The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 28, 2003


Adult Ed committee comes to town seeking course suggestions

The Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education Advisory Committee came to Carlisle School on Tuesday, March 11, to seek ideas and opinions from town residents. Chair Louise Haldeman said, "The committee serves both towns and is looking for ways to better serve the community." The bulk of the evening courses are located in the Concord-Carlisle High School facility, although they are spread around both towns wherever space is available.

Committee member Court Booth, in his slide presentation to the approximately 20 people in the audience which included Superintendent of the Carlisle Public School Davida Fox-Melanson and town administrator Madonna McKenzie, gave an overview indicating the expansive scope of the current adult education program. Approximately 500 self-funded courses are provided each year, with 141 offered this winter semester. Course enrollments last year were 1,826.

The program began in 1954 with 265 adults in courses such as clothing, chair caning, decorative ware, weaving and furniture refinishing (taught by Carlisle's Ed Bartlett) and has developed into a curriculum which includes courses on parent education, health and wellness, computers, languages, driver education, CPR, business administration and skills, an armchair travel slide show, bicycle maintenance and the humanities. A catalog is received by every household three times a year. There are also courses on-line. Many programs are offered for the kids during vacation and summertime.

This year Concord Town Moderator Ned Perry is offering a course on what is involved to make Concord's Town Meeting work. It was suggested that maybe a similar course could be offered for Carlisle.

Committee member Jean Ford Webb encouraged everyone to put out the message that anyone can suggest course offerings. Haldeman said that although sometimes there is limited staff, it is the local citizen who determines the scope of the program. She asked, "What can we do differently to better support Carlisle?"

Ideas centered on courses on local town issues or history of town issues, such as affordable housing. Carlisle resident Ralph Anderson suggested making a more concerted effort to locate more courses in Carlisle.

Committee member Jim Saltonstall proposed making a set schedule for Carlisle when courses can be clustered. Perhaps during a semester there can be an adult education night in Carlisle.

Approximately 15 % of the students in the community education roster are from Carlisle, reflecting the proportions of the populations of the two towns. Carlisle's representatives on the committee are Ford Webb, Saltonstall and the third spot is vacant at this time. If you have ideas, call the Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education office 1-978-318-1540 or email

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito