Thursday, November 29, 2012


Chess Club will start on Thursday, December 6 and run from 7:45 to 8:45am in the school cafeteria. Please sign up by contacting Chess Club coordinator with the name and grade of your child.  -Jinglin Zhang, Chess Club Coordinator


A HUGE thank you to Trish Siefer and Betsy Martel for planning this year’s Turkey Trot! Your efforts in collecting forms and organizing the many parent volunteers are much appreciated. The day ran smoothly, and with the weather cooperating this year, a great time was had by all. Many thanks also to Tom “The Turkey” Hourihan, and Karla Keefe for their tireless efforts with the overall planning and with the Pep Rally. Your names are synonymous with the Trot, and wouldn’t be the same without you! -Jen and Shelagh


Thanks to the following families for their contributions to the Annual Appeal . Pereira Duraes/ Opitz, Cole-Woodnal, Paris, Pailet/Economos,  Ely, Bates, Lilly, Francini, Glitzenstein,  Carter/Robb , Hitzrot/Ford, Symons, Tustin, Kirkwood, Johnstone, Yates,  Boynton, Parker, Chen,  Fattal, Monks,  Drake, Vallee/St Laurent , Capello , Moore, Brown/Mee, Johnson/Tosic , D’Ambrosia, Hahn/Campbell and Maramag-Tavakol.  If you haven’t already, please consider giving soon.  No amount is too small.  One hundred percent of your donation is tax deductible and goes directly to the activities and supplies that benefit your child. We are spending approximately $100 per student this year. Send a check to the school in the envelope supplied in your letter or donate online at Thank you so much for your support!


Picture Retake  Day was a success as we shuffled over 60 kids through for retakes. A very special thanks to the committed and hard working volunteers: Terry Cassidy (aka: “Triva and Joke Guy”), Lisa Derosa, Leonor  Daley and Kerry Barber. Please note that if you are not happy with your retake or if you have any questions regarding your order, please contact Coffee Pond Photo at 508-907-6633 ext 0 or 800-632-2323 ext. 0, or email them at Your pictures are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Please keep your complimentary class photo.  Thank you. -Robin Grace


The PTG has voted to fund the building and placement of a new Gaga Pit on the Thoreau playground. Please refer to the PTG website and click on the Gaga Pit link:  for more information on this great new game for the kids to play!  The “pit” will be built and put on the playground (across from the basketball court next to the gym wall, on the grass) this spring.  There will be a “Thoreau Goes Gaga” week this spring led by Ms. Murphy to teach the children the basic rules– more to come! Any questions? Want to be on the gaga committee (commitment will consist of a few hours of labor this spring to put wood chips down in the pit!)? Please email robin grace at

LUNCH MENU Week of December 3-7

  • Monday: Chicken Patty on Roll
  • Tuesday: Early Release
  • Wednesday: Whole Grain Pasta with Meatballs & Cheese
  • Thursday: Baked Fish Patty on on Bun
  • Friday: Whole Grain Cheese Pizza


School Committee Meeting Brief – November 13, 2012

  1. Diana Rigby reviewed the new DESE Evaluation and Supervision system that district will be using for the teachers. Involves a self-assessment, evaluation and rubrics. This is only applies to high school, not K-8. The detail info could be found at
  1. CCHS Building Project Update:
    1. The letter reply to MSBA’s October 25, 2012 letter which stated that project funding will be reinstated after the completion of several action items has been filed. The letter from the District to the MSBA contains the information requested by the MSBA. A summary of the action items is in the School Committee Update and the full 10/25 letter from the MSBA is online at the CCHS Building web site at
    2. OMR (Office of Michael Rosenfeld –architect/designer), KV Associates (Owner’s Project Manager, also called OPM) and Turner Construction Company(our builder) will put together a schedule for completion of design and construction documentation and for actual construction. Stan Durlacher, the chair of the Building Committee, has published details; see
    3. Transportation Update –Pam Gannon said the Board of Selectmen is very supportive of the use of state land for the buses for the long term transportation plan. There are two different issues for student transportation: Long-term and short-term.
      1. Long-term: The SC voted to proceed with a Feasibility Study of the Concord former landfill site. This will analyze the infrastructure necessary and cost to develop that site as a bus depot. Long-term transportation will not be made until the study is completed. However, there is no capital funding in place to build a bus depot; There have been discussions between the SC and the Town to share some services in the long-term, such as fuel tanks. At the meeting, John Flaherty mentioned in his update that an RFP (i.e. legal procurement) would be developed for the Feasibility Study.
      2. Short-term: The buses are currently receiving maintenance services at a facility in Billerica. A lease was executed for a parking facility in Acton so there will be a place to park the buses when construction at the high school begins.

Holiday Book Sale

The Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street, hosts its annual Holiday Book Sale on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 from 9 am to 4 pm; and Sunday December 2 from 1-4 pm. These gently used books are in prime gift-giving condition, and cover all genres from children’s books to fiction to cookbooks. New books are brought out continuously throughout all three days. Profits go to support programs such as museum passes, author talks, and more.

Concord Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

The Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting will be held on Sunday, December 2 from 4:45 to 6:00 pm, with the tree lighting at 5:15 pm in Monument Square.  Additional festivities include:

  • Music by Sounds of Concord under the tree at 4:30pm with guests from Bristol Studios Artists
  • Coffee provided by Starbucks
  • Music on Main Street by Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • Hot Chocolate donated by Dunkin’ Donuts of Concord and served by the Rotary Club of Concord on the Visitor Center Lawn
  • Rotary Club 4th Annual Festival of Wreaths, 2-6pm at Middlesex Savings Bank
  • Suzuki violin students at the Colonial Inn 3:30pm
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Toy Shop from 2:30-4:30pm with free gifts
  • Doll House Raffle at Barrett & Co. to benefit Mass Coalition for the Homeless
  • Hot Cider and Cupcakes at Corinthian Lodge, Monument Square from 4pm-6pm
  • The Concord Orchestra’s Annual Family Concert –Lemony Snicket: The Composer is Dead at 51 Walden Street at 2pm and 4pm

Community Chest to Collect Toys at Concord Parade of Giving

The Community Chest is excited to continue its tradition of participating in The Concord Parade of Giving on Sunday, December 2.  In addition to marching in the parade, the Chest will collect new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children ages 0-18.  Volunteers will be accepting gifts under the Tree of Giving.  These gifts will be distributed through Chest supported agencies to local children whose families need assistance this holiday season. Please join us in making the holidays a little brighter for our neighbors in need!  Please call the Community Chest office at 978-369-5250 with questions and for more information.

Communities for Restorative Justice Honored with 2012 Freedom Award

The Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council has announced that it has chosen Communities for Restorative Justice as the winner of this year’s Climate for Freedom Award. The award will be presented at the annual Human Rights Breakfast on Monday, December 3, at 7:30 am at the Trinitarian Congregational Church at 54 Walden Street. Jennifer Larson-Sarwin, executive director of C4RJ, will be the speaker and all are invited to come and hear some of the transforming stories of justice and reconciliation. Free of charge.

Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) is an organization that epitomizes the promotion of a climate for freedom in the Concord-Carlisle area. Former Concord Chief of Police Len Wetherbee has stated that “C4RJ is the most important program I’ve been involved in during my 33 years here. I wish every resident could see one circle in action. It’s phenomenal.”

Breakfast Food Drive to Benefit the Pine Street Inn

Girl Scout Troop 72687 is running a food drive to benefit the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston.  Every day this organization serves over 3,000 meals to those who are in need.  Please join our troop in this important community service project.

  • Who: Girl Scout Troop 72687, the Fourth Grade and you!
  • What We Need: boxes of cereal, hot cocoa mix, and ground coffee
  • When: Monday, November 26- Friday, December 7 
  • Where: Look for collection bins in the school entry and the fourth grade hallway

Questions?  Contact Lauren McClure, or Karen Schmidt, Thank you!

Raising a Safe and Healthy Adolescent

The Center for Parents and Teachers presents “From Vulnerability to Maturity” with Rick Irving, MSW on Thursday, December 6 from 9:15 to 11:15 am at the Concord Middle School Peabody Forum, 1231 Old Marlboro Road. Free and open to all; no pre-registration required.

Adolescence is a period of enormous and sometimes overwhelming challenge.  Teenagers experience physiological and emotional changes that often throw them off balance.  It is a time when they need our help and yet seem almost desperately to reject it. Understandably, parents can feel unsure and even frightened about how best to guide their children through this risky developmental period.  In this workshop, we will look at normal and troubled adolescent development, and identify some of the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in our children.  We will look at both healthy and maladaptive coping skills and defenses common to this age group.  Throughout the presentation, we will cover ways parents can help their children develop the self-esteem skills necessary to navigate safely toward maturity.  Please bring questions or concerns you have about your own child.

Rick Irving has over 30 years experience working with K-12 students in both public school settings and in private practice.  Rick offers practical suggestions and insights with good humor that parents can really relate to and benefit by.

Thursday Author Series

The next Thursday Author will present Mary Keenan on December 6 at 7:30 pm in the Main Library Periodicals Reading Room. Lexington author Keenan will discuss her book In Haste, Julia:1819-1900, Julia Robbins Barrett: Abolitionist, Artist, Suffragist. Open to all. Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library.

Concord Youth Theatre Junior Company Production

Concord Youth Theatre is proud to present our newly formed CYT Junior Company, with children in grades 2-4. Their first production is “How to Eat Like a Child.” Based on the book by Delia Ephron, this musical romp through the joys and sorrows of being a child is hilarious. The actors give 23 lessons in such subjects as how to beg for a dog, how to torture your sister, how to act after being sent to your room and how to laugh hysterically. Charming, witty and fun for the whole family. This is under the direction of JulieAnn Govang, music direction of Jane Raithel and choreography of Julia Nelson.

This production is being performed at the Thoreau Elementary School. Tickets are $13 each and may be purchased either on line with a credit card at or to pay with cash or check, you may call our ticket line at 978.371.1482 to reserve them. There’s only 3 performances, so don’t miss out: Friday, Dec. 7th at 7:30 and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8th and 9th, at 2:30.

Local Holiday Shopping Night

Shops on Main Street and Walden Street, Concord Center, will be open for holiday shopping on Thursday, December 13 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm with refreshments, holiday specials, and entertainment.  Strolling carolers.  Special drawings for prizes and Gift of Concord gift certificates.  Contact the Chamber of Commerce for further information at (978)369-3120.

Holiday Give-Back to Benefit the Family of Gary Garafola

Thoreau School families are invited to continue to support the family of Concord bus driver Gary Garafola (“Mr. G.”) this holiday season by participating in an optional memorial fundraiser at Barefoot Books in Concord.  Families that shop at the Barefoot Books Studio between November 15 and December 15—and request their holiday purchases be applied to this fundraiser—will effectively be donating up to 40% of their purchases toward the Garafola family.  For more information, please contact  Or just come by the studio at 89 Thoreau Street between November 15 and December 15.

An Afternoon with Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators

As part of the Concord Museum’s 17th annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature, join us on Saturday, December 15 to enjoy 38 trees decorated with inspiration from favorite picture books, then meet some of the esteemed authors and illustrators whose books are featured. Have your books signed by Honorary Chairs Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Jeannie Brett, Ilse Plume, Lynn Plourde, and Grace Lin.  Books are available for purchase in the Museum Shop. 1:00-4:00 p.m.; free with admission. On Saturday and Sunday, December 15 & 16, Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar, a larger-than-life costume character, will also be visiting!  For further information visit:

Coats for Kids Drive

Concord Middle School’s Coats for Kids Club needs the elementary schools’ help in collecting coats for Anton’s Cleaners  18th  annual Coats for Kids  drive. Last year the students at CMS collected approximately 200 coats.  This year we are hoping to double that amount.  There is a collection box located in the front lobby at Thoreau School.

We are accepting all winter coats – kids, adults and babies – that are in good wearable condition.    Please donate coats that you would give a friend to wear.    Coats are being collected now through January 12, 2013.  This holiday season as we visit with family and friends, let’s spread the word that we are collecting coats for those in need.  Your donations are greatly appreciated!

CC Youth Hockey Partners with CCHS Girls’ Hockey

Concord-Carlisle Youth Hockey is proud to partner with the CCHS Girls Hockey team. Members of the CCHS Girls Hockey team will help instruct your future high-school stars and teach them the fundamentals of skating and hockey in the Learn-to-Skate and Learn-to-Play programs. It is a great opportunity for your young players to see older kids who were developed in the very same program.

The Learn-to-skate program starts the first Saturday in December and is for skaters ages 4-8. LTS teaches kids the fundamentals for skating with a focus on preparing the skaters for their youth hockey careers. All sessions are at the Valley Sports Arena in Concord and run through February. All skaters are required to wear an HECC approved helmet with a cage. Hockey skates are highly recommended.

The CCYH Mosquitoes program begins in November and is also for players ages 4-8, who have had at least one year of LTS (either in CCYH or another skating program) and want to learn the skills to prepare them for organized hockey. Players will continue to work on skating and are introduced to hockey sticks. The sessions run every Saturday & Sunday starting at 8:00am at Middlesex School in Concord. All players are required to wear full hockey equipment to every session. For further information please visit

CCYS Travel and In-Town Spring Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer’s in-town programs for pre-K through Grade 6 and travel programs for ages U9 through U14 for the spring 2013 season. The travel registration deadline is December 4, and the in-town registration deadline is March 5. More information can be found at


Principal Kelly Clough’s Blog

MCAS Schedule:

NutriKids lunch account balance:

K-5 Booklists:


The next issue of Thoreau Announcements will be published on DECEMBER 6, 2012. Submission Deadline: 9 pm Monday, DECEMBER 3, 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