Friday, December 16, 2005
Why is there an eighth-grade trip?
The benefits of the traditional overnight June trip taken by the eighth grade were questioned during the December 7 meeting of the Carlisle School Committee. Despite voiced concerns, the board voted approval for School Principal Stephen Goodwin to start planning the trip.
The proposed trip will essentially be the same as in the last two years, based in Western Massachusetts with visits to museums, a wildlife sanctuary, dinner and overnight at a hotel, and a visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame and Six Flags to end the trip. Student representatives are involved in the planning of the eighth-grade trip this year and have suggested a longer visit to Six Flags. CSC member Michael Fitzgerald expressed his concern that the trip is turning into a "purely social event." He said he would like to keep it more educational. Goodwin pointed out the educational visits to museums, but explained the trip is the last event the students have as a group before they head to high school and socialization as a class is part of the enjoyment of the trip. Carlisle School Committee member Nicole Burkel also voiced her concerns, saying people seem to think "it is an entitlement" and she would like to "re-look" or discuss eighth grade trips in general at a future meeting. "I really struggle with the school being the sponsor of this," she said.
The eighth-grade trip went to Quebec when most middle-school youth studied French, but the destination was later changed to New York City so that students studying Spanish might better enjoy the trip. The terrorism of 9/11prompted a search for another location, and since then, the class trip has visited coastal Maine and the Berkshires.
© 2005 The