Kindergarten Round-Up 2014

posted Apr 22, 2014, 5:16 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Apr 22, 2014, 5:16 PM ]


Place: Canaan Community Academy (8775 N. Canaan Main St. Canaan, IN. 47224)

When: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time: 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Please bring: Child’s Birth Certificate and Immunization records

• 1:00 pm Introduction (in cafeteria)
• 1:15 pm Kindergarten Classroom tour
• 1:45 pm Buddy-up with Current Kindergarten
• 2:30 pm Tour facility and Q & A

** If you are unable to attend, please let us know and we can schedule a time that is convenient.

RSVP (812) 839-0003

Please share this information with anyone who might be interested in a Kindergarten for next school year!

Marching Along 2014

posted Mar 20, 2014, 5:44 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Mar 22, 2014, 8:42 AM ]

The Giving Tree
A new tree is growing inside the CCA and it is blooming colorful flowers that YOU can pick. As the year flies by, the supplies around the school are depleting. These flowers are labeled with items that the staff and teachers need and anytime you are at the school and can pick a flower to take shopping with you, we would really appreciate it! Below are currently on the flowers to be picked:

Black and Colored Sharpie Markers
Sidewalk Chalk
Paper towels
Ludens SUGAR FREE cough drops (non menthal)
Liquid/Pump hand soap
Wet wipes
Pocket folders
Clorox Wipes
Baggies (all sizes)
Liquid Dish detergent
Fabulouso or Anywhere cleaner
Glue sticks
Ream of copy paper
Construction paper

We thank you all for the support and enthusiasm for the school and the awesome students we have!! Thank you for being part of the CCA Family!

School Fair
The annual Canaan Community Academy fair will be held on April 25, 2014. Parents are hard at work planning the night, and invite both donations and help running the event.
Food 5-7 p.m.
Games: 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Auction with Jeff Ferguson Auctions @ 8
The auction already has some exiting items gathered by parents such as two passes to Indiana Caverns in Corydon, Indiana, Louisville Megacavern, and a pair of shoes donated and signed by NBA star, Chris Bosh!

All proceeds to benefit the Canaan Community Academy PTO. All are invited!

Reading Week
The CCA celebrated Read Across America by allowing students to have silent reading in the location of their choice around the school. On March 17-21, the school celebrated a special/wacky Dr. Seuss day each day.
GREEN EGGS AND HAM MONDAY - All students and staff were invited to wear green.

TOP HAT TUESDAY - Wear a hat to school

WACKY WEDNESDAY - Wear wacky/mismatched clothing

THING 1, THING 2 THURSDAY - Choose a friend and dress alike


FOX IN SOCKS FRIDAY - Wear silly socks

Another round of ISTEP and IREAD testing has been completed. As Mrs. Hull reported,
 "we are beaming with pride over the students around here. Grades 3, 4, 5 & 6 are all trying very hard to do their absolute best and we have seen some wonderful writing creativity produced on these tests. We are also very proud of the patience and respect that other students have put forth while they wait their turn for testing. They are being quiet while they read, refine math skills and playing money skills games. The younger grades are also being very respectful!! These students are AWESOME!!"
The entire school celebrated the end of both tests by having a St. Patrick's Day dance in the gym:

Less snow, more school please!

posted Mar 8, 2014, 1:38 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Mar 8, 2014, 2:04 PM ]

Despite record snow falls and many snow days, the CCA students and staff have fit in some great learning activities and fun this winter.

Snow Make Up Days
Like most of the other schools, the CCA has many snow make up days from this crazy winter. The snow make up days are marked on the calendar, and a letter was sent with students explaining the make up schedule. Snow make up days include:
 Day ClosedMake Up Day
 11/18/2013                 1/20/2014
 12/6/2013 2/17/2014
 12/9/2013 3/31/2014 
 12/10/2014 4/1/2014
 1/21/2014 4/2/2014
 1/22/2014 4/3/2014
 1/23/2014 4/4/2014
 2/5/2014 March 10-14 Extended Day
 2/6/2014     March 17-21 Extended Day
 2/7/2014     March 31 - April 4 Extended Day
 3/3/2014 April 7 - 11 Extended Day

If additional cancellations are necessary, the school will continue to add a week of extended days.

Picture Day!
Picture Day is scheduled for Friday, March 14, 2014. Information is being sent home with students, but feel free to call the school with any questions.

Valentine's Day Dance
An annual favorite of the CCA students, the Valentine's dance was held once again in the school gym. Despite being cut short due to an early dismissel for snow, the students and staff enjoyed dressing up, eating cookies and treats, and dancing with one another. Thanks to the PTO for creating this special event!

Basketball Update
The CCA boys and girls basketball both had successful seasons playing with the Madison Parks Department. The boys were coached by Mr. Norris and the girls by Mrs. Duke. While they didn't win every game, the CCA is proud of how hard the students worked at giving their all each game. A big thanks also goes out to their coaches for volunteering their evenings to provide this opportunity for our students!

Jump Rope for Heart
Canaan students participated in the annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser for the American Heart Association. After collecting money for the organization pledged by family and friends, the students jumped rope in the school gym. 

School Day Activities
Mrs. Schafer and Mrs. Hull captured some of the recent fun school activities around the CCA in pictures taken on the staff IPADs.  Students participated in "Read Across America" where they were able to pick any location in the school to curl up with a good book. First graders learned about liquids and solids by making "oobleck".  Green eggs and ham were enjoyed during Dr. Seuss week.


Amanda's Swings

posted Feb 10, 2014, 6:30 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Feb 17, 2014, 7:21 AM ]

The Canaan Community Academy playground is home to a great set of yellow swings, donated by the Vest and Kendall families in memory of Amanda Kendall Vest, a former Canaan student.  Amanda's family has a long history of attending and supporting the school, and CCA is proud of the dedicated and loving teacher Amanda became at Hanover College Center for Childhood Development.  The gift of these vibrant swings will bring joy to children for years to come and are a living testament and tribute to a great girl!  CCA would like to take this opportunity to thank Amanda's family for this honorable gift! 

Our Stellar Cafeteria

posted Feb 4, 2014, 9:49 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Feb 7, 2014, 3:22 PM ]

The CCA cafeteria, staffed by Karen Rowlett (manager) and Cindy Jones, is one outstanding operation. As reported by the Madison Courier, the CCA cafeteria was one of 29 Jefferson County food establishments and full-service kitchens that did not have a single violation in 2013. Using second hand or donated equipment, Karen and Cindy work hard daily to provide healthy meals that meet all regulations for the CCA students and staff.

Additionally, Karen and Cindy make special meals several times a year such as the Thanksgiving meal featured in the Madison Courier Lifestyles section (below). Thank you for all that you do, Karen and Cindy!

Cooking for Canaan

Karen Rowlett, left, and her sister Katie Lockridge talk while preparing hundreds of servings of Thanksgiving lunch for students at Canaan Community Academy and their visiting family members on Thursday. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/

11/25/2013 1:00:00 PM

By Steve Dickerson

Running in and out of her kitchen, Karen Rowlett knows exactly what to do next. She adds seasoning to a batch of turkey gravy, darts into the supply room to grab silverware and directs her team of cooks.

Rowlett has been cooking and serving food for much of her life. 

"It's a family thing," she said.

Her food service has increased dramatically the last two years though. Rowlett, the food services director at Canaan Community Academy, cooked a Thanksgiving feast for more than 200 people Thursday as students and their family members packed into the charter school. 

Thursday's meal was the first of three Thanksgiving meals Rowlett will prepare this year.

"I'm on the social committee at church, so I'll be preparing one that day (tomorrow) and then another one for my family on Thursday," she said. 

Students were served turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, a dinner roll and apple crisp for dessert. Because of government regulations, students were also served pineapple slices because the apple crisp recipe didn't have enough fruit per lunch serving, Rowlett said.

"We may have gone over a little on calories today too," she said. "But it's a special day."

In the kitchen with Rowlett was her assistant Cindy Jones and volunteers Angela Ruble and Katie Lockridge - Rowlett's sister.

Lockridge, like Rowlett, has a long history of food service. She recently retired from the Madison State Hospital where she worked for nearly 34 years, 27 in the kitchen.

"Now I've put her back to work," Rowlett joked. 

Lockridge said she was happy to help, even though she's used to a kitchen with a little more space.

"It feels really, really, really cramped," she said.

"We're at a little bit of a disadvantage," Rowlett added. "We don't have the big industrial equipment either."

Rowlett said she stayed at work until 6 p.m. the day before preparing eight turkeys. She says she arrives at work by 6 a.m. most days.

"That's just how I was raised," she said. "You stay until you get your work done."

The long hours can be tiring, she said. "But the kids are worth it. They're so funny."

After spending hours in a kitchen, Rowlett said she likes to go home and relax. Even if it's just a short rest.

I'll go home and put my feet up and just rest for about 30 minutes," she said. "But then I've got to get started on dinner."

December and Starting 2014

posted Jan 19, 2014, 5:01 PM by LAURA SCHAFER

After a busy holiday season and then a nice two week break, the CCA is now into 

Christmas Program
The school Christmas program was held in the gym on December 17th. A Scholastic Book Fair was hosted by the PTO before the program and a cookie pitch in was held after. All seven grades were decked out in their nicest outfits and sang to a packed gym. The students have been preparing the program in their weekly music classes since the Fall. They were happy to sing for family and friends on the new risers. The Kindergarten and First Grade participated in another fun holiday tradition - making ginger bread houses.

"A" Rating!
Later in December, the CCA was notified of its rating by the State of Indiana. The CCA is proud to announce it was given an "A" rating for academic achievement and growth. One of only two elementary schools in Jefferson County to receive an "A". The students and staff celebrated by having an all day pajama day. 
Basketball season is once again upon us, and the CCA has both a boys and girls basketball team participating in the local Parks and Recreation Department League. The boys are coached by Mr. Norris and the girls, Mrs Stockdale and her father, Mr. Larry Duke.

Into November, 2013

posted Nov 24, 2013, 6:35 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Nov 24, 2013, 6:37 PM ]

As the holiday season is nearing, the CCA students have taken part in several neat events. Most recently, collecting and delivering 2,073 cans to the Clearinghouse of Jefferson County food pantry!
Donating Food
The CCA was founded with a focus on community engagement, and the CCA families truly showed that by donating 2.073 cans to the Clearinghouse of Jefferson County food pantry. The collection was spurred by a competition between classes, with the first and sixth grades tying for first place. Those grades won the privilege of delivering the items to the food pantry on a CCA bus. 
The drop off was featured on the front page of the Madison Courier in an article about local school food drives.
Canaan Community Academy first-grader Damon Hardon grabs a box of food from sixth-grade teacher Patric Morrison as students prepared to deliver food they collected to the Clearinghouse of Jefferson County food pantry. Students donated 2,073 items. Parian Hull, executive administrative assistant at the school, who organized the food drive for the school, said Clearinghouse employees told her it was the most food donated to the food pantry at one time. “They told us we took the first-place prize,” Hull said. First- and sixth-grade students tied for the most cans donated during the food drive. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/
Canaan Community Academy first-grader Damon Hardon grabs a box of food from sixth-grade teacher Patric Morrison as students prepared to deliver food they collected to the Clearinghouse of Jefferson County food pantry. Students donated 2,073 items. Parian Hull, executive administrative assistant at the school, who organized the food drive for the school, said Clearinghouse employees told her it was the most food donated to the food pantry at one time. “They told us we took the first-place prize,” Hull said. First- and sixth-grade students tied for the most cans donated during the food drive. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/
Thanksgiving Meal
The CCA held its second annual Thanksgiving meal that included 6 turkeys and all the fixings - rolls, greenbeans, mashed potatoes and gravy, and apple crisp. Families were once again invited to eat this fabulous lunch and visit with their CCA students.
The lunch was covered, eaten, and tweeted by Madison Courier reporter, Steve Dickerson who captured this image of Cindy Jones and Angela Ruble cooking up a storm:
And to bring the kids out of their post-turkey slumber, a little Cha Cha slide played on the Promethean Boards...
Honoring our Veterans
The CCA held its second annual Veterans Day program on Monday, November 11th. The school was decorated head to toe with patriotic decorations including headbands worn by the students.
The program included songs, the Pledge of Allegiance, remarks by Nate Adams and Ed Roberts, and introduction of the Veterans by their CCA buddies (children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews, etc). 
Community members were invited to the program and the cookie reception that followed in the cafeteria.   
A display was also set up that included various military memorabilia including scrapbooks, pictures of Veterans who could not attend, and newspaper articles.
Halloween Party - Spooktacular Soupfest
The Spooktacular Soupfest was a popular event held even before the CCA was founded as a part of the then Canaan Community Center events. Back by popular demand, the event included all of the favorite activities - a hayride, painting pumpkins (thanks to a local donation!), Halloween games, and a costume contest. Not to mention, the soup and dessert pitch in that always includes delicious and creative items perfect for a chilly October evening.

Veterans Day, 2013 Invitation

posted Nov 11, 2013, 6:34 AM by LAURA SCHAFER

All are invited to join the CCA in honoring Veterans at 1pm on November 11, 2013. For more information, please see the letter distributed to the CCA supporters, families, and community members below. If you would like to be added to our e-mail communication distribution lists, please e-mail lauraschafer at gmail dot com or simply call the school and let them know.
CCA Board members, Staff members and Supporters,

I'd like to invite you to join us as the CCA honors all of our Veterans, with special recognition for veterans with local connections. We have several events planned over the next week, and I hope you'll be able to participate in some of these tributes.

First, we would like to invite each family who has a family member currently serving in the military (or who previously served in the armed forces) to set up a display in the front hallway of the school. In addition, if your family has deceased members who served in the military during their lifetime, we’d like to honor them as well. Could you please gather items for display such as: photographs, description of service, and mementos? Displays will be set up on Thursday, November 7, or Friday, November 8.
Secondly, the CCA students will be making cards and other items to send to our troops, but we’d also like to invite your family to make cards or donate items to send to members of our Armed Forces. We will be gathering these items beginning November 6, and will mail them on Friday, November 15. Some suggestions for the care packages include prepackaged or nonperishable snack items, international calling cards, DVD’s, or small games such as playing cards.
Lastly, we have planned a Veterans’ Day program to be held Monday, November 11, at 1:00 P.M., and we invite you to join us for this event. Please feel free to invite friends and family members who are veterans or who would like to join us in honoring our local veterans. *If a Veteran will be joining us on Monday, please have them call the school office to let us know (so that we can honor them during the program).
We'd like to serve our guests cookies and drinks. Would you be willing to donate some cookies? If so, please reply to this message.

Please forward this message to anyone who you think would like to join us as we honor our service men and women.

Deena L. Schafer
Chief Academic Officer
Canaan Community Academy

Fall Fun in 2013!

posted Oct 17, 2013, 1:23 PM by LAURA SCHAFER

Canaan students have had a great Fall, with more Fall fun to come. Among other activities, the primary grades traveled to Cornucopia Farm, all students participated in Fire Prevention week, and all are looking forward to the annual Spooktacular Spookfest! Also quickly approaching is the annual Veterans Day program, which will be held on November 11 at 1pm.

Spooktacular Soupfest
The annual Spooktacular Soupfest will be held Friday, October 25 from 5-9pm at Canaan Community Academy! Food will be served from 5-7pm. Hot Dogs, chips, and drinks will be provided by the PTO. All are invited to bring their favorite soup or dessert to share. The quality and variety of the soups over the years has definitely made this a popular event! Especially as the weather grows colder. Games and activities will be held from 6:30-9pm. Activities will include costume parade (with prizes awarded for scariest, funniest, prettiest, and most original), classroom door judging contest, hayrides, pumpkin patch!

Come enjoy the fun! All proceeds (free will donation) will benefit the CCA PTO.

Visit to Cornucopia Farm
The Kindergarten, First, and Second grades recently traveled to Cornucopia Farm. The farm features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, hayrides and more. The kids had a blast!

Fire Prevention Week
The Canaan Volunteer Fire Department and Laurice See from SCEMS were kind enough to present another great Fire Prevention program. Andy the Ambulance paid a visit and the students learned to stay low during a fire. All students also got to spray a fire hose. Thanks to all who gave their time to teaching our students these valuable, life saving lessons!

Board Meeting Report
The summary of the most recent board meeting, as reported by The Madison Courier is as follows:

10/11/2013 3:00:00 PM
Canaan to train resource officer
Steve Dickerson
Courier Staff Writer

Tara Hayes, Canaan Community Academy's chief operating officer, announced at this week's school board meeting that she will be going through school resource officer training.

At last month's meeting, Hayes announced the school was applying for a new matching grant from the state that would help pay for the salary of a school resource officer, or security equipment for a school.

Chief Academic Officer Deena Schafer said Hayes will enroll in a two-day training session in November.

"It could pave the way for other small schools that want to have a resource officer," Schafer said. "It just makes so much sense to have a trained employee at the school that can respond to any situation."

Schafer also announced at the meeting that the school's $18,371 Rural Education Achievement Program grant, a nationally funded grant, hasn't yet been received. "We were somewhat concerned," Schafer said. "But it is still coming through."

Also at the meeting, the school board elected board member Dean Adams as the new vice president of the board. 

Canaan's second annual is planned for Oct. 25 at the school, from 5 to 9 p.m. The Halloween party is free and open to the public. There is a free will offering for the food.

Schafer said there will be soups and sandwiches available.

The event also features pumpkin painting, a costume contest, games, and hay rides.

A Veterans Day program is also scheduled for Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.

CCA, year two in full swing

posted Sep 22, 2013, 1:47 PM by LAURA SCHAFER   [ updated Sep 22, 2013, 1:52 PM ]

With its second year of operation in full swing, the CCA is back to its business of helping children learn and grow. The CCA's 122 students have started to settle into their daily routines of Minds in Motion, fun on the playground, special classes, Team Time, and lots of learning in between!

The PTO is back in action for the year, with several fundraisers already under their belts. All money raised by the PTO is used for providing supplemental educational opportunities for the children and the occasional appreciation for the staff at the CCA. In addition to selling snacks at the Canaan Fall Festival, the group is planning to have a Candy Stand at the Madison Chautauqua. The stand will also offer the chocolate candy bars which are part of an ambitious plan to sell 12,000 candy bars. The candy bar sales will go toward the purchase of a lawnmower for the school.

The now annual Spooktacular soupfest will be held Oct 26 from 5-9 pm. This event is one of the most well-attended CCA events of the year. It includes a soup and dessert pitch-in, hay rides, and several fun Halloween activities. Children and adults alike show their Halloween spirit by dressing up in costume which makes for a fun, Fall night!

Fall Festival
Canaan students and their families participated in the annual Canaan Fall Festival with floats, the Chief White Eye Art Contest, and the PTO fundraising booth selling snacks.


Rivers Institute Play
On August 8th, members of the Hanover Rivers Institute traveled to Canaan to present the play Nothing Stops this Train to the Fifth and Sixth grades. Mrs. Schafer reported rave reviews from the students. Photo credits go to Mr. Morrison who also invited the community to share in this special event.

Mr. and Mrs. Norris in The Madison Courier
With the new school year, the local newspaper, The Madison Courier, has featured several stories on people involved in education. On August 28th, the below "Your Story" article described the transition of Mr. and Mrs. Norris, the CCA's Third grade and Kindergarten teachers, into their new married life.

8/28/2013 3:00:00 PM
Your Story
Starting their new life at Canaan
Lauren Norris, above, accepts coloring assignments from her kindergarten class Monday afternoon at Canaan Community Academy. She is in her second year of teaching at Canaan, but this year, she is working just a few paces down the hall from her husband. Michael Norris, below, gives student Jordan New some quick cursive writing tips Monday at Canaan Community Academy. Originally from Alabama, Michael moved to Madison this year and is teaching his first third-grade class at Canaan. He also is an assistant coach for the Madison Consolidated High School football team. (Staff photos by Seth Grundhoefer/
Lauren Norris, above, accepts coloring assignments from her kindergarten class Monday afternoon at Canaan Community Academy. She is in her second year of teaching at Canaan, but this year, she is working just a few paces down the hall from her husband. Michael Norris, below, gives student Jordan New some quick cursive writing tips Monday at Canaan Community Academy. Originally from Alabama, Michael moved to Madison this year and is teaching his first third-grade class at Canaan. He also is an assistant coach for the Madison Consolidated High School football team. (Staff photos by Seth Grundhoefer/
"... I kind of joke around because we spent all last year apart, so now it's like we're catching up on lost time." - Lauren Norris
Steve Dickerson
Courier Staff Writer

After spending two years in a long-distance relationship, Michael and Lauren Norris are much closer. In fact, they work right down the hall from each other.

Michael is the new third-grade teacher at Canaan Community Academy and Lauren, his wife, teaches kindergarten for the charter school. She started that job last year.

"It's great. I kind of joke around because we spent all last year apart, so now it's like we're catching up on lost time," Lauren said.

After two years of long distance, both say they're happy to be seeing more of each other.

"It's been great. It's not like we see each other all day. Which is good because we still have stuff to talk about on the way home," she said.

"The personal side is separate from the professional side," Michael added.

The couple met at Auburn University in Alabama nearly five years ago. 

Lauren, the daughter of Tom and Mary Davee, said she followed her older sister to Auburn because they wanted attend college together.

"We were just college visiting when I was like a freshman in high school and she was a junior. We made a deal to go to Auburn together."

Michael attended the school because it was close to home. 

After graduation, Lauren and Michael got jobs in their old hometowns, which are more than 600 miles apart when traveling Interstate 65.

"I used to say he lived just down the road," Lauren joked.

Over the next two years, the couple would visit each other on weekends and corresponding breaks, often meeting in the middle, around Nashville, Tenn.

After rings were bought and wedding plans were made, Michael started looking for a job near Madison.

"I lived in Alabama my whole life," he said. "So, she was kind of away from her family for about four years. I didn't think it was right to take her away again. We're both teachers, so it's pretty flexible. I can teach anywhere."

Being away from home isn't a big problem for the Alabama native. He says Madison and Canaan remind him a lot of his hometown.

"There's a lot of hills and farm land," Michael said.

After graduating from college, Michael started working the high school he attended, Monroe Academy in Alabama, which includes kindergarten through 12th grade.

It's a small school. He said they only graduated 30 seniors when he finished school.

"I mostly taught fifth and sixth grade last year," he said. "Now I'm teaching all subjects and kind of touching on it all."

"I feel like I get to help them more and get to interact with them more."

Lauren attended E.O. Muncie Elementary and Eggleston Elementary schools before attending the junior high school and high school in Madison. 

"It's so fun to be back," she said. "I was more nervous for him to move to Madison, just being so far away from his home, than I was getting married."

The two tied the knot on July 13, at Madison Presbyterian Church, and they received a little help from Canaan for transportation.

A school bus, decked out with bows and signs, took the couple from the chapel to their reception.

"Even the bus driver supplied mirrors and hair spray," Lauren said. 

"We just felt like, since we're both called to be teachers, it just felt like a nice little addition." Michael said.

1-10 of 108