January 18, 2018

This week’s announcements:

Thoreau News: Geography Quest, Thoreau Library Gift Program, Annual Appeal, Bingo Night, Spelling Bee

Around Town: CCYS, Beginner Basketball, Concord Conservatory Chorus, Concord Children’s Center, The Center for Parents and Teachers, Concord Youth Theatre, Concord SEPAC, Emerson Hospital, Concord Conservatory, Cognitive Neuroscience at MGH, Shamrock Ball, Event Juggler

PTG Co-President’s Message and News

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 (Exert 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

Last Friday Transportation sent to the office a pair of black Boggs boots that were left on Bus Route 30.  Originally the parent that called Transportation was told that the boots were not on the bus. The boots will be in the office for a while and hopefully the family will come and claim them!


THOREAU TOURS THE WORLD: Get out your passports! The 2018 Geography Quest, is scheduled to be distributed the week of January 29th! This fun family activity is an annual PTG-sponsored event designed to let families explore geography together while learning history and how to use reference tools. Students in all grade levels are encouraged to participate. As part of this year’s promotion, the newly formed International Committee is joining in on the fun and will be taking our school on a tour around the world!  Each week a different country will be highlighted on the bulletin board leading to the library. It will include fun and interesting facts about the country and maybe even a clue about the countries included in the Quest.  Let’s get ready to travel!

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!


CCYS: Registration is open for CCYS Winter Futsal, Winter Skills Clinics and Spring Travel and Intown Soccer. The travel registration deadline for Grades 3-8 is JANUARY 20th.  The Intown deadline is MARCH 1. High School registration for students in grades 9-12 closes at the end of March. More info can be found at: http://www.ccysoccer.org

Winter futsal! Sessions run Fridays at Sanborn, and Sundays at Carlisle! Sessions start on January 26. Winter futsal is a fun, low-cost option for your players this winter. Cost is $70 for the winter. More info can be found at: http://www.ccysoccer.org/content/winter-2018-futsal

Winter clinics with CCYS professional coach Kyle Yelin! These run on Thursdays at Teamworks, for boys and girls currently in Grades 4-5 (and for Grade 3 players who are open to playing with older players). Cost is $160. More info can be found at: http://www.ccysoccer.org/content/winter-2018-futsalCLICK HERE to register.

BEGINNER BASKETBALL: Skyhawks basketball breaks down this exhilarating sport into fundamental skills that all athletes, no matter their skill level, need to succeed. Coaches will lead the athletes through drills and exercises, focusing on ball handling, passing, shooting, defense and rebounding. Developing a refined player who knows how to combine these skills is the goal of every Skyhawks basketball program.
Age: 6-9
Dates: 1/22-3/5 *No Class 2/19
Day: Monday
Time: 4:50-5:35P
Fee: $97.50
Location: Ripley School Gym Concord, MA
Min/Max: 4/6
Questions or looking to register? Please call Concord Recreation at 978-287-1050.

CONCORD CONSERVATORY CHORUS: Come to a free open rehearsal for the CCM Concord Youth Chorus Project on Monday, January 22nd from 5:00 – 6:00 pm. The Youth Chorus Project members learn the fundamentals of harmony, rhythm, and sight-singing with songs from different countries, written in a variety of languages. Through music, students gain a sense of the richness of the world and how much they can learn from other cultures The Chorus is for ages 9 through 13, meets on Mondays at CCM.  Financial assistance is available. For information visit www.ConcordConservatory.org, email info@concordconservatory.org, or call (978) 369-0010. The Concord Conservatory of Music is the area’s nonprofit community music school, located at 1317 Main Street in the West Concord Union Church.

CONCORD CHILDREN’S CENTER: Grab your skates, put on some red, and get ready to meet your favorite Big Red Dog at the Big Red Dog Family Ice Skating Party! The party takes place Sunday, January 28th, from 3-5pm at Nashoba Valley Olympia in Boxborough. Skate with your favorite Big Red Dog and enjoy children’s activities, a bake sale, and fun for all. Children are strongly encourages to bring their own skates, as there are a limited number of child-sized skates. If you do need to rent, please arrive early. Helmets are strongly recommended – bike helmets work! Event is open to the public – tickets are $10/person, $35 per family and can be purchased at concordchildrenscenter.org, or at the door.

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 YOUTH THEATRE: 2018 Ice-Capella Concert – Friday January 26, 2018.  A seasonal favorite, Ice-Capella will feature a variety of regional a capella vocal groups. This concert of harmonious blends includes young vocalists from high school through college. Featured as part of the evening will be Aural Fixation (Boston University), Euphoria (Lexington High School), Musigals (Lincoln/Sudbury High School), Town Criers (Weston High School), Northern Lights (Newton North High School), and Testostertones, The Muses and Madrigals (Wayland High School). Come hear local high school and college a capella groups perform your favorite oldies and top ten songs! Concord Youth Theatre’s “Ice Capella” celebration will be held January 26 2018, 7:30pm at Concord-Carlisle Regional High School Auditorium, 500 Walden Street in Concord. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the door, or online at www.concordyouththeatre.org. For additional information, call the CYT box office at 978-371-1482.

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

EMERSON HOSPITAL: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 2:30-4:30 PM
Little Hands, Big Hearts:  A Valentines Crafting Party for Children Ages 3 and up. Valentine cards/crafts will be made for patients at Emerson Hospital. Craft supplies and valentine trimmings will be provided. All children must be accompanied by an adult – Refreshments will be served – Parking will be validated
Emerson Hospital – Cheney Conference Room 133 Old Rd to Nice Acre Corner, Concord, MA 01742
LINK to invitation and RSVP: Emersonhospital.org/littlehands

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.

COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE MGH BOSTON: Recruiting children who are (or are soon turning) 8 or 10 years old to participate in a research study funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This is a longitudinal study that follows children over a period of 3 consecutive years. Our goal is to improve understanding of learning in children. The study consists of 1 in-person visit (about 2.5 hours) per year for 3 years (weekdays/weekends). During this visit, children play several games on the computer and complete several language/memory tasks. The lab visit includes safe and noninvasive EEG recording. The day after the visit, kids complete a quick follow-up task from a home/library computer. Payment is $60 per year. We provide free all day parking at the Navy Yard. Please email us at cnglead@mghihp.edu or call us at (617) 643-4821 if you are interested or if you have any questions. More information can be found at: https://clinicaltrials.partners.org/study/feedback_learning

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