Editor's Note: The following is a news release from Michael Gallina, superintendent of the North Canton City School District.
When you first read the title to this article, you were probably wondering what the “Unified Elementary Design” is? After that, you were then drawn to, “What could be unique and exciting?” Hey, now I have you hooked!
Our Unified Elementary Design is the name of our program for our elementary school programs under the new grade level configuration. As you may recall, we will institute all-day, every-day kindergarten in our elementary schools next year. As we deliberated on this topic last year, the term ESP was used for this design. Those letters stood for Elementary Service Plan. Given all of the energy that surrounded this topic last spring, a marketing and communications consultant shared that we may want a neutral name for use in the future that would create the mental image of all of us being from one community – North Canton. Thus, the new name, Unified Elementary Design was chosen. All website material will be found behind this name on our district home page.
So, how about this notion of “unique” and “exciting”? Below, I have shared two informational items that are both unique and exciting!
Naming of our Elementary School Buildings
At the regular school board meeting that was held on February 15, 2012, the North Canton City Schools Board of Education approved the following building names for our four (4) elementary buildings:
These names more accurately reflect the grades that will be served in those buildings. Northwood and Clearmount will serve our Kindergarten through Grade 2 population and Greentown and Orchard Hill will serve our Grades 3 to 5 population. Students will progress from an elementary school to an intermediate school, and then on to the middle school and the high school. It is a nice acknowledgement of “status” as the students progress through the grades.
Mascots for our Elementary School Buildings
As we make the name changes and reconfigure the grade levels at each building, we have also decided to have our school mascots be the same – Vikings! Because we are one community and not four smaller communities, we have made this choice in order to further the strong energy that we are all from one community and should support, cheer, and energize this way. All of our schools will now use the colors of orange, black, white or gray as their school colors and will have a Viking mascot. What will be unique about these “Little Vikes” is the fact that we will have an elementary Viking and an intermediate Viking. Our Vikings at the middle school and the high school will remain the same. What is going to be exciting about the elementary and intermediate Vikings is the fact that our students in these grade levels will choose their Viking from a group of artistic renderings produced by our high school students. The top “vote-getters” in each category (elementary and intermediate) will become the mascot for that grade range. We will use these mascots for t-shirts, promotional materials, murals, etc. We are excited that our students will have been able to “leave their legacy” as we make this transition. There is much excitement around this part of the planning!
So, as you continue to follow our Unified Elementary Design program, know that much is going on to promote the fact that we are ALL Vikings and that we are all from one great city – North Canton! Go Vikes!!