February 27, 2014

FROM THE PTG CO-PRESIDENTS

We hope you had a wonderful and relaxing vacation week. March is offering some wonderful parent enrichment opportunities here in Concord! We hope you can attend these events listed below…

  • March 1:  ”Building Resilience, All Ages-All Stages” with keynote speaker Dr. Ronald Siegel
  • March 8: “Caring of All of Our Kids” with Dr. Nancy Rappaport sponsored by Carlisle School Association
  • March 20:  ”Finding Huck Finn: Reclaiming Childhood From a River of Electronic Screens” with “mediatrician” Dr. Michael Rich
  • March 31:  ”Raising Resilient Children and Teens” with the acclaimed Dr. Robert Brooks (co-sponsored by the Thoreau, Willard, Alcott and CMS PTGs)

Next PTG Meeting Tuesday March 18 at 9AM. -Carla and Louisa

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Welcome Back Everyone,

I hope that all of our families and friends enjoyed a wonderful winter break. I have heard stories of great adventures from the children and the staff. The timing was actually very good, as we would most likely have had another snow day. When will this winter end?

Just before vacation we received notification that Thoreau School is being honored as one of only 48 schools across the Commonwealth that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recognized this year as a 2013 Commendation School for its high achievement. This is an incredible honor and we extend congratulations to staff, students and families for the work done last year, which brought this recognition to Thoreau School. To read the Commissioner’s letter and view the award please link to  http://thoreau.colonial.net.

Tuesday was a very special day at Thoreau School as we all celebrated 100 Day. It was great fun to join in the classroom activities recognizing our hundredth day of school. I’m sure that you have enjoyed many of the projects that came home. Our first grader students helped to create a very unique 100-day necklace for me made out of 100 personally decorated clothes pins. It will be on display in the office should you wish to have a viewing.

March marks the beginning of our state assessments. As previously mentioned, four classrooms at Thoreau (Faricelli, Gallagher, Hoyt and Lemaire) were selected to participate in the PARCC math assessments. Grade three will participate in what has been termed PBA math (performance-based assessment) and grade five will participate in EOY math (end of year). The DESE has determined that students participating in Math PBA will not need to participate in Math MCAS. Therefore the two classes selected to do the PARCC math will not do MCAS math. However, the DESE has not extended the testing exemption to the EOY test so two of our fifth grade classrooms will participate in BOTH the MCAS and PARCC math assessments. For more information about PARCC please go to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website. Testing Windows for PARCC:

  •             March 24 – April 11         PBA Math Grade 3
  •             May 12 – June 6     EOY Math Grade 5

Testing Windows for MCAS – Grades 3-5:

  •             March 18 – March 26
  •             May 5 – May 14

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the persistent snow banks and narrowing of the road for busses, the Concord Police Department has made Pleasant Street a one-way street going east. For the safety of everyone, please observe the temporary One Way sign during arrival and dismissal times. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

In March we will be sending out Student Information Verification forms. When you receive the form please verify that the information is correct and return the form to school. Also, if you know of any families with incoming kindergarten aged children who have not notified us for next year, please have them give us a call.

Best Wishes, Nancy Peterson

MCAS SCHEDULE – DETAILED MARCH AND MAY 2014

  • March 18                Gr. 4 Long Composition
  • March 19                Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 ELA
  • March 21                Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 ELA
  • March 24                Gr. 4 ELA
  • March 26                Gr. 4 ELA
  • May 5           Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 Math
  • May 6           Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 Math
  • May 7           Gr. 4 Math
  • May 8           Gr. 4 Math
  • May 13          Gr. 5 Science
  • May 14          Gr. 5 Science

2014 ANNUAL THOREAU SCHOOL SPELLING BEE

All 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are invited to participate in our Annual Thoreau Spelling Bee scheduled on Saturday, March 22. This is always a fun and low-pressure Bee, and the more participants the better. 3rd and 4th graders participate in teams of two or three; 5th graders compete individually. Bee start times are: 3rd grade 3:00, 4th grade 4:30, 5th grade 5:45.  So form your teams, and sign-up!   Registration forms will be sent home this week and will be on the PTG site.  You can also email sign-ups to hrothermel@me.com. Registration deadline is March 14th. -Holly Rothermel, Spelling Bee Chair

THE CAKE WALK IS COMING! 

Saturday, March 29, 2-4pm is the Thoreau Cake Walk and Family Festival! Don’t forget to start planning your cakes for the Cake Decorating Contest! You can also make prize cakes for the Cake Walk winners — we need LOTS and LOTS of cakes – 300-400! The more cakes we get, the more winners we will have at the Cake Walk.

Cake Decorating Contest Info: Cakes to be entered should be dropped off on Saturday, March 29, 12:30-1:30pm at the Faculty Dining Room (near the gym). Look for Carrie Levin & Fiona Stevenson, our wonderful volunteers overseeing the cakes!  Judging will begin promptly at 1:30pm. All cakes entered in the contest must be decorated by a Thoreau student. Please do not use cake plates or decorations that you want returned to you. You may enter as many cakes in the contest as you like. All cakes must be wrapped in plastic wrap and labeled with the cake flavor, student’s name, grade, teacher and category. The contest categories are: Cleverest Cupcakes, Best Animal Theme, Best Book Theme, Most Colorful, Best Food Theme, Best Nature Theme, Best Sports & Games Theme, Best Thoreau Spirit, and Most Creative. Cakes that win the contest will be displayed during the Festival and may be taken home by their respective student decorators. Cakes that do not win the contest will be handed out as prize cakes during the Cake Walk.

Prize Cake Donation Info: You may bring prize cakes for the Cake Walk (cakes not to be judged in the Contest) any time before or during the Festival. All prize cakes must be wrapped in plastic wrap and labeled with the flavor of the cake. If you bring an allergy-free prize cake, please let us know when you drop it off. Prize cakes do not need to be big – you can make 2 prize cakes out of 1 box of mix! Look for more info about the Thoreau Cake Walk & Family Festival in upcoming Announcements. Any questions, please contact Amy Tenenbaum, aftenenbaum@hotmail.com.  –Dorina Enes, Amy Tenenbaum & Jennifer Ubaldino, Cake Walk Co-chairs

CALLING ALL MATH-LETES! 

Thoreau Family Math Night will follow an Olympic theme. It be held in the Thoreau Cafeteria on Friday, March 7, 6:00-8:00 pm.  There will be games and give-aways!   Fun for all ages.  Come and go for gold!  I am still looking for a few more volunteers to assist the children with the games.  You can sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E054BA4AF2CA46-thoreau.  For more information, contact Suzanne at skelliher@sonusnet.com.   I would be happy to sign you up for a one hour slot.

WINTER OLYMPICS CLOSING CEREMONIES

The Winter Olympics reached its dramatic conclusion a few days ago. With much less fanfare, the end has also come for the Winter Olympics Geography Quest. Please return your completed Geography Quest to the box in the Thoreau library. If you would like to help review the Quests, please contact me at anne.mullaney@gmail.com. Thanks! (The answer to last week’s trivia is: Caucasian State Biosphere.) –Anne Mullaney, Geography Quest Chair

THOREAU FRIENDSHIP COOKBOOK ORDERS!

Looking for an easy crepe recipe?  Norwegian waffles? Bistro-style short ribs or gluten-free apple crisp?  The first-ever Thoreau Friendship Cookbook is brimming with over 60 lip-smacking, kid-pleasing and family-friendly recipes.  This culinary collection is destined to become your go-to companion in the kitchen.  Make sure to get one for yourself and give some as gifts.  Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, hostess gifts and souvenirs.  Only $15 each with an e-book version free!  Cookbooks will be sent home with children upon payment.   Each order helps support PTG events and enrichment programs that benefit our entire Thoreau community.  Order Today!

LUNCH SCHEDULE

  • Monday, March 3                Baked Chicken Patty on Whole Wheat Bun
  • Tuesday, March 4                Early Release; No Lunch
  • Wednesday, March 5           Cheese Ravioli
  • Thursday, March 6              Our Own Chicken Quesadilla
  • Friday, March 7                    Cheese Pizza Slice

AROUND TOWN

Change in Location for March 1 Healthy Concord Event

Healthy Concord’s “Building Resilience: All Ages-All Stages” on Saturday March 1, 10AM-12:30PM will be at WILLARD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 185 POWDERMILL ROAD (original location was Emerson Umbrella, 40 Stow Street but please note that the event has been relocated).

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ronald Siegel at 10 AM speaks on “Mindfulness and the New Science of Happiness”. Everyone wants to be happy. Unfortunately, many of our efforts to feel good ultimately backfire, only increasing our distress. This presentation will explore the surprising overlap between the teachings of ancient wisdom traditions, the insights gained from mindfulness practice, and the findings of modern psychological research in revealing what works, and doesn’t work, to support well-being. You’ll learn practical techniques to feel less stressed and live a fuller, richer life. Dr. Siegel is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of the critically acclaimed book, The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems.

This is a free event Please go to https://building-resilience.eventbrite.com to see break-out session options and register for one. Please visit Healthy Concord MA on Facebook to learn more.

League of Women Voters Concord Candidates’ Forum

Forum will be held on Sunday, March 2, 1:00-3:00pm at the Town House Hearing Room, 22 Monument Square, Concord.  Candidates running for office in the March 25 Concord Town Election will present statements and respond to questions from LWV and the public. All of the candidates on the March 25 Concord Town Election ballot have agreed to participate.  Email questions by 5:00pm March 1 to questions@lwvcc.org. Attend the forum and submit written questions. Free and open to the public. (Snow date: March 9) The first panel will be comprised of Eric Van Loon (for Town Moderator, 1-year term) and Michael Lawson (for Board of Selectmen, 3-year term), both running unopposed. David Garrison and Wallace Johnston, candidates running for the one available seat on the School Committee (3-year term), will share the stage for the second panel. After the panels, voters may meet the candidates informally. Contact: VoterService@lwvcc.org, 978-254-1598, or http://www.lwvcc.org/candidate-forum-concord-2014.html. Register to vote by March 5. Vote on March 25.

School Advisory Council Sponsors “Caring for All of Our Kids”

Have you ever wondered how teachers and parents can better support children with challenging behaviors? On Saturday March 8, the School Advisory Council is sponsoring a talk by Dr. Nancy Rappaport, renowned child psychiatrist and co-author of “The Behavior Code.” Rappaport met with Carlisle school faculty twice this year to teach new ways to understand student behavior and to develop an approach that allows all students to succeed. Titled “Caring for All of Our Kids,” the free event offers parents,

caregivers, and community members the unique opportunity to hear about Rappaport’s groundbreaking approach and to learn the same strategies that were presented to the faculty.

The event, which is generously funded by the Carlisle School Association, is from 9-11:30 am in the Corey Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. Beginning at 8:45 a.m., there will be free onsite childcare provided by The Red Balloon Preschool. The childcare is open to children (potty-trained to grade 5) from Carlisle and Concord. Registration for the event is strongly encouraged, and registration for childcare is required. The registration form is available at www.carlisle.k12.ma.us or http://www.carlisleschoolassociation.org. For more information, contact Dr. Dennet Sidell at dsidell@carlisle.k12.ma.us.

Recreation Department Survey

In an effort to establish priorities for the future improvements of facilities and services for families of Concord, the Recreation Department has posted a survey on its website.  Please click on the following link to take the survey.  Thank you! http://www.concordma.gov/pages/ConcordMA_Recreation/Concord%20Recreation%20Survey.pdf.

MySchoolBucks Lunch Account Balance: https://www.myschoolbucks.com/

Math Resources for Parents: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Link/ParentResources

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on March 6, 2014. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, March 3, 2014. 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.