June 13, 2013


The students voted for a last day of school spirit theme and the winner was favorite sports team day.  It will take place on our last day of school, Friday June 21.


Hopefully by now all of your kids (and you) have experienced the joy of GAGA!? Perhaps you have found a few wood chips in your children’s shoes or even in their bed after a long day in the pit?  The kids are playing before, during and after school with their friends and are gladly welcoming stragglers who wander by into their games. It is a game that promotes honesty (calling yourself out) and provides a quick workout in a short period of time.  A special thanks to so many people who made the pit possible and who continue to donate their time as needed: Kelly Clough, Beth Murphy, Rachel Levesque, the noon aids, all of the Thoreau teachers for giving it a try, the entire PTG for funding and supporting the project, many parents (you know who you are) who showed up for the PTG vote, Brian Oulette ( CC Maintenance Forman), the custodians at Thoreau, Rob Becker, Bill Grace and of course, James Scichilone  and his crew at JMS and Associates for putting the pit together! We’ll leave one ball in the net (hanging on the pit) as well as instructions on how to play which are posted on the pit’s front wall for anyone who wants to come down to play at any time once school ends or in the evenings.  Please be sure to return the ball back into the net when you are finished playing . If you notice that the ball needs more air- or if there isn’t a ball in the net, Ms Murphy will be keeping a pump and replacement balls in her office so please seek her out. Once school ends, please email me (Robin Grace robin.s.grace@ms.com) if you notice that the pit is in need of repair or if you need a new ball, etc.

Important: No one is permitted to sit on the walls at any time and please do not use the walls as a large balance beam by walking along the railings- the supports are strong- but the wear and tear will cause the pit to eventually break if used in this way. Please remind others of these rules if you see people mistreating our pit!  It is a community GAGA PIT so let’s keep it in good shape and enjoy it for many years to come! Thank you. -Robin Grace  


That’s how we put out the call for recipes for the Thoreau Family Cookbook. Time to rummage through your family favs.  You know the ones we’re talking about.  The dog-eared, chocolate splattered pages in your personal collection. From apps to desserts and everything in between,  the Thoreau Family Cookbook will be filled with lip-smacking, kid-pleasing, family-friendly recipes, but only if you submit now.  Please include a line or two about what makes this recipe special to your family, along with a student drawing. Families may submit up to 3 recipes.  But hurry!  The deadline is Friday, June 21.  Please submit your recipes and drawings to thoreaucooks@gmail.com.  If you prefer hard copy, please send your family recipes to your child’s teacher.  Questions? Contact Prow Sarns at thoreaucooks@gmail.com for answers.  The Thoreau Cookbook will be available this coming Fall, just in time for the holidays.  Now, that’s something to yodel about!


Thank you to all Thoreau Families who so generously participated in the monthly breakfasts for the faculty and staff.  We all enjoyed them so much and much appreciate the effort to offer healthy foods including protein, fruits and vegetables along w/ the goodies.  Also, many thanks to the PTG for the lovely appreciation luncheon.  It is a highlight every year.  You are all so very generous w/ your time and contributions. –Nicki Richards


If your children do not know how to swim, please make an effort to provide them with swimming lessons.  It is a lifelong skill, a safety concern and just loads of fun.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!!! Have a wonderful, fun and safe summer. -Nicki Richards, RN, Thoreau School nurse


Thank you so much to everyone for contributing to the Bus Driver/Crossing Guard Breakfast last week. The bus drivers and crossing guards loved it and so appreciated everyone’s generosity! Evidently, Thoreau is the only school that does the Appreciation Breakfast for their bus drivers and crossing guards.  Many thanks for your support! -Jackie and Laura


Thank you so much for your help during the past year. You’ve worked hard to put our library shelves in order and to keep the books circulating. Special thanks go to the parent volunteers of our graduating 5th graders for their many years of assistance: Laurie Avakian, Melanie Bettencourt, Amy Hoey, Suzanne Sabin, Karen Brown, Sue Cannistraro, Carolyn McCarthy, Getchen Nelson, and Lisa Venus.  And three more cheers to Carolyn McCarthy, our intrepid volunteer coordinator, for keeping us all organized for the past five years. Welcome to our new volunteer coordinator, Kristin Haddad.

We hope that you all can come to our annual “shelving+ parties” on Wednesday, June 19 and Thursday, June 20 from 9:00 A.M. to noon. If you have time, please help us re-shelve books and assist with any number of other end-of the-year projects.  Sustenance will be provided! Again, thank you for everything.  –Karen Pettyjohn and Cathy Collins


Many thanks to the Thoreau families that have generously donated books to the Library this year. We were given many new books through The Gift Book Program, The Scholastic Book Fair, The Vacation-Travel Book Club and by generous individuals. Many of these donors have already been thanked in earlier Announcements.  We would now like to also acknowledge Jonathan Xu, Ryan Waxler, Arrad Sagee, Van Hekesen Family, Harry Holden, The Feinstein Family, Bonnie Li, Skylar Chaudhary, Fiddle Walton, Andres Garcia, The Moy Family, Ella Rose Gardner, Ava Loporto, The Sablak Family, the Thoreau Times newspaper and the Children’s Programing Committee. Special thanks go to Laurie Garrison for managing our Gift Book program, and Jen Johnson for managing the Vacation-Travel Book Club. -Karen Pettyjohn


The last checkout for library materials was on Monday, June 3, so now is the time to hunt for any missing library items. We would much rather have the book than its replacement cost, so check those closets, bookcases and car seats please! Bills for overdue books will be sent out during the week of June 10. Books not returned, paid for or replaced by the end of school will be kept on a student’s record, and will affect his or her eligibility to check out new materials in the fall.   -Karen Pettyjohn and Cathy Collins


The 5th graders are holding a schoolwide fundraiser for Open Table and Project Bread for the next few weeks.  They have asked that each grade bring in a certain category of food:

  • Kindergarten: canned fruit
  • 1st grade: cereal
  • 2nd grade: packaged snack items
  • 3rd grade: canned protein (beans, chili, tuna, peanut butter)
  • 4th grade: spaghetti sauce
  • 5th grade: condiments (mustard, ketchup, mayonaise, salad dressing)

Any food donations that the students bring in for Open Table should be placed under the Earth Day tree behind the auditorium.

In addition, the 5th graders will be selling wrist bands for $2.00 each to support Project Bread.  Wrist bands will go on sale this Friday in the school cafeteria during the various lunch periods.  They will continue selling the wristbands next Monday, Wednesday and Thursday as well.  If someone wishes to purchase the wristbands before then, they can see Mr. Hourihan at any time during the school day.  There are adult size wristbands as well, and the cost is $2.00 regardless of the size.  Students can also make monetary donations in the large water bottle outside of the main office.  Thanks for your support! -Rachel Levesque, Social Worker


Did any of your children have Brad Bennett as teacher ?  Or did they participate in his beloved Poetry Club?  If so, please join us for an informal gathering on June 17 from 3:45-5:15 to say goodbye to Mr. B and wish him well in the next chapter of his life.  The event will take place at 95 Upland Rd. (home of Gretchen Nelson) and lemonade & cookies will served.  Please bring your children and please feel free to stop by at any point during the gathering and stay for as little or as much as you are able.  Last but not least, we are collecting simple contributions (e.g. a poem, a memory, a picture) for a memory book to give to Mr. B.  Please send all submissions to Gretchen Nelson at: ghnelson@me.com or at the above address.  


May 28, summarized by Cheryl Kirkpatrick; for full notes see Thoreau PTG website

  • Announced that Tuesday, June 4 the School Committee will discuss landfill remediation strategies
  • Announced a vote on the issuance of an RFP for consultant services for outsourcing transportation. Since the School Committee voted to pursue outsourcing if Article 13 failed (which it did), they are moving in that direction. Vote will take place at June 4 meeting.
  • Announced that Superintendent’s public performance evaluation will take place on the last School Committee meeting of the year, June 27.
  • Louis Salemy reported that the CCHS building project is going very well see http://concordpublicschools.net/schoolcommittee/attachments/2013-05-28-AT.pdf for copy of his presentation.
  • Announced that the Tell Mass Report on the results and recommendations from this year’s Tell Mass Committee work will be given at the June 11 School Committee meeting

 June 4, summarized by Cheryl Kirkpatrick

  • Stan Durlacher, Building Committee Chair was asked to present a history of the history and discovery of contamination problems at the high school building site.
  • CDW Consultants presented their thinking on the projected costs on cleaning up the site in various scenarios. They recommended cleaning it in a way that would cost a projected $1.2-$1.8 million. Would not be able to use the area for parking or fields with this scenario – simply plant grass. Would have to ask Concord & Carlisle for the extra money necessary to do this.
  • Next meeting June 11 at Ripley conference room (as of right now). Results of Tell Mass school-based analysis teams will be shared.

For full minutes of the meeting and full access to presentations please access the agenda and handouts at www.concordpublicschools.net/agendas-and-meeting-minutes.


Please return the Student Verification forms immediately.   We need to update/correct all student information in our database.  Thank you for your cooperation.

In addition, please send in notes to the teachers in the morning, when there’s a change in dismissal plans.  Emailing a teacher or the office is not good practice, for the email may not be read until after dismissal. Also, switching of buses is not allowed.  FYI . . .

  • June 17-20      Full Days
  • June 21         Last day of school – early release
  • Sept. 6         First day of school

 -Donna and Maria

 LUNCH MENU FOR June 17 – 21

  • Monday: Grilled Cheese with Ham
  • Tuesday: Meatball Sub
  • Wednesday: Popcorn Chicken
  • Thursday: Slice of Cheese Pizza
  • Friday: Early Release


A Letter from the Curley Family

Dear Concord Friends,

     This past Christmas Eve, our family got the news that no parent ever wants to hear.  Our middle daughter, Shannon, a sixth grader at Peabody, was diagnosed with Acute Bilineal Leukemia.  This is a rare leukemia, making up less that 1% of all childhood leukemia.  Because it is so rare, there is no protocol for treatment, and research is limited.  Shannon’s case essentially stands on its own, and we relied on the expertise of our doctors at Children’s Hospital to choose the best treatment for her.  Needless to say, we were devastated, and the weeks that followed her initial diagnosis were filled with fear and heartache. 

     As we grappled with the news and with our new reality consisting of hospitals, doctors, chemo, radiation, transfusions and being split as a family, our friends and colleagues in Concord began to rally behind us.  The support that we have received over the past five months has been incredible.   We want to thank the entire community for all of your thoughts and prayers throughout this ordeal.  Knowing we were not alone in Shannon’s journey got us through the most difficult days.

      On behalf of our entire family, we thank you for the gift cards, teddy bears, books, blankets, jewelry, craft kits, journals, make up, prayer cards, and board games, not to mention monetary donations made to Shamrocks For Shannon.  Thank you also to all of you who prepared dinners, drove our children to activities, posted comments on Caring Bridge, brought your children to visit Shannon, and made countless offers of help.  We are truly humbled by the fundraising efforts that went on at each of the schools in town, and we thank you all for the time, energy and love that you put into each event.  We also want to thank the school administration and teacher’s union for making my leave as seamless as possible. 

      Recently, I was listening to some of the marathon bombing victims speak about their experiences in the aftermath of this terrible event.  One of the victims was describing the “ripple effect” of goodness that occurred in the wake of tragedy and he was stressing the fact that tragedy begets the best of humanity.    We felt the same way throughout our four months in the hospital.  Shannon’s cancer became an opportunity to remind each of us of the inherent goodness in the world.   It is one of the many blessings that we take from this journey and will treasure forever. 

     Shannon remains in remission at this point and is recovering well at home.  She has an incredible spirit about her, and so many of you contributed to that…so from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank you for sharing your kindness with us.   We will be forever grateful, and we will forever be paying it forward!


Carol and Chris Curley

A Special Community Film Presentation: “Buck”

On Friday, June 14 at 7:00 PM at the Alcott School, join us for an award-winning film about horses, a horse-whisperer, leadership, compassion, and the human condition. Some special local organizations will be on hand for the show, including The Nature Connection, Therapy Dogs International, Love Lane Stables, and Helping Hands. Free and open to all; PG rating.

The film is sponsored by the Concord-Carlisle Schools, Adult & Community Education, established in 1954. Donations will be accepted to support the scholarship fund, which helps students fulfill their continuing education goals. The Adult & Community Education department is a partner agency of the Concord Carlisle Community Chest, and is funded by student fees and community participation. Concord-Carlisle Schools, Adult & Community Education, www.ace.colonial.net, 978-318-1432.

CCYB Summer Baseball and Softball Programs are Open

For information about Jimmy Fund Travel Baseball League (Grades 2-7) please visit www.ccyb.org, Minuteman Babe Ruth League (players 13-16 years old) visit www.mmbrl.com, John Kelly Baseball (Players 13-16) contact Coach Kelly at JK@johnkellybaseball.com, Baystate Team (Players ages 9-12)  www.baystatebaseball.com and Lou Tomkins Team (Players 13-15) www.ltabaseball.com  Visit www.ccyb.org for more complete information about any of these baseball or softball opportunities.


Preschool Slots Available for the 2013-2014 School Year

Great news!  Spread the word!  The Concord Public Schools Integrated Preschool has just opened up a second afternoon section for the 2013-2014 school year and has slots available on a “first come, first served” basis!  Preference will be given to children who will be three or four years old by September 1, 2013.  We are located at the Ripley Building, 120 Meriam Road in Concord and we have half-day AM & PM session slots available.

For more information or to download an application, please follow the links on our web site at www.concordpublicschools.net! If you have further questions, please contact us. Jennifer DeFrancesco, 978-202-1148, jdefrancesco@colonial.net or Nancy McGregor, 978-202-1184, nmcgregor@colonial.net.

Movie & Middle School Info Night for 5th Graders

The Library Teen Advisory Board is hosting a Movie and CMS Information Night on June 14, 6:00-8:30pm at Fowler Library. 5th graders will play a CMS trivia game, have their questions answered by current CMS students and then watch Alice In Wonderland. Snacks will be provided.  This is a drop off event. Space is limited so please email Youth Services Coordinator Erin Duggan, eduggan@concordma.gov, to reserve a spot. Thank you!

Vacation Bible School at West Concord Union Church – God’s Good Earth in Our Hands

Join us for VBS focused on celebration and care of God’s creation. Build a rainbow in a test tube, dive into a trash-to-treasure hunt, adopt a (stuffed) animal, play water games, sing, paint, enjoy great stories, and pray. Our focus is to nurture the child’s understanding of his or her role in creation and empower each child to make the world they want to see. August 19-23 from 9am-noon; ages 3yr through Grade 5. For more information, follow the VBS link at www.westconcordunionchurch.org, or call 978-369-6309.

CCYS Travel and In-Town Fall Registration Is Now Open

Registration is open for Concord-Carlisle Youth Soccer’s in-town programs for grades pre-K through 6th grade and travel programs for ages U9 through U14 for the fall 2013 season.  The travel registration deadline is June 30, and the in-town registration deadline is July 16. More information can be found at www.ccysoccer.org.

                Principal Kelly Clough’s Bloghttp://principalclough.wordpress.com

                MCAS Schedule: https://www.thoreauptg.org/mcas/

                MySchoolBucks Lunch Account Balance: https://www.myschoolbucks.com/

                Math Resources for Parents: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Link/ParentResources


The last issue of Thoreau Announcements for this school year will be published on JUNE 20, 2013. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, JUNE 17, 2013. 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.