Friday, November 12, 2004
Middle School Task Force plans for large sixth grade next year
Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle summarized the key points in a preliminary report by the Middle School Task Force for the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) on November 12.
The task force is chartered with recommending a new design of the middle school teaching model for next year's sixth grade, a large "bubble" class with over 110 students. The goal is to reduce class size to "help teachers know students better, and build relationships," according to the report. The task force suggests creating two teaching teams of three teachers, each teaching one course and a shared course, which will reduce the average class size to nineteen students. The restructuring of the teams will require the addition of two teachers, either new hires or current teachers reassigned as teachers return from maternity leave.
When that class enters seventh grade, Doyle explained, the teaching format would return to the one-team middle school model currently used. Lisa Harris, parent of a current fifth grader, expressed concern about the transition back to a one-team model. Doyle felt the students would be ready for the one-team model by seventh grade, and explained most middle school teachers would object to teaching a shared course.
The report emphasized concern about the lack of space at the school. The task force is recommending the use of a modular classroom to accommodate two classes. "Could we use the Highland Building?" asked CSC Member Wendell Sykes. "That is not ADA," replied School Business Manager Steve Moore, referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"This is just a heads up," explained Moore. "We haven't had time to discuss it. The committee just gave it to us."
© 2004 The