The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 3, 1999


Trip to Quebec to continue

Carlisle Middle School French teacher Nicole Baker presented to the November 16 school committee meeting a detailed three-day "excursion française a la ville de Québec" for the eighth-grade students. This is the sixth year she has led the student trip. Everyone in the class looks forward to the trip and, for some students, it is the first time they are out of the United States. Totally immersed in French culture, they have to use their foreign language skills in order to eat and enjoy the many experiences of the city.

With guides and parent chaperones, the students participate in such activities as a walk around Les Galeries de la Capitale, eating in the Cabaret de Champlain where a cabaretier helps them experience a meal in the early 18th century, and viewing a multi-media presentation which introduces them to the history and landmarks of Québec. Students visit the Musée Du Fort where they learn about the many battles between the French, British and Americans. Also, students experience a cultural and historic treasure hunt, "chasse au trésor," which begins at the Place Royale and takes them through the narrow streets of old Québec to the Assemblée Nationale. They visit the Musée de la Civilisation, the Montmorency Falls and the historic Citadelle. The trip even includes an evening dance cruise with other Canadian and American students.

Baker commented that not only do the students learn about the French language and discover the culture of Québec, but also about their own roots as Americans. Baker said, "The students learn that French is a real language, not just a school subject. It is a wonderful event." Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson concurred, saying it is an educational, cultural and bonding experience for the students. The entire eighth-grade class goes and no one is denied participation for lack of money.

This is the last year the entire class will learn French because the middle school has introduced the option of Spanish. Ideas are already being discussed about how to incorporate a similar experience for those learning Spanish. Both the school administration and CSC are mindful of the value of a group experience for the whole class.

The CSC granted Baker permission to begin planning this year's trip, scheduled for Thursday, June 1 to Saturday, June 3. "It is a great trip," said chair David Dockterman. "A lot of bonding happens and when the eighth graders return, they feel it has been an incredibly special experience."

Changes in field trip policy

Explaining that all field trips are curriculum-oriented, Fox-Melanson asked the school committee to consider a proposed change and two additions to the school's field trip policy. The administration recommended that the annual limit on charges be set at $45 per student. Also, the revised policy states that no child will be denied the opportunity to participate in field trips for financial reasons. Parents and teachers who are aware of financial concerns should contact the school principal. Fox-Melanson wants it to be mandatory for teachers to bring a cell phone with them on a field trip. The cell phone will be stored in the main office when not in use. These recommendations were adopted and the November 16 meeting was adjourned for an executive session for school committee members and the school administration to discuss legal issues.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito