Principal's Message


Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Principal's Message

Principal Dr. Erica Wigton

February 2018

Principal Erica Wigton Dear Families,

The month of January has kicked off our Kindness Initiative. Students receive kindness tickets for displaying acts of kindness. Student names will be drawn at the end of the month to receive a special prize. During morning announcements, announcers have been reporting acts of kindness students performed over winter break. Thanks to students who shared their acts of kindness in their Chill Out and Read Packets they completed over winter break. Kindness is evident throughout the building. On January 31st, members of the Educational Services Team from the Board of Education performed a Walk-through at Canterbury.  The members of the team were thoroughly impressed with the climate of the building and the behavior of the students.

Canterbury has taken extra precautions in cleaning the school during the flu season. Nurse Margie has also been in classrooms discussing the importance of hand washing to students.

Lastly, the Sweetheart Dance is next Thursday, February 8th.  It is always a fun family event. Students must attend with their own families and will not be permitted unless accompanied by an appropriate family member.

Thank you to our amazing PTA for all you do, including the wonderful Sweetheart Dance. We are so fortunate to have amazing support of our community at Canterbury. As always, please email or call if you have any questions.


December 2017

Dear Canterbury Families,

On December 21, Canterbury's staff wore sunglasses and Canterbury t-shirts in anticipation of our surprise assembly for students. During the assembly, students had an opportunity to dance, courtesy of Ms. Bowman and Senora Atman. Then, I announced the surprise…every student in the school was receiving a Wonder Book. Please take the time over Winter Break to make sure your child is reading the book. CH-UH will be doing activities with the book as well. It is a wonderful story of a boy named Auggie who was born with remarkable facial differences and attends school for the first time in 5th grade. Auggie is an incredible boy and I know Canterbury families will enjoy reading about him. 
I hope you all have a wonderful break with family. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Cover of Wonder 
Cover of We're All Wonders 

October 2017

Dear Families,
Canterbury was bursting with energy on Friday morning with a brief visit from the High School Marching Band! The purpose of the assembly is to energize students and staff and remind students to try their best each and every day.  I hope your child(ren) came home to tell you about the exciting event!  Each trimester Canterbury teachers want to surprise students with an energizing reward to remind us all how fortunate we are to be at Canterbury.
 Marching band at Canterbury 
In September, Canterbury’s Building Leadership team, consisting of a teacher from each grade level, presented to instructional leaders from the Board of Education. The BLT (Building Leadership Team) reviewed our instructional IB strategies and performed walkthroughs with the board through Canterbury’s classroom. The BLT and Board were so impressed with students’ behavior and kindness towards each other the instructional practices taking place in the classrooms.

Lastly,  I hope your child was able to share about their learning or goals during their parent teacher conference. I can't reiterate enough how important it is for children to be reading nightly. Thank you for everything you do to support your children in their educational journey. 
Butterfly Project! 
In October, the second grade students took place in a very special interdisciplinary project called "Journey North."  In Spanish, students learned about how monarch's migrate from the United States and Canada throughout the fall, arriving in Mexico by November. They learned vocabulary related to monarch migration and played an authentic hand clapping game called “Mariposa." In art class, students created individual monarch butterflies by dripping water color paint on diffusion paper, and then using a  sharpie to draw the pattern on the butterflies' wings. The students also created a composite "Ambassador" butterfly, and compiled postcards, a flag, a letter, and other gifts. The package then made a "symbolic migration" to an elementary school in Mexico near the monarch sanctuary, where the students' work will be displayed throughout the fall and winter. The second graders will be able to track the real monarchs (and the symbolic ones!) in Spanish, art, their homerooms, and at home using the website until they return north in the spring. Then, they will receive monarchs from another school in North America. 
 Students working on butterfly project 
IB Update!
The year is moving so quickly, and our students have been focusing on specific IB attributes and attitudes. Check out all the Tiger Paws on the bulletin board as evidence to the principled learners we have in our building!  Besides showing great character, our students are learning interesting things in engaging ways!  Kindergarteners learned all about communities, safety signs, and why rules are a good thing and how even Lake Farm Park had rules that they follow to keep the animals safe, the visitors safe, and the place looking terrific. Our first graders have kicked off their #2 planner with the adventures of Flat Stanley and are eagerly awaiting word on his journeys.  Our 2nd and 4th graders enjoyed learning about the past and exploring fossils, along with asking questions on how we can help the earth. Speaking of helping, our 4th graders showed empathy to the residents impacted by the wildfires in California.  They created care packages to send to an IB school where over 70% of staff and students lost their homes. Our 3rd graders had fun adding information into their IB portfolios using Google sites while learning about life cycles and reflected on things they learned in planner #1.  Lastly, our 5th graders have learned so much about our interdependency- whether in ecosystems or communities. Their study of biomes and meeting needs can be found lining the hallways and in portfolios.  

Both Canterbury and Roxboro are using See Saw in grades K-2 and Google Sites in grades 3-5 to showcase the learning happening in school.  If you haven’t seen anything from these lessons, please ask your child to share.
 IB papers  
Third Graders Planting Tulips! 
Mrs. Bergson, while walking her dog and talking with a neighbor, learned of a great opportunity for our students - plant tulips, record data, share the results with the world; and that's exactly what Canterbury 3rd graders did! October 25, 2017 was planting day! The students formulated a hypothesis, began their observations, will continue to collect evidence, and report to a data collection web-site the spring growth results. We will compare our plants' progress with other children in the world and make reflections about the project in our online IB portfolios. 
Students planting tulips

Tiger Council
Tiger Council is excited to announce the following tigers as the official officers of the school:
Robbie Caldwell  President 
Olivia Bruening  Treasurer 
Jacob Holmes Spirit Ambassador 
Zion Pettway Secretary 
Ryan Harris Homeroom rep
Le'Toya Russell younger grade rep
Hazel Krisman homeroom rep
Gavin McIntyre homeroom rep
Bernard Stevens younger grade rep 
Lina Spazk homeroom rep
Mckenna Van Leuven homeroom rep
Madison Crump homeroom rep
Samyah Gracia homeroom rep
Damon Loretz  homeroom rep
Kendall Thompson homeroom rep
We are looking forward to a bright and successful year and implementing the officers' ideas to make Canterbury the best school possible!  
Class officers


May 2017

Dear Families,

We enjoyed another incredibly busy and exciting year at Canterbury. Special thanks to our PTA for another phenomenal year. Spring Fling was a great success as were many other special events and tutoring efforts this year. A special shout out to our fifth grade students who will be leaving us for the middle school. It was exciting to work with them on their exhibition projects. In the final year at Canterbury, fifth grade students worked collaboratively on an in-depth inquiry into a real life issue. Students then had to perform a positive action to help the community solve the issue and present their findings to the community.

Please take the time over the summer to read daily with your children. I highly recommend utilizing the Ohio Department of Education “beach bags.” The Beach Bags are for kindergarten through grade 3 and feature stories and activities, so children can practice reading skills while learning about careers and helping the environment.

I want to recognize several staff members who are retiring this year. Dulcie Devitt, Canterbury’s Media Ancillary; Donna Ritchie, our Lunch Coordinator; and Connie Gillen, an assistant in Mrs. Meese’s room, are all retiring at the end of the year. We are sad to see the staff go but wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Many grateful thanks to the families for the way you continue to help Canterbury through tutoring, volunteering and supporting staff and students. I wish you all an excellent summer and look forward to seeing everyone again in August.

Dr. Erica Wigton

February/March 2017

Dear Families,

The Canterbury community is filled with lifelong learners. In February, much of the entire staff at Canterbury received Professional Development instruction from Jim Littlejohn who shared information from our book study, Boys in Crisis. We learned the differences between female and male brains and how best to meet the instructional needs of students in the classroom. Additionally, we received tips on how to help students reflect on and make positive choices in their behavior. Also, in March, teachers across the district met and discussed the following: creating collaborative lessons; examining student work using certain protocols; and, deciding on next instructional steps. It is important for students to know that learning never stops and to continue to be inquirers so they will continue the learning process throughout their lifetime. Canterbury’s staff continues to grow, change, and learn in order to provide excellent instruction for our students.

"Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."
-John Dewey

Dr. Erica Wigton
Canterbury Principal

January 2017

Dear Canterbury Families, 

Thank you for everyone who participated in Literacy/IB night. It was an engaging evening, and I hope you learned something new about a faraway place. Special thanks to Mrs. Mahoney, who coordinated the event, along with the teachers and staff who worked hard to prepare for the night: Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Briggs, Mrs. Devitt, Mrs. Reinhart, Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Duhanich and Mrs. Gadowski.

In addition, I wanted to update you on our safety concerns during arrival and dismissal. During a recent meeting with District administration, we evaluated our current system. We are in the process of obtaining a more permanent gate to utilize during arrival and dismissal. In the interim, please be mindful of the importance of being extremely cautious when dropping off and picking up your child in a car. For example, please do not stop in the middle of the road but rather pull to the curb to ensure your child’s safety. I visited students on Wednesday and instructed the children to remind their parents of this safety procedure as well.

As always, if you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Dr. Wigton
Canterbury Elementary School Principal


Dear Families,

There were many exciting events in November. As many of you are aware, Canterbury teachers and staff participated in a Flash Mob. Thanks to the Creative Arts teachers for their creative idea and for the wonderful participation by teachers. The video of the assembly on the district's Facebook page has exploded on Facebook with it being one of the most popular videos that CH-UH has ever posted.

With all of this excitement and anticipation of the holiday season, I ask that you try to keep routines as close as normal as possible, especially bedtimes. Additionally, I urge you to spend time with family and limit the use of technology. Although technology can be a wonderful learning tool, viewing too much technology can hinder learning and emotional awareness according to research reports. I enjoy playing checkers, Monopoly or any other board game with my two boys. I hope your family has a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Principal Dr. Erica Wigton

November 2016

Hello Canterbury Families,
Thank you to all of the families who attended Fall Conferences.
Students in grades 1-5 were asked to participate in their conferences as well. This is vital to empower Canterbury students to take ownership in their learning process.
Additionally, students are included in the goal setting process. Having students be a part of the process will help them understand the expectations and the need to create action steps on how they will grow academically and socially.
Please know that you can contact your child’s teacher at any time, not just on conference night.
Thank you again for being an active participant in your child’s learning.
Dr. Erica Wigton, Canterbury Elementary School Principal


September/October 2016

Hello Canterbury Families,

I am pleased to report that we are off to a smooth start to the school year and it is wonderful to see all of the awesome support the school and students are receiving thus far. We had a record number in attendance for our first PTA meeting. Additionally, we saw an enormous increase in families participating in our Kindergarten Kickoff event in August. Thank you for your continued support of our school.

As many of you are aware, the Ohio Department of Education released the report cards last month. Across the state, many performing districts reported a record high number of “d’s” and “f’s” on their school report card. This is the third year in a row that the state assessments have changed and many students across the state, including Canterbury, took the test online for the first time. As the new testing stabilizes and remains consistent, Canterbury looks forward to making progress on the new state tests.

Even though the tests themselves and the methods by which the testing is administered has changed, Canterbury did see an increase in our school literacy grade. Other bright spots include increases from fourth grade math and social studies from the previous year. We also performed better than the average student in the State of Ohio in almost all areas. For example, 83 percent of our third grade students scored proficient on the math test, while only 66 percent scored proficient across the state. Also, 73 percent of our third grade students scored proficient on the reading portion of the tests, while only 54 percent scored proficient in the State of Ohio.

On Oct. 5, Canterbury was honored as one of Northeast Ohio School Boards Association’s Outstanding Schools for its selection as a High Progress School of Honor.

I look forward to another successful school year. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.

Dr. Erica Wigton, Canterbury Elementary School Principal
Important Dates to remember:
PTA Meeting - Wednesday, October 5 at 6:00 p.m.
School Walk In - Thursday, October 6 at 8:40 a.m.
Fun Run - During Creative Arts, Friday, October 7
Parent Teacher Conferences - Thursday, October 20
Important Times:
School Starts: 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast Starts: 8:20 a.m.
Dismissal: 3:15 p.m.

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