The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 26, 2010

Shorts from the CSC, March 17

Joyce Mehaffey accepts offer. Koski announced that Carlisle School Principal Joyce Mehaffey accepted their offer for the position of Superintendent/Principal. Members of the CSC applauded.

Bus reduction. Next year the kindergarten bus routes may be consolidated from three routes to two, since the fall kindergarten enrollment is projected to be 50 students, ten less than this year. Assistant to the Superintendent Claire Wilcox said, “We’re working on routes now.” She noted that kindergarten students may have a longer ride, “but with 50 kids we can’t justify three buses.”

Fink asked, “So we are reducing our bus cost?” Wilcox replied, “Just a couple thousand, because kindergarten is just a few days a week.” Kindergarten classes are held five days a week, three of which are full days, and two are half-days. No exact figure was given on the reduced cost of the buses. Last year the school reduced the number of school buses used for all students from seven to six, saving approximately $50,000 (see “Carlisle School steers towards 6 buses,” Mosquito, June 5, 2009).

School Choice. The CSC held a public hearing to determine whether or not to join the state’s School Choice program. The program would allow non-resident students, whose application is chosen by a lottery system, to attend the Carlisle School. Although Carlisle would not be able to specify which students are accepted, explained Superintendent Marie Doyle, the CSC can limit the grade levels that will initially accept students. However, the student must be allowed to continue within the school system through eighth grade. She said the town would receive $5,000 for each student, far below the current cost per student of approximately $14,600. “The compensation doesn’t seem appropriate,” said CSC member Bill Fink. CSC member Dale Ryder said, “I’m not in favor of School Choice.” CSC Chair Chad Koski said a vote will be taken at the April 7 meeting.

Attendance by staff children. The CSC voted to allow first grade teacher Sandy Graham’s son to attend kindergarten in Carlisle. The CSC discussed a request by fourth grade teacher Jason Naroff to allow his son to attend third grade at the Carlisle School. Wilcox noted that the projected enrollment for the third grade is 80, which would require four sections. Naroff joined the Carlisle School faculty in 2008.

Building project. The town will be asked to vote on the proposed Carlisle School building project at a Special Town Meeting on Monday, April 5, and at a Special Town Election on Tuesday, April 13. Fink updated the committee on the progress of the Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC). The SBC made a presentation about the Carlisle School building project at the March 11 League of Women Voters forum (see “Forum spotlights Carlisle School building project,” Mosquito, March 19.) Local cable station CCTV filmed the forum, he explained, and it is being shown repeatedly. In addition, a brochure detailing the project is being sent to residents.

“There has been a lot of support in the community,” Fink said, despite the “hard economic times.” On the other hand, he said that one positive effect of the economy is that “the construction costs are coming in lower than expected.” Fink said SBC Chair Lee Storrs did a Saturday morning presentation and tour of the school facility. In addition, the SBC will be attending a Council on Aging coffee. Ryder said, “It’s nice that you have all those schematics available” for people to see during the night of the seventh-grade play.

Policy review. Fink noted that during a “discussion about policies a few weeks ago” there was a “recommendation to go find out about what policies we need to have.” He said he looked through the policies online, and asked, “Do we have a policy on how we do suspensions?” Fink said the policy should have “it all spelled out.” Doyle replied that the school has a procedure but not a policy. “We can take a look at that,” she said.

Wilcox presented four policies for review: Anti-bullying, Physical Restraint, Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect, and Section 504 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. The Anti-Bullying policy is new, said Wilcox, and noted that the school has a “strong student leadership program” but does not have an anti-bullying policy in place. The new policy is based on policies from other schools, she added. CSC member Louis Salemy said, “Marie and the staff have been well ahead of this issue. They have done things ahead of time to prevent things occurring. Policies are nice but having an active program that deals with it is more important.”

No changes were made to the ADA Compliance or Physical Restraint policy. Fink asked how teachers are trained in using physical restraints. Doyle replied that Intensive Special Needs teacher Steve Peck provides training for the staff. Fink noted that the word “serious,” was removed in the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect, part of a quote from the Massachusetts law. Wilcox said the word may have to stay in since it is part of the law. No vote was taken on the policies.

In addition, four policies that were reviewed previously were approved (see discussion, “Carlisle School Committee shorts, Mar. 3,” Mosquito, March 12.) Wilcox said the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) policy had language added “stating that the nurse will inform staff yearly of the location of the AED devices.” ∆

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