January 11, 2018

This week’s announcements:

Thoreau News: Before & after school programs, Thoreau library gift program, Annual Appeal, Bingo Night, Spelling Bee

Around Town: Concord Public Library, The Center for Parents and Teachers, Concord SEPAC, Concord Conservatory, Shamrock Ball, Event Juggler

PTG Co-President’s Message and News

Thank you
Thank you to everyone who came to the PTG monthly meeting on Tuesday. We appreciate you coming and giving your opinions and feedback to topics that impact our Thoreau School and the Concord Public District. If you were not able to join us, the minutes of the meeting will be posted soon on the Thoreau PTG website. Next meeting is Tuesday, February 13th at 9:00am in the Cafeteria.

Superintendent’s Strategic Planning Committee:  The school systems are embarking on a strategic planning process to outline the districts’ goals for the next three to five years.  As part of our work with the consultant, four large group meetings are scheduled.  The hope is for 9 of the 35 stakeholders in the large group to be members of the parent community that include representatives of each K-12 school, Carlisle, Boston, preschool and SEPAC.
The four meetings are scheduled on the following Mondays from 4:00-7:30 pm: February 5, March 26, April 30 & May 21.
If you are interested in participating, please submit a letter of interest by Friday, January 19th to Dr. Hunter via email at lhunter@concordps.org.

Reminder for items to bring during the Winter months:
The kids go outside each and every day, unless we have a frigid wind chill or it is raining.  On those cold winter days, the warmest part of the day is mid-day. Please send your child dressed to play outside.  If we have snow on the ground, your child will need to wear snow pants and boots to play in the snow. Also, you want to include a change of clothes that your kids can keep in their lockers at school. You never know when they might get wet from playing outside in the snow.

Elementary Progress Reports: Aspen (Parent) Portal (excerpt from December Thoreau Monthly)
This year’s progress reports will be published through the Aspen Portal in the Published Reports section on the front page of the portal. The reports will no longer be mailed out. They will be available around the beginning of February.

To access the portal, login from the Parent menu of your child’s school website. (A link to request a password reset can also be found at this website or email parentportal@concordps.org.) If you have not already done so, please set a security question upon logging into the portal, so that you can self-recover if you forget your password in the future; password resets are addressed during business hours only.

Kathleen & Deb


Thank you . . . Thank you . . .Thank you to parents for your gifts and cards at Christmas time.  Your ​thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.  We wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year. Donna and Maria

BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS:  Registration is now open for the Before & After School Programs! There is space for students in Japanese Crafts & Culture. To register, please visit https://www.thoreauptg.org/before-and-after-school-programs-winter-2018/

THOREAU LIBRARY GIFT PROGRAM: Thoreau librarians, Karen Pettyjohn and Kristin Haddad, and the Gift Book Program Coordinator, Katherine Hollywood, invite you to participate in the Thoreau Library Gift Book Program. This program allows families the opportunity to purchase books in honor of a special person (i.e. student, teacher, staff member) and donate them to the school library.
These books are shown to the honoree’s class, and the honoree is the first person allowed to check out the book. This is a special way to honor a child, teacher, etc. with a lasting gift to the Thoreau School community.

We’d like to thank recent participants in the program:

-The Principe Family       “Hamster Princess 3: Ratpunzel” in honor of Mrs. Marotta and Ms. Ogilvie
-The Principe Family       “Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth” in honor of Mrs. Thomas
-Fox Anderson                 “The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken” in honor of Mrs. Watson
-Harry Anderson              “There’s a Bear on my Chair” in honor of Mrs. Ellis
-Lake Anderson                “Interstellar Cinderella” in honor of Mrs. Ellis

If you would like to donate a book, you have two options. First you can visit the Gift Book Cart in the Library and 1) select a book from the Gift Book Cart, 2) write out a bookplate with the name of the donor and honoree, 3) include a check for the Cover Price of the book made out to “Thoreau School PTG”. If you are not able to make it into the library, please follow this link to a Google Doc for information on how Katherine Hollywood, Library Gift Book Program Coordinator, can assist you in making a donation. This link includes all of the books currently available through the Gift Book Program for donation.

If you would like to donate a special book NOT from the current Gift Book list, please check with the librarians to ensure the library does not already have a copy.

ANNUAL APPEAL: Back in December you probably saw a piece of paper come home in your child’s bag asking you to help with this year’s annual appeal! Or perhaps you have no idea what we are talking about and need a reminder. Don’t worry! We’re here! Please consider donating to the Thoreau School Annual Appeal – your money goes a long way in helping bring wonderful programming to Thoreau. Please visit https://www.thoreauptg.org/online-giving/ to make your donation today.

BINGO NIGHT: Join us Friday February 2nd from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the cafeteria for Bingo Night! Officer Ron is back this year to help us host the event (how loud can you yell BINGO!) and for $5 a person you can have all the pizza and treats you’d like (cash only!) Mark your calendars for what is ALWAYS a fun evening.

What’s the Buzz? Calling All Spellers for the Annual Bee!  This year’s Thoreau Spelling Bee for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders is on Saturday, March 17 in the afternoon.  Third and fourth graders participate in teams of two or three (which they are responsible for forming), and fifth graders compete individually. For 3rd graders, there is no elimination – it’s a fun, no-pressure introduction to the world of spelling bees.  Please save the date – more details to follow in the coming weeks!

CONCORD PUBLIC LIBRARY: Third Grade Book Eaters, January 17th@ 4pm
OUT with the OLD & IN with the NEW!
Show & Tell: Let’s explore OLD classics and NEW Fiction. Share a favorite book with us, something new or old!
Activity: Library Tour: Upstairs  Downstairs at the Concord Library; let’s explore behind the scenes of the library downstairs tour including where OLD books are kept and NEW books are processed
Craft: Time Capsule: Make a Personal Time Capsule for 2018!
For More Information: concordlibrary.org or (978)318-3358

THE CENTER FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS: The Concord-Carlisle Parent Association announces the following speakers for January:

January 23rd from 7:00-9:00 pm at CCHS Auditorium:
College Funding Strategies.

Janet Rhodes Friedman, a financial planner and investment advisor with Abaris Financial Group in Concord, will discuss the financial aspects of the college process. Her talk will help parents understand a complex intersection of factors including: the rising costs of college; the right “financial fit”; FAFSA and CSS profile/formulas used by colleges in determining aid; and ways to fund college beyond grants and scholarships. Her talk is “a must” for any parent who is currently engaged in the college search process, or for parents who, in the future, will be embarking on this exciting, yet often stressful, time in their child’s life.

We invite all parents to come to these engaging talks, which are free and open to the public. Dr. Thompson’s talk is presented in collaboration with the Center for Parents and Teachers. Please sign up at the following link for planning purposes and for more information: https://michaelthompsoncchs8january2018.eventbrite.com

CONCORD SEPAC: Special Education Parent Advisory Council
Would you like to understand the special education mediation process?
Do you know when to request and how to prepare for a mediation?
Would you like to know what to expect from mediation?
Did you realize you can ask for a facilitated Team meeting?
Do you have a question for an expert?

Please join us for an introduction to Special Education mediation and facilitated IEP Team meetings.  You will have the opportunity to learn about voluntary and confidential dispute settlement mediations, which are conducted without charge to the families involved.

When: Monday January 29th, 2018 from 10:00 – 11:30 am
Where: Conference Room 1, Ripley Building, Meriam Road
Presented by: Myrto Flessas, Mediator, Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA)  |
For planning purposes please RSVP via Eventbrite at our website concordsepac.org

CONCORD CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC: January 13th Second Saturday Bluegrass. The Boston Bluegrass Union is partnering with The Concord Conservatory of Music (CCM) to co-sponsor a January 13th Second Saturday Bluegrass Jam from 7:00 – 9:30 pm, and it’s open to all ages and bluegrass instruments for advanced beginner musicians and above. ($5 fee payable at the door). The jam is for non-beginner instrumentalists to have the opportunity to play with other musicians, or come just to listen. Attending a jam is an invaluable experience as it teaches improvisation, tone, dynamics and overall musicality. Through June 2018, jams will take place at CCM, 1317 Main Street, Concord (West Concord Union Church).

New Workshop Series. Beginning in January, CCM is offering a series of transformative series of Workshops that promise to engage and challenge all participants. The CCM Workshop Series is open to the public, and we encourage non-CCM students of all ages to attend. The workshop topics run the gamut from improvisation, composing, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, ear training, collaborative piano, vocal techniques, and even jodeling. The cost for non CCM students is $25 for the 50-minute workshops, $30 for 60-minutes and $35 for 90-minutes. For information, please call 978-369-0010, visit https://concordconservatory.org/Workshop_Series
SHAMROCK BALL: Tickets for The Shamrock Ball go on sale Friday February 2nd at 9:00am. The event, presented by Concord Recreation, is Saturday March 10, 2018 at The Westford Regency 7:00pm-9:30pm. This event is for girls in grades 2-6 and an adult guest.  Online registration will be available www.concordma.gov/recreation.  We suggest you set up your account prior to the registration date if you have not already done so. If you have questions with your account please call during regular business hours. Tickets are also available at the Hunt Recreation Building, or by phone 978.287.1050.  Proceeds go towards Concord Recreation camp scholarships. Tickets sell out quickly.

CONCORD – CARLISLE COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR: Check out https://www.eventjuggler.com – the event calendar for the Concord & Carlisle community!