Friday, June 8, 2007
Shorts from the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee, May 22
· Emergency plans. Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) Principal Arthur Dulong spoke about the CCHS Safety and Crisis Planning at the May 22 meeting of the Regional School Committee (RSC). He said, "The safety of students and staff is absolutely paramount." Dulong and his staff, Concord Police Chief Wetherbee and School Resource Officer Scott Camilleri have spent a good deal of time creating and updating staff handbooks, emergency response plans and school safety plans to handle many contingencies. For instance, the emergency response plan covers some 20 scenarios in detail. "The actions for each person, the staff and the principal are defined. It's very specific," he said. Every teacher has to review the plans and sign off on them. A CCHS crisis team has already been defined in case a need should arise.
"Medical issues are much more likely than other crises," said Dulong. As an example of a medical emergency, he described the case last fall when a student needed help in a classroom. The new phone system with a direct line to 911, the nurse and the principal was used and proved its effectiveness when the Fire Department arrived three minutes later.
The number of doors at CCHS continues to be an issue for Dulong who said, "I worry about the design of our school." With over 70 doors, there is no easy way to lock them all quickly. He said every department chair is responsible to lock doors in his or her area.
Dulong said he has strived to build a sense of community so that students feel connected and adults get to know them. He said, "I consider what we do proactive. We want kids to feel safe and feel valued. They have ownership in the well-being of everyone around them."
· Work after the AP? The senior student representatives to the RSC spoke of their experiences with Advanced Placement (AP) courses and how the workload decreases after the AP exams which ended May 18. Depending on the student's score, the AP class can count for college credit. Senior Pami Anderson said of the time between the exams and graduation, "Those two to three weeks seem pointless." Senior Leigh Davis said, "My math teacher doesn't want to do anything anymore. He prepared us well for the exam but wants to do nothing further." Some teachers have their students do extra projects, but the seniors complained that some of these projects were excessive. AP Biology teacher Jennifer Benson was praised for the project her class is doing during this period. They are counting the number and types of trees in the area of the proposed new athletic fields. If the fields are created, the data can be used to insure that the number of trees cut down can be replanted elsewhere. Anderson said, "This is a nice experience. It's real world."
· Challenge Days. Two hundred students were part of a program called "Be the Change" held at CCHS on April 30 and May 1. Senior Hannah Braaten thought the program should be expanded, "I wish the whole school could do it." Junior Eric Beaulieau felt that participation in the program should be voluntary. Assistant Superintendent Diana Rigby said the program is being reviewed.
· Guidance Department thanked. Davis, who has been out of school on medical leave, told the committee, "I want to compliment the school. They made it easy for me to get school work and tutors." She added that the guidance counselors were very helpful.
· Community service. RSC Chair Michael Fitzgerald asked the student representatives what could be improved at CCHS. Davis said that is was easy to fulfill the 40-hour requirement for community service and suggested that it might be increased. Braaten and Anderson both felt community service "was a good experience." The RSC thanked the students for their meeting attendence and comments during the year.
· Scotland trip. Drama teacher George Kendall's application for CCHS students to perform at the American High School Theater Festival in Scotland in August, 2008 has been accepted. CCHS is one of seven American schools accepted.
© 2007 The