Friday, October 23, 2009
Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, Oct. 14
• Staff shares student information. Director of Student Services Karen Slack, reporting for the school administrators at the October 14 meeting of the Carlisle School Committee (CSC), said the school staff held their yearly fall meeting to share information about students. “How is the transfer of information done?” asked CSC member Wendell Sykes. “As an example,” Slack said, the third grade teachers met with the second grade teachers to hear about last year’s second grade students. “They talk about individual students and share some background information with the student’s current teacher.” Then the third grade teachers meet with the fourth grade teachers and so on.
• Teacher evaluations. Stack said teacher observations by administrators are being scheduled for those teachers who do not have “professional status,” (usually teachers with less than three years at Carlisle School.) Pre-observation activities such as reviewing lesson plans first take place, Slack said, The next step is the formal classroom observation, followed by a post-observation discussion on what was observed. The teacher will receive a written report on the observation.
• Lockdown drill. A lockdown drill at the school was held in cooperation with the Carlisle Police. “It went very smoothly,” said Slack. The entire school participates in the drill, which trains students to respond to an identified threat by entering safe and lockable spaces such as classrooms and offices.
• Lunch and recess protocols. Slack said a meeting was held with parents who volunteer for lunch and recess. Topics covered were rules for the dining room, cleanliness, use of recess equipment and staff resources.
• CEPAC presentation to CSC. Slack said the Carlisle Special Education Parents Action Committee (CEPAC) would like to present information to the CSC during National Inclusion Week, which is in the beginning of December. CSC Chair Chad Koski suggested she speak to Assistant to the Superintendent Claire Wilcox to have CEPAC included on the agenda for a December meeting.
• Parents Nights. Committee member Dale Ryder commented that the Parents’ Nights held on September 24 and October 1 were “extremely well run.” She said she was struck by how comfortable the teachers were at using the electronic white boards. “I will gladly pass that on,” said Slack.
• CSC members at Highland committee meetings. Ryder noted that the Highland Building committees “are starting up again.” She said she learned that a meeting was held on September 22 but she was unaware of the meeting. She and Bill Fink are the CSC representatives on the Highland Building “use of building” committee. Superintendent Marie Doyle asked her to talk with John Ballantine regarding overflow parking at the Congregational Church.
• CEF grants. The CSC voted to accept $16,126 in grants from the Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF). Grants for the writing workshop and software. This will be augmented by stimulus funds the school has received through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The teacher appreciation grant includes $100 per teacher for the purchase of classroom supplies.
• Review policies. The CSC reviewed the School Council Policy, the Distribution of Information on Campus Policy, and the No Idling Policy. No votes were taken.
The Distribution of Information Policy limits information sent home from school or pupil-related community activities. The policy was first adopted in May of 2002 after a flyer urging parents to vote on an override was sent home via student backpacks. The committee expressed concern that the policy was too general and asked Claire Wilcox to clarify what “information” could not be distributed.
The No Idling Policy is in response to the Massachusetts law requiring all vehicles not to idle for more than five minutes. Parents have been notified of the law via the latest Carlisle School Buzz Newsletter and Doyle said signs are being installed.
• Updated policies. The CSC voted to approve the following updated policies: School District Legal Status, Activity Fee and Field Trip. Minor or no updates were added to the policies.
The policy on legal status was reaffirmed with no changes. It states that the school system “is a department of the town operated under laws pertaining to education and under regulations of the Massachusetts Board of Education.” It also notes that the tradition of public education dates back to 1647 when “the laws of the Massachusetts Bay Colony required towns to provide for a program of public education.”
All three policies will be available online.
• STEM classes. More than 60 students are participating after school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities, reported Doyle.
• Adjourn to Executive Session. The committee adjourned to executive session to discuss contract negotiations. ∆
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