Friday, February 14, 2003
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, February 4
• Donations. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson announced several donations to the Carlisle Public Schools. Burt Rubenstein of Nickles Lane donated a Lexmark printer for the library, Michelle Sobin of Cutter's Ridge donated an iBook computer for the health/fitness program, Brian Schmidt of Rutland Street donated a laserjet toner cartridge, and Suzanne Hill of Westford Street donated a variety of software including PageMaker, The Oregon Trail, and Norton Utilities.
• The Mitten Plays, Japanese Night, Guys and Dolls. Fox-Melanson attended some of the kindergarten The Mitten plays and said they were "wonderful." She also was able to attend the Japanese night at the Boston Symphony. "It was a wonderful evening and the kids were quite stunning. Just terrific," she praised. The seventh grade play, Guys and Dolls, is in full swing and the students are really getting into their parts. "We have gangsters in the hallways?" asked School Committee member Paul Morrison, bringing laughter to the meeting.
• Superintendent search. Regional school comittee vice-chair Michael Fitzgerald informed the committee that there are three finalists for the position of CCHS superintendent. After public interviews are completed the week of February 10, representatives of the search committee will travel to the candidates' home districts for site visits. "We have three very qualified candidates," he said.
• Wastewater treatment plant. Morrison reported the building committee looked at three potential wastewater treatment sites for the school. Two sites are on the current campus and the other site would be placed somewhere on the Banta-Davis Land. He is hoping money for design and construction will be approved at the Fall Town Meeting. They are working cooperatively with the recreation commission, he said, evaluating sites where the commission maintains playing fields.
• School expansion plans. Morrison says he expects to have recommendations available in a week for an informational discussion with the town regarding the school expansion. He was disappointed to inform the school committee the Green School Grant organization won't release money until structural drawings are made of the expansion plans. "We will receive funds for the informational sessions," he explained, "but we may have to re-apply after we are further along in plans. We are in the good position of having choices for the expansion."
In a discussion of increased parking for the campus, Morrison said moving the Highland building had been considered, but the expense and need for new location would be prohibitive. "Play spaces are very important", noted committee chair Suzanne Whitney Smith. Member Nicole Burkel wondered if the Congregation Church's parking lot, which appears unused during the week, could be utilized. "They have always been good neighbors," said Morrison. "We could ask them."
• Eighth-grade trip. Skip Avery, eighth-grade special educator, made a formal request on behalf of the eighth-grade team to begin the planning of the eighth-grade trip on June 12, 13 to New York City. "Dave Mayall did an excellent job of planning last year's trip [to Maine]," Avery said. New York City offers the best options for museums and theatre, he said. Burkel, saying she was voicing an unpopular opinion, wondered what the eighth-grade trip really accomplishes. Avery explained it offers a bonding experience for the students and staff and is a wonderful way for students to end their Carlisle career. It also gives them some independence from their parents, which they enjoy. Fox-Melanson pointed out that graduation was the only major event for the eighth-graders. Avery said the team had discussed an Outward Bound-type of experience, but could not find a program that would be just one night. The committee voted to approve the eighth-grade trip.
• Report by David Flannery. Supervisor of buildings and grounds David Flannery reported on a new recycling program. Large containers have been placed in various locations on the campus, and will be picked up weekly. Educating the students to use the containers is one of the goals, he stated.
• Facility use report. Flannery presented the Carlisle Public Schools Facility Use Summary Report for the 2001-2002 school year. "We are full up," he said, noted that every available space is utilized for community and educational usage. There were 25 facility users during the year, and the Corey building was the most extensively used facility. "We congratulate you on keeping track of it all," said Whitney Smith. The solid use of the school made it clear to the committee the town needs a community center. Noting how often non-school residents use the school, Fitzgerald said a special feature of living in Carlisle is that the school is a central gathering place.
• Lunch program. "I have concerns about the school lunch program," said Fox-Melanson. She described a deficit, noted at the end of last year, and after new business manager Steve Moore researched the problem, it was discovered the amount was over $11,000. The school lunch cost will be increase to $2.00. Moore is looking into other school programs to use as a comparison. Burkel suggested forming a lunch program task force to look at how to encourage more use of the hot lunch.
• Student artist. At the next Carlisle School Committee meeting on March 4 state senator Susan Fargo will make a presentation to Carlisle fourth-grader Morgan Evans. Morgan, who along with over 100 Massachusetts students participated in Fargo's contest to design a New Year's card, was the chosen artist. Also invited are Morgan's teacher, Deb O'Halloran, and art teacher Courtney Graham-Hadley.
© 2003 The Carlisle Mosquito