CSC chair voices frustration with CCHS funding request

Questions were raised at the September 12 Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting about the funding request for the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) that triggered Carlisle’s upcoming Special Town Meeting on October 2. CSC Chair David Model expressed frustration and reservation about the $300,000 Warrant Article requested by the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC). 

Of the total request, $200,000 would be used for a design and engineering study of the CCHS campus and $100,000 would be for capital improvements including drainage, shower repairs, ambulance access road and duct work. He said the $200,000 in design funds “was pushed . . . there wasn’t any feedback from Carlisle.” He added that he believes neither the Carlisle Selectmen nor the Carlisle Finance Committee support the measure.

The CSC has two members, Christine Lear and Mary Storrs, who serve on the RSC. Lear and CSC member Melynda Gambino did not state their opinion at the meeting regarding the Warrant Articles. Storrs and CSC member Josh Kablotsky were absent. 

School opening smooth, apart from graffiti

In other business, Carlisle School Superintendent O’Shea said that the school had a smooth opening during the first week, apart from offensive graffiti found in a bathroom. He said that Middle School Principal Matt Mehler “penned a letter that expressed outrage,” and spoke to each middle school class about the school’s core values. 

Transport to tech school 

Transportation was arranged for a student attending Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Model reported. He said that personnel from the Carlisle School negotiated, on behalf of the town of Carlisle, “a favorable rate from Bedford Charter,” which is also the Carlisle School’s bus company. School administrators had offered to help the town secure transportation, though the town, not the Carlisle school system, is responsible for transportation costs.

School Facilities Manager retiring

O’Shea said that efforts are underway to find a replacement for Facilities Manager David Flannery, who retires on December 31. O’Shea said that the search committee will “involve everyone.” Flannery later explained that the school’s plan is to have a candidate selected by mid-November and to have the new hire start in mid-December. He said, “This will give a little time for me to help orient the new facility manager.”

School budget schedule set

The committee reviewed the FY20 school budget timeline. The CSC budget team of Gambino and Model will meet with school administrators, school staff, parents and Carlisle Finance Committee (FinCom) liaison Scott Triola at various times throughout September and October. The draft budget will be brought to the CSC on October 10 and the final budget proposal will be presented to the CSC on November 14.

Fundraiser for Carlisle Parents Teacher Organization

The Carlisle Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is starting a textile recycling fundraiser in conjunction with Bay State Textiles. PTO members Rebecca Bromark and Emily Richardson asked the school committee for permission to have a textile donor box (similar in size to a Salvation Army box) placed on the Carlisle School grounds. They previously met with the Board of Selectmen to request a box be placed at the Transfer Station. Bay State will periodically collect the textiles. Bromark said that the PTO receives five cents per pound or $100 per ton of textiles collected and the box holds 300 to 500 pounds. “There is no upfront cost,” she said, and no staff members need to monitor the box. She said that the same program is being started at the Concord Public Schools. 

Asked what happens to the textiles, Bromark explained that 45% is usually clothing that is repaired and either sold or donated. Approximately 50% is unusable clothing materials and items like shoes, purses, pillows, linens and stuffed animals. Those materials are recycled into fiber products. The remainder, around 5%, is unsuitable for any use and is burned. O’Shea, noting the box should be located where snow can be removed, suggested placing it by the curved driveway at the Highland Building. All proceeds from both boxes go to the PTO.

Executive session held

The CSC members voted to adjourn to executive session to discuss contract negotiations with the teachers’ union and to approve minutes from previous executive sessions. Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law (MGL Chapter 30A, Section 21) the following purposes were named: Purpose 3: to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body, and Purpose 7: to comply with, or act under the authority of, any general or special law or federal grant in-aid requirements. ∆