Category Archives: METCO

October 18, 2012


A HUGE thank you to Kristin Moore, Dorothy Bisbsee, and all of their volunteers (including Mrs. Pettyjohn in the craft area) for making this another wonderfully successful year for the Book Fair — Family Night was a big hit! This is a huge undertaking and we appreciate the time and energy you have spent over the past month putting this together for our school. Thanks also to Fiona Stevenson and her crew for their tireless work on the Used Book Fair. Fiona, what would Thoreau do without you?!

A reminder that the next PTG meeting will be Friday morning at 9:15 in the Cafeteria. Topics include “Ga-Ga Pit”, Concord Ed Fund, and Food Services.
Jen & Shelagh


We want to thank everyone who attended the Book Fair Family Night for making it a big success. The Book Fair classroom visits come to an end this week on Friday, October 19. You can shop for new and used books through Friday. Please send in your child’s donation to Thoreau’s Gift of Books by Friday as well. We are getting closer and closer to our goal of raising $2 per Thoreau student.  This year’s  Gift of Books will provide new books for the Pajama Program, a nonprofit in Boston that provides pajamas and books for children in difficult, often homeless, situations.


Hello from the new “Box Tops Mom”! I’m pleased to be the Box Tops for Education® Coordinator for Thoreau School this year.

Box Tops is such an easy way for families to get involved in helping their school. Just by using Box Tops products, clipping the coupons from the label or box and sending them in to school, we earn cash that can be used to buy anything we need for the PTG, teachers and school. You can find Box Tops on thousands of your favorite products. It does not cost you anything to participate, but the coupons we collect together can add up to a significant sum for the PTG to use in support of the Thoreau community. Last year we earned $575 — enough to fund some very cool enrichment programs for the kids! This year’s goal is $1,000, and from peeking in the collection box I can see that we are already well on our way.

As you are bringing your bottles, cans and product boxes to the recycle bin, look them over to find any Box Tops for Education coupons. To see what the logo on the coupon looks like and to find a complete list of participating products, go to Clip the rectangles containing the logo and the tiny words “official coupon”, put them in a small bag and drop them in the collection box just inside the front door at Thoreau. Please include your child’s teacher’s name in or on the bag so that their classroom gets credited for the box tops.

We will have several collection deadlines throughout the year, with the first being Friday, October 26. All Box Top coupons need to be in the collection box by the end of the day on this date.  After that, please keep collecting for the next one! We will be tallying coupon counts by classroom, with the top-collecting class from each grade winning a prize! So please make sure to include your child’s teacher’s name on or in that bag of coupons. If you have any questions, please contact me at or at 978-831-3058. Meanwhile, thank you for your support…and keep clipping those Box Tops!


Orange collection boxes for UNICEF will be distributed to all students via their classrooms in the next two weeks. Donations collected during trick-or-treat time on Halloween will be put to great use for children in need of security and help.

UNICEF works in over 150 countries, including the United States. Now in its 62nd year, this campaign has raised more than $167 million and remains an inspiration to the young. Participants learn about the often life-threatening realities faced by children in developing countries and are empowered to take action. It is a unique opportunity for education and service.

Please consider having your child participate in this wonderful program. Thank you!
–Jean Easterday, UNICEF Coordinator


Thank you Concord families who have volunteered to host playdates! Upcoming playdates are November 6 and December 18. Have you noticed our METCO bulletin board yet? We’re looking to add more flare to our bulletin board this year! Please feel free to send pictures of playdates or poems/drawings that we can add to the bulletin board to


The Concord Teachers’ Association has a new web address: If you would like to read the CTA official comments on the TELL Mass survey results at the recent school committee meeting, please check out the new site.
–Merrie Najimy, CTA President


Our next All School Assembly will be on Thursday, October 25. For this day we are asking that each grade wear a certain color:

  • Kindergarten: Red
  • 1st grade: Orange
  • 2nd grade: Yellow
  • 3rd grade: Green
  • 4th grade: Blue
  • 5th grade: Purple


Notes taken by Cheryl Kirkpatrick, Thoreau School Rep. (after watching posted video)

  • Technology at Thoreau:
    • Kudos to Susan Erickson, Karen Hoyt, Sue Howard & several Thoreau students who did a presentation on technology use.
    • They presented on several technology techniques they use in their classes including Tech Boot Camp (Bringing the kids from the year before into a summer boot camp to teach the upcoming grade about the technology), Interactive refrigerator (interactive, online way to showcase student work), blogging, Evernote and flipped classroom (teacher gives work before it is taught – then the students learn about it using electronic resources and come back and help present to their peers understand.)
  • Update on CPS enrollment report
    • Enrollment is up across district.
    • More teachers are and will be needed – tutor hired at Alcott for 4th grade
    • Concord Mews expected to be fully occupied in January and bring an increase of 20 more students
    • Supt. Rigby announced enrollment committee beginning in November-December
  • TELL Mass survey update
    • SC members Fondriest & Spada meeting with K-8 committee focusing on school climate
    • At the elementary schools they are examining the survey by assembling leadership teams which lead small groups in faculty meetings
      • Specifically for Thoreau: Research for Better Teaching has been hired as consultants. Meg Anderson has been hired as external evaluator. “She will be evaluating the school culture of Thoreau and make recommendations to improve professional collaboration.” She will focus on decision-making, collaborative processes and adult interaction. Final report completed by February 1st.
    • Another administration of the TELL Mass will take place in Spring

LUNCH MENU Week of October 22-26

  • Monday: Macaroni with Marinara, with or without Meatballs
  • Tuesday: No Lunch, Early Release
  • Wednesday: Nachos Grande with Lean Beef or Refried Beans
  • Thursday: Grilled Chicken Patty on Whole Wheat Roll
  • Friday: Homemade Cheese Pizza


From The Pumpkin Patch
Don’t know what to do with your kid’s old Halloween Costumes? Help bring the magic of Halloween to children in low-income families by donating your used or new Halloween costumes to From the Pumpkin Patch. A collection bin will be in the Thoreau School lobby until Monday, October 22. Your support is greatly appreciated! To learn more:

Pancake Breakfast on Saturday at The New Church
The New Church of Concord will host a Gourmet Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 20, 7:30-10:00am at 53 Church St. Come enjoy a delicious breakfast before heading out to celebrate “Discover West Concord Day.” Everyone is welcome. The breakfast menu features a variety of pancakes including plain, blueberry, pecan and chocolate morsels, served with real maple syrup, as well as a delicious selection of artisan Bavarian sausages: Munich Weisswurst – Nurnburger – Kaiser Bratwurst. Fruit, juice and organic coffee round out the menu. Suggested donation of $9 for adults and $5 for children. All proceeds go toward the preservation of the historic church building and green space. The New Church of Concord is part of West Concord’s Historic District. You are more than welcome to enjoy the grounds and explore the church building while here. For more information, please call the New Church of Concord at 978-369-0543, or email at

Marijuana:  Question 3, Our Communities and Our Kids
In the upcoming November election, Question 3 will ask Massachusetts voters to decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana. Concord Carlisle Parents Initiative and Concord Carlisle Youth Services are hosting their first “Hot Topic” of the school year to explore the ballot question. “Hot Topics” is a new program that allows residents to consider events that directly impact their lives. The program will include an optional reading along with a guest speaker.

Marilyn Belmonte, Executive Director of Healthy Outcomes, Inc., will speak on Question 3 to provide background and greater understanding of the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative. All are invited on October 24, 9:30– 11:00am, to The Concord Public Library, Fowler Branch, 1322 Main Street, Concord.  Optional reading, “The Future of Marijuana” by Marilyn Belmonte, can be found at Concord Carlisle Youth Services
Refreshments will be served. Questions?  Contact

Community Chest Pumpkin Roll
The Community Chest Pumpkin Roll is less than two weeks away! The Roll will happen Sunday, October 28, 2:00-4:00pm at Emerson Field. Some of the agencies we support will be running the events — face painting, a sack race, pumpkin shot put, pumpkin balancing, and a costume parade. Bring a pie to enter in the pie-baking contest, or a carved pumpkin to enter in the Jack-O’-Lantern contest. The agencies will also be collecting donations (see the form for details), so your children can help someone in need with a small donation. So come celebrate the season and support these agencies! Register NOW, go to!


Principal Kelly Clough’s Blog

MCAS Schedule:

NutriKids lunch account balance:

K-5 Booklists:

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on OCTOBER 25, 2012. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, OCTOBER 22, 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