By CRAIG FREILICH
CANTON – As schools ready for opening, Canton Central is moving ahead with its four-year program to build a fully integrated curriculum, from pre-K through grade 12.
A number of staff changes are also planned. Mark McDonough, who was dean of students, is the new principal at Banford Elementary School, while Viola Schmid-Doyle, a social studies teacher, has been appointed as the new dean of students.
Other new faculty this year are Rachel Brych, eighth grade English; Mary Caruso, high school English; Katherine Cross, first grade; Katie Moquin, seventh grade science; and Drew White, high school social studies.
Canton Central School Superintendent William Gregory says the program for a fully integrated curriculum is now in its second year of development. It is “designed to culminate in the realization of a coherent, integrated” curriculum designed to build each year on the last year’s achievements, keeping the goal of graduation with a thorough education in mind, he said.
The school board recently approved lowering the tax rate from the proposed $18.32 per thousand dollars of assessed value to $17.96 in most of the component communities in the district, due to lower-than-expected expenses during the year.
Williams High School Principal Mark Passamonte says he will be using the Sept. 1 Staff Development Day to discuss ideas he and some faculty members might have picked up at the most recent Constructivist Conference, an annual session at St. Lawrence University for educators to discuss and demonstrate ideas in education that have promise.
Passamonte says he is particularly interested in “ways to motivate reluctant students.”
The district has scheduled several opportunities for parents to get to know the schools better. Open houses are set for 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2 in the kindergarten; at McKenney Middle School 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16; and at Banford 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21. A high school Report Card Night is 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22.