February 3, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group

Please do not reply to this e-mail. For information on contacting the Thoreau Announcements or updating the e-mail address at which you receive the TA, please see the contact information at the end of this e-mail.

FROM THE PTG CO-PRESIDENTS

Is anyone else starting to feel like there is a connection between snow storms and PTG meetings? Well, let’s give it another try — the PTG meeting that is, not the snow storm! Third time’s a charm, right? Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 9 at 9:30am in the Thoreau cafeteria. If you have the PTG calendar from your Back-to-School packet handy, you may notice that this date is already there as a PTG Board Meeting. But we are now making it a PTG General Meeting. Hope to see you there! Speaking of marking calendars (and still oddly unable to get snow off the brain), please make sure that you currently have Friday, June 24 as the last day of school for students. That’s due to four snow days to-date, including the most recent one this week on Wednesday, February 2.

We had our first big PTG event of the year this week – Hobby Fair! Thanks so much to Mardi Hutcinson for all her hard work coordinating this fun and wonderful event! Next up is Bingo Night on Thursday, February 3, 5:30-7:00pm in the Thoreau cafeteria. The CCHS Building Project Community Forum is the same evening if you can manage to stop by after Bingo Night. The presentation is from 7:30-8:30pm at CCHS. We’re approaching the last weekend to work on the Geography Quest — Tuesday, February 8 is the due date. You can download a copy from the Thoreau PTG website at www.thoreauptg.org. While you’re on the site, please also take a few extra moments to subscribe to the Thoreau PTG Announcements so you can continue to stay abreast of all the fabulous and exciting happenings at Thoreau. Please don’t delay — the current system of emailing the weekly announcements will soon be going the way of the pony express! Thanks and have a great weekend!
Karen & Melanie

THURSDAY IS THOREAU FAMILY B-I-N-G-O NIGHT!

Come compete against your friends, your family and others from Thoreau for a free night of fun, pizza (from Walden Italian Kitchen), Hoodsie cups and prizes! Bingo night is Thursday February 3. Pizza will be served in the cafeteria from 5:30-6:00; Bingo runs from 6:00-7:00. This is a family event, siblings are welcome.  We need some volunteers to help pick up pizza, serve food, setup and cleanup; please contact Erin Duggan at ecduggan@comcast.net if you can help out. This event is hosted and sponsored by the PTG (i.e., it’s free!).  We hope you can join us for this fun Thoreau tradition!

HAS YOUR FAMILY FINISHED ITS QUEST?

Your journey around the world to collect the ingredients to make an apple cake is nearing the end! The annual PTG Geography Quest is due Tuesday, February 8. Completed Geography Quests should be returned to the box in the Thoreau library. If you’ve misplaced your Quest, you can download a copy from the new Thoreau PTG website https://www.thoreauptg.org/ (under “Forms” in the right-hand sidebar).
Anne Mullaney and Carla Macy, Thoreau Geography Quest Co-chairs

2011 ANNUAL THOREAU SCHOOL SPELLING BEE (FEBRUARY 12TH)

By now all participants in the Spelling Bee ought to have in hand their Word Study Lists. Please contact Suzy Symons (ssymons@alhi.com) if you are missing your list and/or if you have any questions about the event. We look forward to another exciting Thoreau Spelling Bee on February 12!

REGISTER FOR THE MARS ROVER PROJECT

The “Mars Rover” project is an educational outreach project designed and run by Space Physics faculty at the University of Houston. The project aims to integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) into the curriculum of students from grades 3 to 8. I will be using the help of my Houston colleagues as well as that of Dr. Caroline Lamb from MIT Lincoln Labs to apply and run this project in our school. The project has been funded by the Concord STEM Academy for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade in the Thoreau school. Interested students will form teams of 4 acting as NASA engineers and scientists that will participate in the design and construction of a Mars Rover model to carry out a specific science objective on the surface of Mars. The models will be solar-powered and art supplies and recyclables will be used as construction materials.

The Mars Rover Project will commence during the first week in March. For the 3rd grade, two initial lectures will occur during the class time. The construction of the model rovers will happen as an after school activity that will last four additional weeks, with final presentations of the models by the student teams in class. The 3rd grade after school portion will run on Mondays at 3:30-5:00 pm.

For the 4th and 5th grade the project will run as an after school activity for the whole 6 weeks. We will hold one final Mars Rover celebration day with the opportunity for all student teams to display their models. The 4th and 5th grade teams will meet on Fridays at 3:30-5:00 pm.

To sign up, email ezesta@atmos.ucla.edu no later than February 18. 4th and 5th graders can also sign up with Jonathan Campbell (jcampbell@lwda.com) or Natalie Gekle (ngekle@comcast.net). Consider volunteering to help. Email the addresses above if you have questions.
Eftyhia Zesta, Grade 3 Parent

SPRING AFTER SCHOOL TENNIS PROGRAM

The Thoreau School PTG will be offering the Callen Tennis After School tennis program for K-3 students this spring.  Callen Tennis features the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Quickstart Format. QuickStart is the exciting new play format for learning tennis, designed to bring kids aged 10 and under into the game by utilizing smaller racquets, softer balls, shorter court dimensions and modified scoring. Callen Tennis is directed by Concord resident Jen Callen Beveridge, a former WTA touring professional, NCAA Division I Head Womens’ Tennis coach, and current USPTA-certified teaching professional.  Betsy Dorr, a Thoreau parent will be teaching along with Jen. Betsy, a former Division I tennis player and nationally ranked junior has been teaching in the area for the past several years. We are pleased to also announce that Beth Murphy will be joining the teaching team!

The program will be held on the Thoreau basketball court every Thursday for seven weeks, May 5–June 16. Kindergarteners and 1st graders: 3:30-4:15pm; 2nd and 3rd graders: 4:15-5:00pm. The cost is $105 plus a $25 administrative fee. Registration will be held March 2–16. The registration and waiver forms can be downloaded from the Thoreau PTG website (www.thoreauptg.org) or picked up in the Thoreau main office after February break.  Please submit a check made payable to the Thoreau PTG along with registration and waiver forms to Heather Swartwood, 53 Prairie Street, Concord. In order for your child to be registered for the class, check and forms must be received by Heather no later than March 16 (no exceptions).  The maximum class size is 24. As the Thoreau PTG anticipates an enthusiastic response to the program, there will be a lottery held on March 18 to select participants if the registration is oversubscribed. If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Heather Swartwood at heatherdonlan@yahoo.com.

Any family needing financial support for this program, please feel free to contact Thoreau School Social Worker Rachel Levesque at (978) 318-1300 or rlevesque@colonial.net.

OUR SOLAR SYSTEM (FAMILY MATH NIGHT)

Please join us on Friday, March 4, 6:00-8:00pm for Thoreau School’s seventh annual Family Math Night. This year’s theme is Our Solar System.  We will journey through our solar system in search of math problems.  This fun-filled PTG-sponsored evening will feature a variety of math games and activities for the whole family to enjoy!  In addition to fun math games, test your skills at the estimation jars, enjoy stories with Mrs. Pettyjohn and hit the concession stands for pizza, snacks and beverages.  We need volunteers! If you’re interested in volunteering for an hour at a math table (5:45 – 7:00 or 6:50 – 8:00) or can help with set up/clean up, please contact Cathy Chadwick (cathy.chadwick@gmail.com) or Amy Hoey (athoey@gmail.com)

PHOTOS NEEDED FOR 5TH GRADE YEARBOOK AND DVD

We need pictures of our kids, starting with Kindergarten at Thoreau and going through all grades up to and including 5th. They can be group and/or individual photos of school activities, classroom photos, field trip photos, first day of school photos, bus stop photos, concerts, plays, any good photos of the kids! Please put your photos in electronic form (jpg) on a disc or flash drive or e-mail them to me (carol@wipper.com). It would be ideal if you could label the grades and provide names of the kids in the pictures; keep photos together by grade, please. Group pictures are great, but they must be of Thoreau kids and at Thoreau events – not private parties, etc. Thanks very much for your help.
Carol Wipper

“FIVE ALIVE” AUCTION 2011

Please help us make the 2011 Thoreau School Auction a success!  The event will be held on Friday, March 11 at 6:30pm at the Concord Elks Club.  Many items are needed to make the auction a success, especially those donated by Thoreau families. Need help with ideas? Visit the Thoreau Auction website at www.thoreauptg.org/auction where you’ll find suggestions for auction donations along with a Donation Form that you can print out and submit to the auction committee. Tickets are $20 per person and available for purchase at www.thoreauptg.org/auction.  This is a fun event that helps bring the Thoreau community together and supports our school!  Get thinking…get involved…get those donations in! Questions? Call Chris Economos Pailet 978-318-9589 or chriseconomos@gmail.com or Jean Easterday 978-369-8009or easterdayfamily@comcast.net

THOREAU ANNOUNCEMENTS

The PTG is transitioning to a new delivery system for the Thoreau Announcements. In order to continue receiving the Announcements via email, you will need to subscribe to the Thoreau PTG website. Simply go to www.thoreauptg.org and enter your email address in the Subscribe box (located on the right side of the page), and then validate your subscription by following the directions in the confirmation email you receive. Please note that your subscription will not be verified until you click the link included in your confirmation email.  We hope you’ll subscribe as soon as possible, as the current method of distributing the Thoreau Announcements will be phased out soon. Please be aware that for a short time after subscribing, you may receive two copies of the Announcements until we get your email address deleted from the old email distribution system. Don’t worry, this won’t take too long. If you have any questions, contact Marcy Shipe, PTG Webmaster, at webmaster@thoreauptg.org.

SAVE THE DATE!

The Thoreau Road Race is coming on Sunday, May 15! Please mark your calendars and join in the fun!  There will be a 5K, kids 1 mile, kids 1/2 mile, games and more. More details to follow.  See you there!
Karen Monks & Betsy Dorr, Road Race Co-chairs

MCAS SCHEDULE – SPRING 2011

March 22             Gr. 4 Long Composition
March 23             Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 ELA
March 24             Gr. 4 ELA
March 25             Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 ELA
March 28             Gr. 4 ELA
May 9                    Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 Math
May 11                 Gr. 3 and Gr. 5 Math
May 12                 Gr. 4 Math
May 13                 Gr. 4 Math
May 18                 Gr. 5 Science
May 19                 Gr. 5 Science
Please be mindful of these dates, and make every effort to have your child(ren) in school on time. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.

LUNCH MENU Week of February 7-11

Monday: Grilled Cheese
Tuesday: Chicken in a Basket
Wednesday: Cheese Ravioli
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Sorrento’s Pizza

AROUND TOWN

Our Town, Our Schools, Our Money
As Concord prepares for the spring Annual Town Meeting, thoughts turn to town and school budgets. Voters want to know how current economic challenges affect our community and its finances. The League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle (LWVCC) invites all residents to attend an open forum, “Our Town, Our Schools, Our Money: Facing Concord’s Financial Challenges,” on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, at 7:30pm in the Town House hearing room. The forum’s panel discussion will feature Chris Whelan, Town Manager; Tony Logalbo, Town Finance Director; Diana Rigby, Superintendent of Schools; and John Flaherty, Deputy Superintendent of for Administration and Finance. All members of the public are welcome, and there will be an opportunity for audience questions. Refreshments will be served.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan, issues-oriented political organization of women and men of all ages and backgrounds. For more information, visit www.lwvcc.org or call 978-254-1598.

A Presidents’ Day Visit with Abraham Lincoln at the Concord Museum
The Concord Museum is pleased to once again host Steve Wood and his amazing performance as Abraham Lincoln. Matching Lincoln’s height and beard, Wood bears enough of a resemblance to our 16th president to make heads turn. His first-person historical interpretation, “A Visit with Abraham Lincoln,” includes stories of Lincoln’s early life, campaign debates with Stephen Douglas, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and concludes with a stirring reading of the Gettysburg Address.  The presentation takes place, Monday, February 21, 1:00-2:00pm. It is recommended for all ages and is by reservation only. (978) 369-9763; $10 adult/$5 child.

Tea for Two: An Adult/Child Tea at the Concord Museum
Delight your child with an afternoon just for the two of you! Make the day a special outing by sipping cocoa and tea in elegant Brooke Hall at the Concord Museum while enjoying delights from Concord Teacakes. Meet invited guest Louisa May Alcott, portrayed by Jan Turnquist, and then visit the colorful quilt exhibition, “A little scrap for recollection’s sake,” which includes a dozen quilts from the Concord Museum’s collection and two from Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House. Friday and Saturday, February 25 & 26; seatings at 2:00 and 3:00; $10/child; $15/accompanying adult; recommended for ages 7 and up.  By advance reservation only; reserve early as space is limited. (978) 369-9763

Voice Training for Adults
A new course for adults, “The Power of Your Voice,” begins at the Alcott School next week. This Community Education class will be taught by Deborah Crane of Creative VoiceWork. With the use of voice movement therapy techniques, participants will expand their vocal effectiveness, self-confidence and assertiveness, and improve public speaking and qualities of personal presence. While the class goals are serious, the class is conducted in a relaxed and playful atmosphere. Deborah Crane has a private practice in Voice Movement Therapy. The class meets for six Mondays, February 7-March 21, 7:00-9:00 at the Alcott School. Fee $115. Enroll online (course 3032) at www.ace.colonial.net or call 318-1432.

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be edited by Anne Mullaney. To submit an item, email announcements@thoreauptg.org. You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received. Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Submissions should be brief, with minimal formatting – no bullet points or underlining, please! Deadline: 9 pm, Monday, February 7, 2011.