October 11, 2012

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Dear Thoreau Families,
RBT has hired an external evaluator, Meg Anderson, from The Center for Collaborative Education, Northeastern University, to assess the school culture of Thoreau and make recommendations to improve professional collaboration. Specific areas be addressed include: decision-making processes, collaborative processes, and adult interaction. Data will be collected from stakeholder groups including faculty, staff, and parents through interviews, focus groups, and direct on-site observations of the building processes. The consultant work will begin mid October 2012 and the final report will be completed by February 1, 2013. Please see RBT’s plan for Thoreau, contract proposal, Meg Anderson’s resume, and her draft article, “Background Research on Collaborative Inquiry Process”, which are posted at https://www.thoreauptg.org/documents/RBT.pdf.
Sincerely,
Kelly Clough, Principal, Thoreau School

FRIDAY NIGHT: BOOK FAIR PIZZA NIGHT!

October 12, 5:30pm – 8:00pm. The New and Used BOOK FAIR begins with FAMILY PIZZA NIGHT, this Friday, October 12, 5:30-8:00. Choose from a terrific selection of new and used books! Fun activities for kids in the library, and a delicious dinner of pizza (including gluten-free), salad and cookies! You can shop for teacher wish lists and get new books into the classrooms. It’s a great way to show support for our Thoreau teachers. Proceeds from the Book Fair support PTG-sponsored activities and resources for the school.

The Book Fair continues with classroom visits on Wednesday, October 17 through Friday, October 19. Room parents will send the schedule of classroom visits or you can see it posted outside the main office. Any family needing financial assistance in order to participate in this event should contact Rachel Levesque, school Social Worker, at rlevesque@colonial.net or (978) 318-1300.

Used book collection began on Tuesday, October 9, and runs through Friday, October 12, so there’s still time to collect your child’s good quality books to donate to the fair. Please, no adult books/videos/CDs, board books, or VHS tapes. Place your donations in a paper bag and remember to write your child’s teacher’s name and the total number of books donated on the bag and bring them to the school.

Contact Dorothy Bisbee at dorothy.bisbee@gmail.com or Kristin Moore at kmoore.gm@gmail.com to volunteer or if you have any questions about the New Book Fair, and Fiona Stephenson at tea44@comcast.net with questions about the Used Book Fair.

COLLECTING FOR A GIFT OF BOOKS 

Let’s raise $2 per student at Thoreau to buy new books for children in need! During the Book Fair, we will collect donations for buying new books the Pajama Program. This nonprofit organization delivers books and pajamas to children in need in the Boston area. Use the envelope sent home with your student to send in a couple of dollars or some spare change. Classroom teachers will collect donations through Friday, October 19. Check the Gift-o-Meter near the front door to see progress towards our goal of $930!

ALL SCHOOL ASSEMBLY

Our next All School Assembly will be on Thursday, October 25. For this day we are asking that each grade wear a certain color:

  • Kindergarten: Red
  • 1st grade: Orange
  • 2nd grade: Yellow
  • 3rd grade: Green
  • 4th grade: Blue
  • 5th grade: Purple

SPORTS RECYCLING SALE INFO

The Thoreau PTG Spring 2013 Sports Recycling Sale will not be accepting ski equipment of any kind. Please utilize FALL sale opportunities at other venues. Thank you! Questions:  kristen.keilty@comcast.net.

FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Please be mindful of the following MCAS dates, and make every effort to have your child(ren) in school on time on these dates. There will be a link to these dates each week in the Quick Links section at the end of the Thoreau Announcements. Thank you for your cooperation in this effort.

  • Tue., March 19: Gr. 4 Long Composition
  • Wed., March 20: Gr. 3 & Gr. 5 ELA
  • Fri., March 22: Gr. 3 & Gr. 5 ELA
  • Mon., March 25: Gr. 4 ELA
  • Wed., March 27: Gr. 4 ELA
  • Mon., May 6: Gr. 3 & 5 Math
  • Tue., May 7: Gr. 3 & 5 Math
  • Wed., May 8: Gr. 4 Math
  • Thur., May 9:  Gr. 4 Math
  • Tue., May 14: Gr. 5 Science
  • Wed., May 15: Gr. 5 Science

SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING BRIEF FROM OCTOBER 2, 2012

Taken by Cheryl Kirkpatrick – Thoreau School Rep. A full report is available on the PTG website: https://www.thoreauptg.org/meetings-minutes/

  • Kathy Codiane presented a report on the 2012 MCAS: Report can be found at http://concordpublicschools.net/agendas-and-meeting-minutes under October 2, 2012 attachments (page 48).
    • a. District surpassed its goal of 85% advanced/passing in 5th grade math, but did not achieve its goal of 90% advanced/passing in 5th grade ELA.
    • District set similar goals for 2013
  • Superintendent Rigby presented a report on TELL Mass school climate report
    • TELL Mass is a state-wide survey of school climate administered by a third party, meant to collect teacher and principal views of school climate.
    • Areas of survey to which teachers responded well (at or above state average) were questions about “Time” and “Facilities & Resources.” Areas of the survey to which teachers responded poorly (significantly below state average) were “Teacher Leadership” and “School Leadership.”
      • Results from High School, Thoreau and Alcott seemed particularly low in these areas.
      • Earlier in the summer, in response to concerns about school climate, School Committee and administration agreed to hire consultant for Thoreau. Consultant has not yet been hired. Superintendent did not know what the cost would be. Report on the consultant’s findings is due out in January.
    • Superintendent’s report of the results can be accessed at the School Committee website http://concordpublicschools.net/agendas-and-meeting-minutes under October 2, 2012 attachments (page 7).
    • Full results of survey are at http://www.tellmass.org/reports/. Click “Concord” for results for elementary schools and middle school. Click “Concord-Carlisle” for high school results.
    • See also statements made by presidents of the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Teachers’ Associations. http://concord.massteacher.org/CTA/CTA_Info/CTA_Info.html

CONCORD FAMILY FRIENDS NEEDED!

We are currently looking for volunteers, especially among families of incoming Kindergartners, so we can match each new Boston family with at least two Concord families. The commitment is very manageable, consisting of hosting a Tuesday afternoon play date for your family friends “buddy” every other month (this is a shared responsibility with the other Concord family in your match) and acting as a resource throughout the year to answer any questions about Thoreau School or Concord related events. Interested? Please contact Joyce DeGreeff at jdegreeff@mxschool.edu.

 LUNCH MENU Week of October 15-19

  • Monday: Chicken or Cheese Quesadilla
  • Tuesday: No Lunch, Early Release
  • Wednesday: Homemade Mac and Cheese
  • Thursday: Chicken Patty on Whole Wheat Roll
  • Friday: Stuffed Crust Pizza

AROUND TOWN

Full of Beans Program New Date
Full of Beans, a fun program for children age 7 years and up, will be held at the Fowler Library, 1322 Main Street, Concord on Saturday, October 13 at 3 pm. Children and their families will shuck beans, learn how to save the seeds, and will take home potted bean seeds. This free program is part of this year’s Concord Reads program, Concord Reads About Farming, sponsored by the Library, the Concord Museum and ConcordCAN. Register for the program at www.concordlibrary.org.

Concord Ed Fund
The Concord Education Fund’s annual celebration of Excellence in Education is Saturday, November 17 at Nashawtuc Country Club.  6:00pm Cocktails/7:00pm Dinner – Auction – Dancing.  Come get your groove on at this 70’s-themed gala event featuring the live disco sounds of Motor Booty Affair. Tickets on sale Thursday, October 18 at 8:00am at Cambridge Savings Bank, 202 Sudbury Rd., Concord (across from Crosby’s Market).  $125 per person.  Be There or Be Square!

CFN Halloween Costume Party & Winter Coat Drive
Autumn holds so many memories for young children – leaping into great piles of leaves, pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating. We invite you to make lifelong memories with the Concord Family Network at our annual Costume Party on Sunday October 21, 3:30pm – 5:00pm at the Concord Scout House (74 Walden St). All children from birth to eight are invited to join us for games, crafts, and treats.  There will also be a costume parade with an opportunity to photograph your child. The event is free to CFN members and $3 per child (up to $10 per family) for non-members.

With so many children in need this year, we are asking all attendees to please bring new or gently used coats with them to donate to Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons’ mission is to ensure that local children in need do not go without the basic necessities—safety, warmth, educational supplies—providing them with new or high quality used goods. In return for every coat you bring, you will receive a raffle ticket for our auction featuring prizes from local businesses. Proceeds from door admissions will also benefit this terrific organization. If you have any questions about this event, please contact concordfamilyntwk@yahoo.com. For further information about the Concord Family Network and our other events and activities, please visit our website at www.concordfamilynetwork.org.

From The Pumpkin Patch
Don’t know what to do with your kid’s old Halloween Costumes? Help bring the magic of Halloween to children in low-income families by donating your used or new Halloween costumes to From the Pumpkin Patch. A collection bin will be in the Thoreau School lobby until Monday, October 22. Your support is greatly appreciated! To learn more: http://www.fromthepumpkinpatch.org/About.html.

Concord Montessori School Open House
On Tuesday, October 23, 10 am – 1pm, the Concord Montessori School is hosting an open house for enrollment in the 2013-2014 school year. Please join us to learn how your children ages 2-5 can experience a Montessori learning experience!  We are located at 659 Elm Street in Concord. For more information about the school visit www.concordmontessorischool.org.

Concord-Carlisle Youth Hockey
Learn-to-skate/Learn-to-Play hockey begins Saturday Nov. 3. LTS for beginner skaters ages 4-8. LTP for ages 4-8 who have had at least one year of skating and would like to learn the game of hockey. To learn more about each program or register visit www.ccyh.org today.  Spots fill up quickly!

QUICK LINKS

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

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

NutriKids lunch account balance: https://www.mynutrikids.com/Login.aspx

K-5 Booklists: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Pettyjohn/Booklists

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The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on OCTOBER 18, 2012. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, OCTOBER 15, 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 announcements@thoreauptg.org.