Friday, March 7, 2003
Shorts from the RSC, February 25
· Donations. Acting superintendent Eugene Thayer notified the committee of a $1,000 donation in the name of Nick Ressler, who passed away before completing eighth grade at the Concord Middle School. The donation will be used as scholarship money to assist students on the CCHS concert band's Japan trip. The committee voted to accept the donation. Also, the committee voted to accept the donation of computers and accessories by CCHS art teacher Brian Mahoney.
· Criminal record checks. Thayer informed the committee that, as of February 25, all Massachusetts school districts will be required to run criminal record checks on all current employees, and all school volunteers every three years. "How much will this cost?" Burkel asked. The state does not charge for the checks right now, Thayer replied, but when all the districts start sending in requests, it may start charging. "What if someone doesn't pass?" asked RSC member Michael Fitzgerald. "The state is making a guideline," answered Thayer. Bus drivers are already checked, as are all current teachers hired within the last twelve years. Older teachers will have to be checked, as will volunteers.
· MCAS. Assistant superintendent Nadine Brinkley reported on the results of the December MCAS retest. "This is the first year the students need MCAS to graduate," she explained. Twenty-one students retook the test in December and all but two passed: one junior and one senior. The senior will retake the test in May, she said, but the result of the test will not be available by graduation. Bilodeau wondered if the state could speed up grading the tests so the seniors could graduate with their class. Brinkley felt the state would probably not be able to single out the seniors. "What if a student fails a class needed for graduation, but passes the MCAS?" Fitzgerald asked. CCHS Principal Art Dulong responded that a student who doesn't have four years of English will not graduate even if he or she passes the MCAS. It is clear, he said, that a small number of students will not graduate in June because they failed to complete the school's required classes.
· Next meeting. The next regional school committee meeting is scheduled for March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Ripley Building in Concord.
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