The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 3, 2000


Civility: a theme in Carlisle's goals

The Carlisle School Committee revisited its 1999/2000 system goals. In the detailed 25-page interim report, Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson highlighted the progress made towards achieving the goals and what still needs to be addressed.

In order to strengthen the civility of the school culture the health advisory council, which has met each month from September to January, has increased its membership so it now includes seven members of the community, eight faculty members, police chief David Galvin, Father Donohoe, Reverend Greer, Dr. Gaughn M.D., and CSC member Cindy Nock.

Sexual harassment policy

The final revision of the sexual harassment policy had been accepted this fall and the implementation of the policy has begun with the formal training of all Carlisle School personnel. The training has begun in the seventh and eighth grades and will continue until all students have received appropriate instruction.

The intention of the health advisory council will be to review and revise the sexual harassment policy, the student handbook and code of conduct. The health curriculum is expected to help identify ways to foster civility and strengthen interpersonal skills, enabling the students to focus energy on building and maintaining positive relationships.

Social competency

Other goals include expanding programs which integrate concepts of social competency throughout the K-8 community. Portions of the January 28 professional day were dedicated to activities among the staff designed to promote civility, social competency and teamwork. A four-person committee was formed to coordinate social competency programs through the Whole School Initiative at Wellesley College's Stone Center to maximize the impact of the Open Circle Program. This committee also distributed to staff a newsletter called the "School Listening Look" to highlight Carlisle teachers' experiences with the Open Circle.

All staff members in the fine arts and language arts have been encouraged to use the Open Circle vocabulary and concepts in the classroom setting.

Impact of MCAS

The fourth-grade teachers have analyzed the most recent Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test results and agreed to devote time with grades K-3 to coordinate reading skills and methodology. Four teachers are working to update and refine the elementary recommended reading lists.

The issue of developing a system-wide spelling program and aligning curriculum strands in poetry and dictionary skills in connection with the findings of the recent MCAS test have not been addressed.

The report indicates that the curriculum in the Carlisle Public School tends to emphasize problem solving over computation in math even though the MCAS testing shows no strong pattern either way. In addition, Fox-Melanson said she feels there is a need to focus on percents and integrate math content with other units of learning.

The K-8 social studies program will be refined so that its curriculum has a logical sequence and scope and becomes more in line with the Massachusetts History and Social Studies Frameworks curriculum. The goal of the science department is similar, based upon reflection of the MCAS testing results.

Other areas

Other areas addressed in the report include coordinating life science instruction with the health social competency program and the DARE curriculum. There will also be an effort to coordinate the Spanish and French instructional programs not only within the Carlisle School, but also with programs at Concord-Carlisle High School. The arts and computer modeling, use of system dynamics, integration of technology into the curriculum, expansion of the advisor-advisee program in the middle school and the faculty mentoring program are all included in this very full document.

The report addresses all aspects of school life, such as addressing the crowded conditions of the lunchroom, making the entire campus handicapped-accessible, supporting the upgrade of the town's accounting system, and updating the school's long-term capital plan.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito