The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 28, 2006


Middle School restructuring explained

Sixth- and seventh-grade middle school teaching teams will be significantly restructured for the next school year. Carlisle School Principal Stephen Goodwin explained the current sixth-grade team will lose one teacher and the seventh-grade team will gain a teacher. The eighth-grade team structure of four core teachers will remain the same.

Anticipating the transition of the current fifth-grades into sixth-grade, Goodwin explained the format in an April 13 e-mail sent to parents. In previous years, he said, the middle school model consisted of four teachers, each covering a core subject. "This often resulted in larger class size throughout their middle school experience," Goodwin stated.

Currently there are six teachers for the sixth-grade, explained Goodwin, due to the class size, as well as to "specific educational and social-behavioral needs found within this cohort." Though the incoming sixth-grade class is the same size, one teacher will be dropped. The sixth grade will consist of two academic teams: Donna Clapp, Language Arts/Social Studies, Chris Denaro, Math/Social Studies, and Al Ticotsky, Science/Social Studies in one team, and Bill Gale, Math/Language Arts, and Wendy Stack, Science/Social Studies in the second team.

Seventh-grade teams

The new seventh-grade teaching teams will consist of four teachers and one teacher. Susan Brinner will teach math, Erin McAuley, who is currently a sixth-grade teacher, will teach social studies, and newly hired, Brad Cranston, will teach science (replacing retiring science teacher Sara Bysshe). A Language Arts teacher will be hired to complete the team. The one-teacher team will be David Zuckerman, explained Goodwin. "He will teach all four subjects." Though the structure could be described as two teams, Goodwin said, the students will not be assigned to either the four-teacher team or to Zuckerman. "They will be mixed," he said.

When asked about future middle school changes, Goodwin said although the current fourth-grade class is not extremely large, there may be reasons to keep the increased teacher teams. "During the past two years," Goodwin said, "the Middle School Task Force has met at least 35 times to discuss and plan for the increased cohort sizes presented by the current sixth- and fifth-grades." With increased teaching teams space becomes a major issue, he explained in his memo.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito