Friday, November 20, 2009
Carlisle celebrates National Inclusive Schools Week
To the Editor:
During the week of December 7-11, the Carlisle Public School will celebrate National Inclusive Schools Week. This year marks the first time that the Carlisle Public School is commemorating the event.
National Inclusive Schools Week has been celebrated in schools and communities throughout the country for the last nine years. The goal of this week is to recognize the nation’s progress in providing a quality education to an increasingly diverse student population. To learn more about National Inclusive Schools Week visit: www.inclusiveschools.org.
The Carlisle Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) has organized various ways to highlight the benefits of inclusive classrooms at the Carlisle School. The Carlisle SEPAC is a parent-run organization that serves as a resource and advisor to parents/guardians of children with special needs that live in the town of Carlisle.
The school library will display age-appropriate books, both fiction and non-fiction, that will address various types of disabilities. Gleason Library will also display books in the adult section and children’s section, which discuss different disabilities.
Members of the SEPAC Board will share success stories of school-wide inclusion. A presentation will be given to the Carlisle School Committee at their meeting on December 2 at 7 p.m. in the School Library.
Patrice Hurley, Elementary Principal, and Joyce Mehaffey, Middle School Principal, will commemorate the week with an article in the December 10 Buzz, describing initiatives currently underway at the school to include all children.
Superintendent Marie Doyle will be a guest at the SEPAC meeting on Friday, December 11, at 9 a.m. in the Corey Dining Room. She will talk about the benefits of all children in an inclusive school and answer questions. Superintendent Doyle’s attendance at the SEPAC meeting is one example of how inclusion at the Carlisle Public School works. Her willingness to converse with parents in a small setting and respond to their questions helps insure that the school continues to successfully educate and include all children
We hope that all members of the community, both young and old, will gain an increase in awareness of disabilities and the importance of inclusion.
Outstanding full-immersion learning at the Conant Land
To the Editor:
I am writing to commend our 3rd and 4th grade educators at the Carlisle School for an excellent and unique field trip experience on Wednesday, November 4. The walking trip to the Conant Land located behind the Town Hall was a wonderful example of hands-on learning in a natural setting. This was made possible with the collaboration of volunteers from the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, Drumlin Farm teacher naturalists, and parent chaperones. According to the information packet for parent chaperones, “One of the main purposes of the program is to generate in Carlisle families a familiarity with the town’s conservation land and the plants and animals that make their homes in these beautiful places. By learning about these natural communities, we hope to inspire a sense of ease in being in these woods, fields and wetlands.” I witnessed so much more as I chaperoned my son’s 3rd grade class with his teacher, Ms. Liz Gray, on that sunny morning.
My son’s class was completing a science unit on trees. The children’s enthusiasm was so evident as they eagerly connected their impressive classroom knowledge with their learning at each of the stations set up by the volunteers along the trail. We observed trees at different points in their life cycles and discussed how a tree can grow in a rock. I learned how to tell the age of a white pine and that even an old stump has an important role in the forest – it provides a nutrient-rich spot for a new tree to grow! We had an up-close observation with an Eastern Screech Owl and a Mallard Duck. In addition to the goal stated in our hand-out, a total appreciation for the unspoiled land was a natural result of this unique field trip. We are most fortunate in Carlisle to have educators who creatively use our natural surroundings and knowledgeable town volunteers to create such a magical learning experience for our students. Henry David Thoreau would surely approve!
Regina Walsh Troast
League thanks Selectmen
To the Editor:
The League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle (LWVCC) would like to thank the Carlisle Selectmen for its unanimous vote approving a town resolution in support of the Updated Bottle Bill, HB 3515/SB 1480.
The LWVMA is one of many state-wide organizations that have provided testimony in support of this bill, citing documented environmental and economic benefits of bottle bill legislation. The Mass Department of Environmental Protection has endorsed the bill and over 100 cities and towns, including several of our neighbors – Acton, Billerica, Concord and Lexington – have signed supportive resolutions. Connecticut, New York and Maine have just passed updated Bottle Bill legislation and similar legislation is pending in other states across the country.
At the local level, support for the updated bottle bill has been voiced by: Superintendent of Public Works Gary Davis, the Carlisle Energy Task Force, the Carlisle Household Recycling Committee (Resolution), Carlisle Climate Action (Resolution), the Environmental Action Committee of the First Religious Society of Carlisle (Resolution).
The existing Bottle Bill was enacted in 1982. The update of the Bottle Bill is an expansion of the existing legislation designed to capture the greater range of “on the go” beverages now available.
Up to 80% of containers covered by existing law are redeemed or recycled – out of the waste stream and out of sight – while only 22% of non-deposit containers are recycled.
Data from the Container Recycling Institute indicates that “the current bottle bill diverts approximately 150,000 tons of material from Massachusetts dumps and incinerators each year, saving energy and resources. The deposit system has recovered an estimated two million tons of aluminum, glass and plastic containers since its inception in 1983, saving an estimated 13 million barrels of crude oil equivalent. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1.6 million tons [since 1983].”
Signing a resolution in support of the Updated Bottle Bill puts Carlisle on the common sense side of this issue and is a way to demonstrate our town’s commitment to sustainable practices and our willingness to walk the walk toward creating a greener community.
Clark Farm memories
To the Editor:
The three questions posed by Cecile Sandwen in her article regarding Clark Farm have disturbed me ever since I learned earlier this year that Aunt Dot would probably not be able to return to the farm and that it was being readied for sale. Although I knew the majority of the property had been donated to the conservation district, I had hoped that the house, barn and carriage shed would be acquired by the conservation district, the Historical Society or protected as historical landmarks.
The property certainly qualifies for historical landmark status since both the house and barn date from before the Revolution. Before our nation’s Bicentennial in 1976, my mother, Maria Clark Bates, told me that Aunt Dot had vehemently opposed some historians ideas that the Minutemen had walked between the house and barn on their way to the North Bridge. She did not want the tourists wandering all around her property.
Although the central fireplace was plugged and a boiler for steam heat was installed along with electricity, the original house remains much as it was when my grandmother bought it in 1898. The plumbing and kitchen facilities are confined to the “el,” which may have been added after the hurricane in the late 1930s blew the elm tree down into what is now the back of the house. At the time it was the front of the house. Uncle Guy was responsible for the silo and additions to the barn, some or all of which could be more recent than 1932. This might be critical regarding any proposal to convert to commercial use.
As a youngster who was born when my parents lived in Carlisle in 1939, but raised in Los Angeles, I relished the vacations back on Clark Farm. The highlight was the summer of 1951 when I spent the entire summer there. When I went back to visit Aunt Dot in October 2007, I thought about how one could live in the “el” while maintaining and preserving the property for public display. However, I also remembered my mother’s words from the Eisenhower years: “Edmond, we would be blue bloods like the Cabots and the Lodges, if we had money.”
Thus all I can do is hope that somebody will acquire the property with the intent of preserving it, and that at some point in the future it will become a part of the public domain which I could support with contributions.
Edmond E. Bates, Jr.
Join “Team Sandi”
To the Editor:
Although those who are elected to represent “We the People” have decided to ignore the outcry from the majority of constituents in congressional districts across the nation, we won’t be silenced.
As a Blue Star Mother, co-founder of the Greater Lowell Tea Party, Republican State Committee woman, and candidate for State Senate in the 3rd Middlesex District, I have been listening to the people. Many regardless of party affiliation have told me that they have never been politically active before. But the Pelosi-Reed-Obama Health Care Reform Bill is the last straw and has unified the people as nothing before.
As an early supporter and organizer of the Tea Party movement, I believe that those who don’t understand the heart of the people they claim to represent will be replaced by those candidates who share the values of “We the People.”
Arrogant elitism by elected officials not listening to the will of the people is not exclusive to Capitol Hill and is out of control on Beacon Hill, as well. My campaigns, Sandi Martinez for State Senate, Steering Committee, are the people of the 3rd Middlesex District. The people are the framework of “Team Sandi” and ours is a campaign based on shared traditional principles and values that our founding fathers embraced, and the citizens across Massachusetts and beyond are crying out for once again. It is a campaign that is supported by Democrats, Libertarians, unenrolled, and Republicans who are standing together in a fight to restore those values to Massachusetts and the federal government . . . principles and values that have been the heart of America since its founding. In that spirit, my call to serve is to be a voice working for your interests, not self or special interest on Beacon Hill!
Join “Team Sandi,” the people’s campaign, at
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