Friday, May 16, 2003
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, May 6
• Appreciating teachers. In honor of Teachers' Appreciation Week, Carlisle School Committee (CSC) Chair Suzanne Whitney Smith read a letter of appreciation she has sent to all teachers in the school. Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson added, "We are fortunate to have such a competent and highly professional staff."
• Carlisle Teachers professional newsletter. Grade three teacher Liz Gray and grade one teacher Daryl Greenwood have distributed to the Carlisle Public School staff this year's second newsletter titled "Oh, the Places We Go. Oh, the Ideas We Learn." This newsletter provides an opportunity for Carlisle teachers to share information from workshops and conferences they have attended.
Librarian Sandy Kelly writes about a workshop where she was able to preview children's books and accompanying series of student projects based on the books. The presenter of the workshop, Judy Freeman, also offered a list of her " Best 400 Books of the Decade" which is now available in the school library.
Grade three teacher Margaret Bruell submitted pieces from two workshops she has attended. One was from a workshop given by Nancy Mather who described stages of reading, spelling and writing development. The other, sponsored by the Metrowest Ed Collaborative, discussed the Wilson Reading System. This system is appropriate for students who experience reading difficulties: students who are "poor decoders and spellers and who rely heavily on context when reading."
Additional submissions to the newsletter include a workshop on children's literature attended by grade six teacher Trish Comeau and one on movement and music integration for math teachers given by Phyllis Weikart and attended by music teacher Angela DiPace. Teachers Jen Reinhard, Stephen Little, Deb O'Halloran, Melissa Blechman, Cindy Alhussni, Sue LaPorte and Liz Gray attended a day-long seminar on "Lessons that Change Writers"; Rick Cowen attended a presentation by Jane Bernstein and Teresa Block on "Innovations in Assessment."
• Requests for year of absence. "Elementary school psychologist Lori Jackson, Grade 6 teacher Jane Herrmann, Grade 2 teacher Heather Swift and grade two SPED Teacher Jessica Mihalchik have all given birth to beautiful children. They are valuable employees and we hope they will come back," said Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson.
•Superintendent's report. Fox-Melanson told the School Committee that the outdoor education program for the sixth grade went very well. The weather was perfect and all participants expressed positive feedback from the experience. Former Carlisle School psychologist Marilyn Buckler will be offering Carlisle school parents the chance to participate in an evening group based on the Open Circle Program developed at the Stone Center, Wellesley College. The Carlisle Ed Forum will take place May 17 with Carlisle resident and children's author Nancy Garden. Screening for kindergarten is now taking place. James Morgan, a custodian for the Carlisle Public School for seven years, died recently. "We will miss him," said Fox-Melanson.
• Superintendent evaluation. Chair Whitney Smith said that the comments from the school committee members were "glowing and thoughtful in all areas. We are so happy and pleased with the superintendent's performance. She gets high marks." Fitzgerald concluded, "We appreciate the opportunity to work with someone who cares so much about the kids."
• Dates for the annual field days have been set. The middle school field day date is June 6, with a rain date of June 16. The elementary school will hold its field day on June 4, with a rain date of June 11.
• Graduation date set. June 18 has been set as the graduation day for this year, assuming there are no more snow days. This is the last day of school.
• Athletics Task Force report. The Athletics Task Force, which includes representatives from the school, community and town recreation committee, met throughout the year to evaluate the value and cost of maintaining an interscholastic sports program for the Carlisle Middle School. The committee felt the sports program is valuable both for the students as well as for the school, and should be continued. Fees for interscholastic sports were initiated in the early 1990s to cover the expenses of running the programs. The Task Force recommended that the fees be the same for all sports. The fees are reviewed annually and are in the process of being determined for next year.
• Temporary skateboard park at CCHS. Michael Fitzgerald, member of both CSC and the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC), mentioned that after June there will be a temporary skateboard park behind the high school. He said that Concord is one of the few towns that does not have a skateboard facility, although they have had one in the past. This location will be patrolled during the summer months.
• School policies. The CSC voted to adopt the following policies: the Protection of Pupil Rights, to be designated Policy #08.09.2003; the Student Records Policy, to be designated Policy #08.07.2003; the Carlisle School Policy Regarding Criminal Offender Record Information Checks, Policy #09.06.2003 (C.O.R.I. Policy); and the Revised Carlisle Public Schools Health Manual, #07.01.2003.
• Vote on school choice. The CSC voted not to participate in the School Choice program for the school year 2003-2004 and to direct the superintendent inform the appropriate state officials.
• Special guest visit. Farmer Minor and his pet pig Daisy visited the school on Tuesday, May 6.
• Next meeting. June 3 will be the next school committee meeting.
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