Elevating Etiquette

Message from the Superintendent Dear Canutillo Community,

This week, hundreds of Canutillo fifth-graders boarded school buses and headed down to the CISD Central Office Boardroom to take part in a very special lesson. Girls in fine dresses and boys in suit jackets filled our administrative offices with laughter and a deep desire to learn new things. The students certainly got that as part of the annual Etiquette for Success Program that aims to teach our students the proper way to behave at a dinner table. This was an initiative that was begun by the Board of Trustees as a way to expand the life skills they will surely need as they progress in their academic and professional careers.

As part of the program, fifth-graders are treated to a four-course meal prepared by the CISD Child Nutrition Services Department and, in cooperation with the Student Services Department, they are taught the proper way to use the cutlery and dinnerware. They’re also taught proper table manners and appropriate conversation topics for the table. The students are exposed to different foods (this time around they dined on a fancy Chicken Cordon Bleu, salad, charcuterie board and a red velvet cake), and learned when the right time is to begin eating while the rest of the table is being served.

None of the lessons the students learned this week will ever be part of the STAAR test or any assessment the state will use to measure success for students. These types of life skills are not part of the approved state curriculum school districts and teachers must use to meet standards. However, here in Canutillo we have determined that these types of life skills are important for our students to learn in order to be competitive in the global workforce. While figuring out which fork to use to eat a salad may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things, we know that these little things can open up doors to that next-level type of setting for our students in the future.

Most of our students would rather sit down at a cafeteria table to eat chicken nuggets using their fingers to dunk into a little tub of BBQ sauce. Realistically, for most of us, that’s our every-day meal approach. But I am comforted by the fact that when the day comes that they’re in a situation where they will need to figure out a dinner fork from a soup spoon, they will have the confidence and wherewithal to know with certainty that they learned those skills here in Canutillo.

We will continue to look for important life skill lesson opportunities here in Canutillo ISD while never letting go of our laser-like focus on the academic progress of students. That’s our commitment to remaining the Best Small School District in Texas and El Paso’s Triple A Rated School District.

Have a great weekend!

Pedro Galaviz
Superintendent of Schools