Friday, March 23, 2007
Shorts from the RSC, March 13
· Proposed athletic fields update. Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) member Peter Fischelis gave an update on the proposed athletic fields behind the high school. After the most recent changes, he believes they have the final location of the fields. The fields are slightly longer to provide athletes a bit more space to stop running. On average, the nearest property line to a field is 200 feet, with the nearest neighbor's lot line being roughly 130 feet. The fields were moved to place them further from a possible vernal pool. Lastly, the two fields, first proposed to be at different levels, will now both be on the same level, approximately seven feet below the present terrain, rather than 10 and 14 feet down. Hence, there will be less material to remove and fewer trucks needed to remove the material. Fischelis said, "We're moving along."
In addition to the plans, Fischelis said that $1.5 to $1.9 million needs to be raised in donations for the project. "We already have about $800,000 and haven't done any major fundraising or awareness campaign yet."
· "Be the Change" program. A student-led assembly last Friday promoted a program called "Be the Change." The program was initially recommended by a CCHS student who had heard about it on Oprah. A number of students decided that they wanted to bring the program to CCHS and started raising support among the faculty. "Be the Change" is aimed at making the school a more respectful, safe and unified environment, "a more welcoming place," said CCHS Principal Art Dulong. A group from California will come to CCHS for two days, April 30 and May 1, to train students and adults and to present their research on how students elsewhere have made positive changes resolving issues based upon discrimination, prejudice, stress, violence, drugs and alcohol. "The program is entirely student driven," said Dulong.
· Recognitions. Dulong praised many for their efforts in staging the spring musical Evita. He commended director George Kendall, pit orchestra conductor Al Dentino and technical advisor Ned Roos for creating a great opportunity for the students. "I think it's the best performance I have seen at the high school!"
Dulong praised Math teacher Peter Atlas for an interesting honor. A 2003 CCHS graduate, who will be graduating this spring from Stanford University, has named Atlas as the most direct influence on his life, outside his family. Stanford will fly Atlas to California for recognition.
Dulong praised many of the winter sports teams. Girls and boys hockey teams and basketball teams made it to the play-offs. Both the girls and boys fencing teams were state champions and the skiing team was highly successful.
· Students request SAT prep. A number of students came to the RSC meeting and voiced their opinions on how things were going. Junior Eric Beaulieu said he would like to start a group after school to study for SATs. He said many could not afford the high-priced tutors and special classes offered by private companies. Junior Ryan Miller said that teacher emeritus Mark Angney had given a class on the English SAT exam. Angney explained how to answer questions and how to write an essay. "It was a very helpful class. It would be great if the Math Department would give a similar class."
· School day too short. The high school is out of compliance with the state mandate of 990 hours of class per year. Study halls can not be counted. Last week the administration experimented with decreasing the time between classes from four minutes to three, but it was not successful as students had trouble getting to the next class on time, particularly if they had a question for the teacher or had to stop at their lockers. Teachers also had trouble with the shortened time. Senior Leigh Davis suggested lengthening the school day, preferably at the end of the day, rather than the beginning.
· Trip to Peru. Spanish teacher Eric Pohl asked for permission to plan a trip from July 2 to July 13 to take 10 to 12 juniors and seniors to Peru to visit Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Students will visit archaeological sites and will be immersed in Peruvian culture. The cost is approximately $3200. Permission was granted.
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