October 27, 2011

Published by the Thoreau School Parent Teacher Group


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


It is hard to believe we are nearing the end of October already and the beginning of the colder weather.  With that and memories of last year’s record snowfall in mind, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind parents about the importance of adhering to the new parking regulations and the barrier that was put in place to this year in the drop-off/pick-up area.  For the most part these changes have worked well, but some cars are still being parked illegally.  Several parents have also expressed concern that the new barrier had forced more parents into the street, inadvertently creating another safety situation.   This week, the barrier was moved forward in hopes of creating more room for parents to stand to alleviate that problem.  While there are structural realities to the school’s set-up and logistical, safety issues in getting all the kids to their respective busses, and waiting parents that the school must consider, we welcome any constructive suggestions that parents may have for improving the flow of traffic.  In terms of parking, we also want to remind everyone of the importance of adhering to the parking lot restrictions.  As you know, the back parking lot is reserved for faculty and staff of the school until after 12 noon.  If spaces are available after that time, parents may use them at pick-up.  The six non-handicap spaces available on the side of the school are specifically designated for visitors and parents doing drop-off and pick-up.  Even if your stay is brief or if you have a child sleeping in the car, please do not park in the handicap spots, the row along the trees behind the side lot, or in the loading dock area next to the cafeteria.  These are basic safety and consideration issues which we hope you will respect.  The permanent “No Parking” signs will be installed soon, and the Concord Police Department will begin ticketing and towing anyone who is illegally parked there.  We really appreciate your cooperation and assistance. – Melanie and Shelagh, PTG Co-Presidents

Kindergarten/First Grade Parent Coffee on November 4

The PTG would like to invite all parents of kindergarten and first grade students to a coffee on Friday, November 4 from 9am-11am at the Siefer home, 1405 Main Street (corner of Main Street and West Street).  Come to meet other parents, find out about PTG events and volunteer opportunities, and learn more about the kindergarten/first grade adult social that is being planned for March.  Younger siblings are welcome.  We hope that you can make it!  Please RSVP by November 1 to Julie Miller jhayenmiller@yahoo.com; 978-369-2362) or Trish Siefer (thesiefers@gmail.com; 978-287-0214).


We would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped make this year’s book fair such a wonderful success. Your help is essential to making the book fair possible. In turn, the fair supplies new and used books for the school and Thoreau Community and brings in much needed funds to the PTG to allow them to fund all of the programs that directly benefit our children and our school. Thank you for purchasing wish list books and giving back to the teachers who give so much of themselves to our children. What better way than with books? Lastly, we were thrilled at the response to the Gift of Books request – you raised over $800 to buy new books for children in need outside the Thoreau Community. In addition to our donation, Scholastic will be donating 804 books to three national non-profits dedicated to helping children and families in need. Many thanks!  –Dorothy Bisbee, Kristin Moore Scholastic Books co-Chairs; Fiona Stevenson, Used Book Chair


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


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 have been distributed to 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 31-November 4

Monday: Cheese ravioli

Tuesday: Early release
Wednesday: B. good burgers
Thursday: Bean and cheese burrito
Friday: Comella’s pizza


A Prevention Program Learning About Underage Drinking & Drugs

Marilyn Belmonte, who has been working on Substance Abuse Recognition & Prevention for 12 years, will be presenting the APPLAUDD program, targeted at parents of youth in grades 5-12.  Attendance at all 4 sessions (Tuesdays November 1, 15, 29 & December 6 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM) is encouraged but not required. 

On November 1 Marilyn will delve into the power of parenting when it comes to substance abuse, the changes in the adolescent brain and why teens are more susceptible to drug and alcohol addiction and current trends in teen drug use.  Finally, there will be a discussion about the most commonly known drugs. Subsequent sessions will look at “The Rise of Prescription Drug Abuse,” “Marijuana,” and “Underage Drinking.”

Sessions will take place at Concord Carlisle High School in the Little Theater. If you have questions, would like more information or would like to pre-register for all 4 sessions, please contact ccpi.mass@gmail.com.  APPLAUDD is offered by Concord Carlisle Parents Initiative (CCPI) and is free and open to the public.

Concord-Carlisle Youth Hockey Learn-to-Play & Learn-to-Skate Program

Mosquito’s is CCYH’s program for kids ages 4-8 who would like to learn how to play hockey. After a season of learn-to-skate (in any program), most kids are ready to strap on the pads and learn to play the game of hockey. The CCYH program focuses on the fundamentals of hockey skating with some stick handling as well. The coaches use the USA Hockey, American Development Model for the practice plans and ensure that the kids have lots of fun by playing games that help to develop their skating.

All coaches are USA Hockey certified. Practices begin Nov. 5 and run to the last week in February. Sessions are every Sat. & Sun., 8:10am at the Middlesex School rink in Concord. The kids will also get to participate in our CCYH Annual Beanpot which is great fun for players and parents. All skaters are required to full hockey equipment which includes hockey skates, and an H.E.C.C approved helmet /w cage.

Learn-to-Skate is for kids ages 3-10 who want to learn how to skate. Basic skating skills are taught and kids move into advanced groups as their skills develop. The coaches use games, toys and other skill development activities to ensure the skaters obtain a strong skating foundation. The goal of learn-to-skate is to prepare kids for either organized hockey or just have fun on the local ponds.

Learn-to-Skate starts on Sat. Dec. 3, 11:20am at the Concord Valley Ice Rink (back rink) and run through the first weekend in February. Skaters are required to have an H.E.C.C. approved helment w/cage and hockey skates are strongly recommended. Other equipment is optional.

You can register for Mosquitoes or Learn-to-Skate by navigating to the registration page at www.ccyh.org.

If you have any questions about either program you can contact AJ Griswold ajgriswold@mac.com or TJ Umina tj.umina@comcast.net.

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 November 3, 2011. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, October 31, 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.