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CANON-McMILLAN SCHOOL DISTRICT ROLLS OUT LUNCH POLICY TO ENSURE NO CHILD IS STIGMATIZED
Revised policy adopts proposed strategies in anti-lunch shaming legislation before it becomes law; policy lauded by state, non-profit leaders
(Canonsburg, PA) Sept. 15, 2017 Recognizing that students must not be singled out for a debt they have no power to pay, the Canon McMillan School District today announced the rolling out of a revised lunch policy that ensures no child is stigmatized for economic circumstances beyond their control. The policy, approved by the school board in August, revises the district’s previous policy, put in effect last year in response to a federal mandate requiring districts who participated in the free or reduced lunch or breakfast program to enact a meal charge policy that satisfied lunch account debts.
“In schools throughout the nation, including ours, students have been unintentionally stigmatized in ways that are absolutely not okay,” said Superintendent Michael Daniels. “No matter the ability to pay, every single student entering our cafeterias will be offered a hot lunch with no questions asked. While our previous policy followed state and national standards, those standards focused too much on dollars and cents and not enough on common sense. As the leader of this district, I view this situation as a teachable moment not just for myself, but for every employee, parent and community stakeholder: We’re not perfect. Our government isn't perfect. We must question everything and we must admit when we are wrong. The leaders within our school district and board looked within and decided that we can be and must be a leader on this issue. It is our hope more school districts throughout the state and nation will adopt a similar policy."
The revised policy proactively includes the procedures and guidelines proposed in both state and federal anti-lunch shaming bills, which seeks to establish standards for the treatment of children who are unable to pay for a meal.
“Canon Mc-Millan school district leaders have done the prudent thing by becoming the first school district in the state to essentially adopt my anti-lunch shaming legislation before it becomes law," said Pennsylvania State Senator Jay Costa. "Our children are our most valuable resource and we must treat them as such and show respect for the families at home supporting them. I am hopeful that more school districts will do the right thing and follow Canon Mc-Millan’s lead.”
The revised lunch policy also increases communications efforts to ensure parents and guardians who may qualify for the National School Lunch Program are fully aware of the program. In addition, the communication provides supportive ways for families to view cafeteria nutritional information and to manage their child’s cafeteria account. Further, all communication regarding lunch balances will be made directly to a student's parent or guardian.
"Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank commends Canon-McMillan School District for taking a compassionate and progressive stance with their revised policy for addressing student lunch debt,” said Christina Winniewiez, Child Nutrition Outreach Manager for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. “Children need appropriate nutrition to learn, grow and prosper and this policy will ensure that all children, regardless of economic circumstances, will have access to a hot meal each day."
Students who owe money or do not have money for a school meal will not be publicly identified or stigmatized.
“Put simply, we’ve removed any direct student-based communication that was once applied to the student regarding unpaid meal charges and now all of our efforts and supports are directed to the parent,” said Daniels. “I want to thank the generous citizens throughout the nation for their outpouring of support and concern for the emotional well being of our students.”
Canon-McMillan received many unsolicited donations from people wishing to help pay for student lunches. The district will ensure that parents or guardians on payment plans who need help receive this monetary support.
"This is a difficult and complex issue but we are working together to overcome this challenge to be fair to all of our students and their families," said Canon-McMillan Board President Manuel Pihakis. “The emotional well-being of our students is our top priority, and this initiative supports that principle by giving every child access to the same meal while protecting their privacy.”
CMHS Opens Spring Musical "Curtains" April 26
You are cordially invited to attend Canon-McMillan High School's presentation of its spring drama production, "Curtains."
"Curtains" is a musical mystery comedy that takes place at a Boston theater in 1959. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. April 26, with additional showtimes at 7:30 p.m. April 27 and 28 in the newly renovated high school auditorium.
Tickets are $10, and can be purchased online at cmdrama.ticketleap.com/curtains or at the door (cash only).
Muse Elementary student wins local art contest
Congratulations to Lilly Harris, fourth grade student at Muse Elementary School. Lilly’s artwork, “Blue Dog Can Cook,” won the Elementary Division at the Arts & Chocolate Spring Spectacular Show held at the Community & Recreation Center at Boyce Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair. This festival of chocolate, cultural performances, and K-12 student art from Canon-McMillan, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair, Chartiers Valley schools, was held on Saturday, March 24th.
Lilly’s artwork will also be on display at the Canon-McMillan High School Art Show Friday, May 4th.
Congratulations to Canon-Mac's 2017 Homecoming Court!
Back Row: Ethan Hopf, Chris Chuba, Nick Serafino, Christian Stewart, Donnie Finney, Nathan Weese. Front Row: Brooke Paris, Megan Bowers, Lizzie Ross, Kathryn SeCaur, Macy Falcione, Samantha Sonnet
Congatulations are in order for the members of Canon-McMillan High School's 2017 homecoming court!
Samantha Sonnet and Nicolas Serafino were crowned as homecoming queen and king.
Canon-Mac Counselor Named an AASA Women in School Leadership Award Finalists for 2018
Congratulations are in order for Canon-McMillan High School counselor Karen Rubican, who was recently named a finalist for The School Superintendents Association's (AASA) Women in School Leadership Award.
The finalists represent the states of Maryland, Montana, Illinois, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
“Fewer than 25 percent of school district leaders are female, which means it’s essential to create opportunities that will bring more women into the field of education administration,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “The Women in School Leadership Awards program serves as a vehicle for women educators to develop their leadership skills and advance their careers. We congratulate our finalists who have worked exceptionally hard in serving the students in their respective communities.”
The awards are designed to recognize exceptional leadership of active, front-line female administrators who are making a difference in the lives of students every day and to pay tribute to the talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in the nation’s public schools.
Last year, AASA announced a new category — the School Based Award — which recognizes the leadership skills of talented teachers, coaches and other school-based employees seeking leadership positions.
Candidates are judged based on leadership in meeting the learning needs of students, personal and organizational communication strength, constant professional improvement of knowledge and skills, and active community involvement.
The final award recipients in each category will be announced during the AASA National Conference on Education, Feb. 15-17 in Nashville.
The mission of the Canon-McMillan School District, in partnership with the community, is to invest in our greatest resource, our students. We strive to teach, challenge and support all students to prepare them for college and careers with the information and skills necessary to compete, achieve and serve as leaders in a global economy as ethical and responsible citizens.
The vision of the Canon-McMillan School District is to graduate all students with the ethical and effective communication, critical and creative thinking skills necessary for success in an evolving global economy.
"Striving to be a bully free School District"
|STUDENT INSURANCE: A student accident insurance
program is available for all students. The program is voluntary
and paid for by parents wishing to purchase the insurance
coverage. For more information, please contact:
|Robert A. Simonin Agency
160 West Pike Street
Canonsburg, PA 15317
1 North Jefferson Ave
Canonsburg PA 15317