Friday, June 30, 2000
System goals provide blueprint for next school year
At their last meeting of the school year, the Carlisle School Committee was presented with the final report of the Carlisle Public Schools System Goals 1999/2000.
The twenty-nine page report concentrates on strengthening civility, the open circle program and health issues within the school community but also addresses aligning subject curricula with the Massachusetts frameworks. The report includes a system-wide spelling program, dynamic poetry projects and core literature lists. Teachers are encouraged to develop, coordinate and document activities which connect subject areas. Examples of interconnected subject areas now include the K-5 math and science curricula, the use of system dynamics tools in new areas of the middle school science program, and connections between classroom life science instruction and the health, social competency and DARE curricula.
Lack of time has prevented the materialization in the middle school of the planned integrated arts/social studies unit on history and architecture. An analysis of the MCAS social studies test results taken by Carlisle students revealed that, while Carlisle's average was higher than the state average, the responses to open-ended questions tended to fall in the "needs improvement" range.
Member Suzanne Whitney Smith commented that the goals are "impressive and extensive," but she questioned how people felt when some of the goals are not met. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson replied, "We are not uncomfortable. We set the goals. They are the things we hope to do. Some are not addressed not out of a lack of effort but because they are not picked up by the teachers." School business manager Eileen Riley noted, "The school can go back and look at the goals to address whether to keep them or not for another year."
Coordination with Concord
The Carlisle School administration, curriculum coordinators and guidance counselor will continue to reach out to Concord-Carlisle High School to enhance the transitioning of students. Meetings between the two groups have taken place to look for mutual areas of curricular needs that will enhance student performance at the high school level. The Carlisle foreign language department has also met with the foreign language department of the Concord Middle Schools and CCHS.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito