The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 14, 2010

Carlisle School Committee hears enrollment request, faculty changes

A food-service employee has requested permission to have her child attend kindergarten at the Carlisle School, reported Superintendent Marie Doyle at the May 5 meeting of the Carlisle School Committee (CSC). There are 48 students currently registered for kindergarten next fall, according to Assistant to the Superintendent Claire Wilcox. Three sections are planned, said Doyle, with each class having approximately 16 students. She said that while allowing a non-contractual staff member’s child to attend would set a precedent, “it benefits us all. They are paid at the lower end of the scale.” Committee member Dale Ryder agreed, “I’d hate to see a differentiation between teachers and others.”

Committee member Mary Storrs replied, “I’m not that strongly in favor of it. It concerns me to set a precedent. I’m assuming it is in the teachers’ contract.” CSC member Bill Fink said, “Nothing jumps out at me as anything wrong. My initial instinct is it is okay,”

Storrs asked, “What if someone was working four hours a week? Would we let them do this?” Ryder said, “I would like us to look at the employees as all part of the community regardless of working part time. We should support it if there is space. We encourage our employees’ kids to come here because it is such a great school system.”

Fink said that if there were limited space, the committee might give preference to the children of faculty over non-contractual employees. Ryder said, “This can be voted on every year, given that we have a lot of space.” CSC Chair Chad Koski agreed that the school had adequate space to meet the request. The committee will vote at the next meeting.

Parents protest loss of teacher

Approximately 20 parents joined the meeting to protest the fact that fifth-grade teacher Ken Ashe has not been offered professional status and will not be offered a new contract for the next school year. Richard Sibley of Cross Street read a condensed version of a letter sent to the CSC in which parents praised Ashe’s teaching ability. The letter, which Sibley said was associated with 101 names, included 18 quotes from parents regarding Ashe and the loss of his teaching position.

Koski thanked Sibley and noted that personnel issues are not part of the school committee’s charter. The school committee is responsible for hiring the superintendent, while the principals, in communication with the superintendent, are responsible for hiring faculty.

Ashe was hired in September 2007 as a fourth-grade teacher after working at the school for four years, first as a permanent substitute and then as a classroom aide. During his interview with the Mosquito in 2007 he said he has a B.A. in Hotel Management from the University of Massachusetts, and was attending Simmons College to pursue a masters in education (see “Meet the new teachers at Carlisle School, Part 1,” Mosquito, September 21, 2007).

Fall teaching assignments

Principal Joyce Mehaffey reported that due to a small incoming fifth-grade class the teaching team will be reduced to three teachers. Doyle said Math Specialist Liz Perry will be taking the position of fifth-grade math teacher. Fourth-grade teacher Liz Gray will move to sixth-grade English. She added that sixth-grade English teacher Donna Clapp will move to second grade and fifth-grade teacher Kendra Katz is moving to fourth grade . She said there are open teaching positions in kindergarten, third and fourth, English Language Learner Teacher and Math Specialist.

Eighth-grade donation

The committee voted to accept a $1,000 donation from the eighth-grade treasury. Doyle said the donation is targeted for scholarships for the eighth-grade trip. All unused funds will remain in the general education fund, explained Doyle.

District Report Card

Doyle presented a summary of Carlisle School’s 2009 District Report Card. The full report, which is prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is available on the school website ( Doyle said the school has met its 2009 Adequate Yearly Progress goal for all subgroups of students. The report splits the students into eight categories: limited English proficiency, Special Education, low income, African American/Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American and White. A school achieves Adequate Yearly Progress by three measures: 1. having at least 95% of all subgroups participate in MCAS testing; 2. meeting or exceeding state performance targets for MCAS tests, or meeting or exceeding subgroup-specific improvement target 3. meeting student subgroup attendance or graduation targets. In 2008, the school did not meet the goals in all subgroups but did meet the goals for the aggregate of students.

Policies and bylaws

The committee passed revisions of the Library Policy and the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy, both of which contained minor updates.

Graduation duties

Koski and Fink volunteered to hand out diplomas at the eighth-grade graduation ceremony.

Ryder thanked

The group acknowledged and thanked Ryder, who was retiring from the committee and attending her last meeting. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito