Friday, October 10, 2003
Shorts from the CSC, October 1
• Superintendent's report. At the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting on Wednesday, October 1, Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson reported a list of events and initiatives that happen with the beginning of a new school year. The "Dialogues with Davida" meeting, open to members of the school community, has been a great success, she said. She has met with new families in town as well as held a new- teacher meeting. She went on to say the administration is now working on an emergency evacuation plan so the entire school community can be removed from the campus area as quickly as possible. Additionally, the administration and teachers are beginning to analyze the results of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests given to the Carlisle students last spring, to see what the implications may be for the curriculum and individual students.
Fox-Melanson said that the administration is becoming aware of the implications on the budget of the Federal "No Child Left Behind" program. She commented, "It is mainly data collection requiring hours of administrative work and will not necessarily help the kids."
• Mildew damage help. Carlisle School Business Manager Steven Moore said that the school has received approximately an additional $5,000 from the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Agency. He discovered the damage is computed per building and in the Carlisle School the mold and mildew damage occurred in three buildings. The total bill for the damage this fall was $50,000 and the Insurance Company has already paid $25,000. The Carlisle School Association and The Carlisle Education Foundation have also contributed to alleviate this added expense to the school.
• Faculty evaluation plan. Fox-Melanson reviewed the standards and process of faculty evaluations. She has given each faculty member the "Principles of Effective Teaching" to serve as a guide for performance standards together with the draft of the Carlisle School District Goals. Additionally, each teacher is asked to file with the school an Individual Professional Development Plan.
Individual goal-setting conferences are held with Director of Student Support Services Dr. Linda Stapp, Co-principal Andy Goyer, Co-princial Steven Goodwin or Fox-Melanson before the end of October. The first classroom observation conference is scheduled for the middle of December and the second by the February vacation. A self-evaluation is due by April 16. Teaching assignments for the following year are made known by April 30 except when action by Town Meeting makes an impact on the outcome of the school budget.
•District goals. The five-page draft of school district goals presented to the CSC emphasizes that the school should seek ways to "provide instruction, guidelines, and opportunities for students to learn in a civil climate and provide tools they may need to create a civil environment for themselves and their peers." Programs which encourage civil behaviors in the school and community should be expanded.
Goals for improving the school curriculum include examining and enhancing the language arts program at all grade levels, expanding the writing program and strengthening reading skills for those who struggle with reading as well as for all students. The social studies and the science curricula will also be examined.
Stapp commented that it was important to look at how the teachers teach as well as what they teach. Goodwin added that early release Tuesdays provide an opportunity for the teachers to work on professional development.
• Summer reading success. Fox-Melanson told the CSC that"97% of the Carlisle students participate in the Carlisle School summer reading program. The summer program which has been in place since 1993 has become part of the culture of the school. It is both student and teacher supported and overall is a great success."
© 2003 The