Community Engagement

Community Engagement Initiative Aims to Create Opportunities for Students
Posted on 07/31/2019
Superintendent Shawn Bissetta kicked off a new community engagement initiative this week with an overview of a career exploration and preparation program he hopes to introduce to the Canastota community.

The community meeting initiative will engage school leaders, parents, faculty and business and community representatives in dialogue and planning efforts to develop unique and innovative educational opportunities for students.

“Schools need to go beyond the basics. The traditional model of education is sometimes not enough to get students involved, to help them see the relevance of what they’re doing,” Bissetta said. “There is room to do things a little differently.”

During the kickoff session on July 31, Bissetta shared information about a Career Pathways initiative he helped start in his previous district in Chenango County, along with two colleagues from that region. The program involves offering students from K-12 a badging and micro-credentialing system to pique their interest in different career fields, allow them to explore career-related activities from a young age, and engage them in their academics as a way to achieve those career goals. School leaders would work with local businesses, community agencies and postsecondary institutions to ensure the career preparation work meets industry standards and fills employers’ needs.

“This is truly something that isn’t happening in this format in a lot of other places,” Bissetta said. “Is it easy? No. But committing to something like this is important.”

In addition to career exploration, the initiative could help create opportunities for the school and community to collaborate on improvement efforts, sustainability, innovation and problem-solving. The community meeting format could also support other initiatives in the future.

Participants will meet again on August 7 at 8:30 am at the high school and determine their next steps as a planning group. Anyone with questions or those interested in participating but unable to attend the next meeting can contact Bissetta at 315-697-6302.