The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 16, 2007


Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, November 7

· Next year's budget. "They gave us a rather grim picture," noted Superintendent Marie Doyle to the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) on November 7 when she described a recent meeting between administrators and the town's Finance Committee. She said, "Bill Fink has graciously been involved in putting together a political action committee. We'll be looking at that so that we can inform the community of what's going on."

· New phone system. The School Committee voted to approve a contract for a new phone system, pending reference checking by Building and Grounds Supervisor David Flannery. Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman explained that the company chosen is Integration Partners Corporation, whose Nortel System came in at a base bid price of $65,976 including enhanced 911 features, The enhanced 911 feature, which was requested by the school, is required in some states. It allows the police to pinpoint the location of an emergency call within the building. The town offices also use a Nortel System. "We can share parts," said Zimmerman, when repairs are needed. "We will also be selecting a few options which will cost a few thousand dollars more - for four new phone lines and related cabling," explained Zimmerman in an e-mail. The total cost is expected to remain under the $75,000 authorized by Town Meeting last spring.

Zimmerman explained that the lowest bid was made by NetVersant — New England at $61,700. However, the bid for their Avaya System did not include enhanced 911 features, a required specification.

· Math review. Superintendent Doyle said the Carlisle School Math Review Team will continue to evaluate the current elementary math program (Chicago Math), identify areas of strengths and weakness and research possible replacement programs if necessary. At an earlier CSC meeting she had indicated interest in ending the review, at least in part because of the cost involved in any program change. However, she explained, "I think that the committee agreed that we should take time. We will look to see what's out there and we'll make our decision after we review various materials."

As part of the review, a teacher/parent survey was completed and data was analyzed last summer (see "Parents, teachers respond to math program survey," June 22 Mosquito.)

· Mentoring presentation Language Arts Specialist Steve Bober told the School Committee that each new teacher is assigned a teacher mentor and is given three years of mentoring support. The mentor program includes one-on-one meetings, "monthly gatherings" to explore specific aspects of the school culture, peer observation (teachers invited to observe the new teacher), role playing practice for parent/teacher conferences, classroom management techniques, and advice on creating report cards. The mentors are called "guides" for the second and third years. During the third year the new teachers create a goal statement on ways to continue their growth as an educator. "We are constantly looking for new ways to grow," Bober said.

· Highland update. Business manager Heidi Zimmerman has forwarded a letter to the Emerson Umbrella confirming the agreement that they would try to be out by December 31. The letter acknowledges, however, that some artists may remain until January 31, 2008.

Emerson Umbrella has started some repair work on the front porch. She has alerted Flannery, who expected Emerson Umbrella to contact him when repairs are being made in order to secure the area. The Montessori school, who toured the Highland building, has not contacted her, she said, so she assumes they are not interested in renting the building. Zimmerman noted Emerson will need to finance the heat and lights until all artists have left, and to replace some broken windows.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito