Friday, December 14, 2001
School committee School committee shorts December 4
· Notes from Davida. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson said the preschool-kindergarten playground fund is very close to reaching the amount needed to start construction. She praised the efforts of Holly Salemy, Rich Colman and Kim Rusling-Flynn.
Fox-Melanson said the Education Forum on December 1 was very successful and thought-provoking. Attendance was over 120.
· FY03 Budget. Carlisle School business manager Eileen Riley presented the budget for FY03, in preparation for a meeting with the finance committee scheduled for December 5. CSC member David Dockterman noted there are very few items that are discretionary and that aside from the new part-time speech and language position, and the existing sixth grade teaching assistants, this is a "level service" (no increase) budget, though it appears to be a 11 percent increase. Much of the 11 percent are state-mandated requirements, which are items that cannot be removed from the budget. Fox commented, "It is a sad day when aides and reading specialists are considered discretionary. They are necessary." CSC member Suzanne Whitney Smith suggested they could provide a description of the work the sixth-grade aides perform and what the reading specialist will be doing. Dockterman pointed out, "People are making tough decisions in their businesses and we will have to defend the aides and reading specialists," noting that every business has had to make changes in their spending recently.
· Systems Thinking presentation. Alan Ticotsky, who is a full-time systems thinking mentor along with eighth-grade math teacher Rob Quaden, presented an overview of the current status of the systems thinking project at the Carlisle School. Funded by the Waters Foundation, the systems thinking approach is being used widely by all grades in the school. Deb Lyneis, who has worked closely with Ticotsky and Quaden, explained how respected the Carlisle School has become as one of the leading users of the systems thinking curriculum. Lyneis said she is organizing the lesson plans, and a publisher has expressed an interest in publishing them. CSC member Harry Crowther asked if the systems thinking curriculum contributed to our success at MCAS. Superintendent Fox-Melanson responded, "The circumstances that allowed us to do systems thinking are the same that have allowed us to do well on MCAS."
· Consent Order Compliance. David Flannery, superintendent of buildings and grounds at the Carlisle School, gave an update on the water filter system being installed on the Carlisle School campus. This filter system will allow the buildup of minerals in the pipes, which will eliminate any lead that may leach out from pipe fittings located in the plumbing of some of the older sections of the school. He carefully pointed out that the small amount of lead discovered is not in any student access area, and that this is not a health hazard for any student. However, as the lead level allowed by the state is zero, all water at all taps at the school must show a zero lead level.
The next meeting will be held on December 18.
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito