December 19, 2013


Thank you to Mr. Lemaire for once again contributing to the Thoreau School spirit and traditions with the 5th grade winter play, A Christmas Carol, tonight for 5th grade families. And a big thank you to Jackie Meehan for coordinating the 5th grade plays, and Mr. Hourihan and Ms. Keefe for the amazing 5th grade Winter Solstice event.

We hope you all have a great winter break and look forward to 2014!


Thank you to the several parents who provided the committee with comments and suggested interview questions.  We have consolidated these ideas and will be submitting them to Kelly McCausland, the District’s Director of Human Resources, who is responsible for the formulation of the interview questions.  We met with Kelly earlier this month and were informed that the Thoreau principal job opening was posted on December 2 with a closing date of January 3, 2014.  The job description can be seen via the following link:  The opening was posted internally, in the Boston Globe, and in Education Week.  It was also sent to relevant professional organizations including the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association (MESPA) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  On January 7-8 the search committee will be allowed to view applications, and January 9 is scheduled for interviews.  –Shelagh Moskow, Trish Siefer, Carla Macy


The Health Office needs pants!!  If you have outgrown and extra pants – all sizes- please consider donating them to the Health Office.  Snow pants and jackets would also be appreciated. Also, please send an extra set of clothes for your child to keep in the locker – even the older students!!!

Bloody noses and lips are frequent problems in this cold dry weather – keep up the fluids,  humidify the bedrooms, and use a water soluble gel for dry nostrils. Vaseline is a good protection for lips and chafed skin. Send a chap stick in your child’s backpack ( w/ their name on it please). Happy Holidays! –Nicki Morina Richards, RN, MS


The annual Hobby Fair is right around the corner!  This is an event for 4th and 5th graders to share their hobbies, collectibles, art and other interests with teachers, family and friends.  Each year we see an amazing array of fun and interesting exhibits, from displays of sports memorabilia to exhibits about music, dance, arts and crafts, and writing. The Fair will be open to the Thoreau School community on the evening of Monday, January 13 from 6:30-7:30pm, when family and friends may view the many great exhibits.  On Tuesday, January 14, the fair will run 9:00-11:30am, during which time all classes will have time to visit and enjoy the Fair.

So, 4th and 5th graders: start thinking about your exhibits! Perhaps get together with a friend and plan an exhibit together. (Please note that participation in the Hobby Fair is optional).  Permission slips will be sent home soon, and should be returned to your child’s teacher no later than Wednesday, January 8.  If you have any questions or need another  permission slip, please contact Jackie Meehan at or Cathy Chadwick at Also, any parents interested in helping to set up or clean up would be greatly appreciated, so please let us know!


Thank you to the entire Thoreau Community for the wonderful food drive we supported for Open Table pantries in Maynard and Concord in December. We easily met the goal of filling 150 snack bags full of treats for the children who will visit OT this month. We also contributed many boxes of macaroni and cheese and tins of chicken soup, as well as other goods that will help fill bags for their guests. Stay tuned for a school wide project to decorate snack bags by our students for the next drive in 2014! If you missed the drive, feel free to send goods in until the end of this school year and all will be collected for the pantries. Any questions, please contact Fiona Stevenson at


A great big thank you to the following families who have recently contributed to Thoreau’s Annual Appeal: Gekle; Laurent; Gates; Symons; Tustin; Yates; Sharakan; Keegan/Jiganti; O’Toole; Carter/Robb; and Lilly. If you haven’t already done so, please consider giving to the Annual Appeal.  One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to the activities and supplies that benefit your child. We are spending approximately $100 per student this year. Send a check to the school in the envelope supplied in your letter or donate online at Thank you so much for your support! –Rose Waxler and Tracy Bagley White


We are planning a trip to Symphony Hall for the wonderful BSO Family Concert!  This year’s family concert is Saturday, March 1 at 10:15 am.  Adults are $20 and kids are FREE.  This year’s theme is “There’s Nothing Better than a Good Story: A Musical Look at the Components of Storytelling” featuring music of Tchakovsky, Stravinsky, Copland, and of course John Williams!  Pre-concert activities including the Instrument Playground, instrument demonstrations, and much more are available for all ticket holders from 9-10am.

If you would like to attend, please send a check payable to Jennifer Montbach for $20 per adult and specify the total number of seats you need (i.e. 2 adults + 1 kid, $40 enclosed).  Mail to 45 Pine St.  Concord 01742.  I plan to order tickets on Friday January 10 and will remind you again in the first Thoreau announcements in January.  If you miss the deadline you may still be able attend, but won’t be able to sit with the group.  Any family needing financial assistance in order to participate in this event should contact Rachel Levesque, school Social Worker, at or (978) 318-1300.  Email me at with any questions.


  • Thursday, January 2          Baked Chicken Patty on WW Bun
  • Friday, January 3                Cheese Pizza



Parent Toddler Program (ages 12-24 months as of Sept. 2013):

A fun-filled playgroup for toddlers! While the children play in the same room, parents participate in a discussion about parenting one year olds. The class includes a snack time, outdoor or gym play, and a fun interactive singing time. Classes meet Fridays from 9:30-11:00, January 10 to April 4. 12 classes – $150. Course #3572.

Parent Preschool Program (ages 24-36 months as of Sept. 2013):

This program is really two programs in one facilitated by two devoted early childhood specialists. Children play together in a nursery school classroom one morning a week. They learn what it’s like to be part of a group and what “school” is like. Parents take turns parent helping in the classroom assisting their child’s teacher. When not parent helping, moms (dads are welcome too) meet separately with their own facilitator for a parenting group and refreshments. Non-mobile siblings welcome. Classes meet Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 January 9 to April 3. 12 classes $335. Course #3571.

For more information go to or call Ingrid Wheeler 978-369-7597. To register please see the website or call 978-318-1432.

Winter Solstice 

Celebrate Winter Solstice 2013 with Musketaquid Arts and Environment Program‘s “Fire, Drums, S’mores, and Sing-Along” with Voices for the Earth Chorus on Saturday, December 21, 6-7:30pm, down by the river at the Old Manse!   Free and open to the public.

Early Release Tuesdays with Musketaquid Arts & Environment!

Grades K – 2, 1:30 -2:30pm – Winter Nature Drawing, Collecting and Journaling: Draw inspiration from everyday surroundings!  Students will begin keeping a nature journal in which they keep a record of the world they see.  Students will practice sketching and work from nature walks, collected objects, memory, and imagination. Using a variety of mediums, students will learn to include writing, photos, found objects, and collage materials into their journals. Explorations into the neighborhood will heighten observation skills and emphasize nature as a world full of patterns, colors, and shapes that inspire artwork and creativity!

Grades 3-5, 1:30 – 3pm – Winter Explorers:  Explore the wonders of winter and emerging spring both in class and through outdoor explorations. Weather and temperatures permitting, we’ll explore outside and observe what happens to habitats in the winter.  From tracking animals, to watching life in and around trees, we’ll get a sense of the season’s signs and wonders.   We will bring our observations in-studio to journal, create two- and three- dimensional works of art, make tracking books with plaster casts, and experiment with frozen and unfrozen art from found materials, both natural and recycled.

To register, go to, or contact Nancy Lippe at

Openings for the 2014-2015 School Year at CPS Integrated Preschool     

You are invited to attend an Open House on Friday, January 10 (snow date: Friday, January 17) from 2-4 PM and 6-8:00 PM. Children are welcome!

Come see our facility, talk with our staff, and ask questions about the program. We are located at the Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road in Concord and we have half-day AM & PM sessions and a full-day program available.  You can also check us out on our web site link at!

Children who are three by September 1 and who are not yet five by August 31 are welcome to apply.  Applications are available at the Open House, at each of the Concord Elementary School Offices, the Special Education Office in the Ripley Building, and on our web site (  Applications must be returned by January 24 to be eligible for the lottery.

We look forward to meeting you at our Open House!  If you have further questions, please contact any of the teachers below.

Half-day session teachers:

Jennifer DeFrancesco    978-202-1148

Nancy McGregor          978-202-1184

Full-day session teacher:

Christine Brown         978-202-1141


MySchoolBucks Lunch Account Balance:

Math Resources for Parents:

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on January 2, 2014. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, December 30, 2013. Submission guidelines: Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Submit your item in the body of an email (no attachments); it should be brief and have minimal formatting – no bullet points or underlining, please. Email your submission to