Friday, May 18, 2001
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, May 8
The following items were discussed at the May 8 Carlisle School Committee meeting.
· Personnel changes. Speech and language pathologist Karen Condouris, who had been on leave this year, has resigned to become project coordinator for a new research center studying developmental disorders such as autism at the BU Medical Center in Boston. Fourth-grade teacher Kristen O'Brien, who recently gave birth to twins, will be taking a leave of absence for the next school year. Preschool teacher Jennifer Fenton-Jones will be taking a leave of absence for the next school year to care for her young children.
· Professional Teacher status. At the end of this school year, Professional Teacher status will be awarded to the following teachers who will have completed three years of teaching in Carlisle: Jessica Deyesso (SPED), Angela DiPace (music), Jennifer Fenton-Jones (preschool), Elizabeth Gray (third grade), Michaela Hardimon (preschool) and Susan Ross (occupational therapy).
· Carlisle Castle playground. The Carlisle Castle playground has reopened. Repairs and safety modifications were completed with financial assistance from the Carlisle Recreation Commission.
· Attendance. Assistant principal Terry Farwell has been using a new database to keep track of students who are tardy or absent. Students who are tardy three times have to stay after school in detention with Farwell. She was also concerned that some students miss school for vacations.
· Graduation date. The date for eighth-grade graduation was set for Friday, June 22. The last day of school for students in kindergarten through seventh grade will remain Monday, June 25. To complete the required 180 school days before graduation, the eighth graders, with the agreement of their parents and the eighth-grade teachers, will attend classes on Saturday, June 2. The earlier graduation date had been requested by the eighth-grade graduation committee to accommodate students who were scheduled to start camp before June 25 and would therefore miss graduation if it were held on that date.
· School calendar. The school calendar for the 2001 - 2002 school year was approved. The first day of school for students in grades one through eight will be Tuesday, September 4. Kindergarten students will have a walk-through on September 4 and will start classes on September 5. Early-release days will continue once a month on the first or second Tuesday. Vacation weeks will be December 24 to January 1, February 18 to 22 and April 15 to 19. The last day of school will be June 25, 2002 with five snow days. If there are fewer snow days, school will end earlier.
· Outdoor education. Sixth-grade science teacher Wendy Stack reported that the sixth-grade outdoor education trip to Sargent Camp in New Hampshire was a great success. The weather was perfect and the students participated in team-building and adventure activities and learned about wetland ecology, among other things.
· Full-day kindergarten. Kindergarten teacher Peter Darasz reported that a recent parent survey showed general support for beginning the two full days of kindergarten in September, as was done this year. This eliminated the January transition that many found difficult when full days began mid-year. Parents and teachers liked the slower pace the extra time provides and teachers liked having the ability to schedule some specials in the afternoon.
Darasz also talked about the kindergarten philosophy, emphasizing that the most important thing is to make school fun, exciting and challenging, so that the children will want to come to school each day. The kindergarten teachers also encourage parental involvement in the classroom and in other ways. It gives parents comfort to know what is going on at the school, Darasz added. What begins in kindergarten carries on throughout the Carlisle School years with students who expect to like coming to school and parents who expect to be involved in their child's education.
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