April 5, 2012

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Due to an unexpected family matter, I need to cancel this Thursday’s Principal Coffee with Grade 5 parents.   I will be rescheduling it at a later date.  Thank you for your understanding. 

Please remember to fill out the math survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3WQXTZF. The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday, April 11. Thank you for your time.

Lastly, be sure to check out the newest addition to my blog at http://principalclough.wordpress.com.
–Kelly Clough

FROM THE CO-PRESIDENTS

We made it through a busy March with many successful PTG events and activities.  What’s the next PTG event?  The Thoreau Road Race is coming up in May.  The next PTG meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11 at 7PM in the Thoreau Library.  Since this meeting conflicts with CMS Principal, Lynne Beattie’s parent forum to discuss the organization of CMS, we are considering changing the date and/or time of the PTG meeting.  Stay tuned for confirmation on the final date and time of the April PTG meeting.  The next School Committee meeting is April 10 at 6:30PM in the CCHS Library.  Have you taken the Math Survey yet?  The deadline for the survey created by the Thoreau School Leadership Team and Student Advisory Council is April 11.  Expect to receive a different survey that will be sent out to parents in Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional School District to gather feedback about student transportation services.  We hope that parents will participate in this survey that closes on April 15 at 11:59PM.  Have a great weekend. -Melanie and Shelagh

THE BOOK CHARACTER PARADE IS TUESDAY, APRIL 10!

The Book Character Parade is next Tuesday! Put the finishing touches on your book character masks, simple costumes and props (no sticks, and short cardboard swords only, please), check out a copy of your book, and get ready to march.

The parade will begin at 11:00 A.M., starting in Mr. Hourihan’s room. Classes will march in this order: The Cat in the Hat and friend, 5-Hourihan, 5-Erickson, 5-Lemaire and 2-Jackson, K-McKenna, K-Flynn/Apollos and 2-Peirce, 5-Hoyt, 4-Christensen and 1-Powderly, 4-Dillon, 3-Najimy, 3-Bennett, 4-Keefe, K-Silven, 1-Thompson and 3-Condon, 1-Walsh and 3-Gallagher, K-Ellis, 1-Henry and 2-Marotta, Mrs. Keltz’s room. The location for Ms. Watson’s class (grade 2) has yet to be decided.

After we collect all the students, we will march through the cafeteria and outside.  If it is good weather, we’ll proceed along the sidewalk past the Music Room and then through the door to the 1994 classroom wing. We will not go into the Auditorium on this route. If it is raining, we’ll walk under the covered walkway along the front of the school and in through the main doors. We’ll go into the Auditorium and across the stage, where Ms. Clough will announce each class as it crosses. Parents, siblings and friends are welcome to watch the Book Character Parade from the Cafeteria, from in front of the school, and (only if it is raining) from the Auditorium.

If you have any questions, please talk to Karen or Cathy in the Library, or email me at kpettyjohn@colonial.net.  See you on the 10th! —Karen Pettyjohn

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to Beth Symko, the Family Festival and Cake Walk Committee and all of the volunteers for organizing and running the Thoreau Family Festival and Cake Walk.  Thanks to Tom Hourihan and Karla Keefe for being the masters of ceremony for the Cake Walk game.

COINS FOR CURES FUNDRAISER

The Coins for Cures fundraiser benefitting Children’s Hospital Boston is underway! Classrooms have been collecting spare change to donate to the hospital to support research and patient care. Keep those coins coming — in the first week, students raised $250 towards Thoreau’s $1000 goal! If each student brings in $2 we’ll meet our goal. The fundraiser runs through April 13. This is a great opportunity to have kids help other kids. Every penny counts! If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Levesque (rlevesque@colonial.net), Shannon Granger (sgranger@colonial.net) or Melissa Greven (lemonkoko3@yahoo.com).

CMS EVALUATION

The middle school is evaluating the possibility of placing all 6th grade students at Peabody and all 7th and 8th graders at Sanborn. The volume of feedback you have provided has been extremely helpful. There has been a great deal of support for the move, as well as specific articulation of concerns and/or questions. Throughout the process, all concerns have become part of the evaluation process; many require revision of current practice or creation of alternatives.

As a result, we still have work to do in order to ensure that we make the right decision. Part of that consideration is careful planning for any transitions that would need implementation for both current and future CMS students. Equally as important is the opportunity for review of the information that has been gathered, and how logistics and concerns could be addressed. Until I am confident that we have evaluated, planned solution for, and reconciled all aspects of the proposal, the decision will remain open. To that end, I can definitively state at this time that we will not be making this transition in September of 2012. There will be a parent forum held on April 11 from 7:00-8:30 pm in the Sanborn auditorium. At that time I will share information and provide an opportunity for questions. Thank you to all of you for your patience. -Lynne Beattie, CMS Principal

THOREAU BASEBALL FIELD

A group of dedicated parents are making a concerted effort to make the baseball field at Thoreau more playable for this year’s baseball season.  To this end we are having 17 tons of clay delivered to Thoreau next Friday, April 6.  We are looking for volunteers to help with the effort.  We plan to rent a bobcat, but if someone has one, or a small tractor we could use, that would be very helpful. Please spread the word and come to Thoreau between 8:30 and 9:00am to help the cause. This will be a tremendous community project; thank you for your muscle and support. –Ralph Verrilli, Phil Gibson, Mark White, and Brian Maloney

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SURVEY

The Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional School District (CCRSD) school committees are researching and discussing a variety of options for student transportation services for next year. A critical part of this process is gathering feedback from district parents. Please take a few moments to complete the survey circulated via email earlier this week.  The survey will close on April 15 at 11:59 pm. You may receive reminders for the survey if you do not respond. Reminders are automated and will not compromise the confidentiality of your response. Reports will be made available to the public but will not identify individuals. Thank you for your time and valuable feedback. -Diana Rigby, Superintendent of Schools, CPS & CCRSD

OPEN TABLE FOOD DRIVE

It is time for Thoreau School’s annual Spring food drive! All collected food is donated to Concord’s local food pantry, OpenTable. Open Table feeds over 200 guests each week, including many children, and gives each family a bag of groceries to bring home. Open Table is able to do this because of the generosity of our community. Any non-perishable foods are appreciated, but these are the “most wanted” items: spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, coffee/tea/hot chocolate mix, cereal, tuna fish/canned stews/soups, jelly, children’s snacks for school (juice boxes, pretzels, fruit cups, etc.), condiments (ketchup, mustard, cooking oil) and all other non-perishable food items. Please: NO CANDY! Our food drive will run through Friday, April 6. There will be a box in front of the library for your children to bring their items in. Thank you very much for your generosity! Please see http://opentable.org for more information. -Amy Hoey, Open Table Chairman

School Committee Highlights from March 13

  • Thoreau Special Education staff and assistants were recognized.
  • CCYB requested approval of installation of backstop at Thoreau. Motion passed.
  • Concord Middle School considering reconfiguration: Considering making Sanborn exclusively 6th grade and Peabody 7th & 8th grade, as opposed to current configuration with 3 grades in each school. Reason is to ease transition for 6th graders where achieving an equitable distribution of students from the 3 elementary schools into 2 building has been challenging up to now. Contact Concord Middle School to find out more information or learn where more information is posted (978)318-1380 or (978)318-1360.
  • Transportation update: RFP to find appropriate site for maintenance is out. Invitation for Bid for privatizing transportation has also been drafted and is with legal team. It will be circulated in the event an appropriate rental facility cannot be secured, or FY13 budget is not passed at appropriate levels. A survey regarding the possibility of charging bus fees is being developed.
  • There are new teacher evaluation regulations, which will result in changes to some of the current teacher evaluation practices.

 April 10 is the next School Committee meeting.

DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP AND CYBER SAFETY: THE LIBRARY’S CURRICULUM AND A PRESENTATION FOR PARENTS

Laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPod touch, video gaming systems … children of all ages are involved with online resources in more ways than ever. To guide students in the responsible use of these powerful tools, the elementary school librarians have a created a K-5 digital citizenship and digital literacy curriculum that covers topic like passwords, privacy, “netiquette”, cyberbullying, and citing sources.

As a complement to our library program, parents will have an opportunity to participate in a discussion on Cyber Safety, and have their questions answered by an expert in the field. Attorney Onyen Yong, from the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, is well known for his dynamic and informative presentations. Topics will include:

  • Safe and appropriate use of the Internet
  • Cyberbullying – prevention and intervention
  • The power and problems of social networking

The talk will be held at The Concord Carlisle High School at 7pm on April 10, 2012. It is free and open to all. The program is presented by The Center for Parents and Teachers and is offered in collaboration with the Concord-Carlisle High School Parent Association. For more information on the Cyber Safety presentation: http://district.colonial.net/curriculum/digitalcitizenshipweb/cybersafetyposter.pdf. Please contact Karen Pettyjohn for more information on the K-5 Digital Citizenship curriculum.

RESERVING CPS DISTRICT K-12 FACILITIES AND/OR FIELDS

For reservations for before and after school events through August 2013:

  • Go to our district web page www.concordpublicschools.net
  • Left column (under Transportation)
  • Click Request Use of School Facilities
  • From Facilities page, click Request Use of School Facilities
  • From K-12 Master Calendar, click Log in to Request Facility Use (upper right corner)
  • Enter your email address and your email password
  • If you cannot remember your email password, click Forgot Password? and your password will be emailed to you

OR

  • First time users: Don’t have an account? Click Create One and the Registration Wizard will walk you through setting up your email address and your organization.

Please ask groups to reserve their space as soon as possible for the 2012-2013 school year.

APRIL IS CONCORD SCHOOL MONTH AT BEDFORD FARMS!

Here’s the scoop… Anytime in April, stop by the Concord location of Bedford Farms Ice Cream. Tell the server that you would like to purchase a “Concord School Gift Card” (or cards) and place a monetary amount on the card. Use the gift card to purchase any item — ice cream, cakes, pies, t-shirts, etc. The gift card does not expire and may be used anytime. You can reload your gift card or purchase additional cards at any time throughout the month of April and it will count toward the donation. At the end of April, Bedford Farms will give 20% of the total amount placed onto the cards back to the Concord schools! This will be split equally amongst The Concord Schools PTGs. This is a great opportunity to think ahead and load up for the summer months while benefiting the Concord school system. Use this chance to purchase small tokens of appreciation for coaches, birthdays, and babysitters, or whoever might deserve a tasty treat. Where: Bedford Farms, 68 Thoreau St, Concord; When: April 1 – April 30; Concord Store Hours: 12pm – 9pm.

MCAS SCHEDULE – MAY 2012

Please be mindful of the below dates, and make every effort to have your child(ren) in school on time. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.

  • Monday, May 7: Math grades 3 and 5
  • Tuesday, May 8: Math grades 3 and 5
  • Wednesday, May 9: Math grade 4
  • Thursday, May 10: Math grade 4
  • Monday, May 14: Science and Technology, grade 5
  • Tuesday, May 15: Science and Technology, grade 5

LUNCH MENU Week of April 9-13

  • Monday: Grilled Cheese
  • Tuesday: Early Release
  • Wednesday: B. Good Burgers
  • Thursday: Chicken Caesar Wrap
  • Friday: Fenway Franks

Any questions about the menu please email Chef Alden, acadwell@colonial.net.

AROUND TOWN

Patriots’ Day at the Concord Museum: Monday, April 16, 2012

Make a visit to the Concord Museum part of your Patriots’ Day tradition! This year, commemorate the day by learning about Paul Revere—one of our greatest patriots. Visit with a colonial silversmith (12:00-2:00) as he demonstrates techniques that Revere used. Since 1975, silversmith Stephen Smithers has been researching and refining the classic art of silversmithing as practiced by master silversmiths like Paul Revere throughout history. Take part in our Paul Revere Quest to discover more about the 1775 midnight ride and see the famous lantern that hung in the Old North Church. Explore the Museum’s galleries and admire Paul Revere’s silver work, and then draw your own! All family-friendly activities are free with Museum admission. The Concord Museum, open from 9:00-5:00 on Patriots’ Day, is located on Cambridge Turnpike at the intersection of Lexington Road.  For further information visit: www.concordmuseum.org.

Milldam Nursery School 2012-13

Milldam is accepting applications for the next school year.  Please visit our web-site to get download and application and request a tour: www.milldamnurseryschool.org. Milldam is a cooperative preschool located in the Center of Concord, 20 Lexington Road.

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on April 12, 2012. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, April 9, 2012.
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 announcements@thoreauptg.org. You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received.