The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 7, 2008

RSC hears update on Community Education

“It was a very, very successful year,” Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education Director Court Booth reported at his annual presentation to the Regional School Committee (RSC) on October 28. Booth said that during the previous year over 200 part-time teachers taught 280 courses to approximately 3,600 people. He stressed how diverse the course offerings were. The program was almost self-supporting during FY08, with a roughly $6,000 deficit. A balance of $97,111 remains available in the program’s revolving account.

Booth said that 49% of the Community Education participants are children. Of the adults enrolled, 67% are from Concord, 7% are from Carlisle, and the rest are from other towns. There is only a $3 surcharge for non-Concord-Carlisle participants. Booth said he did not want to raise this fee because he needs those participants to fill out classes and does not want to discourage them. In addition, Booth said there has been a 10% drop in enrollments from the previous year.

There is a wide variety of offerings for adults in the areas of arts, literature, history, personal finance, home improvement, parent education, first aid, foreign languages for adults, dance, sports and computers. There are online courses as well. Of the almost 1,800 children enrollments, 40% are for music instruction, 25% are for summer programs and the remainder are for “school year” classes.

Community Education revenue was $717,815 but expenses were $723,536. Fees collected for classes amounted to $673,242. The Town of Concord gave the program a $13,000 grant to be used for a community event. Community Education also receives a grant from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest, which is used for direct financial aid.

Booth is concerned about the declining enrollment in the adult courses. Also, he has seen a higher cancellation rate this past year over previous years. He continued, “We haven’t improved Carlisle participation,” which continues to be low. RSC member Dale Ryder invited Booth to come and speak about Community Education before the Carlisle School Committee. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito