January 20, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group
January 20, 2011

Please do not reply to this e-mail. For information on contacting the Thoreau Announcement, please see the contact information at the end of this e-mail.

FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
Dear Families,
Greetings!  How about that snow!  Wow and more on the way this Friday!  I have to admit, I am one of those people who actually likes the snow.  Hope you are able to also enjoy playing in it or skiing in it.  If not, I hope you can find a good book, some hot chocolate, or simply enjoy the view!

Even with all this snow, Thoreau tends to be a very busy and interesting place. Today I read the book, Tacky Goes to Camp, by Helen Lester to a first grade classroom.  The students did a great job of actively listening and sharing their ideas and predictions.  I also visited a kindergarten classroom where students were doing a wonderful job participating in morning meeting that included reviewing the calendar, weather, job responsibilities and more.  I also observed these same students learning a new math game called Break the Train. Students identified and created many different patterns using multi-colored unfix cubes.  Last, I observed another kindergarten class during their gym class as they rotated through several activity stations learning how to turn cartwheels, use the scooters to play Turtles, as well as climb both the rock wall and the cargo net.  The students did an amazing job!

As you may have already noticed, A Planet Aide clothing bin has been set up next to the loading dock.  When dropping off donations, please assist us by parking only in the designated parking spots, and not next to the clothing bin.  The cafeteria needs this area left open for important deliveries that happen throughout the day.  Our custodial and facilities staff also uses this area for work that is being done on an ongoing basis.   Last, please do not park in the handicap parking spots unless you have a handicap sticker.  We have noticed this happening before school hours.

On January, 14 Andrew Bates and D.J. Roberts, two 3rd graders at Thoreau participated in an event, “Remember, Reflect, Respond,” organized by Partners In Health on the anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that took place in Boston in John Hancock’s Hall with over 1,000 people attending.  Andrew and D.J. stood on the stage as a part of representation of support that went into the earthquake relief effort.  You can watch the entire program by clicking on the link below and see Andrew and D.J. representing Thoreau School. They appear toward the end of the program.  Special thank you and gratitude to our second grade teacher, Mehrnoosh Watson, for arranging this opportunity for our two students to represent Thoreau School at this event.   Also, many thanks and appreciation to all of the students and staff who participated in several types of fundraising events last year on behalf of Haiti.   What a wonderful school community we have!  The link is  www.pih.org/jan14.

Last, on Thursday, January 20, from 7:00 PM-8:00 PM I will be hosting an appreciation coffee in our school library for all Thoreau parent volunteers.  I hope all of you can join me for some light treats and beverages.

Sincerely,
Kelly Clough

FROM THE PTG CO-PRESIDENTS
We hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend.  With all the cold, wintry weather, it was a good opportunity for families to start working on the Geography Quest and for our older students to think about their exhibits for the Hobby Fair which is coming up soon on Monday, January 31st.  Due to the snow day last week, the next PTG meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday, January 26th at 7pm in the Thoreau Library.  We hope many of you can still attend the meeting on the new date.  One of the items on our agenda is the Thoreau PTG website re-design.  Please check it out at www.thoreauptg.org and don’t forget to subscribe to Thoreau Weekly Announcements.  The current method of distributing Weekly Announcements and email blasts will be phased out over the next few months so it is very important that everyone, including families, teachers and staff, who wants to stay informed about happenings at Thoreau subscribes as soon as possible.  In other on-line news, the Concord Patch (concord.patch.com) asked us if there is a parent at Thoreau who would be interested in writing a bi-weekly parenting column on their site.  Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested. On a final note, we attended a Joint PTG/SAC meeting at METCO last week.  It was great spending some time with our Boston families. Have a great weekend!
Karen and Melanie

2011 ANNUAL THOREAU SCHOOL SPELLING BEE
EXTENDED Registration Date for 2011 Annual Thoreau School Spelling Bee! We need more Spellers (esp. 4th graders)!!! The deadline for registration for this year’s Thoreau Spelling Bee has been extended to Friday, January 21st.  The Bee is scheduled on Saturday, February 12th. Please assure your children that this is a very fun and low-pressure event; the more the merrier! 3rd and 4th graders participate in teams of three; 5th graders compete individually. Bee start times are: 3rd grade 3:30, 4th grade 5:00, 5th grade 6:30. Form your teams ASAP and please return one registration form per team by January 21st. Link to registration form is:  https://www.thoreauptg.org/SpellingBee2011.pdf .
Suzy Symons, Spelling Bee Chair

THOREAU ANNOUNCEMENTS
The PTG is transitioning to a new delivery system for the Thoreau PTG 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 PTG 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.

THOREAU SCHOOL HOBBY FAIR – 2011
The annual Hobby Fair is right around the corner. This is an event for 4th and 5th grade students to share their hobbies, collections, art or 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, arts and crafts and writing.

The Fair will be open to the Thoreau School community on the evening of Monday, January 31st from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, when family and friends may view the many great exhibits. On Tuesday, February 1st, the Fair will run from 9:00am to 11:30pm, 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 is optional). Permission slips were sent home this week, and should be returned to your child’s teacher no later than Thursday Jan 27th. If you need another permission slip or have any questions, please contact Mardi Hutchinson at mardihut@comcast.net with any questions.

Any adults interested in helping to set up or clean up would be much appreciated.
Thoreau Hobby Fair Committee

THOREAU FAMILY B-I-N-G-O NIGHT, THURSDAY, FEB. 3rd
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!  Thursday February 3 in the cafeteria, with pizza from 5:30-6:00, Bingo from 6:00-7:00.  This is a family event, siblings are welcome.  We need some volunteers to help that night with picking up pizza, serving 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!

KIDS EAT SMART
On Wednesday, January 19th, the cafeteria held their second “New Food Tasting” for students.   As you may know, Concord Public Schools Food Services Department has been working with Chef Alden Cadwell of Sustainable Food Systems Inc., the Wellness Committee, and the local grassroots organization Kids Eat Smart, to make healthy changes to school lunches.  Among these changes include using significantly less processed foods and developing new recipes that are cooked from scratch.

Two important components of the menu changes are student feedback and a positive food culture in the cafeteria, where students are encouraged by parents, teachers and peers to try new, healthy foods.  To that end, a series of “New Food Tastings” will take place on specified dates throughout the school year.

During the tastings, parent volunteers pass around “tastes” of the new menu item being showcased that week.  (Precautions are taken in advance to ensure that students with allergies and/or other health concerns do not get the food by mistake).

The next Food Tasting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 26 and will feature baked whole wheat rotini and lemon zest broccoli.  We hope you will encourage your children to try it!

If you’re interested in volunteering in the cafeteria during a New Food Tasting, please email info.kidseatsmart@gmail.com.  Parents must have an approved CORI on file.

FROM THE HEALTH OFFICE
Volunteers needed for the next All School Lice Screening which is scheduled for Wed and Thurs January 26 and 27 from 9 AM to 11 AM. We need many helpers to accomplish this in 2 mornings.  Please contact Peggy Wargelin at zermatt@sprynet.com or call the Health office.  Please let me know if you need training and I will be happy to help.

In the meantime, all families should be checking their children’s heads on a regular basis ( I recommend once per week) and especially before any sleepovers or activities of close contact.
Nicki Morina Richards, RN, MS
Thoreau School Nurse
978-341-2490 x 3158

YES YOU CAN – RAISING FINANCIALLY AWARE KIDS
Free seminar for all Concord parents and grandparents sponsored by the Thoreau PTG

Date: February 2nd (WED night) at 7:30 PM at the Thoreau Elementary School

Please join us for a special presentation focused on practical and useful ways to teach your children about money.

Hosted by  Robin Silver Grace- Vice President at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Space is limited- please email Robin’s assistant (Kristen) at kristen.a.springer@mssb.com or call 781-672-5125 to reserve your seats!

Dessert and coffee will be served.

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 January 24-January 28
Monday            Grilled Chicken Patty
Tuesday            Popcorn Chicken Bowl
Wednesday       Baked WW Rotini
Thursday          Spaghetti w/Meatballs
Friday               Sorrento’s Pizza

AROUND TOWN

HOME AND CHILDREN’S DROP-OFF DAY
Pare down, be green, and help provide the basics to a family in need.  Pass on your gently used children’s and household items to a family in need!  On Saturday, January 22nd from 9am-1pm at First Parish in Concord, volunteers will be ready to receive your donations of household goods (such as linens, lamps, pots & pans, rugs, mattresses and furniture) or children’s items (such as gently used baby-teen clothing, footwear, outerwear, and baby equipment.)  All donations will go directly to Cradles to Crayons and HGRM to be redistributed to families in the Greater Boston Area.  For more information or a list of accepted items, please contact Abby White at: abbygwhite@comcast.net.

CONCORD CHILDREN CENTER’S ANNIVERSARY
Save the Date! Concord Children Center’s 35th Anniversary Celebration and Auction is right around the corner on March 26 at the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord.  You’ll find fantastic items to bid on, from oil changes to oil paintings, exotic food to exotic vacations!  Live music, great food, old and new friends.  Don’t miss it!  Families, friends and alumni are all welcome!  Visit concordchildrenscenter.org for more info and to order tickets!

CCHS BUILDING PROJECT COMMUNITY FORUM
Thursday February 3, 2011 Tour at 7:00 p.m. – Presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Wondering about the status of the CCHS building project? Would you like to learn more about our progress with MSBA, costs, plans, and next steps? Do you have your own questions about the building project? Come to the CCHS Building Project Community Forum on Thursday, February 3rd. Come for a tour at 7:00 p.m. Presentation, with question and answer session, from 7:30-8:30.  Hosted by the School Committee and The CCHS Building Committee.

LINE DRIVE BASEBALL FEBRUARY VACATION CLINIC
Help your child get a head start on the baseball season at the Line Drive Baseball Clinic at Middlesex School! The clinic will run from 9 am-12 pm on Tuesday, February 22 through Friday, February 25. The clinic will be run by Middlesex Head Baseball Coach John Morrissey. For more information, please email John at jmorrissey@mxschool.edu.

CONCORD CARLISLE YOUTH SOCCER
Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer is now taking registrations for our Spring 2011 In-Town program. We offer outdoor soccer for players in Pre-K through Grade 6 that live or attend school in Concord or Carlisle.  Games are played on Saturdays from late April to mid June and include weekly practices.  Details about the upcoming season may be found under Program Info on our website at www.ccysoccer.org.

CCYS is a community-based non-profit organization and is run by over 150 volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make our programs successful each season.  We need parents to volunteer as age directors, coaches, assistant coaches, managers and field coordinators.  We support our volunteers through coach training, mentoring and staff support.  Please consider volunteering when registering your player. To register, go to the Registration page of our website at: www.ccysoccer.org/Registration.  We offer financial assistance for those in need.  We strongly recommend registering early so that our staff may plan for the season.
For questions check out our website or call us at 978-369-7978.

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be edited by Laurie Garrison. 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, January 24, 2011.


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