The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 17, 2009

High School reviews School Improvement Plan

Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) Principal Peter Badalament gave an overview of the new School Improvement Plan at the Regional School Committee (RSC) meeting on June 23. The School Advisory Council is responsible for updating the plan annually. They take into account views expressed at the many meetings attended by parents, students, teachers and community members. Goals include: creating programs and forward practices that foster 21st century learning environments, making the school more energy efficient and climate conscious, examining CCHS graduation requirements in light of the new MassCore recommended guidelines, continuing efforts to increase student achievement for all groups of students and discussing ways to reduce stress during key times for juniors and seniors.

To meet these objectives, the plan defines the major tasks or activities needed to meet these objectives, who the targeted population is, when the plan will be implemented, who is responsible for the task and how to measure the success of that initiative.

There are several initiatives to foster 21st century learning environments. Badalament said students will need to be creative, work collaboratively, be good team members, think critically and analytically. Foreign Language teacher Iolanda Volpe will be working with the faculty to establish the Global Literacy Certificate Program. Students will need to show proficiency in a foreign language and do community service. Badalament and Director of Teaching and Learning Kathy Codianne will work on restarting the Virtual High School program to serve up to 25 students in an alternative on-line learning program. CCHS teacher Cricket McCaffrey-Clark will foster the development of computer courses and provide professional development. Other goals are to increase technology use by teachers and further train students on online library resources.

To raise awareness of global warming, Earth Science teachers will incorporate new lessons into the curriculum. The Environmental Club will be responsible to broaden connections to the community for Earth Day activities. There will be efforts to turn off lights and regulate HVAC to conserve energy. To save paper, the CCHS Program of Studies will be available online. Badalament wants to get publications online and do registration online also.

The principal, the School Advisory Council, the department chairs and faculty will be comparing the new MassCore graduation requirements to those at CCHS. MassCore requirements are four years of English, three years of Social Studies, three years of Math, three years of Science and two years of Foreign Language. They will also compare graduation requirements at other schools. They will identify areas where requirements might be changed and examine the impact of those potential changes. Badalament said if there were changes, “students would be grandfathered in.”

In an effort to increase student achievement, Badalament and department chairs will gather key MCAS data points to evaluate the achievement gap across the student population. They will monitor data on grade point averages and issue quarterly improvement plans for underperforming students. They will also be evaluating the rigor of core courses. In addition, there will be professional development opportunities for teachers to differentiate teaching strategies.

For the last goal, the principal and the School Advisory Council will identify the extent of the stress problem this fall through literature review and a student survey. They will identify key times of the year that students are most stressed and implement approaches to reducing student stress. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito