Friday, May 28, 2004
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee
• Superintendent's report. Davida Fox-Melanson began her May 19 Superintendent's report with a concern regarding MCAS and absent students. "Increasingly we have parents taking kids out for vacations," she explained. "It puts a huge stress on everyone." Special arrangements have to be made for students who are away during the MCAS testing week, she said. "Parents should not plan vacations during MCAS week."
• Teacher contracts. "All teacher contracts are extended to 2005," Fox-Melanson said. Committee chair David Dockterman was pleased that the teaching staff would be starting the new school year with the contract settled. "It's wonderful we have this marvelous team intact to help with the transition [to a new superintendent]," he said.
• School Council report. Co-Principal Stephen Goodwin presented the Carlisle School Council's 2003-04 report. The council, a state-mandated, elected advisory group to the CSC and the school administration, assists in identifying educational needs and formulating a school improvement plan. The report, which will be made available on the Carlisle School website (www.carlisle.mec.edu), recommended three goals for the coming school year: 1. foster civility, 2. hire a PreK-8 math specialist, 3. renew planning for the construction of a new school facility due to aging infrastructure (i.e. the Spalding Building) and the existing space crunch.
Council member and community representative Wendell Sykes recommended the School Committee recognize Goodwin for his work on the council. He said Goodwin was instrumental in having the council focus on producing the comprehensive report. "It's an amazing job," agreed Dockterman, holding the 15-page report. "It's wonderful to have this all down, and good timing with a new superintendent coming. I am really, really impressed."
Outgoing committee member Suzanne Whitney Smith agreed. "It doesn't pussyfoot around.""Are there other things you wished we had added?" asked Dockterman. Council member Paul McCormack said the council had discussed security as a possible issue. "The number of monitors on the plaza is inadequate," he said. "It's hard to keep the kids in a secure environment. It is open." Sykes thought the requirement to constantly put jackets on and off when going to other buildings on campus was an issue worth examining. "Every kid has to have a coat for lunch." Sykes felt, however, that focusing on problems wasn't the best goal of their committee. "This document takes a positive view, versus saying what the budget has done to us." Fox-Melanson agreed. "One of the good things about this document is that goals are doable."
• District Goals. Fox-Melanson presented the "Carlisle Public Schools Final District Goals for 2003-2004" report. "The school is in very good shape, and I feel good for the state of the school," she said. Four goal areas were reported on in detail: 1.s trengthening civility, 2. curriculum development, 3. instructional methodologies, and 4. managing the budget. "I think it was a very successful year," concluded Fox-Melanson.
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