January 2, 2014


There will be a joint SAC/PTG meeting on Monday, January 6 from 6-7:30pm at the New Mission High School, 655 Metropolitan Avenue, Hyde Park.  This meeting is a K-5 meeting, and each individual school will have a classroom to discuss their own building-based topics.  Rides may be available to/from Boston (contact Donna Macone re. availability). Everyone is welcome to attend.


The annual Hobby Fair is right around the corner!  This is an event for 4th and 5th graders to share their hobbies, collectibles, art and other interests with teachers, family and friends.  Each year we see an amazing array of fun and interesting exhibits, from displays of sports memorabilia to exhibits about music, dance, arts and crafts, and writing. The Fair will be open to the Thoreau School community on the evening of Monday, January 13 from 6:30-7:30pm, when family and friends may view the many great exhibits.  On Tuesday, January 14, the fair will run 9:00-11:30am, during which time all classes will have time to visit and enjoy the Fair.

So, 4th and 5th graders: start thinking about your exhibits! Perhaps get together with a friend and plan an exhibit together. (Please note that participation in the Hobby Fair is optional).  Permission slips will be sent home soon, and should be returned to your child’s teacher no later than Wednesday, January 8.  If you have any questions or need another  permission slip, please contact Jackie Meehan at jackiemeehan@comcast.net or Cathy Chadwick at cathy.chadwick@gmail.com. Also, any parents interested in helping to set up or clean up would be greatly appreciated, so please let us know!


  • Monday, January 6              Meatball Sub
  • Tuesday, January 7             No Lunch – Early Release
  • Wednesday, January 8      Baked Potato Bar
  • Thursday, January 9           Taco Day
  • Friday, January 10               Homemade Cheese Pizza


Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

On Wednesday, January 15 from 7:00-8:30pm, choruses of all ages will lift their voices in celebration of MLK, Jr. singing folksongs, spirituals, and gospel songs. Groups include: Fenn Treble Chorus, Willard 5th Grade Chorus, CCHS Patriettes A Cappela Chorus, and Boston Children’s Chorus (recipient of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award at the White House).  Featuring guest speaker, Ivan Massar (former National Geographic and Life Magazine photographer who photographed MLK at speaking engagements) and some of his photographic works.  Come join the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council as we celebrate our 21st MLK, Jr. observance with songs and media sure to lift the spirit and inspire hope! At the Fenn School Auditorium, 516 Monument St., in Concord.

Concord-Carlisle Chess Club Established

A new CC Chess Club that will meet Sunday afternoons at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center in West Concord. Open to all ages (grades 3-up) it will allow beginners and more advanced players to learn and enjoy competition with the support of Vadim Martirosov, an experienced teacher and Chess Master (highest FIDE rating: 2345). He studied chess in the USSR under the supervision of Oleg Privorotsky (Kasparov’s first coach) and has lots of experience teaching and coaching in the U.S.

Level 1 class (2-3 PM): for beginners and intermediates, instruction in elementary tactics and strategy and individual game play.

Level II class (3-4 PM): for chess players to develop abilities, knowledge and skills and consider tournament play – openings, advanced tactics and strategy, middle game, endgame.

Club play (4-5 PM): practice and play.

Sundays starting January 26, at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center. Nine week winter session. $120 for full program, instruction & club play plus annual $20 materials fee; $49 for parent with student under high school age.  Intro session: January 12, 2:30-4:00 PM meet Vadim and the organizers, play a game or two.

The club will be a significant addition to the existing programs in the elementary schools and participating kids are encouraged to take advantage of the Club also. The program has been established at the encouragement of Concord parents, and the support of the PTGs. Generous donations from the Howes Insurance Group of Concord and the Cambridge Trust Company will provide chess boards, clocks, and other instructional equipment. The program will include group and individualized instruction, and pre-tournament and/or recreational play. Adults of all ages and abilities are invited to join; parents of children who are enrolled may receive a special discounted fee, to encourage chess as a fun and educational family affair.

The importance of Chess to brain development and academics have long been an accepted fact and countless researchers and studies have shown over the years that chess strengthens a child’s mental clarity, fortitude, stability, and overall health. “Research shows, there is a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement. In 2000, a landmark study found that students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability (Smith and Cage, 2000).” (Wendy Fisher, John Hopkins School of Education). “According to research, Test scores improved by 17.3% for students regularly engaged in chess classes, compared with only 4.6% for children participating in other forms of enriched activities,” according to 4-time World Champion Susan Polgar.

More information at concordchess@yahoo.com. Enroll with CC Community Education (class #3695), www.ace.colonial.net, (978) 318-1432.

Looking for Something FUN to do with your Toddler?

Try these programs at the Ripley School in Concord:

Parent Toddler Program (ages 12-24 months as of Sept. 2013)

A fun-filled playgroup for toddlers! While the children play in the same room, parents participate in a discussion about parenting one year olds. The class includes a snack time, outdoor or gym play, and a fun interactive singing time. Classes meet Fridays from 9:30-11:00, January 10 to April 4. 12 classes – $150. Course #3572.

Parent Preschool Program (ages 24-36 months as of Sept. 2013)

This program is really two programs in one facilitated by two devoted early childhood specialists. Children play together in a nursery school classroom one morning a week. They learn what it’s like to be part of a group and what “school” is like. Parents take turns parent helping in the classroom assisting their child’s teacher. When not parent helping, moms (dads are welcome too) meet separately with their own facilitator for a parenting group and refreshments. Non-mobile siblings welcome. Classes meet Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 January 9 to April 3. 12 classes $335. Course #3571.

For more information go to www.ace.colonial.net/parentchild/home.html or call Ingrid Wheeler 978-369-7597. To register please see the website or call 978-318-1432.

Openings for the 2014-2015 School Year at CPS Integrated Preschool     

 You are invited to attend an Open House on Friday, January 10 (snow date: Friday, January 17) from 2-4 PM and 6-8:00 PM. Children are welcome!

Come see our facility, talk with our staff, and ask questions about the program. We are located at the Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road in Concord and we have half-day AM & PM sessions and a full-day program available.  You can also check us out on our web site link at www.concordpublicschools.net!

Children who are three by September 1 and who are not yet five by August 31 are welcome to apply.  Applications are available at the Open House, at each of the Concord Elementary School Offices, the Special Education Office in the Ripley Building, and on our web site (www.concordpublicschools.net).  Applications must be returned by January 24 to be eligible for the lottery.

We look forward to meeting you at our Open House!  If you have further questions, please contact any of the teachers below.

Half-day session teachers:

Full-day session teacher:

 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 January 9, 2014. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, January 6, 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.