The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 16, 2000


Shorts from the school committee

· Two teachers recently submitted their resignations, effective at the end of the school year. Third-grade teacher Jennifer Webster will be taking a position at a school closer to her home. Eighth-grade social studies teacher Michael Miller will also be leaving. Miller is taking a leave to explore possibilities for graduate school. Special education teacher Patricia Comeau will be taking a one-year leave of absence to pursue a graduate degree.

· The school committee and administration congratulated the eighth-grade Destination Imagination team for their fifth-place finish at the World Tournament in Iowa. On June 6, team members Stephanie Ivanov, Megan Lyons, Jessie Nock, Clare Nosowitz, Elizabeth Popolo and Sam Rolley explained to the Carlisle School Committee what they had done at the competition and shared photographs and their pin collection. Parents Rob and Nancy Lyons coached the team.

· The school committee and administration recognized and thanked the many volunteers who help at the school. They gave special recognition to a number of people for their "extraordinary volunteer efforts" this year.

· The recent Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams given to the Carlisle fourth- and eighth-graders were taken seriously by the students, principal Andy Goyer said. He praised them for their efforts. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson commented that the children take it in stride. Because it is not "high stakes" here, it is not the same as at the high school where the MCAS has become quite controversial. She described the approach to the test as "serious, but not life-threatening." The regional school committee's MCAS resolution was not yet complete, so the Carlisle committee's discussion was postponed to June 20.

· The eighth grade recently took their trip to Quebec. This is the last class for which French is the only foreign language option. With the addition of Spanish and the increasing class sizes, the Quebec trip will be reassessed for the future, Fox-Melanson said.

· The Waters Foundation will continue to support the development of systems thinking at the Carlisle School next year. The school committee discussed the need to find a good way to assess the results of the program. Fox-Melanson said that it has been hard to find a good form of assessment. She said that the teachers should not be expected to do that kind of research because, though they are good teachers, they may be mediocre researchers. It would also take away from their teaching time. Member David Dockterman suggested inviting someone from outside the school system to do an evaluation. Chair Paul Morrison suggested that a Ph.D. candidate from a local school of education could make it a research project. He wanted to actively seek out Ph.D. students to do the research, possibly supporting them with a small stipend from the Waters grant. Fox-Melanson said that she would talk with the Waterses about that possibility.

· The Carlisle Professional Improvement Commission is responsible for administering Carlisle College, professional development courses for teachers, and Odden Pool grants to teachers for curriculum development. The commission, including Fox-Melanson and teachers David Mayall and Alan Ticotsky, reported on the success of Carlisle College as a way to provide focused professional development tailored to meet the needs of Carlisle teachers. Mayall said that about half of all the teachers are participating by taking and offering courses. The teachers appreciate the opportunity to work together and the sense of collegiality, he said. Ticotsky added that it was also an efficient way to train many teachers at once, for example in systems dynamics. Fox-Melanson said that next year teachers from Concord and the Concord-Carlisle High School will be offered the chance to take courses at Carlisle College as well.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito