The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 25, 2008


Shorts from the CSC, January 16

· Facilitator process update. At the January 16 meeting of the Carlisle School Committee (CSC), Chair Nicole Burkel recapped the work of the facilitator, John Littleford, who, she explained, was hired to help the school return to "an environment where faculty and administrators can respectfully work together for the benefit of all the students." Littleford was brought in after the teachers' union issued a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Marie Doyle last June. Workshops were held in August, September, October, and in January.

A final workshop with 21 faculty members, four administrators, two staff members and the five School Committee members is planned for Sunday, January 27. At that final workshop, Littleford will give recommendations and present the follow-up process, Burkel said, "which will involve creating several committees to undertake his recommendation." She said they expect a written report which will "document his findings and potential solutions. It will spell out clearly, objectively and fairly the follow-up responsibility of each party in the process of resolving the present issues and those going forward."

· Principal search. An advertisement for the position of Carlisle School Middle School Principal will be posted shortly, reported Doyle. The position is currently filled by interim principal Jim Halliday, who was brought on to replace Paul Graseck, who resigned last summer.

· Elementary Spanish. To augment the once-a-week elementary school Spanish instruction, Technology Specialist Cyd McCann and Spanish teacher Andrea Seddon have created a web site with Spanish lesson, and students are encouraged to use it at home. Fitzgerald wondered if the exposure to Spanish in the elementary grades has helped students transition to middle school language. Seddon said she would research how sixth graders are doing compared to previous years.

Seddon was asked if the elementary Spanish offering swayed more students to choose to study Spanish over French or Chinese when they enter middle school. She had not yet seen any pattern, and Doyle noted that the numbers fluctuate each year (see Table 1 below).

· English Language Learner (ELL) update. Responding to questions about the state-mandated program, Director of Student Services Karen Slack said that the part-time ELL teacher and a tutor support the students through a "sheltered English immersion" program. She said there are presently 14 to 15 students receiving services, and explained, "It's not necessarily that English is not their primary language ... it may not have been their first language or the language that is spoken at home." Doyle said that the number of students in the ELL program fluctuates; as students move out of the program, students new to the school move in. Fitzgerald asked if the number of new students has risen quickly, pointing out that two years ago only one or two students were identified as needing ELL services. Slack responded that the diagnostic methods have improved, allowing the school to identify students who were struggling.

2008 The Carlisle Mosquito