Friday, September 12, 2003
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, September 3
• Buildings and Grounds. The first Carlisle School Committee meeting of the new school year began with a grounds and facility tour led by Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds David Flannery.
He pointed out the newly painted halls and classrooms in the Wilkins Buildings, the recoated gym floor in the Corey Building, and the restructuring of the Skip Anderegg garden between the Wilkins and the Robbins Building. The garden was a major landscaping project, according to Flannery, but necessary. Rainwater would pour downhill to the Robbins Building, he said, and flood against the walls. "I knew we needed it when ducks started landing outside my office," said Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson. Three garden areas have been built up, with large stone retaining walls. "We've asked the Carlisle Garden Club to assist in the plantings," said Flannery. "How are the roofs holding up, David?" asked member Michael Fitzgerald. "Pretty good," answered Flannery, explaining that his team is doing repairs to the roof a section at a time.
"Will the site map be refurbished?" asked committee member Suzanne Whitney Smith, referring to the large sign situated in the grassy circle in the bus driveway. Flannery explained the map was a gift from a graduating eighth-grade class, and is hoping a future class will donate the cost of updating the sign.
•Student contribution. Sixth-grader Caroline Howe donated $103 to the Carlisle School. Fox-Melanson read a letter from Caroline to Music Director Tom O'Halloran, which said she raised $103 at Old Home Day. Reached at her home, Caroline said she sold about forty-eight homemade cupcakes, as well as a variety of candies. "My mom helped me sell this year," she explained. Caroline requested the money benefit the School Music Program. "Caroline is a wonderful girl," said Fox-Melanson.
• Funds for projects. Fox-Melanson announced the school received an annual grant of $82,100 from the Waters Foundation to fund the Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Project.
She also was pleased to announce fourth-grade teacher Deb O'Halloran had received a grant of $200 to purchase material on Chinese literature and art through the Primary Source's New England China Network. O'Halloran plans "to invite other classes to share our fourth-grade experience as the year progresses."
• Enrollment, early retirement and new hires. Enrollment this fall is 821 students, said Fox-Melanson. "I know you are going to ask me, so I will tell you," Fox-Melanson continued, looking through her papers. "Last year at this time the enrollment was 835. But we are more crowded because of the large second, third and fourth grades, which have five sections each," she explained. The Spanish room had to be used for a third grade, she continued, and Spanish teacher Andrea Steffek now moves from class to class to teach Spanish.
Three teachers have requested early retirement for 2006: Music teacher Tom O'Halloran, Physical Education teacher Philip LaPalme, and sixth grade teacher Carolyn Platt.
There are five new teachers at the school. All are young and eager, reported Fox-Melanson.
• RSC waiting for Concord vote. Fitzgerald said the Regional School Committee (RSC) continues to anticipate the override vote in Concord on September 23. Concord voters are being asked to approve an $85,000 override for Concord-Carlisle High School, to match the operating budget approved by Carlisle. If the override does not pass, Fitzgerald explained, approximately $141,000 would have to be cut from the high school budget. This amount includes Carlisle's portion of the budget. Student parking is still an issue at the school, he said.
Though the RSC was able to uncover $30,000 in funds to pay for additional parking spaces at the high school, they discovered the construction costs for a new parking area would be over $50,000, well out of the reach of the current budget. Instead the committee voted to increase the parking fees to $125 (from $50), and will use the additional money to eventually pay for additional parking.
• School Building Committee. Committee member Paul Morrison reported the perk tests at the Banta-Davis field were completed, and were successful. The leaching field for the needed new wastewater treatment plant for the Carlisle Schools can be placed at the site, he said. "Any comments from abutters?" asked Fitzgerald. "No, not that I know of," answered Morrison.
• Next Meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for September 17.
© 2003 The