October 20, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group


Hello Parents!  If you are interested in volunteering on an after school club for students in grades 3, 4, or 5  for our school  newspaper, please come to our first meeting for parents and staff members only on Thursday, October 27 from 3:45 pm – 5:00 pm.  We will meet in the conference room.  We greatly appreciate your willingness to help work with students on various aspects of creating a newspaper.  We are very excited to get this club off the ground!

The following staff members will be organizing and leading this club:  Nancy Dillon, Beth Kalikstein, Kathy Caro and me.  We have put together a proposal/application for the PTG to review that we would like to share with interested parent volunteers.  If approved, the first session will run for approximately 8 weeks, from December through February.  The meetings will be once per week, on Thursdays, from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM.   

Thank you in advance for your willingness to work together on creating a wonderful school newspaper for our students, staff, and family members.  Please let Maria Schofield know if you are able to attend so that we may plan accordingly.

And as usual, be sure to check out the newest addition to my blog at http://principalclough.wordpress.com-Kelly Clough


It has been a busy week with the book fair classroom visits.  We hope you were able to attend Family Night last Friday evening.  Thanks to Dorothy Bisbee, Kristin Moore and Fiona Stevenson, and their volunteers for putting together a great event and continuing to support the book fair throughout this week. The last of the classroom visits are tomorrow.  Have you been saving Box Tops?  We hope you have.  Please turn in Box Tops by October 25 as Mallory Price will be collecting and preparing to submit them later this month.  Thanks, Mallory!  We would also like to thank everyone who sold wrapping paper as well as thank Sharon Sharifi and Louisa Yamartino, our Fundraising Co-Chairs, who are organizing the sale.  Keep your eye out for more information on the wrapping paper fundraiser to learn about picking up the products.  We hope some of you were able to attend the CCHS Building Project Community Forum on Monday.  If you want to learn more about the project visit www.cchsbuilding.org.  Save the date and schedule baby-sitting: the special town meeting to vote on the CCHS building project is November 7.  The ballot vote will be November 15.  Another way to get informed about the happenings at Concord Public Schools is to attend a School Committee meeting.  The next meeting is Tuesday, October 25 in the CCHS Library.  All are welcome.  Have a great weekend. – Melanie and Shelagh, PTG Co-Presidents

Book Fair Classroom Visits end Friday

The Book Fair comes to on an end this week on Friday, October 21. You can shop for new and used books through Friday. And please send in your child’s donation to Thoreau’s Gift of Books by this Friday as well. We are getting closer and closer to our goal of raising $1 for every Thoreau student in order to buy books for children in need. Emily Harrington (4th grade) was the lucky winner of the Book Fair Family Event’s raffle to name the cause. She requested that we divide the Gift of Books equally between the three causes we identified: Books for Africa, Cradles to Crayons, and Pajama Program. We want to thank everyone who attended the Family Night for making it a big success.


For our first deposit, all BOXTOPS need to be in the collection box inside the school’s front door by Tuesday, October 25.    We will be doing a classroom contest for our next deadline, which is February 21, 2012, so please keep collecting.  Any questions? Contact Mallory Price at mprice@mxschool.edu.


Your children’s school photos will be sent home within the week for you to view. Picture retake day will be November 16, in the morning. Please have your child bring the pictures in on retake day (or before) if you would like to have another set taken. Your child can keep the class photo.

Parents w/questions (late orders; missing orders, refunds etc.) can get help by phone (1-800-632-2323, x0), by email (Lifeguards@coffeepond.com), or by US mail (Lifeguards, Coffee Pond Productions, Inc., 19 Strathmore Road, Natick, MA 01760). 

One special note – some parents ordered a digital sharing file (and no prints). In those instances, students will receive an envelope with a small notice indicating that no prints were included in their order but that their photos will be e-mailed to the e-mail address provided by the parent. Again, any questions should be directed to the dedicated 800 number above. – Robin Grace

Turkey Trot

The Turkey Trot is just around the corner. If you have not already done so, please fill out a permission slip and send it in with your child as soon as possible. Your child will not be able to participate if we do not have a signed slip. To print a blank permission slip, visit the Thoreau PTG website. You can find the form under events. https://www.thoreauptg.org/documents/22ndTURKEYTROT_2011.pdf. If you have any questions please email Betsy Martel at betsymartel@yahoo.com.


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.

Highlights of last School Committee meeting

At the October 7 School Committee meeting, Karen Pettyjohn was recognized for going “above and beyond” for the Thoreau community. Also, 4th grade teacher Nancy Dillon gave a presentation on the “World Bulletin” she created with her students.

It was reported that MSBA approved the CCHS building project and promised a reimbursement of $28 million. The Board of Selectmen have set a town meeting for Concord on November 7 and for Carlisle on November 8. A special election will be held in both towns on November 15.

Superintendent Rigby recommended to move new Powder Mill Road housing development back into Thoreau district, as this is where it’s actually located (had only been moved based on previously lower enrollment numbers at Willard, but these numbers have changed); this will be an action item at the October 25 meeting.

For descriptions of other business discussed at the meeting, see full notes posted on the PTG website.

Next meeting is scheduled for October 25 at CCHS library.

Health office

Please screen your child for lice on a regular basis, at least 1x per week.  Contact the Health Office if you have questions or find anything, and I will also check children in the mornings after you have treated at home.

For SAME DAY information for the Health Office, please call the Health Office or leave a voice mail.  There are many days that it is so busy in the office that I do not check the email until the end of the day.

Halloween tips: For treats, please remember to buy alternative treats for those

Trick-or-Treaters who are severely allergic to food items such as peanuts, peanut butter, and tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc). Read  ingredients on labels. Most candies may contain traces of these substances, which could cause severe illness or even death for those who are sensitive. Even plain M&Ms may be contaminated, because of proximity to or shared packaging equipment. One idea is handing out non-food items such as stickers, pencils or coins for those children. I always ask at the door so I can grab my alternative basket of goodies.

Halloween safety: All parents need to check their children’s bounty, discarding any unwrapped or suspicious candy or food items.  Remind your child not to eat anything until you have given the OK. Also, please ensure that your child can be seen by motorists, whether by wearing  reflective clothing and/or by carrying a light. Halloween can be such a fun night, so let’s help keep the children safe. – Nicki Morina Richards, RN, MS, Thoreau School Nurse


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 are being distributed to all students via their classrooms. 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

LUNCH MENU Week of October 24-28

Monday: Cheese ravioli

Tuesday: B. good burgers
Wednesday: Beef tacos
Thursday: Rotisserie chicken
Friday: Personal pizza


Concert and silent auction to benefit CCHS Choral Program

Concord-Carlisle High School Music Department presents Jim Barkovic & Friends, including the choruses of CCHS, on Saturday, October 22 7:00 pm in the CCHS Auditorium.  Tickets: $20 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students.  Tickets are available at Fritz and Gigi’s and at the door. More info on the Facebook page for Jim Barkovic & Friends: A Benefit Concert and Silent Auction.

The Fenn School’s 43rd Annual Sports Sale

Don’t miss the sale on Saturday, November 5, from 9-noon in the New Gym. Come check out quality, gently-used sporting goods offered at huge savings, including ski clothing and equipment, skates, helmets, pads, cleats, bats and gloves, tennis rackets, bicycles, exercise equipment, and much, much more! Boys’ blazers, dress pants, and dress shoes will also be on sale.  Specialists from Hardy’s Ski Emporium will also be on hand to offer a wide selection of brand new skis, boots and helmets at great pre-season prices! Donations of gently used sporting goods can be dropped off at the New Gym on Thursday, November 3, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. or Friday, November 4, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

See you there! The Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord, www.fenn.org.

The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on October 27, 2011. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, October 24, 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.