March 17, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group March 17, 2011
FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
Hello Everyone. There have been many exciting learning opportunities happening throughout our school! I had the fortunate opportunity to observe the students in grade 3 participating in the MARS Rover Project last week. Wow what an amazing opportunity for our students to learn about Mars and so many other interesting things related to the solar system. Please ask your children about this fun and engaging project.
I visited a terrific art class where first grade students were creating wonderful drawings using craypas. They carefully studied and identified all the different shapes and sizes of different vehicles including cars, trucks, helicopters, and more. Each student chose what they wanted to draw and then added a background with details for where the vehicles were traveling.
I also had the pleasure of attending Math Night a few weeks ago. I was so impressed and intrigued with the creative and challenging games offered for students and their family members to participate in. Ms. Pettyjohn, our school librarian, was also conducting read alouds throughout the evening, which many students intently listened to and enjoyed. Great time had by all.
As many of you may be aware, we are gearing up for the annual spring MCAS assessments for students in grades 3, 4 and 5. The ELA component of MCAS dates are Tuesday March 22 – March 28, 2011. The math and science MCAS will take place May 9 – 19, 2011. Students in grades 3, 4, 5 will be assessed in math. Grade 5 will also be assessed in science. A more detailed letter will be sent home this week to parents of students in grades 3, 4, and 5 regarding MCAS. If you have any questions regarding MCAS, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the language arts specialist, Joyce Carter or the math specialist, Laurie Link.
Last, I am looking forward to the annual Cake Walk coming up on Saturday, March 26.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those of you who may be celebrating this holiday!

Sincerely,
Kelly Clough

FROM THE PTG CO-PRESIDENTS
WOW! Just WOW! The Thoreau Auction was AWESOME! Let’s give a big Thoreau High 5 to our fantastic Auction Co-Chairs Chris Economos and Jean Easterday, who worked so hard along with their fabulous Auction Committee to organize what was a truly spectacular event last Friday night in support of our beloved Thoreau School Community. It was a great turnout, the decorations were terrific, the food was delicious, the entertainment was cool, there were so many incredible items to bid on, we could go on and on! A special thanks goes to our wonderful room parents for coordinating such amazing classroom items. Thank you also to all our donors, to all our guests, to everyone who helped make it a successful and enjoyable evening. Next up is our Sports Recycle Sale this Saturday, March 19th. It’s a great opportunity to clear out all the gently-used athletic equipment your family has outgrown and score some great deals on the items they need now and in the future. Please check it out. Also, please make sure that you have Saturday, March 26th circled in red on your calendar for the ever popular Thoreau Family Festival and Cake Walk. We can’t wait to see all the marvelous cakes that the many talented student decorators at Thoreau School are dreaming up. Last, but not least, we are planning for next year’s PTG Board and Committee Chairs. Both are great ways to be informed about what is going on at school and to meet other families. There are a wide range of opportunities, so you can do as much or as little as fits into your schedule. If you would like to volunteer or need more information, please drop Melanie a line. Hope you are all adjusting to Spring Ahead! Have a great weekend! Karen and Melanie

HELP WANTED!
SCHOOL DIRECTORY CO-COORDINATOR A volunteer has stepped forward to work on the directory’s database/computer-related tasks, but would like to work with a co-coordinator to validate and solicit the data. Much of this 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 directories can be printed in time for Back-To-School Night. The job also involves arranging the production and distribution of the directories. This position is labor ongoing basis. 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.

THOREAU ANNOUNCEMENTS CO-EDITOR The PTG is looking for a co-editor of the Thoreau Announcements for the next school year. Responsibilities include collecting and editing submissions, and posting the Announcements on the PTG WordPress site for email distribution. Currently co-editors alternate months, and the job takes about 2-3 hours per “on” week. For more information, contact Laurie Garrison (chrisandlaurie@comcast.net) or Anne Mullaney (anne.mullaney@gmail.com).

SCHOOL COMMITTEE OBSERVER

Notes from 03-08-11 submitted by Ling Liu & Cheryl Kirkpatrick

1. School Budget and articles will be presented on Monday, April 25, 2011 at 7pm
2. The CCHS building committee will provide update and presentation to concord elementary school joint PTG meeting on Tuesday March 15 7:30pm at CCHS little theater. Sign up to receive newsletter updates about the CCHS building committee at http://www.committee4cchs.org/join.html
3. The Concord-Carlisle school district achieved 100% compliance with MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
4. Suicide prevention and depression screenings will be conducted next week for high school students, and April 7 and April 11 for middle school students.

PTG FUNDRAISING UPDATE

Thank you to the following families for their donations this past month to the Annual Appeal: Bartlett, Bates, Belden, Bettencourt, Easterday, Hwang, Jennings, Kerimo, Magee, Waxler.
A big High Five Thank You to Chris Economos and Jean Easterday, their team and all those who donated for one fabulous auction. The food, DJ, David Robi – MC and a fun crowd! Who would have thought the Elks could look so good. Thanks again!
Natalie Gekle & Maria Schichilone, Co-fundraising

CAKE WALK AND FAMILY FESTIVAL IS COMING…March 26th from 2-4!!!

Calling all Volunteers!!

The Cake Walk and Family Festival is TEN days away. We need lots and lots of cakes, 300-400! These will be used as prizes and can also be entered into the Cake Decorating Contest! All cakes entered into the contest must be decorated by a Thoreau Student and brought to the Thoreau School between 12:30-1:30. Judging will begin at 1:45. We are still in need of volunteers to help make this a success. If you can spare an hour or two, please contact Beth Symko @ symko00@comcast.net. Also, please remember to bring any non-perishable food donation for the Open Table Food Drive. Bring two non-perishable items and you will receive a FREE cake walk ticket. The booth will be set up by the entrance.

FROM THE LIBRARY: THE BOOK CHARACTER PARADE IS COMING!
The Book Character Parade is scheduled for 11:00 AM on Tuesday, April 5, about three weeks away. You have plenty of time to choose a favorite book character and make a simple mask, costume or prop to represent that character. Families are invited to watch as The Cat in the Hat leads the parade through the halls and classrooms. For more information, check next week’s Thursday Announcements or talk to Karen or Cathy in the library.

SPORTS RECYCLE SALE

Saturday, March 19th is the Sports Recycle Sale from 10am to 1pm in the Thoreau cafeteria!
Drop-offs of gently used sporting equipment can be brought to the Thoreau School Cafeteria on Friday, March 18th from 3:30-5:30pm. If you can spare an hour or two, volunteers still needed from 9am-2pm. For questions, volunteer sign-up, or alternate drop-off location, contact kristen.keilty@comcast.net.

DON’T MISS THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PHOTOS OF YOUR 5TH GRADER

Pictures of your 5th grader are needed for the class DVD and Yearbook. Time is critical now to submit your photos electronically. We will not use all the photos that are submitted, but we need a good selection to choose from – making sure everyone is represented. So, if you want to make sure there is a good photo of your child, PLEASE send it my way now!

IDEALLY: we would like electronic files. If you get us files electronically, we need some way of knowing which grade they represent. It will be very difficult for us to distinguish Grade 1 from Grade 2 for instance. So, you may either rename the file as “Grade 1”, or put them in folders labeled “Grade 2,” etc.

We are looking for the following photos:

• Group and individual photos – particularly school activities
• Cake Walk, Hobby Fair, Spelling Bee, Solstice, Turkey Trot, etc. photos
• Field Trip photos
• First Day of School and Bus Stop photos
• Book Character Parade photos
• Photos from concerts, Math Night, school plays
• Photos from lunch, recess, Road Race, Lego Club, Chess Club
• Photos taken during art, music, gym, library or in the regular classrooms
• Sports photos of Thoreau kids

Please send your photos to me by the end of March. If you can take pictures of upcoming events, too, please contact me at Carol@Wipper.com
Thanks very much. Carol

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

LUNCH MENU Week of March21-March 25

Monday Grilled Chicken Patty
Tuesday Nachos Grande with Chili and Cheese
Wednesday Baked WW Rotini
Thursday Hard Shell Taco
Friday French Bread Pizza

AROUND TOWN

CCPI MARCH UNMADNESS MONTH
Take a break from the ordinary today with March UnMadness. Have a Family Read-A-Thon. Enjoy reading a poem, short story or book together and discuss. Or have a Candlelight Dinner at home. Easy ideas for spending time together as a family during March can be found on Concord Carlisle Parents Initiative March UnMadness calendar. http://www.ccpionline.org/March%20UnMadness%202011.pdf
Or pick up a calendar from the Parent Resource Area at The Concord Free Public Library.

YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN!
Buy your tickets now for the Concord Middle School Spring Musical, Performances will be held on April 8, 9, 10 and 12. All tickets are $10.00 and all seats will be pre-assigned on a first come, first served basis according to U.S. postmark on ticket order form envelope. All shows are expected to sell out; it is unlikely that any tickets will be sold at the door.
To order tickets, click on this link: http://cms.colonial.net. Please print the form, fill it out, enclose a check payable to CMS, and mail it via U.S. Postal Service to Suzy Symons, 17 Central Street, Concord 01742. All tickets for all shows will be held at the door and may be picked up ½ hour prior to performance time. See you at the show!

COME MEET AND LISTEN TO TWO WELL KNOWN AUTHORS: Patricia MacLachlan and Gregory Maguire.

Save the Date for a Great Evening for a Great Cause Wednesday, April 27, 6:00 p. m.
The Thoreau School, 29 Prairie St, Concord, MA
A Conversation Between Two Writers: Patricia MacLachlan and Gregory McGuire
Celebrate books and childhood
MacLachlan and Maguire will talk about their books, the writing process, and the importance of books to children. This will be followed by a question and answer period, book signing, and reception.
Tickets: $18 if purchased in advance. Tickets can be purchased at Evergreen Garden Playschool, 270 Barnum Road, Devens, MA 01434. $20 at the door, $10 with a university student ID children under 18 are free.

All proceeds to benefit the Evergreen Garden Playschool, Devens, Massachusetts
270 Barnum Rd, Devens, MA;www.evergreengardenplayschool.org
For more information please call 978-772-9595 or email sarah@egplayschool.org

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, March 21, 2011.