Friday, July 15, 2005
Shorts from the Regional School Committee, June 28
• CEF donates $94K. The Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) accepted an exceedingly generous gift of $94,030 from the Concord Education Foundation. The funds will upgrade the science department technology, adding more ACTIVboards, laptop and desktop computers, digital microscopes and other items. ACTIVboards are similar to black boards that can be electronically saved. These "class notes" can then be e-mailed to students or held for another day.
• Superintendent performance. The RSC evaluated Superintendent Brenda Finn's performance and gave her a unanimous vote of confidence. The committee stated that she provides strong leadership and clear direction; she respects her staff and appreciates the work of others. They also noted that Finn is a great advocate for students and puts a high priority on quality teaching. She will receive a 5% salary increase and a $1,200 stipend for travel. Finn did not attend this meeting as she was in China visiting schools.
• Dentino and Rivera recognized. Principal Art Dulong noted that CCHS band director Al Dentino made the cover of the national magazine School Band & Orchestra. The article praises Dentino's leadership and commends him for developing an exchange program with a Japanese band. Dulong also recognized history teacher Eric Rivera whose new book Almighty has made the local bestsellers list and was mentioned in the Boston Globe.
• Progress on goals. Dulong reported that considerable progress was made on last year's goals in the School Improvement Plan, which was put together by the CCHS Advisory Council. He was jubilant that the Concord Education Foundation had just granted the Science Department almost $100,000. Other achievements included: the addition of courses in art and drama, an increase in the number of varsity sports offered, technology enhancements, improved locker rooms, a new sound system for the auditorium and a new student government that is modeled after the Senate. He thanked the town of Concord for passing the override, which allowed secretarial hours to be restored to the level before budget cuts had depleted them.
Another goal was to increase communication between teachers of different departments. Teachers watched two of their peers, not in their own department as one way to accomplish this. They saw other styles of teaching and also saw their students in a different light. This, along with interdepartmental brunches, meetings and professional development, led to much discussion among the teaching staff.
One goal was to promote awareness for the need to rebuild CCHS. Although the Advisory Board did not meet this goal, the CCHS Feasibility Study Committee which has been studying the shortcomings of the building has reported to the Advisory Board regularly.
The Student-Parent Handbook was rewritten to be more user-friendly. Also, in response to the NEASC Report (New England Association of Schools and Colleges which grants accreditation), school policies, procedures and curriculum will be evaluated.
© 2005 The