The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 10, 2006


Carlisle School expenses rising in FY07

The Carlisle School Committee (CSC) voted to request a $8,416,520 budget for the FY07 school year. The budget is a 5.8% increase over the current school year. It is $168,000, or 2.1% over the FinCom's guideline 3.7% budget increase.

The increase reflects an expected teacher and staff contractual raise, amounting to $336,000. An additional $40,000 was budgeted for the new principal salaries. The budget report shows, "Salaries make up 84% of the budget. Other contractual obligations such as service agreements, student transportation, (outside) tuitions, contracted professional services, and waste disposal comprise another 7.6% of the budget. These two lines combine for almost 92% of the operating budget."

The teachers' contract is still a preliminary agreement and unavailable for public review. School Committee chair David Dockterman says it is close to being signed, and the CSC hopes to vote on the new contract at its next meeting on March 15.

School business manager Steve Moore said the budget increase includes an additional $40,000 for natural gas and $13,000 for electricity, as per the FinCom guideline, reflecting increases in heating and utility costs. The new school bus contract with Bedford Charter Service was renewed with a 10% increase, adding $31,803 to the budget. The new school wastewater treatment plant is due to begin operating at the end of April. The school budgeted $64,000 for the annual contract for an outside company to maintain the plant, an additional $22,000 over last year's projections for 8-10 months of operation this year. The school committee is also adding a part-time technology aide, and is requesting funds in the budget to supplement the salary of the school math specialist. The school anticipates losing a state Title 1 grant previously available that was used to partially fund the math specialist position.

The proposed budget is available on the main page of the school web site ( under 2007 School Committee Budget Request. The budget also lists separate capital project requests that fall outside the regular school budget. The capital requests include requests for replacing the school's failing heating system, roof repairs, installing safety railings, replacement lockers, school equipment, computer and technology upgrades, and for miscellaneous instructional materials and supplies.

Interactive whiteboard

A new interactive whiteboard in a fifth grade classroom replaces traditional blackboard and chalk with a whiteboard and touch-pen. The Activeboard uses a computer and projector to connect to the whiteboard allowing teachers to use prepared lessons, access web pages, and write class notes on the screen.
Fifth-grade teacher Debbie Butts demonstrated the whiteboard to the School Committee and parents at its meeting last week, explaining she uses it for teaching math and writing. Butts gave an example of how she asked students to close their eyes and visualize what Harry Potter looks like for a writing project. She used the board to jot down answers as the class brainstormed together.

Because it's computer-based, teachers can send students e-mail with notes from class work if they need them or are out of school. Though she still uses an easel with a flip chart, Butts said she now prefers the interactive board.

The boards are common at colleges and universities and are also used at Concord-Carlisle High School. The Activeboard costs $2,300, and requires a projector that costs about $1,000. The School Committee is requesting three Activeboards, 13 projectors, and a new computer server as a technology upgrade in a separate capital project request.

CCHS new school vote

two years away

Regional School Committee representative Michael Fitzgerald said the high school plans to ask for design funds for a brand new high school for Concord-Carlisle at the spring 2008 Town Meetings in Concord and Carlisle.
If approved, construction could begin in 2010, with the new high school projected to open in 2012.

These target dates are based on the high school receiving reimbursement funding approval from the Massachusetts School Building Authority after the funding moratorium lifts in 2007, Fitzgerald emphasized to the School Committee. The MSBA put a moratorium on new school building projects in 2004 to restructure the program. The project reimbursement list is expected to restart in July 2007 when new project applications will again be reviewed.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito