Friday, May 27, 2005
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, May 4 and 18
• Kindergarten fee. The yearly fee for full-day kindergarten (twice a week) may rise to as high as $764, depending on the final enrollment numbers. Currently just 57 incoming students are registered to start kindergarten in the fall. The fee may drop to as low as $660 if enrollment rises. The fee for the current year is $525.
• Drop to three classrooms. The number of kindergarten classes could drop to three if the enrollment does not grow. Kindergarten teachers would prefer larger classes with aides, reported Superintendent Marie Doyle, rather than smaller classes without aides. Doyle felt the total of incoming students will grow, but she sees a trend toward lower kindergarten populations and higher numbers in the upper grades as families with older children move into town.
• Need more science. Systems mentor Al Ticotsky presented a short overview of the kindergarten through eighth-grade science curriculum. While he praised the teaching staff for their work in teaching science subjects, he reported a need to further integrate science in the lower grades, particularly in the third, fourth and fifth grades. The Carlisle School has reading specialists and a math curriculum coordinator, noted Doyle, but currently does not have a science curriculum coordinator. "It would be great to have some kind of measures of what we value in science," commented committee member David Dockterman. Ticotsky, referring to MCAS results, asked, "Are you suggesting our science scores are disappointing?" Doyle responded she would like to see other ways to reflect "high-level thinking" and does not want teachers to "teach to the test." "I don't think MCAS is that bad," responded Ticotsky. "I think it is kind of interesting."
• Math Curriculum. Liz Perry, in her first year as math curriculum coordinator, thanked the community for "the incredible year." Her goals for the year included "dealing with average yearly progress, based on MCAS," developing benchmarks for each grade, investigating other math programs, and developing an inventory of math materials. The benchmarks, she explained, would be based not only on what the state expects and MCAS tests, but also on what the school identifies as goals. She team-taught in various classes throughout the year, met with every grade-level team, met with other math curriculum coordinators from other schools to discuss alternative math programs, and has continued the Title I math program.
• Title I Assistance. Carlisle School received a Title I grant and has been offering "math clubs" before or after school, reported Perry. Students needing math assistance were identified in a variety of ways last September, and 126 students in grades two through seven have been receiving extra math instruction. Perry and eighth-grade math teacher Joan Beauchamp have also assisted students in the classrooms.
• Student recognitions. Noting that the audience of parents, students, and teachers was the largest in months, Superintendent Marie Doyle awarded certificates of achievement to the following students: Elise Ruan — High Scorer in the Math League; Samantha Dweck, Sam Carlson Teasdale, Amy Goodale, Miranda Morrison, and Andrew McGrory — Scholastic Writing Award Regional Finalists; Lauren Means — Scholastic Writing Award National Winner; Brooke and Alexander Cragan — raised $3,000 for tsunami victims, representatives of students who organized relief efforts; Senior Band — Carlisle Music Teacher Tom O'Halloran accepted an award for the Senior Band for "consistent excellence." This is the band's 17th year as gold medal recipients at the MICCA (Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association) Festival.
• Lectern gift. The Carlisle Class of 2004 gave a lectern to the school for outdoor graduations. "You know the reason?" asked Committee Chair Nicole Burkel. She explained that the lectern that had been used for shorter people had gone home with retired teacher Gerry Madigan.
• Elementary Foreign Language. The Carlisle Education Foundation has given a grant to the school to "extend foreign language classes down to the elementary level," Doyle announced.
• "New" old school vehicle. Committee member Wendell Sykes announced that the school has been given a town van which was previously used by the Animal Control Officer. Commenting that it is a consolation for not getting a requested school truck, Barbee asked if David Flannery, Buildings and Grounds Supervisor, is happy with the acquisition. Doyle replied it was the second best option.
• Student Council Report. Chrissy Cornish, Brittany Geoffroy, and Sean LaLiberte, members of the Student Council, reported on the year's activities, including a luncheon for senior citizens, tsunami fundraising, and the Student Council dances. Fitzgerald asked the students, "What are we doing right, what are we doing wrong?" Sean said he would like less homework; Brittany said the art program is "awesome;" and Chrissy suggested more field trips.
• Fine Arts Department Fine arts department coordinator and music teacher Tom O'Halloran complimented his team. Elementary art teacher Courtney Hadley brought examples of Chinese opera masks which were created by the fourth grades. Middle School art teacher Beth Sherman reported on the success of the new art club. Music teacher Megan Fitzharris demonstrated some of the sixth grade's Science of Sound instruments. Music teacher Angela Monke said DVD copies of the second grade's United Nations Day celebration and CDs of the third graders' original compositions will be available at the Gleason Library.
© 2005 The