Friday, October 26, 2007
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, October 17
• Apology to faculty. Carlisle School Committee Chair Nicole Burkel began the meeting by publicly apologizing for her slip in allowing a teacher to be discussed during a previous meeting (see 10/12/07, "Job-share arrangement worries fifth-grade parents"). "I'd like to issue an apology to the faculty and specifically to Jen Reinhard as chair for not stopping some of the discussion that transpired last time," she said.
• Math curriculum review. Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle announced the preliminary decision that the current math program, Chicago University's "Everyday Math," will continue to be the program used for grades 2 through 5. She noted the cost of changing a math program would be very expensive. Doyle will consult with the Math Review Team before making a final decision.
• Coordinated Program Review. Director of Student Services Karen Slack is completing the documentation for the Coordinated Program Review required by the Massachusetts Department of Education. Burkel said, "I think it is hard for us to understand the magnitude of the project." The state requires each school to document their compliance in the following areas: Special Education, English Learner Education in Public Schools - Chapter 71A, Title I / NCLB with related Title IIA Requirements, Civil Rights, Career/Vocational Technical Education, and Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. Just the "review instrument" guide for reporting on special education document is 114 pages long. Burkel continued, "She [Slack] has crates of documents. It's a huge, huge task."
• Part-time teacher hired for grade 5. Middle School Principal Jim Halliday reported that a "truly superb person," Mimi Gleason, has been hired to co-teach in one of the fifth-grade dyads. Gleason will teach two days, on Thursday and Friday. She is from Acton and has taught 11 years at the Shady Hill School, a private school in Cambridge, and also taught for three years at Diamond Middle School in Lexington. Halliday said, "She is going to be a wonderful addition and will be great with the children." He said fifth-grade teachers Reinhard and Kendra Katz helped with the interviewing to assure "they had the right person for that position." Gleason is on sabbatical leave, "to spend time with a new youngster," explained Halliday, adding, "You'll be pleased when you meet her."
• Superintendent evaluation. John Littleford, the consultant working with the Carlisle School, has suggested modifications to the form used by the School Committee to evaluate the superintendent. His recommendation, Burkel explained, was to base the evaluation on three to five goals, "and anything else was micro-managing." The suggestion prompted discussion. Committee member Chad Koski said he liked the idea of having a "broad picture. We had too many details in the one we had last year." Committee member Dale Ryder offered as an example the evaluation method she received from her workshop at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.
• Self-evaluation. Burkel suggested the committee consider performing a self-evaluation, and discuss their performance each month. Ryder supported the idea, but Koski warned it would be something that would have to be "controlled" so that it did not become a major portion of their meetings.
• District Goals. The committee reviewed a draft of the Carlisle School District Goals, including new vision and mission statements. Koski stressed the need for measurable goals, and Doyle agreed to revise the document with this in mind.
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