The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 10, 2006

Parents praise Carlisle's teachers

To the Editor:

A large group of concerned parents attended the School Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 1, in light of the recent resignations of both the school Principal and Assistant Principal the week before. Many parents were unaware of any issues at the school which would precipitate these actions and went to the meeting to learn more. Most parents understand that, with the arrival of our new Superintendent 20 months ago, changes at the school would take place; however, most of us were not prepared for the resignations or for some of the issues which have come to our attention since then.

We believe that the teachers at the Carlisle Public School are its greatest assets. Time and again, we have been profoundly impressed with their dedication, their willingness to do whatever necessary to ensure that each child has a positive academic and social experience while at school and their professionalism. We urge the School Committee and the school administration to work together to ensure that the atmosphere of collegiality, trust and open communication, which have been hallmarks of our school culture, not be lost as new initiatives are introduced and implemented.

We encourage our Superintendent to foster a positive academic environment for our teachers and staff, knowing that our children will be the beneficiaries. We urge the administration and the School Committee to consider and, when appropriate, act upon the opinions and input of our wonderful teachers, that communication at all times be respectful and that, we as parents, are informed when major initiatives are up for discussion so that, we, too, can be part of the process.

We thank our teachers for their continued diligence, love and support of our children and urge the School Committee to continue to look for ways to improve communication between the teachers and the administration and to ensure that the teachers' concerns are heard and acted upon.

Kelly Driscoll
Wilkins Lane
and Lisa Harris
School Street

Comments on veterinary clinic's Special Permit

To the Editor:

At Thursday's Board of Appeals meeting, the case of Healthy Pet Corporation set a new standard for the use of Special Permits. Despite a history of serious complaints, neighbor objections, lack of site plan, and a lack of supporters, a Special Permit holder may now sell their operation to a large national corporation by seeking only a slight modification to their original permit! Residency of the property owner or corporation does not enter into the discussion. I applaud the ruling as I am strongly pro-business and look forward to the day when multi-national corporations are operating freely throughout residential neighborhoods in Carlisle. Think how convenient this is. Carlisle Auto can sell to Meineke or Maaco, the Bed & Breakfasts can sell to Comfort Inn or Flatley, Carlisle Antiques can sell to Inn Home Furnishings, tea houses can sell to Dunkin Donuts, Ferns can sell to Kappy's. Finally progress has come to Carlisle thanks to this new standard for Special Permits. I'm going to start working on a local Chamber of Commerce now to handle the flood of Special Permit requests we can expect — what a great way to retire to that sunny community elsewhere and keep the cash income coming in. Now if only we could figure out how to fairly tax these operations or ensure public safety. I guess we'll leave that for the next generation.

Joseph Campagna
Bedford Road

[Ed note: The writer is an abutter to the Carlisle Animal Hospital. See related article on page 1]

Open letter to State Rep.Cory Atkins and State Senator Susan Fargo

To the Editor:

I was one of those who testified against HR 1641 on Tuesday, January 31. The small, stuffy hearing room was packed overwhelmingly by those opposed to egregious sections of this bill. Many left reluctantly, only because of the four-hour delay when the committee decided to take testimony on other bills.

My main concerns:

1. While I am not a parent, I am a voter and a taxpayer. I don't want to pay for something I wholeheartedly reject.

2. If this bill becomes law, it will be an unfunded state mandate, drawing money away from classes with substance: science, languages, math, music, art.

3. I agree with Evelyn Reilly of the Massachusetts Family Institute: "What we are basically debating here is the five-year plan of Planned Parenthood to force their own. . .version of sex education on all Massachusetts public schools, beginning in preschool." See Planned Parenthood is behind this bill, but the schools are in loco parentis, not in loco Planned Parenthood.

4. Matters of sex education belong with the Board of Education. In 1998 the State Board of Education removed "health" from the required curriculum. I do not want Planned Parenthood doing an end run around the Board of Education — or around parents.

5. I do not want the how-to of sexual acts to be discussed in classrooms, separating sex from intimacy and the family, stripping it of its sacredness.

6. In working with David Parker, I discovered that it is, practically speaking, impossible for parents to remove their children from classes with sensitive material. If it's not "curriculum," it's "curriculum-related." No matter what the bill's supporters say now, attendance will be mandatory if these classes become part of a core curriculum.

7. Children will be required to learn about sex on Planned Parenthood's timetable and according to Planned Parenthood's values. Representative Atkins and Senator Fargo, parents should make the decision about how and when to educate their children on these sensitive matters.

Please do not support HR 1641.

Madeleine Prendergast
Stearns Street

Citrus fundraiser organizers thank community

To the Editor:

On behalf of the 79 members of the Carlisle School's Senior Band, and students in the Middle School Choir, we would like to extend our appreciation to the Carlisle community, band and chorus members, and their parents for their support during our tenth annual citrus fruit fundraising drive. Our focus for the profits raised from this year's sale will be to help fund a four-day trip to a national music festival in Pennsylvania for senior band students, as well as for state music festival expenses for both band and middle school choir. In addition, some of the profits will be earmarked for a first-ever, three-day, choral Artist-in-Residence program, featuring Dr. Sandra Doneski.

This year's wonderful, hard-working organizational committee, co-chaired by Nancy Roberts and Laurie Diercks, featured Gail Fitzpatrick, Paula von Kleydorff (CEO of Distribution), Sarah Hart, Stephanie Smith, Nicole Bloomfield and Pam Blair — all of whom did a superb job of organizing students and parent helpers; double-checking forms; ordering hundreds of boxes and bags of fresh fruit, and organizing the unloading of the tractor trailer, as well as the delivery to all of our Carlisle neighbors. Thanks are extended as well to the parents who chaperoned at the transfer station and to those who helped with the fruit distribution on February 6. In addition, school administrators Marie Doyle, Steve Goodwin, Michael Giurlando, Steve Moore and David Flannery were actively involved and supportive throughout; while staff members Susan Pray, Richard Price, Dan Flannery and Beverly Woolard, contributed much time and energy to the success of the project. Finally, Bill Brown, Carlisle resident and owner of the Minor Chord music store in Acton, once again stepped up to demonstrate his support of our Carlisle School music program by providing a number of incentives for our top-selling students.

Thanks to all for a successful fundraising campaign; we hope you enjoy the fruit!

Tom O'Halloran and
Megan Fitzharris
Music Department

Don't tear down Highland

To the Editor:

We need to stop the insanity now! Carlisle does not need to build a new school, nor should we tear down the Highland Building.

Our children do not need a state-of-the-art school to achieve their potential. The wonderful teachers that we have in Carlisle do the teaching, not the buildings.

What Carlisle should do is repair the buildings and build what is necessary in order to accommodate the increase in students.

The Highland Building should not be torn down — how could anyone even suggest that? The old Highland School is an historic building, one of beauty and character, not to mention a part of Carlisle's history. Surely it could be renovated and used as a community center. Perhaps a place for our youths to hang out, a home for the Recreation Commission and the Council on Aging?

We must stop and think about the effect all this new building will have on our tax rate. We will tax our senior citizens right out of town, those people who helped to make Carlisle what it is today. Think about it.

Susan Evans
Heald Road

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito