The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 16, 2008

Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, May 7

Outdoor education. Middle School Principal Jim Halliday praised the sixth-grade outdoor education program when he spoke at the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting on May 7. Attending outdoor education for the first time this spring, he called it a “fantastic program.”

Each year the sixth-grade students and teachers travel to Hancock, New Hampshire, to Boston University’s Camp Sargent Center for four days of outdoor learning and team building. Though the event started with rain, students had a great time. He said the “kids were totally into it.” The camp counselors said they were impressed by the Carlisle teachers and staff and how involved they were. Students are housed in heated cabins but are outside for most of their day. Halliday was a supervisor for the first night and was surprised and pleased that the boys stopped talking by 10 p.m. Funds from the annual sixth-grade Spaghetti Supper help to support the program.

Highland update. CSC member Dale Ryder asked Superintendent Marie Doyle about the status of a list of questions submitted to her by the Highland Building Study Committee in regard to possible uses of the vacant building. School Committee Chair Nicole Burkel voiced concern that questions were going to the superintendent instead of the School Committee. CSC member Michael Fitzgerald reminded Ryder that the position of the CSC would not change. The CSC has voted not to use Highland for school purposes. The CSC agreed to hold a joint meeting with the Highland Committee and School Building Committee to discuss the Highland building.

Student fees approved. The CSC voted a new fee schedule for the coming FY09 school year

Facility fee increase postponed. Burkel reported there will be a delay in updating the Carlisle School Facility Use Fee Schedule. Proposed changes would double the usage fees and charge the Recreation Commission (RecCom)a usage fee for the first time. In the past the RecCom has made “payments in kind,” donating equipment such as school bleachers and maintaining the Spalding athletic field. After meeting with the Building and Grounds Supervisor David Flannery, Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman, and the RecCom, Burkel explained, it was determined that more data was needed.

“The RecCom needs more lead time if changes are made,” explained Zimmerman, since recreational fees have already been set. If the RecCom is charged facilities fees, the cost would need to be covered by increases in fees for their programs, passing the increased costs to the townspeople.

Flannery was asked later if in the past a town department has been charged for using the school facility. “This will be the first time the School Committee has considered this policy,” he replied.

World Language uses technology. Foreign language classes are benefiting from the use of technology tools, the World Languages teachers reported. “Interactive electronic whiteboards are especially handy for practicing Chinese characters,” Chinese language teacher Chiao Bin Huang said. “Lessons written on the boards can be saved, printed and given to students who miss classes.” Huang, Spanish teachers Andrea Steffek and Andrea Seddon, and French teacher Nicole Baker have also created web sites which contain curriculum guides, homework assignments, project examples and student resource links.

Faculty child accepted. The CSC voted to allow teacher Lynn Carmel’s child to enroll in Kindergarten at the Carlisle School in the fall, bringing the expected Kindergarten enrollment to 54. Two other faculty members had made inquiries, but later withdrew similar requests.

Executive session minutes. The CSC voted to accept the executive session meeting minutes for 10/5/07, 1/2/08, 1/16/08, 1/26/08, 2/6/08, 3/5/08, 3/19/08, 3/26/08 and 4/2/08. Burkel hoped that the executive minutes relating to meetings with Facilitator John Littleford, who was hired after the Carlisle School’s Teacher Union passed a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Marie Doyle in June of 2007, would remain private until the end of June 2008.∆


© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito