January 27, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group  

January 27, 2011

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.


Well, there is no question that it is winter.  We hope that everyone is staying warm.  Since the cold might be keeping you inside, take a few minutes to subscribe to the new Thoreau PTG website and PTG messaging system.  The plan is for the new website messaging to replace the current e-mail list.  You still have time, but don’t wait too long.  Visit https://www.thoreauptg.org    and subscribe.  Thanks to Marcy Shipe for not only being the webmaster for the current PTG site, but for also creating the new PTG website.  On that note, as of next year, Marcy will not have any more Thoreau kids.  If you would be interested in being the webmaster for the Thoreau PTG, please contact Karen Brown or myself, Melanie Bettencourt.  While I am mentioning open positions for next year, the directory position is still available.  See details below.  We hope you consider taking on this position.  The School Directory is a resource that the entire Thoreau community uses.  Have you RSVP’d for the Raising Financially Aware Kids seminar on Wednesday, February 2nd at 7:30PM?  It is free to parents and grandparents of Concord children.  It is being held in the Thoreau auditorium, but invitations have been extended throughout the school system.  Be sure to RSVP.  BINGO night is coming up next week.  We hope you consider attending this fun Thoreau tradition Thursday, February 3rd.  Also next week is the School Committee forum on the CCHS building project.  Take a tour and find out more about the progress and plans, 7:00 PM at CCHS.  For more details visit http://www.cchsbuilding.org   Have a great weekend!   Karen and Melanie



The Thoreau PTG needs a School Directory Coordinator.  The School Directory Coordinator obtains a database from Concord Public Schools detailing student and family contact information for inclusion in the directory and produces a camera ready-copy for printing. The Directory Coordinator must have a PC which can run the ACCESS database program (it will not run on a MAC).  Prior knowledge of ACCESS is not required (although it would be very helpful), but you must be computer savvy since you will work with the database and occasionally make minor updates to it.  Much of the job involves verifying the data received by the school, soliciting correct data when errors are found, and soliciting data that has not yet been sent to the school so that the Directory can be printed in time for Back To School Night.  The Directory Coordinator also arranges the production and distribution of the directories.  This position is labor intensive during August and September with smaller amounts of time needed on an ongoing basis.  It is possible (and highly recommended) to split this job into 2 positions and have one person work on the database/computer-related tasks and the other person validate and solicit data.  We all know what a valuable communication tool the Thoreau School Directory is, so it is imperative that this very important position be filled.  Please contact Karen Brown at dmbkjb@comcast.net or Melanie Bettencourt at thebettencourts@comcast.net if you are interested or need further information.  Thank You!


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.


We are starting an early search for someone to take over the role of PTG webmaster, since our current webmaster will “graduate” Thoreau at the end of this school year.

The webmaster maintains the PTG website, www.thoreauptg.org .  Tasks include updating web pages as needed, new page development, and general website management. The webmaster also manages PTG email aliases, domain name renewals and hosting, and all affiliate partnerships for the Thoreau online store, www.thoreaustore.com . Candidate should have experience with WordPress (self-install version), web design, knowledge of ftp, and an understanding of domain registrations/renewals and Internet hosting providers. Experience with Feedburner would be a plus.  If you have an interest in the role of PTG webmaster, please contact Marcy Shipe at webmaster@thoreauptg.org


Please help us make the 2011 Thoreau School Auction a success!  The event will be held on Friday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. 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 High Five 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 978.369.8009 or easterdayfamily@comcast.net


Looking for Something to do on Snow Days?

Snow days are great days for your family to work on its Geography Quests! The Geography Quest is the annual PTG-sponsored event that’s designed to let Thoreau, Willard and Alcott families explore geography together while learning a bit about history and how to use reference tools. 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). Many reference books have been set aside at the Thoreau School and Concord Public libraries. Completed Geography Quests should be returned to the box in the Thoreau library by Tuesday, February 8.

Anne Mullaney and Carla Macy, Geography Quest Co-chairs



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!


Our February late bus Family Friends Tuesday is February 15!  Let’s hope we don’t get snowed out again…

Please remember that for playdates each family (Concord and Boston) should send a signed, dated note to the school office at the beginning of school on the Tuesday of the late bus. The notes should include the plans for the afternoon and the names and telephone numbers of both families. Boston children can ride Concord children’s bus with a note from Boston parents

granting permission.  To catch the late bus, please have students at the Alcott School playground by 4:20 p.m. for the 4:30 bus to Boston.

Thanks to all our families, Boston and Concord, who participate in Family Friends.  It’s amazing to see friendships that began in kindergarten continue to grow over the years at Thoreau.

Your Thoreau Family Friends Team: Gretchen Nelson, Laurine Verrilli, Meg Alexander



Thanks so much to everyone who has signed up to help with PALs, but we still have a lot of openings! Each shift is really just over an hour (11:55-1:00). We can accommodate your schedule: you can choose the dates that work best for you via the wiki sign up. Ideally, we’d like to have 2 people on each shift. Do you have a friend who might like to be a PAL? We’d love to have some new people sign up!

Imagine seeing your child at school, spending a bit of time with a friend, and volunteering all at the same time! 🙂

For more info about PALs, or if you’d like to be a PAL any day this school year, please email, jackiemeehan@comcast.net or call Jackie Meehan 978.369.2975. 


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 Auditorium

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.

Thank you to the families and individuals who have donated books to the school library from a vacation, site-seeing trip, or other excursion.  The bookcase is full of adventures for everyone. Come in and see for yourself!

Recent donations include:  Crazy Horses’s Vision, by Joseph Bruchac. Given by Nicholas and Justin Moy.

Antarctic Antics: a Book of Penguin Poems by Judy Sierra.  Donated by Crisse Hamscher (a sub).   Crisse brought the book back with her from a trip to Antarctica with National Geographic.  

On This Island: The Natives ….     Donated by Emma-Sofia Wipper on her third trip to Bermuda when she officially became a Bermuda Onion!

For those of you new to Thoreau, the Vacation and Travel Book section of the school library is a great resource for learning about different cities, countries, cultures, hometown artists, local characters, natural wonders, and tourist attractions that you might want to visit.  Books are purchased by families touring an interesting location or just going on a local day trip.  The book can be dedicated to a special person or event and then shared with everyone.

With February and April vacations quickly approaching, please consider buying a book for the library if you will be visiting a new place or returning to a favorite destination.  

Thanks very much.  Happy travels!! Carol Wipper, Vacation and Travel Book Program


Thank you very much to the Thoreau School students, friends, and families who collected $1,812.57 for UNICEF this year.  Great work, everyone!  Once again, the Thoreau School has earned special recognition as a UNICEF “Ambassador” (gifts of $1,000.00 – $2,999.00).

We appreciate your generous donations.  You are making a real difference in the lives of other children.  The funds will provide the food, water, shelter, health care, and protection that kids need to survive worldwide.
Carol Wipper and Jean Easterday, PTG UNICEF Coordinators


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 31-February 4

Unavailable at this time.          




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.


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 7:30 p.m. 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 Administration and Finance. All members of the public are welcome, and there will be an opportunity for audience questions. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, visit www.lwvcc.org  or call 978-254-1598.


Save the Date:  March 5, from 9-2 at the Willard School. “Getting to Green: Building a Sustainable Community.” Organized by Sustainable Concord, in collaboration with ConcordCAN and the Concord Public Schools. Keynote Speaker: Professor Halina Brown of Clark University. Participate in a lively, community-building event. Help develop  a shared vision of Concord’s

future. Find out what Concord’s school kids are thinking about “getting to green.” Network with residents, Town officials, environmental activists, and business people, who are all working to create a sustainable community. Watch for details coming soon. For more information now, Contact Morwen@earthdrum.com .



CCHS Summer Opportunities Fair – Monday, January 31, 2011

Concord-Carlisle High School

Come join us at the 29th Annual Summer Opportunities Fair to be held Monday, January 31, 2011, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. (snow date is February 1) in the CCHS cafeteria.  This event provides parents and students from K-12 the means to explore some exciting alternatives to the usual summer activities, and brings together representatives from approximately 90 organizations to present summer opportunities held locally, nationally and abroad.  Exhibitors will be present to display information on wilderness adventures, educational and enrichment opportunities, foreign language and student exchange programs and volunteer opportunities, as well as traditional, sports and special-needs camps.  This event is sponsored by the Concord-Carlisle High School Parents’ Association.  Admission is free.

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, January 31, 2011.