin on their work this summer in planning the bus routes.

Henderson also provided an update on district-wide enrollment figures, which decreased by a total of 15 students from a year ago. The biggest drop occurred at the Luce School, which opened with 31 fewer students. CHS gained 30 students while the middle school added 16 students. Henderson also hired 57 new staff members, including 36 new teachers to replace teachers who transferred or retired and 15 new staff positions from new money in the school budget.

In other news:

* Canton High School Principal Derek Folan announced that CHS was chosen to be part of the Program for International Student Assessment. PISA is an international assessment of 15-year-old students that measures how well they apply their knowledge and skills in science, reading, and mathematics to solve problems in real-life contexts. In 2015, students from more than 70 countries, including the United States, will participate. Up to 42 random students in grade 10 will be selected to participate on October 6. The time commitment is three hours, and up to 11 students may be asked to return for an additional one hour for a financial literacy assessment. Up to 25 teachers in each school will be asked to complete a 30-minute online questionnaire. Each school will receive $200 for participating; teachers will receive $20 for completing the questionnaire; and students will receive four hours of community service and $25 for participating. Students participating in the financial literary assessment will receive an additional $15.

“I will be curious how we stack up with everyone else and what the data will tell us,” Folan said. “Students will be assessed on real-life problems …

See this week’s Canton Citizen for more School Department news, plus first day photos by Moira Sweetland and Michelle Stark. Click here to order your subscription today.

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