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North Canton's All-Day, Every-Day Kindergarten Plan: Where Does it Stand?

North Canton City Schools' Superintendent Michael Galina answered five questions to help community members understand what comes next

After hosting two community meetings this week, North Canton City Schools will move forward with its all-day, every-day kindergarten service plan. School officials used the meetings to gather opinions from parents and community members on the district's possible switch to all-day, every-day kindergarten.

That might mean redistricting for the school system. the district might create primary and intermediate centers, making and elementaries K-2 buildings, while and Orchard Hill elementaries would house grades 3-5.

The district would use the to house the , and the . The district would raze the the building they're currently in on Charlotte Street.

Superintendent Michael Gallina sat down with North Canton Patch this week to let the North Canton community know where the issue stands.

North Canton Patch: What are parents’ biggest concerns with the all-day, every-day kindergarten plan?

Superintendent Michael Gallina: I think there are three key areas of concern: The loss of a neighborhood school, the worry of losing the neighborhood school feeling; transitions for children from one building to another building; and the question of transportation comes up a lot, too.

North Canton Patch: What’s the community response been like and what message does that send you?

Gallina: The response is outstanding. I believe we had over 450 total folks, including parents, staff and community members, attend when we had the two meetings Monday and Wednesday.

That’s what makes North Canton special — the degree of interest and the level of connection to our schools is awesome. That’s the message it relays to me. The passion that folks show about our planning ideas really speaks to their level of commitment to their schools.

North Canton Patch: What happens now?

Gallina: Over next two weeks, between Feb. 14 and Feb. 25, we will analyze all of the input and then craft a presentation of all of the data that we’ve learned. Within the first 10 days of March we will have scheduled another round of community meetings. We will put all the details into each plan for the public to view. During those meetings, the public who attend can ask clarifying questions about the presentation analysis. After that, we would move to an action plan.

The decision on the action plan would come before the end of March. It might be “let’s wait a year (before we act),” depending on what we’ve learned. It could be “let’s get started on this now; it makes the most sense.”

North Canton Patch: Can you give any indication of how this will turn out?

Gallina: Not at this point. Here’s why: We’ve committed to a process of gathering input, then the next step or the next phase will be to take all that input and then run it through the plans and see which one gets the greatest good served.

North Canton Patch: What’s the most important thing parents, students and faculty need to keep in mind when discussing this or forming opinions?

Gallina: Folks should keep in mind that this is a process and no final decision has been reached. We will be valuing all of the information as we work our way toward an action plan.

I so admire our families and staff with their work to this point.

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