Friday, August 4, 2006
CCHS Advisory Council brainstorms on school improvements
The monthly public meetings of the Concord Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) Advisory Council provide a forum where issues and concerns are explored and goals are established for the school. The Council is made up of school administration and teacher representatives, students, parents and a community member that does not have ties to the school. The State Education Reform Act of 1993 mandated this type of advisory group, which is duplicated at the Carlisle Public School.
One of the CCHS Advisory Council goals in the past year has been to improve instructional practices. This goal has been driven by department chairs encouraging their teachers to observe teachers outside their departments. This has been happening frequently this year. It builds stronger communication within the school and teachers learn from one another.
A website for school information
Another goal was to increase communication to parents. Parents already receive daily announcements, weekly updates and a monthly newsletter via e-mail. Administrative secretary Sharon Trainor is helping to develop a web site which would include all the forms and information in the August mailing that goes out to each household. Principal Art Dulong said, "It costs a fortune to mail that all out." Besides saving the school money, parents would have all the information easily accessible online.
Statistics on boys and girls
The Advisory Council will continue to gather and interpret data to see that the needs of all students are being met. The council compares statistics of girls to boys, of METCO students to non-METCO students and of students of different socio-economic backgrounds. Nationally, statistics show there are gaps between boys and girls. Dulong says, "We see this here too." The High Honor Roll and the National Honor Society have disproportionately higher numbers of females than males. Dulong said, "The AP [Advanced Placement] math and science courses are reasonably proportional, but the advanced levels of foreign language are heavily female."
Improving communication between middle schools
and the high school
There are several goals for next year. One goal is to improve communication between the middle schools, including Carlisle, and the high school. Another goal is to have more continuity between different sections of the same class. For example, there are many sections of World Cultures, a history course. "The council wants to make sure each section covers the same areas," said Dulong.
Looking at student stress
Other goals include looking at student stress. The council will be asking for student and parent input. They will be reviewing the policies and procedures around substance abuse issues. Lastly, the council will be reviewing policy and procedures of department chairs and the professional development of teachers. "Department chairs need to set goals," said Dulong. "They suffer from limited funds."
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