Feeling First Day Fab
Canutillo ISD kicks off the school year with new possibilities
Posted on 07/31/2023
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The 6,000 students that make up the best and brightest students in El Paso County returned to school as the Canutillo Independent School District celebrated the first day of the 2023-24 academic year on Monday.

Students in the Best Small School District in Texas kicked off the school year by enrolling in a myriad of new and existing programs that continue to demonstrate why Canutillo ISD is the highest rated school system in the region.

“Parents have options when it comes to the education of their children and we are happy to provide our families with plenty of opportunities that best suit their learning style and career goals,” said Dr. Pedro Galaviz, Superintendent of Schools. “In Canutillo, we don’t sit idly by and do things the way they’ve always been done. We are constantly looking to grow and improve our approach to teaching and learning.”

This year, Canutillo kicked off four new initiatives:

  • Montessori program at Deanna Davenport Elementary School - An expansion to the program the District began last school year at Garcia Elementary as the first free and public Montessori program in the region. Both programs use Maria Montessori lessons combined with the award-winning dual-language practices developed in Canutillo.
  • Universal Pre-K 3 at Canutillo Elementary School - A full-day, dual-language preschool program designed to onboard 3-year-old children onto their educational career using the innovative Reggio Emilia philosophy of self-discovery and emotional wellbeing.
  • Additional Academies at Alderete Middle School - Students can now receive a rigorous and targeted curriculum in education and criminal justice in addition to the current medical academy. Canutillo ISD is the first district in the region to provide these offerings to middle school students.
  • Pathways in Technology Criminal Justice Program at Canutillo High School - This year Canutillo High School will welcome the first cohort of P-TECH Criminal Justice students who will gain hands-on learning, skills and certifications to prepare for careers in the criminal justice field.

These programs join a vast range of academic, athletic and extracurricular programs designed to elevate the quality of school programming offered in El Paso County. Those programs include the nationally-recognized Northwest Early College High School, the STEAM Academy at Canutillo Middle School, dual-language programming at every elementary school.

The first day of school was marked with music, laughter and, yes, even a few tears from parents who were not ready to let go of their little ones just yet. At Davenport Elementary School, students were greeted by Charlie Clark Nissan of El Paso’s very own Dancing Bobby, who jammed to 1980s tunes as he fist bumped kids on their way in. Not to be outshined, Mr. Bob, a special education aide at Childress Elementary put on his best suit and welcomed students using his very own boombox as well.

“Every school, every teacher and every employee in the District is going above and beyond in their efforts to welcome students, make them feel at home and really showcase the Spirit of Canutillo,” said new Canutillo High School Principal Candice Marrufo. “We are so happy to have our kids back and we know that this is going to be a banner year for us.”

Once again, Canutillo ISD is placing a special focus on the safety and security of students. The Canutillo ISD Police Department, which is made up of both certified officers and guards, was out in full force on Monday helping direct the traffic despite the challenges of street closures and construction in the area.

District safety personnel spent the summer getting trained and earning certifications aimed at further improving the emergency response protocols the Canutillo has drafted.

Dr. Galaviz in his podcast and community message this weekend thanked the police officers for their efforts and urged parents to remain vigilant as the District continues to train staff and students in emergency response. He also lamented the lack of state funding for safety and security despite additional mandates approved by the legislature this year.

“The state has a surplus of funds and they decided not to use it to fund either teacher pay raises or safety or security. Once again school districts are left to their own devices in making sure we are meeting the needs of our students,” he said. “Despite that, we do what we have always done: Rise Up and give the students of Canutillo a world-class education.”