Friday, September 17, 1999
Concord opens with ceremonies and emphasis on ethics
To kick off the new school year, Concord School Superintendent Ed Mavragis held an opening ceremony on September 7, the day before students returned. The CCHS jazz band performed for the early morning gathering of teachers, school employees and community members. A theme of imparting good values to students and modeling ethical behavior was woven throughout the speeches given by school committee members and administrators. Citing the book The Students Are Watching: Schools and the Moral Contract by Theodore and Nancy Sizer, regional school committee chair Lauren Walters of Concord asked teachers and all school employees to be models of good behavior. Mavragis, who addressed the entire school community for the first time, said that adult modeling of ethical behavior leaves an indelible mark on children. Pointing out the human side to the start of the school year, he said the typical parent wonders: "Will my child have friends this year? Will their teachers like and respect them? Will they come home from school with a smile?"
At the RSC's August 31 meeting, Mavragis provided school committee members with a list of his goals for the school system. Those included starting a K-12 summer school program and a full-day kindergarten program. Most schools have a full-day kindergarten, he said, and a longer school day is possible since most children today are prepared when they enter kindergarten. Also listed in his goals is the need for more advanced-placement courses at Concord-Carlisle High School, since colleges want to see more of the courses on school transcripts. One of Mavragis' priorities is to survey all students in grades 6-12 to see how students are personally connected to the schools through extracurricular clubs and athletics. "You can't ignore the culture of the hallways," he told the meeting. In response to a question on how to assess the new superintendent's performance on his goals, Walters quipped, "Let's avoid EDCAS-ing Ed [in reference to the controversial MCAS exams] in his first year and wait until the second or third year to evaluate his performance on the goals."
Strategic planning weekend
A strategic planning session for the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Regional School districts will be held September 24-26 at Middlesex School. The intensive planning session, to be held over three weekend days, will be facilitated by outside educational consultants who will ask the invited participants to define the current strengths and weaknesses of the schools and to help delineate the five-year goals and priorities for the schools. Carlisle participants include former selectman Dave Watson, and co-president of the CCHS parent group, Jean Ford Webb, along with RSC member Cindy Nock. Middlesex School is providing the meeting rooms for the planning session at no charge.
CCHS Student Travel
As part of an exchange program, 60 Chinese students will have home stays in the Concord area next February and 17 seniors in the CCHS jazz band will travel to China in April. The French department is also planning a tour of France over the April vacation.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito