Man About Canton: Full-Day Kindergarten

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One of the most important decisions to be made by the present School Committee is a plan for tuition-free, full-day kindergarten in Canton. The questions to be answered by the committee include the cost of the program, the building space, and how to phase it in. The Massachusetts house and senate recently approved $17.5 million for development grants to continue improving existing full-day kindergartens and encourage the transition of half-day kindergarten to full-day ones. Over 70 percent of the cities and towns in Massachusetts have full-day kindergarten classes. Everyone agrees that it is a very worthwhile program. Hopefully, the Canton School Committee can get it done in time for the 2016-2017 school year. According to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the town of Canton had one of the most significant changes in kindergarten enrollment over the past three years with an increase of 21.3 percent.

The new start time of 8 a.m. at Canton High School seems to be working out just fine according to school officials. The previous start time of 7:20 a.m. was too early, while the new start time will be more beneficial academically for all students.

The Canton School Department hired 57 new staff members for the 2015-2016 school year.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Jen Henderson reported that enrollment figures for all Canton schools decreased by a total of 15 students from year ago. Canton High School gained 30 students from last year’s figures.

The goal of the newly formed Town Administrator Search Committee is to make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen by October 30 so that they can make a final decision by December 1. The search committee consists of selectmen John Connolly and Bob Burr; School Committee member Mike Loughran; Steve Cesso, representing the Canton Association of Business and Industry; Steven Colson, citizen at large; and Jody Middleton, Canton’s human resources director. Town Administrator Bill Friel plans to retire in January 2016.

The Canton High School football team has been on a roll, starting the season with an impressive 4-1 record, including a 22-21 overtime win over archrival Stoughton High School. If they can keep on winning, a berth in the playoffs may be in their future.

The Canton High School Class of 1975 will hold its 40th class reunion on November 28 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the American Legion Hall. For more information, email Joe Walsh at josephmwalsh@comcast.net.

The School Committee recently settled contracts with custodial and maintenance workers and food services personnel. All received three-year contracts with annual raises of 2 percent. In fact, everyone in the Canton contracts received a 2 percent raise except for the teachers union, which received a 2 percent raise in years one and three but a 2.5 percent raise in year two of the contract.

Cornerstone at Canton, a senior living complex at 175 Revere Street, recently held its grand opening. The complex incudes the new assisted living community as well as its Compass Memory Support Neighborhood. For more information on this complex, call 781-821-3616.

The Braintree Planning Board recently approved a $30 million development at 166-194 Forbes Road that will include a six-story, 140-room Residence Inn by Marriott hotel and space for a 7,000-square-foot restaurant next to the hotel. The developer, K.W. of Braintree, hopes to open the hotel by the spring of 2017.

Relay for Life in Memory of Edward Dias will hold a Casino Night Fundraiser, “Roll The Dice For Life,” at Lombardo’s in Randolph on Friday, October 23, from 7 p.m. to midnight. For an $85 donation, you get entrance to the casino and $1,000 in chips. The person with the most casino chips at the end of the night will win a seven-day, six-night stay in Aruba for up to four people. There will also be music by “Rewind,” hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, a silent auction, and a mentalist at the fundraiser. Dancing, gambling, a mentalist, silent auction, food, and drinks sounds like a great time. All are welcome for this great cause! For more information, contact Cheryl James at 781-821-1662 or caefreedman@verizon.net.

Today, political correctness has run amok, and it is getting more ridiculous every day. Case in point, as recently reported by Good Morning America, a little girl named Laura was sent home from school with a note because she had brought a Wonder Woman lunchbox to school. In the note to Laura’s parents, the school explained, “The dress code we have established requires that the children not bring violent images into the school building in any fashion, on their clothing, shoes, socks, backpacks, and lunchboxes. We have defined violent characters as also those who solve problems using violence. Superheroes certainly fall into that category.” So now the new PC villains are Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, etc. This is a case of a school administration that has lost all contact with the reality of today’s world. Villains use their power for evil while superheroes use their power to protect the vulnerable and uphold the good. Teaching children that there is no difference between the two is the very opposite of moral education. That school needs a wakeup call because they are clueless!

Depending on the situation, sometimes you can know a person better in 10 minutes than someone you have crossed paths with all your life.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at manaboutcanton@aol.com.

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