The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 27, 2002


Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee

· Susan Greene case settled. The case of former Carlisle Public School teacher Susan Greene and the Carlisle Public School has been settled. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson recently received a letter from the American Arbitration Association in Boston dated August 29, 2002, that the grievance file of Susan Greene's termination as a teacher in the Carlisle School has been withdrawn. This is the last decision in the series of complaints brought against the school by this teacher.

In November 2001, the school was notified by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) in a letter that it affirmed the position of Lack of Probable Cause with Susan Greene's complaint of unlawful act of discrimination.
THREE, TWO, ONE... School committee member Mike Fitzgerald prepares to cut the ribbon on the new kindergarten play structure, as onlookers count down on September 18. (Photo by Cynthia Sorn)

· Superintendent's report. Fox-Melanson reported that the parent coffee, Carlisle School Association (CSA) luncheon and the meeting for library volunteers were well attended. The school also observed the year anniversary of 9/11 with a short assembly outside the school.

Principal Andy Goyer reported that he is in the process of setting up a task force on civility and diversity. The task force initially has taken the form of a round table discussion with the faculty. Fox-Melanson said this primarily helps to raise school consciousness on the diversity in our population, in the family, in the school and in the country.

Recycling the school recycling program. Fox-Melanson reported that the school is attempting to reduce the school's use of paper so there will be less to recycle. More use of e-mail and technology are options for communicating with parents and the school community. However, the school only recently has been wired sufficiently to take advantage of this technology. School secretary Peg Lynch said technology could be used in the distribution of the Buzz newsletter and in the development of a web site. However Lynch commented that in order to keep information relevant and fresh on a web site, more staff would be required. Fox-Melanson reminded the CSC that the school was short one technology person.

· Toilet partitions. Fox-Melanson reported that the school opened without partitions in a middle school bathroom. The bathroom is operable but the partitions need to be replaced to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

· Two fans installed. Enjoying a play by teacher Liz Gray's students, Carlisle residents Marjorie Findlay and Geoffrey Freeman became aware of the heat and stuffiness in a classroom upstairs in the Wilkins Building. Fox-Melanson said, "They donated two fans to be placed in the ceiling of the room to help circulate the air. We accept with gratitude both the fans and their installation and truly appreciate this offer."

· School Budget. Carlisle Finance Committee (FinCom) member Lisa Jensen-Fellows attended the school committee meeting in preparation for the round of 2004 budget hearings. Business manager Eileen Riley commented that it was so important to have this liaison "to increase the level of understanding on all our parts." Jensen-Fellows was given a copy of the realigned FY03 budget, which at $7,212,014 represents a net increase of approximately $18,000 over FY02.

Many of the new budget expenses are for contracted special education services that the school cannot supply. Other costs include Cory Building repairs on eroding and leaking copper pipes. Superintendent of buildings and grounds David Flannery is investigating whether the costs of these problems can be covered by school insurance.

Riley pointed out that the school may be held to 2-1/2% increase in the FY04 budget. Anything over that will have to be justified. Fox-Melanson commented that state revenues are down and she is very gloomy about the prospects of funding schools this next fiscal year. A 2-1/2 % budget does not consider enrollment increases, salary contracts and the bus contract which is coming up for renewal. Indications point to the fact that there will be an increase in bus mileage costs from 2.99 cents per mile to as much as 4.5 cents.

· Teacher leaves and resignations Four teachers in specialized positions are departing, several for maternity reasons. "It is a real concern to find qualified people to fill these positions," said Fox-Melanson.

· Business manager position. Fox-Melanson said that the school has received six resumes for the business manager position, to be vacated by Riley in October. None of the candidates has worked in a public school.

· Gift of playground equipment. Under the auspices of the CSA and the generosity of many individual donors, the kindergarten playground committee was able to erect a suitable structure for the younger children on the site of the obsolete "Mexico Forge" unit. The school committee gratefully accepted the new equipment, thanking all those involved including Holly Solemy, Rich Colman and Kim Rusling-Flynn.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito