May 5, 2016


With Appreciation

Thank you to the Staff Appreciation Committee, and co-chairs Kim Capello and Pattie Turrettini, for creating an exciting Staff Appreciation week!  There were many great activities that honored Thoreau’s wonderful staff this week.  Thanks to the families who helped provide baked goods, cookies, flowers, etc. during the week.  Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day and your child can bring a homemade card for his/her teachers.

Thank you to Nikki Morrissey and the Social Committee for coordinating and hosting a great Moms’ night out at Nikki’s home this past Wednesday night.  So wonderful to see many people coming together, making new connections in our community, and having fun!

Volunteers Needed:  The PTG is already looking ahead to next year. If you have a desire to become more involved in the Thoreau Community we will find an opportunity for you!  Our goal is to create an inclusive PTG that represents all grade levels, working parents, stay at home parents, moms and dads. Everyone is welcome! Please contact Betsy Martel or Deb Antonangeli if you are interested in getting involved.

PARCC Assessment Dates: Principal Charles released PARCC assessment dates and information in her March newsletter:  The Thoreau-specific PARCC schedule for Spring 2016 can be found here: The homeroom teacher’s initials indicate which class is testing on a particular day.

Interested in “How to Raise an Adult”? The CCHS Parents Association is happy to announce that the link for streaming the 3/16 presentation by Julie Lythcott-Haims at CCHS is now available.  Please feel free to share this link with others who were unable to join us for that wonderful evening with Julie!  Also, for anyone local to our area who has cable, the presentation will be broadcast on Channels 8 and 99.

Honoring Mr. Lemaire

Long time Thoreau Elementary teacher Bob Lemaire is leaving his full time classroom position at the end of this school year.  The Thoreau PTG is collecting letters to Mr. Lemaire from former students and families to honor his near 50 years of dedication to the Thoreau School. We are inviting anyone interested to participate. Please write an email or letter or draw a picture that highlights the theme “What Mr. Lemaire Taught Me.”  Favorite memories and/or photographs are also welcome. We will print out emails and combine them with the letters/pictures/photographs to create box full of memories for Mr. Lemaire.  Send emails to and mail to Thoreau School PTG, 29 Prairie St., Concord, MA 01742.  Items can also be dropped off at the Thoreau School office. All items need to reach the Thoreau School by Friday June 10th.  Please spread the word!  We would love for this gift to encompass as many past students and families as possible.

Save the Date:

Friday, May 6 – Staff Appreciation Week’s final day – Cards due to teachers and staff

Tuesday, May 10 – CPS School Committee Meeting, 6:30pm, Ripley

Thursday, May 12 – PTG Meeting, 9am, Cafeteria; discount for Road Race pre-registration ends at 11am

Sunday, May 15 — Thoreau Road Race

Tuesday, May 24 – Joint School Committee Meeting, 6:30pm, Ripley

Trish and Betsy


We are in the final countdown with just days left to the Thoreau School 10th Annual Road Race on Sunday, May 15.  Pre-registration ends May 12 so get a head start and avoid lines and extra costs.  Go to:

Rain or shine, bring family and friends to have fun and raise money for our school with the Kids’ Fun Runs (.5 and 1 mile) and 5K followed by food, bouncy house, awards and more. Come walk, run, jog or stroll with us!

11:00 am – 5 K run

12:00 pm – 1 mile run 6+

12:30 pm – ½ mile run 5 and under

The 10th Anniversary Road Race will feature new chip timing, streamlined awards ceremony and easier online pre-registration.

For more information, contact Julie Miller  or Mitzi Johnson  Any family needing financial assistance in order to participate in this event should contact Rachel Levesque, school Social Worker, at or (978) 318-1300.

If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up at: 

Mitzi Johnson and Julie Miller, Road Race Co-chairs


After conducting our “Compost Challenge” and mindful recycling during 5 days of lunch shifts, we counted and compared lunch waste to a 5 day “Baseline” period (with no composting or special attention to recycling). The results are in! During the Compost period, Thoreau students:

* Composted 25 gallons of food waste (re-using organic material, previously thrown in with trash);

* Increased recycled containers (milk cartons, plastic disposable food containers, etc.) for the week by 325 items (47%);

* Reduced weekly trash waste from 15 bags to 6 bags (9 bags – that’s a 60% reduction in landfill waste!).

Food for thought: by our count, if Thoreau were to compost and mindfully recycle year round, that would be 775 gallons of compost; over 10,000 additional recycled items, and 277 less bags of trash.

Thanks to all who helped make our “5 Day Compost Challenge” a fun learning experience and success.  Special appreciation to: Mrs. Marotta’s second graders for graphing our baseline and compost weeks (hanging in the cafeteria); Mrs. Hoyt’s fifth graders for hauling/dumping the compost – even in late spring snow!; our parent/PALS volunteers; Kimber Lynn Drake for her meticulous counting and recording of data points; and custodian Debbie Frederick, who helped throughout all shifts.

As well, we thank Jessica Grogins for her wonderful Green video starring Thoreau students, shown at the All-School Earth Day assembly on April 4.  The assembly was featured in the Concord Journal:

– Rebecca Woodward and Anne Remington, Thoreau’ly Green Co-Chairs


There have been several gifts to the library in the past few weeks. George Yates donated Circus Mirandus in honor of Max Johnson’s birthday. Prow Sarnsethsiri donated six books in the Who Was? series in honor of her daughter, Veronica Moy. Sarah Atwood gave Uni the Unicorn in recognition of Lucy Atwood’s birthday. Thanks to the Yates family, Sarnsethsiri/Moy family, and Atwood family for adding to our library shelves. Follow in their footsteps and swing by the library to make a Gift Book purchase soon!


May School Lunch Menu:

MySchoolBucks Lunch Account Balance:

Math Resources for parents:


Family Magic Show and Concert

The Concord Lions are presenting a Family Magic Show and Concert on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the Alcott School auditorium. There will be music, popcorn and other snacks, and activities outside (weather permitting) prior to the show; arrive by 12:30 to be sure not to miss the fun. The opening act, Wayne Potash, will perform “the best best music for kids that grownups can dig!” And then it is time for some magic! Charismatic magician, Matt Roberts, returns with his own special brand of comedy magic and astonishing illusions. Guaranteed fun for all ages! This event is free to the public, although donations are gratefully accepted. All proceeds will directly benefit Lions Clubs’ Charities. More information at

Attention Parents and Teachers: Rethinking Challenging Behavior

The Center for Parents and Teachers invites community members to join us on Wednesday May 18 at 7PM at the Alcott Elementary School in Concord to hear Dr. Stuart Ablon on the topic of “Rethinking Challenging Behavior: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach”  This presentation is made possible through the generous underwriting of Concord’s three Elementary School PTGs.  There are more than 12 million children in this country with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Many are treated ineffectively simply because their challenges are poorly misunderstood. Unfortunately, these kids are often considered manipulative, unmotivated and disrespectful. Dr. Stuart Ablon at Think:Kids has a different view. Dr. Ablon teaches a revolutionary, evidence-based approach called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) to help kids with behavioral challenges. Dr. Ablon and his colleagues believe these children lack the skill – not the will – to behave appropriately. The Collaborative Problem Solving approach focuses on building helping relationships while developing problem solving, flexibility and frustration tolerance skills.   Interested? PRE-REGISTER AT THE FOLLOWING SITE (or email   

Program at Concord Free Public Library for School Newsletters

Look and What Do You See? An Art Class inspired by the Artist Jamie Wyeth. Artists like to paint what is familiar.  An art class led by local artist Joyce Saler will take place on Saturday, May 14 from 2 – 3:30.  Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, Concord  MA.  For young people age 10 years and up.  Registration at  For more information:  (978) 318-3358.

Registration is Now Open – PMC KIDS RIDE!

Please join us for the 8th Annual PMC Kids Ride on Sunday, May 22nd from 8:30am – 12pm at Willard Elementary School, 185 Powder Mill Road, Concord.  Kids ages 5 to 15 are invited to ride either a 1, 4, 8 or 12 mile route to support the Jimmy Fund and the goal to conquer cancer.  There will be a separate 1/4 – 1/2 mile Jr. Ride for riders with training wheels and those under 5. Celebrate at the finish line with delicious food, music, games and activities.  To register, go to

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on May 12, 2016. Submission deadline: 9pm on Monday, May 9, 2016. Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Submit your item in the body of an email (no attachments or photos); it should be brief, single-spaced and have minimal formatting.  Please no bullet points, numbering, or underlining. Email your submission to