The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 15, 2000


Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee

· Corporate support. The Carlisle School Committee (CSC) on Tuesday December 5 read but did not comment on a newspaper article in Education Week which discusses the controversial policy of commercial ventures financing school rooms and buildings. The article by Darcia Harris Bowman presented to them by Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson notes that a public school in Charlotte, North Carolina is voting on a proposal which will allow school officials to name school rooms and buildings for corporate sponsors. Increasing costs and conservative tax policies, according to the article, have forced school board members to consider this method of financing other than local taxes.

· Donation. The school library media center has received a donation of $300 from the Carlisle Historical Society (CHS). Sandy Kelly, school library media specialist, thanked the CHS and said that the funds will enable the school to make purchases improving the history and biography collections at the library media center.

· C.A.S.E. costs. Fox-Melanson has examined per pupil costs for students enrolled in the C.A.S.E. Collaborative (Concord Area Special Education Collaborative) administered classes. The collaborative is made up of the 14 district schools in the towns of Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Bedford, Lincoln, Maynard and Harvard. She told the school committee December 5, "Special education programs are very expensive and I want to make sure we are serving our students and that our classes are cost effective." She was reassured that the district collaborative approach for serving the present enrollment of 176 low-incidence students with special needs is cost effective. The total school assessment for C.A.S.E. instructional cost is $3,773,888 so that the per pupil cost is $21,443. Average tuition in 21 out-of-district programs is $33,012. Since the collaborative was formed in 1987, enrollment changes in the district have increased an average of 7.4 percent a year to the present number of 176 students.

· Handbook.The CSC voted December 5 to accept the Carlisle Public Schools Policy and Parent Information Handbook. The handbook covering all aspects of school life will be distributed to every parent this winter. It includes "must-know" information, aspects of the school day, day-to-day information, student services listings, the code of behavior, the Internet acceptable-use policy, a listing of events and activities, groups active in the school community, and various forms. The handbook will be part of the school packet received by all school parents at the start of a new school year.

The committee questioned the added cost of printing the necessary thousand copies of the new handbook this winter in the middle of the school year, and discussed alternative ways of distributing the information to the parents until the summer mailing. Assistant Principal Terry Farwell pointed out that there have been significant changes in every section and new information was added. Fox-Melanson commented, "All the school information must be in the hands of the parents. It is the cost of doing business in today's world." She thanked Amy Mestancik, school parent and chairperson of the handbook committee, and Farwell for all their work on the handbook.

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito