Friday, December 10, 2004
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, December 1
• Modular units, one option for immediate school space needs. Business Manager Steven Moore told the School Committee that he is beginning the process of investigating options of modular units and their location on the school campus property. He commented that while speaking with professionals about the school campus he is "limited to certain areas and spaces." Questions which need to be answered range from whether there should be office space or classrooms, include bathrooms, should the number of units be two or four, and what would be the best configuration of the structures on the property.
Using the Highland School was ruled out because the cost of bringing it up to code would be too great. The bathroom situation and the handicapped accessibility become major issues. "It is a fire trap," said Moore. School Committee member Michael Fitzgerald concurred, "We need also to take a hard look at the Highland School. It is part of the history of the town but it is taking up precious land."
• Response to citizen letter in support of Savoyard Opera. Superintendent Marie Doyle replied to a letter from longtime Carlisle resident Mrs. James C. Davis written in support of allowing the Savoyard Opera Company to continue to use the Corey Auditorium at the school for its productions. Doyle said that the school was in favor of supporting the arts in the school and community. However, she wrote that the decision was based on the needs of the school. "Our middle school is reaching peak enrollment, and every available space is critical. The auditorium is currently used by two music teachers for classroom space. The backstage room is occupied by an art class. We have willingly moved furniture, changed schedules, moved musical equipment, postponed school activities, asked teachers and students to relocate to other spaces and have even canceled some classes in order to allow the Savoyards to use the stage and pit area." She concluded, "[We must support] our primary mission: meeting the educational needs for all of our students."
• Visitors from the Netherlands. Twelve individuals from the Netherlands visited classrooms in the Carlisle School after attending a conference in the area on Systems Thinking. "This is a way to share what is happening in different parts of the world," Doyle told the School Committee.
• Staff Development Day is successful. The staff of the Carlisle Public School planned a full day on November 12 to study the Superintendent's presentation, with related reading materials, on an overview of education's future and ways to incorporate it into the programs in Carlisle. Five areas were discussed in groups: assessment, differentiated instruction, respect for human differences, technology, pedagogy and curriculum. The teachers then met for some team-building exercises before meeting with their own departments. There are many new teachers in different buildings and Doyle said, "It was a time to collaborate and talk to one another. This is the only one scheduled for this year." The feedback from the teachers was positive and constructive, she said.
• CCHS building update. Major discussions are taking place centering on the condition of the buildings of the Concord-Carlisle High School. Fitzgerald said, "It is a 50-year-old building and showing every year." He hopes to have information this next year from engineering studies and what the cost would be to make the building safer and bringing the infrastructure up to grade. The issues for consideration include whether to build a new multi-storied building on the level fields and demolish the present structure for future athletic fields. The state is looking seriously at the number of doors in school buildings and possibilities for "intrusions" in the present structure. "It is the time we live in, unfortunately," said Fitzgerald.
© 2004 The