Friday, March 17, 2000
School to strengthen absence policy
"A lot has been happening at the school," Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson told the Carlisle School Committee and assorted staff on Tuesday, March 7. Among other news, the superintendent reported about a plan for the crowded playspace at the school, Carlisle School Association grants and the tightening up of notification for school absences.
The Carlisle School would like to encourage parents to notify the school when a child is absent because of illness or family vacation plans, reported Assistant Principal Terry Farwell. Farwell has been working on a reliable system of keeping school attendance, hoping to tighten the communication between parents and the school when a student is to be absent. If the parent does not make the call, the school will have a call made to determine the reasons for absence. Fox-Melanson commented that if a student is away from school for a lengthy period it is important to be aware of behavior patterns and reasons to prevent the student from receiving the message that "school isn't as important."
Farwell responded that, although there may be alarming patterns with certain students, percentages of absences from school have not been overwhelming. Sometimes a student will come to school late and be checked in at the front desk. In the meantime, he or she has been called absent in the classroom.
Occasionally, Farwell said some students are absent the days before or after a vacation. CSC member Nock wondered if the vacation time would be less stressful for families if the school vacation consisted of one two-week period instead of the two one-week vacation times in February and April. It was generally agreed this would have to be a regional decision.
Fox-Melanson thanked the Carlisle School Association (CSA) for the $7,500 to be distributed according to grant proposals written by various faculty members at the school. The varied proposals address the needs of a wide range of classes and impact a large number of students. The foreign language department was given $535 to purchase world and country maps. Art Teacher David Negrin was given $600 for materials for a stained glass project. Technical Integration specialist David Mayall was given $1,049 for display devices. The third-grade team was given $416 for " Baskets of Poetry." The sixth-grade team was given $160 for Zip Drive/Discs and $1,675 for seven Alpha Smart keyboards. The first-grade team was given $732 for a set of Core Read-Alouds. Librarian Sandy Kelly was given $1,400 for new library books and seventh-grade science teacher Sara Bysshe was given $956 for four microscopes. These items are "very appreciated," said Superintendent Fox-Melanson.
Additional playspace on the school campus is needed, according to Principal Andy Goyer. The macadam area central to the classroom buildings becomes crowded during recess periods. The most favorable option for the school is to expand to the area where the buses are parked and have the buses park alongside the gym when not in use. The other option would be to renovate and enlarge the area of the Carlisle Castle. The administration realized that changing the terrain around the Carlisle Castle would become a complicated and expensive project and change the look of the corner between School and Church Streets.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito