October 13, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group


Be sure to check out the newest addition to my blog at http://principalclough.wordpress.comKelly Clough


We hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather during the long weekend.  It was such a welcome, momentary escape back to summer!   Fortunately, we still have lots to look forward to in the Thoreau community this fall.  First, we encourage you to attend the Family Night Book Fair on Friday, October 14 at 6pm.  This annual school event offers a great opportunity to meet other Thoreau Families in a relaxed environment while providing needed support for PTG initiatives.  Two other important dates for the Thoreau community to put on the calendar are Monday, November 7 for the Concord Town Meeting on the proposed new high school and Tuesday, November 15 for the Town ballot on the proposed new high school.  These dates will be critical decision points for the town about whether or not to build a new high school facility or repair the existing school.  Your voices and your votes are imperative to the success of this vital initiative.  If the new facility is built, current fifth grade students in the town will have a brand new, state-of-the art facility for learning for their freshman year.  The Town has secured much needed support from the state in order to build the new facility.  With this financial assistance, coupled with support from Carlisle, the Town of Concord will be able to build the new school for $47.1 million.  By contrast, the repairs and upgrades needed to bring the existing building up to code would cost the town $70 million for the same facility without any state support. The current CCHS facility does not meet current code requirements and is at risk of losing its state accreditation.   Visit www.cchsbuilding.org to learn more about this project that impacts our children’s educational future. – Melanie and Shelagh, PTG Co-Presidents


There are currently a number of PTG board and Committee Chair positions open for the 2011-2012 school year. Please consider volunteering for one of the open positions. You benefit from being on the board by being actively involved in decisions regarding PTG events, sponsorship and budget spending. All board members are required to participate both in PTG meetings and PTG Board meetings (approximately one meeting each month). In addition to attending meetings, each position has specific job responsibilities.

Volunteering for a Committee Chair position is a great way to get involved with a short-term commitment. PTG Committee Chairs are responsible for organizing a specific event or function for the PTG, and the time commitments can vary. We hope you will consider taking on one of these essential positions. If you are interested in any of the positions below or have questions, please contact Melanie Bettencourt, PTG Co-President at thebettencourts@comcast.net.

  • Vice President: Vice President functions include creating and organizing the Back-to-School packets, managing the volunteer forms used by committee and event chairs, and acting as a liaison between the PTG Board and the Committee and Event Chairs. The time commitment can vary throughout the year with this position; the Back-to-School packets require a number of hours at the end of the summer. Throughout the school year, the weekly commitment lessens with tasks like responding to e-mail and occasional communication with committee and event chairs. The term for Vice President is a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years.
  • CCPI Representative: Concord Carlisle Parents Initiative (CCPI) is the parent subcommittee of the Superintendent’s Community Advisory Council on Student Health (SCACSH). SCACSH’s mission is to encourage and educate the community to help young people to make healthy decisions around: alcohol and other drugs, peer pressure, self-esteem, sexual behavior and personal safety. Responsibilities: Parent reps serve two year terms. They attend monthly CCPI meetings, share insights and information on the health-related concerns relevant to their school. CCPI identifies health issues and initiates parent education programming to address areas of concern. School representatives promote the role of CCPI as a forum for addressing health concerns to their parent community.
  • Kindergarten RegistrationResponsibilities: Each spring the incoming Kindergarten students come to Thoreau School with their parents to experience a classroom, meet the staff and new friends, take a school bus ride while the parents attend an information session in preparation for the fall. The Kindergarten Orientation Coordinator works with the Principal and his/her Assistant to schedule volunteers with registration. Time Commitment: 3 – 4 hours on the day of the event.


Did you miss the September PTG meeting?  The minutes are available at https://www.thoreauptg.org/meetings-minutes/.


Lice screening took place over the last 2 weeks and unfortunately we did not have enough parent volunteers to complete the entire school.  All 5th grade students should be checked by a parent or guardian at home.  If you identify a possible case of lice or would like to discuss treatment or management of the infestation, please contact me at the Health Office.

A BIG THANK YOU to the following parents who did come in for some of the time and organized volunteers:  Karen Brown, Jillian Donovan, Ann Jennings, Maralee Glitzenstein, Tia Parker, Kara Stokes, Melissa Tusting, Nancy Zuffante and Debbye Lindberg.  Please contact Debbye Lindberg if you may be available to check students at short notice at the school.  Phone: 978-254-5598 or email: breesmom2@gmail.com.

Please note these changes in lice screening procedures:  This will be the only all school screening we will conduct this year.  Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses have recommended schools no longer conduct all school screenings as “head lice screening programs have not had a significant effect on the incidence of head lice in the school setting over time…” Most of the identification has come from parents who are aware of the prevalence of head lice.  I recommend that you make it a habit to check your child weekly, and especially before and after sleepovers for a few weeks. Look for nits which are small tear-shaped eggs that are glued close to the scalp on a single hair shaft.  They stick to a hair and cannot be easily moved.  Use a good light.

Methods of prevention include: no sharing, even among siblings, of any item used on the head such as helmets, hats, hairbrushes, combs or hair accessories.  Keep hair contained as direct contact is the most common way of transmission.  Should you find any positive cases or have questions, please contact me at the Health Office for help and so I may check any contacts. Check out the Health Office Web site for more information: http://thoreau.colonial.net/Teachers/Nurse. You can also email me at nrichards@colonial.net. –Nicki Morina Richards, RN, MS, Thoreau School Nurse


The PTG is proud to bring David Zucker, Odyssey of the Mime for an all school assembly on Friday, October 14 at 1:15 and 2:15.  While we have had David here before (2003 and 2008, “Poetry in Motion”), we have never had this show.

Performing in traditional whiteface, David internationally recognized improvisational performance draws students into his world, where they become eager participants rather than mere observers.  With a cornucopia of imaginary props, walls arise from nowhere, ladders leap to impossible heights, fish can fly, birds can swim, and anything is likely to happen! –Children’s Programming Committee


The New and Used Book Fair begins with Family Night, this Friday, October 14, 5:30-8:00. Family Night is an exciting chance to get great books and will include burgers & fries and a craft activity in the library. The Book Fair continues with classroom visits on Wednesday, October 19 through Friday, October 21. Room parents will send the schedule of classroom visits or you can see it posted outside the main office. The Fair raises funds for the school and provides books for classroom wish lists and the library. Any family in need of financial assistance should contact the school social worker, Rachel Siff at rsiff@colonial.net or 978-341-2490 ext. 3165.

Used book collection began on Tuesday, October 11, and runs through Friday, October 14, so 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.

Please contact Dorothy Bisbee at dorothy.bisbee@gmail.com or Kristin Moore at kmoore.gm@gmail.com to volunteer (still needed!) 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.


Let’s raise $1 per Thoreau student to buy new books for children in need! During the Book Fair, we will collect donations for buying new books for one or more of the following causes: Books for Africa, Cradles to Crayons, and the Pajama Program. For each dollar we raise, Scholastic Books will also donate a book to support children in need. Please send in a dollar or any spare change in the envelope your student brings home. Classroom teachers will collect donations through Friday, October 21. We will have a Gift-o-Meter near the front door to measure progress towards our goal of $450! And be sure to come to the Book Fair Family Night where we will sell tickets and draw a winner who gets to choose the final cause(s) for the Gift of Books!


The new Concord Schools Food Service Director, Alden Cadwell is working to bring local, healthy foods to the schools. One popular new item he has added to the menu is b.good burgers using meat that comes from grass-fed cattle on a Maine farm.

Now it’s your chance to try a b.good burger with a side of “fat fries” at the Book Fair Family Night, this Friday, October 14. Food service will be available from 5:30 – 7:30. In addition, Kids Eat Smart is donating salads and a vegetarian burger option will be available.  The meal will cost $4. You can use your student’s meal account or pay cash. You can also start a meal account if your student currently does not have one.  A great price for a great burger and don’t forget to shop for books!


Please keep clipping those BOXTOPS!   Thanks to those who have contributed, we have already earned $200! Keep ’em coming!   This is free money, no strings attached, for Thoreau School. It’s simple, fun, and adds up fast.  Load them in a baggie and drop them in the collection box inside the school entrance.  Questions?  Contact Mallory Price at mprice@mxschool.edu.


Do you have something you want to the Thoreau community to know about? Get the word out through the Thoreau Announcements! Submissions must be school or community related and not commercial in nature. Send your item, in the body of an email message (no attachments) to announcements@thoreauptg.org no later than 9pm Monday for Thursday’s publication. Submissions should be brief and have minimal formatting – no bullet points or underlining, please!


Orange collection boxes for UNICEF will be distributed to all students via their classrooms during the next two weeks. Donations collected during trick-or-treat time on Halloween will be put to great use for children in need of security and help. Please donate the spare change found in your pockets, on the car floor, or underneath the couch cushions at home! With your help, UNICEF can continue to be the group that has saved more young lives than any other humanitarian organization. Did you know that UNICEF works in over 150 countries, including the United States? During Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, UNICEF delivered School-in-a-Box and recreation kits to help get children back to school and to support their emotional recovery after the trauma.

We would appreciate it if all collected money could be brought in to classroom teachers by November 9. Thank you!  –Jean Easterday, UNICEF Coordinator


Did you know that the CCHS Building Committee has been working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority on a proposal to build a new high school? You can find more information at www.cchsbuilding.org or attend a community forum that includes a tour of the current high school on Monday, October 17, 7:00pm at CCHS. Meet in the main entrance at 7:00 pm for the building tour, and in Little Theater at 7:30 pm for a design presentation by architect OMR. Updates on the budget and schedule will be provided.  Tentative Special Town Meetings dates are scheduled on 11/7 in Concord and 11/8 in Carlisle, and a tentative ballot date has been set in both Concord and Carlisle for 11/15.

LUNCH MENU Week of October 17-21

Monday: Baked potato bar with toppings
Tuesday: Early Release
Wednesday: B. good burgers
Thursday: Tasty tots
Friday: Comella’s pizza


Concord Carlisle Girls Travel Basketball

Tryouts for C-C Girls Travel Basketball Teams will be held at the following times at Hunt Gym and Sanborn MS in Concord:

-5th Grade: Sat 10/15 4:30 pm Hunt, Thu 10/20 6:00 pm Sanborn

-4th Grade: Sat 10/15 3:30 pm Hunt, Wed 10/19 6:00 pm Sanborn

Improve your level of play in a fun and competitive environment. 4th grade: 1 practice per week and one game on Sundays. 5th to 8th Grade: 1-2 practices per week and 1-2 games per weekend. Season runs mid-November to early March. Need Assistant coaches at some grade levels. For more information and to register for tryouts, email Dennis McCollum at CCGirls.TravelBasketball@yahoo.com.

Concord Carlisle Special Education Parent Advisory Committee meeting

Save the Date! (CCSEPAC) will be holding a member meeting on Monday, October 17, from 7-8:30 pm at the Ripley building. Any parent interested in learning more about this organization is welcome to attend, regardless of whether or not your child is currently receiving special education services. Chances are good there will be chocolate for those who come. For information, contact Stefanie Cloutier at stefanieac@comcast.net.

Concord Public Library Kids’ Groups

Third Grade BookEaters monthly meetings: Come share your favorite books plus games, crafts, and food! Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 4-5 pm; the next meeting is October 19. No registration is required.  Bring a favorite mystery or scary book to share.

Super K, a program of stories & activities for Kindergarten students: Join us on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 2pm.  On October 18, the theme will be ‘Monster Mash” and we’ll create a scary monster costume!

Both groups meet at the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, (978) 318-3358 or www.concordlibrary.org .

“Families Under Construction: Building Strong Families” with Kathy Bowen  

Community Education is offering this course on Wednesday Oct. 19, 7:00-9:00 PM at CCHS. Tuition is $30.  It will provide an interactive format for parents to discuss and learn parenting skills for children entering 3rd through 5th grade. To register please call 978-318-1432 or visit www.ace.colonial.net.

Piece of Mind: A Community Discussion Series on Brain Health and Wellness  

Thursday, October 13: Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo presents ‘Improving Brain Power with Food’ at 7:00 PM at the Thoreau School.  Dr. Lombardo is member of the Department of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, and she consults to the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center. 

Saturday, October 15: Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo presents ‘Brain Healthy Lifestyle’ at 10:00 am at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center.

Tuesday, October 18: Film selections from PBS series, ‘The Secret Life of the Brain’ at 7:00 pm at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center. Facilitated by Kathy Codianne, Director of Teaching and Learning, CPS/CCSRD.

Thursday, October 20: Maggie Jackson presents ‘Finding Focus in an Overloaded, High-Tech Age’ at 7:00 pm at the Thoreau School. Maggie Jackson is an award-winning author whose latest book, Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, forecasts what the epidemic of attention deficit may mean to individuals and society.

This series is presented by Concord-Carlisle Community Education and is free and open to the public.  Information at 978-318-1432. 

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on October 20, 2011. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, October 17, 2011.

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. You will receive an e-mail acknowledgment that your submission has been received.