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Connellsville schools celebrating American Education Week

| Monday, Nov. 17, 2003

In honor of American Education Week, the Connellsville Area School District is inviting parents and members of the community to visit the schools and see "Education in Action."

"We've got one grading period in and parents should have a feel for how well their children are doing," said Janice Albright, Junior High West librarian and one of the district's AEW coordinators.

The theme for AEW this year, which runs from today through Nov. 22, is "Great Public Schools for Every Child: America's Promise." Co-sponsored by the National Education Association and the American Legion, the first AEW was observed Dec. 4 to 10, 1921. While the first observances featured a different theme every year, eventually it was decided on having a single theme that best reflected the current national concern.

It is always observed on the full week preceding the Thanksgiving holiday.

Starting today, teachers will be available for a series of parent-teacher conferences at various buildings to give them both an opportunity to get acquainted for the good of the students.

"The parent element is very important for education, we can only do so much," said Albright.

While teachers will be available throughout the day today, specific conferences for the high school are scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. tonight and from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight at North Fayette Area Vocational-Technical School. Elementary conferences will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Parents of Impact students can meet with their teachers from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Springfield Township Elementary School and Connellsville Township Elementary School. Both junior highs will host conferences from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Gifts will be given to parents during conferences.

On Wednesday, the district will also pay tribute to an often overlooked part of the education process on Education Support Professionals Day.

Education Support Professionals Day was first celebrated in 1987 after NEA's Representative Assembly called for the creation of a way to honor contributions of school support staff.

According to the NEA, "Today's support professionals provide invaluable services that enable students to learn in positive, supportive environments. ESPs are equal and essential partners in the education process."

"It honors everybody who helps make it happen. We all work together," said Albright.

The schools are also encouraging staff, faculty and students to participate with the district's sub-theme, which is "Every Child is a Champion."

With that theme in mind, students created American Education Week displays which are hung in the halls of the buildings. Albright encourages parents to stop and admire the artwork of the students.

In addition, the district is encouraging faculty, staff and students to participate in Red, White and Blue Day on Wednesday by wearing our country's colors, and Favorite Team Shirt Day on Friday. While, students can wear the shirt of their favorite team, college or professional, and from whatever sport they want. Teachers are being asked to wear their alma mater's shirt.

The Connellsville Area Education Association and district are also sponsoring placemats that will be used in local restaurants as part of AEW.

In cooperation with the Carnegie Free Library, a library card sign-up will also be held during the conferences.

During this time, teachers, students and parents are encouraged to sign up for a library card as part of the district's partnership with the local library. It doesn't cost anything to sign up for a library card.

Another element of the district's relationship with the library is a specialized database it has on its Web Site to give students the opportunity to do research from home. Student's must have a library card to access the state-funded Power Library.

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