December 1, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group


MCAS Schedule – Spring 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.


  • Tuesday 20: Long Composition, grade 4
  • Wednesday 21: ELA grades 3 and 5
  • Thursday 22: ELA grade 4
  • Friday 23: ELA grades 3 and 5
  • Monday 26: ELA grade 4


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

REVISED Times and locations for Thoreau Principal Coffees with Parents

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your helpful feedback regarding coffee times.  I have made some adjustments based on your ideas.  I hope that these accommodations help make it easier for you to attend. The morning coffees will take place a bit later in the AM, while your children are already here at school.  Also, I have provided some evening sessions for the upper grade parents in grades 3, 4, and 5.   The morning coffees will be held in the cafeteria and the evening coffees will be held in the school library.

The new dates and times are as follows:

  • December 14, 1st grade, 9:15 AM-10:00 AM
  • January 20, 2nd grade, 9:15 AM-10:00 AM
  • February 17, 3rd grade, 9:15 AM-10:00 AM
  • March 8, 4th grade, 6:30 PM-7:15 PM
  • April 5, 5th grade, 6:30 PM- 7:15 PM
  • May 10, Kindergarten, 9: 15 AM-10:00 AM

I hope you are able to join me for an opportunity to meet and discuss topics and issues pertaining to your child’s grade level.  I will be sending out a reminder notice to parents before each coffee.

And as usual, be sure to check out the newest addition to my blog at -Kelly Clough


We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the holiday break.  While many were disappointed that the annual Turkey Trot was called off due to the rain, we want to thank Trish Siefer and Betsy Martel for all of the hard work they put into organizing the event.  We also want to thank Tom Hourihan and Karla Keefe for stepping in and holding such a fun and spirited school rally in its place.  Finally we greatly appreciate Amy Hoey and all of her effort in organizing Thoreau’s food drive for Open Table, as well as all of the families who donated food items.  As we look toward the next set of holidays, please keep an eye out for emails from the room parents of your child’s class on the school district’s policy for gift-giving to the faculty.  The state ethics regulations are more stringent than in previous years and impose clear obligations and limits on public employees receiving gifts.  -Melanie and Shelagh, PTG Co-Presidents


We are at 36% of our goal for this year’s annual appeal. The PTG spends $113 per child on enrichment programs, classroom supplies and field trips. Please do your part to support these activities so we don’t need to make difficult cuts. You can donate online at or you can send a check into the office at school made out to Thoreau PTG.

Thanks to the following families for their donations: O’Toole, Best, Verrilli, Reeves-Chandler, Carter, Anjoorian, Rankin-Higgins, Duraes, Drake, Gee, Magee, Price, Robichaud, Gardner, Dettelbach, Sharakan, O’Neil, Gekle, Weber, Keilty. –Louisa Yamartino and Sharon Sharifi


Picture retake day was a success. A special thanks to the teachers, Donna/Maria in the front office, and the parent volunteers who were an enormous help: Lisa Derosa, Carmela Gee and Jean Chandler.

The pictures will arrive in 2-3 weeks. Your children will bring them home once given out at school. If you have any questions regarding your order(s), please contact Coffee Pond Photography directly- 1-800-632-2323, ext. 0. –Robin Grace


We are entering the flu season and have already learned of some children with pneumonia over the last weeks.  Strep throats are also increasing.  Please remember these healthy measures to minimize exposure to contagious illnesses and help your family and others stay healthy:

Teach your children to wash their hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.  Be an example.  Stop the spread of germs!!

Teach your children not to share personal items like drinks, food, or unwashed utensils.

Remind your children to cover their coughs/sneezes with tissues.  Use the elbow, arm or sleeve instead of the hand when a tissue is unavailable.

Keep sick children home until free of any fever (100 degrees F/ 37.8 degrees C greater), without the use of fever reducing meds (Tylenol, ibuprofen) for at least 24 hours.  This includes after school activities and socializing. Keeping children with fevers at home will reduce exposure to others.

Know the signs & symptoms of the flu.  This includes:  fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, possibly vomiting and diarrhea.

Keep immunizations up to date and arrange for you and your child to receive a flu vaccine.  There are Meningitis vaccines (5) that help prevent meningitis.  A vaccine for bacterial meningitis is available for ages 2 – 55 yrs.  Most people may already have immunity. 

Know the signs of meningitis:  fever, severe and constant headache, stiff neck or neck pain, nausea and vomiting and rash can be signs.  Also changes in behavior:  confusion, sleepiness and trouble waking.

Contact your primary care provider if any questions or concerns about your child’s illness especially if develops a fever after a few days of illness.

Do not send children to school if they are sick.  Any child who the nurse determines to be sick while at school, will be sent home.

Check out the following,,

–Nicki Morina Richards, RN, MS, Thoreau School Nurse, 978-341-2490 x 3158

Highlights from 11/22/11 Joint School Committee Meeting

FY 2013 Budget news: John Flaherty indicated that they will be doing their best to have a very low increase in light of the upcoming building project. A 1.74% increase is projected. Cuts will likely come from field maintenance, special education admin positions and central office. Karen Pettyjohn spoke during Citizen’s comments to encourage the School Committee not to cut library aids.

Kelly Clough recognized Shannon Ganger, Karla Keefe, Rachel Levesque, Sue Howard, Roseaanne Swain and Bob Lemaire for their work around all-school assemblies

Kathy Codianne presented a report on the districts 2010-2011 MCAS results for K-8 and for CCHS. Included in the presentation were details about performance levels, grade-level performance, cohort value-added, AYP, the growth model, and DESE’s DART tool that enables district-to-district and school-to-school comparisons (accessible at

School Committee voted to return attendance area of Longview Meadows Project to Thoreau district. It had been assigned to Willard, but now that the population of Willard is the largest, children in this 350-unit development will attend Thoreau. This decision was made because Longview Meadow is in the Thoreau district. [Interesting note: Alcott has a significantly lower student population than either Willard or Thoreau.]

For descriptions of other business discussed at the meeting, see full notes posted on the PTG website. The next meeting is scheduled for December 13 at the CCHS library. –School Committee Observers, Ling Liu & Cheryl Kirkpatrick

LUNCH MENU Week of December 5-9

Monday: Mozzarella Sticks
Tuesday: Early Release
Wednesday: B. Good Burgers
Thursday: Bean & Cheese Burrito
Friday: Comella’s Pizza
Any questions about the menu please email Chef Alden,


Local Holiday Toy Drive

The Concord Carlisle Community Chest will sponsor a Holiday Toy Drive this Sunday, December 4 at 5:00pm under the Tree of Giving in Concord Center.  Please consider spreading some holiday joy and bring a new, unwrapped gift for a child aged 0-17.  All donations will be greatly appreciated and will be distributed to local children in need.  For further information, contact the Concord Carlisle Community Chest at 978-369-5250. 

Concord’s Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

The holiday parade will be Sunday, December 4 from 4:45-6:00PM and will include antique cars, Herb the Dragon, Frosty, Mrs. Clause, Louisa May Alcott, Gingerbread Man, Bubbles the Elephant, and Santa arriving by fire engine.  The tree lighting is at 5:15PM in Monument Square. 

Concord’s Holiday Shopping Night

Enjoy music, holiday fun and refreshments for shoppers in many shops and strolling carolers on the streets!  Shop locally and enjoy shopping specials and raffles. Thursday, December 8 from 5-8:00PM in Concord Center.  For more information, go to:

APPLAUDD:  A Prevention Program Learning About Underage Drinking & Drugs

CCPI (Concord Carlisle Parents Initiative) will be hosting the fourth session of this program for parents of 5th grade students on Tuesday, December 6 from 7:00–9:00 PM in the Little Theater at CCHS. Learn about the affect of alcohol on teen brain development, the myth of teaching children to drink responsibly and social host liability. According to the 2010 Emerson Hospital Youth Risk Behavior Survey, alcohol is the substance most widely used and abused by students in grades 6–12 in the Concord & Carlisle communities.  Come and learn about how to implement prevention strategies.  Marilyn Belmonte, a veteran in drug abuse recognition and prevention among teens, will be giving an informed and engaging presentation with time for Q&A.  For more information contact

CCYL Spring Lacrosse

Registration is now open for girls & boys, grades 1-8. Go to for details and to register today!  Space is limited.

Recreation Department Youth Basketball

Concord Recreation is currently taking registrations for the winter Youth Basketball instructional programs for girls grades 1-4 and boys grades 1-2, and team formats for boys grades 3-8 and girls grades 5-8.  For more information regarding registering and evaluations please contact the Recreation Department at (978)369-6460. 

Family Concert

The Concord Orchestra, conducted by Richard Pittman, will present its annual family concert on Sunday, December 4. Joyce Kulhawik will narrate Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland, a contemporary setting of the story by Michael Gandolfi. The Westford Academy String Orchestra, directed by Kenneth Culver, has been invited to perform with the orchestra in the St. Paul Suite by Gustav Holst.  The program will conclude with seasonal music by Leroy Anderson. Performances are at 2:00 and 4:00 at the Performing Arts Center at 51 Walden Street, Concord.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children.  For tickets and information, visit

Concord Library Holiday Book Sale

Great selection of books in excellent condition—suitable for gifts! Prices will appeal to young gift givers.

  • Friday, December 2, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Saturday, December 3, 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Sunday, December 4, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

The popular book-and-toy bags will be for sale. Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Sale by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on December 8, 2011. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, December 5, 2011.
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 You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received.