March 29, 2012

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group


Dear Thoreau Families,

The Thoreau community continuously strives for excellence. Our School Advisory Council and our School Leadership Team have created a math survey for both parents and staff. By gathering information from both parents and staff, we hope to look at ways to either improve or enhance math instruction for all students at Thoreau. Please fill out the survey at Once we collect the survey data and analyze it with members of the School Advisory Council, the School Leadership Team, and Thoreau staff, we will share this with all of you and decide what next steps, if any, we may want to consider. Please use the comment box to provide specific examples to substantiate your feedback. Your responses will be anonymous. The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday, April 11. Thank you for your time.

Also, be sure to check out the newest addition to my blog at
–Kelly Clough


There is no school for elementary students on Tuesday, April 2; it is a professional/conference day. Note: this is only for the elementary schools.


Requests may be submitted by teachers, members of the Thoreau administration, and/or parents. The item(s) requested must provide a long-term benefit for the whole school or across an entire grade level, and are not a recurring cost after the initial grant. Please include all details pertaining to the benefits and the costs in your proposal, and submit it, in writing, to Melanie Bettencourt:, Shelagh Moskow: and Mallory Price: by Friday, March 30. You may also put them in an envelope labeled “Capital Request” and place them in the PTG mailbox. Thank you very much!
–Melanie & Shelagh, PTG Co-presidents


Cake Walk and Family Festival is TWO 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 at Also, we will have a booth near the entrance for the Open Table Food Drive. Bring two non-perishable items and you will receive a FREE cake walk ticket.


The first edition ever of The Thoreau Times has been published! We had a wonderful celebration Monday afternoon congratulating all of the students in grades three through five who participated in the after school newspaper club.  We thanked The PTG for their support; our parent volunteers, Carlene Hempel, Geoff Edgers, and Ellen Comeau; as well as staff members Nancy Dillon, Beth Kalikstein, Jessica Christensen, Sue Howard, and Kathy Caro who dedicated a tremendous amount of their own time and effort for the past several months to assist students with the creation of a terrific school newspaper. I think you will be quite impressed with the quality of the stories, special features, and much more that is featured in The Thoreau Times.

Tuesday morning students delivered The Thoreau Times to all of the students and staff members of Thoreau School.  Please be on the lookout for your child to bring home their copy. We hope you enjoy our first edition of our school newspaper.

Please join me in thanking all of the local businesses in West Concord listed in the ad section of the newspaper. Their donations helped us fund the publishing of The Thoreau Times, t-shirts, and other minor costs associated with the school newspaper club. I would also like to offer a special thank you to Scott and Rose Waxler (Locke Bridge Investment Banking) and to Jim and Michi Keefe (Red Paris Eye Wear + Nero Lunettes) for their especially generous donations towards the cost of printing. We greatly appreciate everyone’s support and kindness towards this wonderful publication.

FYI, the second session of the newspaper club has already begun. We have 36 students participating and several return staff members and parent volunteers who are once again eager to pull up their sleeves and get to work. The students and staff members look forward to producing our second edition later this spring! Sincerely,
–Kelly Clough


The Coins for Cures fundraiser benefitting Children’s Hospital Boston is underway! Classrooms have been collecting spare change to donate to the hospital to support research and patient care. Keep those coins coming — in the first week, students raised $250 towards Thoreau’s $1000 goal! If each student brings in $2 we’ll meet our goal. The fundraiser runs through April 13. This is a great opportunity to have kids help other kids. Every penny counts! If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Levesque (, Shannon Granger ( or Melissa Greven (


The U.S. Fund for UNICEF has presented the Thoreau Elementary School with a framed 2011 Certificate of Achievement for donating more than $1,500 to UNICEF through the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program.  The certificate was presented to the Thoreau Community to recognize our commitment to providing lifesaving support for children around the world.  Thank you and congratulations to all of the Thoreau children for collecting, contributing and caring! The certificate will be posted near the school entrance.
–Jean Easterday, UNICEF Coordinator


Watershed WISE Night is being held at Thoreau School on April 10, 5:30 – 8:00pm. The purpose of the night is to educate the community about the Assabet River, a wonderful resource that we have right behind our school. Students and community groups will be presenting information about erosion, invasive species, animals, water quality, Warner’s Pond, vernal pools and recycling. Among the presenters will be the CCHS Environmental FIeld Studies Group, the Warner’s Pond Stewardship Group, Dr. Bryan Windmiller, Drumlin Farm, OARS and the Concord Public Work’s Engineering DIvision. Admission is free, but donations will be collected to support the Blanding’s Turtle Tracking program. In addition to this program, students are also hosting a photography contest. The categories are the Assabet River and Assabet River Wildlife. The contest starts on March 10 and runs through April 1. The latest date you can send the picture is April 2. Place any pictures in Susan Erickson’s mailbox. It should be an 8×10 picture. Please also put your first and last name on the back of the picture. We will announce the winner at the Watershed WISE Night. We’re looking forward to seeing your great photographs of this beautiful natural resource.


It is time for Thoreau School’s annual Spring food drive! All collected food is donated to Concord’s local food pantry, OpenTable. Open Table feeds over 200 guests each week, including many children, and gives each family a bag of groceries to bring home. Open Table is able to do this because of the generosity of our community. Any non-perishable foods are appreciated, but these are the “most wanted” items: spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, coffee/tea/hot chocolate mix, cereal, tuna fish/canned stews/soups, jelly, children’s snacks for school (juice boxes, pretzels, fruit cups, etc.), condiments (ketchup, mustard, cooking oil) and all other non-perishable food items. Please: NO CANDY! Our food drive will run through Friday, April 6. There will be a box in front of the library for your children to bring their items in. Thank you very much for your generosity! Please see for more information.
–Amy Hoey, Open Table Chairman


Laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPod touch, video gaming systems … children of all ages are involved with online resources in more ways than ever. To guide students in the responsible use of these powerful tools, the elementary school librarians have a created a K-5 digital citizenship and digital literacy curriculum that covers topic like passwords, privacy, “netiquette”, cyberbullying, and citing sources.

As a complement to our library program, parents will have an opportunity to participate in a discussion on Cyber Safety, and have their questions answered by an expert in the field. Attorney Onyen Yong, from the Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, is well known for his dynamic and informative presentations. Topics will include:

  • Safe and appropriate use of the Internet
  • Cyberbullying – prevention and intervention
  • The power and problems of social networking

The talk will be held at The Concord Carlisle High School at 7pm on April 10, 2012. It is free and open to all. The program is presented by The Center for Parents and Teachers and is offered in collaboration with the Concord-Carlisle High School Parent Association. For more information on the Cyber Safety presentation: Please contact Karen Pettyjohn for more information on the K-5 Digital Citizenship curriculum.


There is only little over one week left until the Book Character Parade! Everyone is hard at work on masks, simple costumes and props to represent a favorite book character. Families are invited to watch the parade as it moves through the school on Tuesday, April 10, beginning at 11:00am. Check next week’s Thoreau Announcements for more information or talk to Karen or Cathy in the Library.


We are celebrating National Nutrition Month! On Thursdays in March we featured a new and nutritious food on the lunch menu. Here’s what our talented Food Service Director, Alden Cadwell cooked up today: Local Greens Salad. If you would like to share what you are doing as a family to try to eat healthier or have any questions or ideas, please contact Melanie Plesko at


The PTG would like to thank Kristen Keilty for making the recent Sports Recycle Sale at Thoreau a success. We are also very grateful for the hard work of Jen Johnson and Cathy Chadwick for organizing another terrific Adult Social for Thoreau parents last weekend. Thanks!


Please be mindful of the below dates, and make every effort to have your child(ren) in school on time. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.

  • Monday, May 7: Math grades 3 and 5
  • Tuesday, May 8: Math grades 3 and 5
  • Wednesday, May 9: Math grade 4
  • Thursday, May 10: Math grade 4
  • Monday, May 14: Science and Technology, grade 5
  • Tuesday, May 15: Science and Technology, grade 5

LUNCH MENU Week of April 2-6

  • Monday: Mac and Cheese
  • Tuesday: Professional Day — No School
  • Wednesday: B. Good Burgers
  • Thursday: Falafel Puffs
  • Friday: Good Friday — No School

Any questions about the menu please email Chef Alden,


The Sound of Music

At Concord Middle School, the halls are alive with “The Sound of Music” – a musical extravaganza appropriate for all ages. Shows are at the CMS-Sanborn auditorium on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at 7:00pm, with a matinee on Sunday, April 1 at 2:30pm. Tickets are $10 per person, and can be ordered by mailing payment with the order form found at

Concord Chamber Music Society Presents the Harlem Quartet

On Sunday, April 1 at 2:00pm at the Emerson Umbrella for the Arts in Concord, the Concord Chamber Music Society will present a jazz-inspired concert for all generations, featuring the Harlem Quartet. Praised for its “panache” by the New York Times, the Harlem Quartet is “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing, and intelligent,” says the Cincinnati Inquirer. Join fellow Concord Public School students for “From Beethoven to the Blues – a trip through time on the A Train!” Tickets (free for children under 12, $5 for students, $15 for adults) may be purchased online at or by phone: 978-371-9667.

Patriots’ Day at the Concord Museum: Monday, April 16, 2012

Make a visit to the Concord Museum part of your Patriots’ Day tradition! This year, commemorate the day by learning about Paul Revere—one of our greatest patriots. Visit with a colonial silversmith (12:00-2:00) as he demonstrates techniques that Revere used. Since 1975, silversmith Stephen Smithers has been researching and refining the classic art of silversmithing as practiced by master silversmiths like Paul Revere throughout history. Take part in our Paul Revere Quest to discover more about the 1775 midnight ride and see the famous lantern that hung in the Old North Church. Explore the Museum’s galleries and admire Paul Revere’s silver work, and then draw your own! All family-friendly activities are free with Museum admission. The Concord Museum, open from 9:00-5:00 on Patriots’ Day, is located on Cambridge Turnpike at the intersection of Lexington Road.  For further information visit:

Pop Warner Football Registration is Open

Registration for the 2012 Concord Carlisle Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading program is open on a first come, first serve basis. The program is encouraging everyone who intends to play this upcoming season to register as soon as possible. We expect to field teams at 5 levels for players and cheerleaders from second grade through eighth grade. If you would like to learn more, we are holding a Registration and Meet the Coaches meeting on March 22 at 7:30 pm at the CCHS Cafeteria. Coach Robichaud, CCHS varsity football coach, plans to attend and speak with attendees. To register and for any other information about the program, please go to the CCPW website at or call Kevin Smith at 978-369-0634 or Rob Hoaglund at 978-254-5756. Make sure we have a place for your son or daughter and sign up now.

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on April 5, 2012. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, April 2, 2012.
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 You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received.