The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shorts from the September 16 Carlisle School Committee meeting

Meeting shortened. At their consultant’s suggestion, the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) is asking the principals and the director of student support services to attend every other CSC meeting this year instead of every meeting. As a result the three administrators did not present status reports at the September 16 meeting, but will at the meeting on October 7.

Faculty evaluations. Teachers who have professional status (formerly called “tenure”) are evaluated every other year, Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle explained. At that time they have the choice of being evaluated by an administrator or a peer teacher. Committee member Dale Ryder asked if this meant it was possible for teachers with professional status to go many years without evaluation by an administrator. Doyle replied in the affirmative. “It’s up to the principal whether a faculty member needs to be evaluated” by an administrator, added Doyle.

“I think there should be a different form of evaluation,” stated Ryder. CSC Chair Chad Koski noted the evaluation process is part of the faculty contract, which is currently under negotiations. The previous contract expired in June of 2009 and negotiations are continuing.

H1N1 response. Doyle said she recently participated in a large conference call of state and local health officials, government and school administrators regarding community response planning for the H1N1 influenza virus. At this time, she said, there are no plans to vaccinate students in school. “Going to the nurse is scary enough,” she said. “It’s not good for the relationship.” If so many students or staff become ill that it disrupts the school, then the school will close, but at this point schools are to remain open.

CSC member Wendell noted that children should not be sent to school if they have a fever. A check of the school’s “Policy and Parent Handbook,” updated in August 2009, uncovered this information: “Children who have sore throats, severe colds, rashes or fevers are encouraged to avoid school and they should be kept home. Students should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.” (See

Pray to do business management. Business Assistant Susan Pray is being moved into a “quasi-business manager job,” Doyle told the CSC. Pray will be doing much of the business manager’s job, she explained, “with help in the form of assistance from David Flannery’s secretary [Nancy Donnolly].” Former Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman left Carlisle School last spring.

Special Education changes. Lori Tucker, a parent and member of the Concord-Carlisle Special Education Parents Advisory Committee (CCSEPAC) said she read in the August issue of the Carlisle Mosquito that a Selectman suggested looking into combining Carlisle’s special education services with Concord’s. (See “Selectmen set goals for challenging year,” 8/28/09.) Saying it was “hard to hear about it through the newspaper,” she asked that the CCSEPAC be included in any discussion relating to changes to special education services. The CCSEPAC is a state-mandated advisory group which serves as a resource for parents, the CSC and the Carlisle School. Reached later for comment, Tucker said CSC member Louis Salemy reassured her the CSC would “keep us informed” of any investigations in combining Concord and Carlisle special education services.

In June of this year NESDEC consultants looked into the possibility of creating a superintendency union with Concord and noted that the Carlisle School’s “…inclusion of [special education] students is outstanding. It is the best I’ve seen in the state.” They also stated that Carlisle’s expenses are kept lower by inclusion, resulting in fewer out-of-district placements. (See “CSC hears superintendency union offers limited savings,” Mosquito 6/19/09.)

All-day Kindergarten participation. Of the 63 students in Kindergarten, four are not participating in the all day Kindergarten classes. This is not unusual, explained Doyle. “Some parents start out the year with just half days,” she said, but by October they sign their children up for the three full days and pay the fee of $800 (up from $760 the previous year). An additional afternoon was added this year, bringing the Kindergarten schedule to two half days (Tuesday and Thursday) and three full days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).When asked how teachers are making the curriculum available for the four students not participating in the afternoons classes, Doyle said the teachers “encourage the parents to have the kids join us.”

Middle school bus fee participation. Seventh- and eighth-grade students are charged a bus fee of $395, which is the same fee as last year. Doyle reported that of 158 students in the two grades, 53 students are not participating in the bus service.

Gift. The CSC voted to accept “with gratitude” the discounted Microsoft Office licenses supported by the Moore family.

District goals. The CSC voted to accept the 2009 – 2010 Carlisle School District Goals. Details of the goals will be available on the school’s website, ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito