Friday, June 2, 2006
Shorts from the Regional School Committee, May 23
• Buses and driving age ramifications. Many aspects of busing were discussed at the RSC meeting on May 23. RSC student member Leigh Davis stated, "The buses from Carlisle are very full." She noted that many buses with routes in Concord coming into the high school in the morning did not have many students in them. CCHS Principal Art Dulong estimated that about 200 students get dropped off by parents. He said the school gave out roughly 300 parking permits. RSC student member Tom Schnitzer thought about 90% of seniors don't take the buses. All agreed that if the state raised the licensing age, the number of seniors taking buses would increase.
Noting the possibility that more buses might be needed in the near future, Director of Finance and Operations John Flaherty urged the RSC to hold on to three buses that are being replaced this year, rather than use them as trade-ins. Although this would mean losing $23,000 in trade-in value, it might be seen as great savings and foresight should the state change the minimum age of drivers mid-school year. Also, if the age is not changed, these buses can be traded in at a later date.
• Recognitions. Dulong praised his secretary Louisa Coleman. "You have no idea what a great secretary she is. She takes on big tasks, breaks them down and gets them done. She tracks all the awards."
Dulong also praised the Jazz Band. They recorded a CD at Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle earlier this spring. "The kids are extraordinary! However you can, get this CD."
Dulong observed the final competition of the Moot Court and said, "The students did an absolutely fabulous job." Denis Cleary, a teacher who has been an advisor to the program, is retiring this year. From now on, it will be called the Denis Cleary Moot Court.
• Exchange students. Dulong and visiting exchange student Laura Tremain talked about the benefits of exchange student programs. Tremain, from Argentina, said, "It was difficult at first. I received much support from the guidance counselors and a history teacher." She helped out in Spanish classes and enjoyed taking photography classes in school. "I have had a fabulous year."
Gabriel Cubas from Ecuador thanked Mr. Lynch. "I loved it here!" he said in a letter as he couldn't attend the meeting in person. He was impressed at how many students played instruments. "I am thankful to CCHS for opening their doors to me."
Petra Daroczi, from Hungary, was a national athlete in rhythmic gymnastics. He said in a letter, "It is fun to be an exchange student. I'm very lucky."
Dulong said, "The exchange students bring an attitude and an enthusiasm that is fresh and new. It's great to have them in our school." The RSC granted Dulong's request for a fourth exchange student to come to CCHS next year. She is from Germany and she plays keyboards and likes to fence. Dulong said three CCHS students were abroad this year, and he thinks four will be away next year.
• Wellness Policy. Kathy Bowen, the K-12 Health Education Coordinator/Director for Concord, presented a new Wellness Policy which is now required. She said there are many nutritionists in Concord who gave her suggestions. "Concord already coordinates nutrition and physical education in School Health so we didn't need to make many changes."
• Student opposes CCHS teardown. At the end of every meeting, the RSC allows citizens to make comments. Senior Tom Schnitzer, who will be attending Yale in the fall, waited patiently through the meeting, long after his peers had headed home. He said he did not share the opinion of the RSC that the high school building needed to be replaced. "I am opposed to the CCHS teardown." He felt the RSC was expected always to have the best facility. "The facility means next to nothing. The crappy hallways do not affect learning." He credited teachers and the students themselves that make the difference, not the building. He mentioned all the technology that has been added to the school, all the ActivBoards. "The technology prohibits learning." He noted that teachers had to spend too much time trying to get the new technology to work, rather than spend the time actually teaching. "From a student's perspective, it doesn't affect our learning." He went on to say, "The biggest distraction has been the building of the pool." He thinks building another high school adjacent to the present one would be an even larger distraction. He added that the building might be hard for the maintenance crew trying to keep the heating system running and the many other tasks they have, "But it is not noticeable to students."
© 2006 The