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Superintendent's Message

Thoreau

Upcoming Reopening Schools Parent Forums

July 2, 2020

Dear Families:

Happy July!  I wanted to provide updates about our planning process for the fall.  As you know, the District COVID-19 Task Force met three times so far.  All of the work of the Task Force is regularly updated on the Task Force webpage.  In addition, the four Working Groups and Building-Based Task Forces meet regularly.  The work in June has been conceptual as we outline a vision and analyze strengths and needs.  July will move the focus to detailed, concrete plans for three options:  in-person, hybrid, and remote teaching and learning.   These options align with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s initial guidance, which was released on June 24, 2020.  DESE has been clear that the goal is to return all students to school if possible.  We believe in that goal.  We do need to work through the logistics to ensure we have safe environments for students and adults and can comply with all of the required safety protocols.  The local infection rates over the next two months will also determine the preferred option.

In addition to the committee work, we conducted one round of surveys and are now looking for direct input from families.  On Thursday, July 9, we will hold parent forums at 2 and 7 p.m.  A reminder and Zoom information will go out next week.  Additional forums will soon be scheduled for students and teachers as well.

Regarding the overall timeline, we expect to meet our initial deadline for a full report of the Task Forces and development of the three reopening plans by July 31.  The goal is that, by having these plans outlined, it will allow the month of August to focus on the implementation and execution of the plan that best fits the late summer health data.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend!
Best,

Laurie

 

Conversation about Race and Other Updates

June 28, 2020

Dear Families:

I wanted to share an important broadcast on WIQH 88.3, the CCHS radio station, happening this week.  The CCHS Intersections Club is a diverse group of CCHS students from Boston (via the METCO program), and the towns of Concord and Carlisle. Intersections club members highlight diversity and foster inclusion in our school community, and support one another in exploring, understanding and embracing how their social identities, (i.e. gender, sexuality, race, economic status/class, age, linguistic) intersect, and overlap with their classmates, faculty, and staff.  They recorded a discussion focused on:

  • The importance of diversity at CCHS
  • Racism in our community
  • Issues of systemic racism and racial injustice in the world

The show will air on:

  • Sunday at 6 pm
  • Tuesday at noon and 6 pm
  • Thursday at noon and 6 pm

Hearing student voices is critical so we hope you will join them.

In other updates:

The District COVID-19 Task Force met last week prior to the release of the DESE guidance.  The recording is posted here:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vTZaX-7axgJCuavf-D5YM946cu6e9qjjXhRcg7QGRwQ/edit?usp=sharing

The Joint School Committees will meet on Tuesday at 5 pm.  The agenda is posted here:  https://www.concordps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CCSC-Joint-Agenda-6.30.20-V2.pdf

The Concord Free Public Library continues to offer virtual programs and now also curbside pick-up for some activities and books.  Please keep checking their webpage for updates:  https://concordlibrary.org/kids

Any CCHSS students needing work permits can obtain them remotely by following the directions on this webpage:  https://www.concordcarlisle.org/workpermits

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Best,

Laurie

Initial DESE Reopening Guidance

June 25, 2020

Dear Families:

As you have likely heard, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released initial guidance for reopening schools today.  The document is attached to this email.

Over the coming days, I will send a summary of the document.  We will also be continuing our process via the District Task Force.  Additional opportunities for community participation will also be offered via forums and focus groups.

This document will allow us to start planning options in a concrete, specific way.  While that is a significant task, we look forward to collaboratively moving forward.

Best,

Laurie
File attachments:
DESE guidance6.25.20.docx

Updates and Events

June 22, 2020

Dear Families:

I hope you enjoyed the first weekend of the summer break!  This email is a bit of a catch-all with a few highlights from the end of the school year and reminders of various sorts.

The parent survey remains open through Wednesday.  It asks for identifying information to help inform us about bus ridership but you can simply put “Anonymous” in order to avoid that if that makes you uncomfortable.  The survey is located at: https://forms.gle/6rBimokBMtd3d2PB8

The District COVID-19 Task Force meets on Wednesday at 9 am.  The Zoom information is found at the bottom of this email if you plan to attend.

Musical selections for you to enjoy!  The CMS Virtual Honors Choir is featured here:  https://youtu.be/AV594yeZ41Y. The CMS Band is featured here:  https://youtu.be/hn-aUK9Sgzw

Friday’s Virtual Coffee was recorded and is posted here:  https://concordps.zoom.us/rec/share/950lM5at82dLep3z7mLxaoEjQ5_CT6a82yUYq6FcxEbd477ptL75Ehi339IAhTiI

Florence Roussel’s AP students have spent a great deal of time interviewing CCHS alumni who have lived or traveled extensively in francophone countries after graduation.  Enjoy these!  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f6MM-cMjN1K-Z9Yg3kh3aU-ZY0_JJPRU/view?usp=sharing

Below again is the list of options for summer learning opportunities:

  1. ) Keep the Learning Going: Electronic Resources for Academic Practice
    Summer Resource Letter
  2. ) Summer Reading & Learning: Partnership with Concord Free Public Library
    Summer Learning Program for Kids& Teens.

Titles from the public library list can be accessed using Hoopla and a public library account. If you do not have a public library account, you can register remotely here. All students who participate by reading 6 books/learning experiences will receive two homework passes that can be used during the 2020-2021 school year. To participate, students may reside in any Massachusetts

3. ) Virtual Learning Resources
PreK – 5 Virtual Learning Resources 
6- 8 Virtual Learning Resources
9 – 12 Virtual Learning Resources 

The  Concord Free Public Library invites middle schoolers to read aloud together in a fun, supportive environment. The program will take place every Friday at 11 am – 12 pm, starting June 26. The group will focus on the Concord Middle School’s Big 6 Recommended Reading List.

The first book that the group will read together is Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. This brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.

Students can instantly download this title on hoopla with a Minuteman Library Card.

Register each week in advance to receive the Zoom link: https://concordlibrary.org/news-events/events-calendar

For more information about the Summer Learning Program, including where and how kids can sign up to participate, visit:

https://concordlibrary.org/kids/summer-learning-2020

https://concordlibrary.org/teens/summer-reading-program-for-teens

We will continue to provide updates and information as we have them.

Best,

Laurie

 

With Gratitude

June 18, 2020

Dear Families:

As today marks the close of the 2019-2020 school year, I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone in the role they played to transform a school system overnight.  We will long reflect on the successes and challenges.  Tonight, I focus on the successes because they warrant celebration.

The partnership between families and schools has never been more intimate.   The efforts to keep children connected with valued adults and their peers happened because of creative and sometimes extraordinary approaches.  The moments we treasure as traditions still remained through the dedication and efforts of many to reinvent them.  We realized that our work in the emotional wellbeing of students and racial acceptance of all created a strong foundation for opening dialogue as to the conversations that I believe will result in true change.  This community led outreach to those who treat the ill and offered gestures to recognize essential workers.  We provided food to those in need solely as a result of volunteers and the financial generosity of others.  And ..perhaps we realized what was most important in those crazy, hectic, overscheduled lives we all used to lead.

There are many challenges yet to come.  I will continue to provide regular updates both about events in the community and the planning for school in the fall.

In the meantime, let’s all take a few minutes to be grateful for one another and all that we have instead of what we lost.  I expect we will be richer for it in the long run.  Thank you all so much.

Best,

Laurie

 

June 16th Update

June 16, 2020

Dear Families:

What a great day of parades at the preschool and elementary schools!  The bright sunshine helped us all to remember that there are brighter days ahead.  I extend a heartfelt thanks to the parents and students who came out for all 6 events (parades from PreK-12) and to the many staff who came to wave, applaud, ring cowbells, play tubas, and smile big (under the masks!).   We are all richer for the experience!

While we await guidance shortly from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, we’ll clarify some of what the media reported last week.  The reported cap of 10 children in a room was based on the summer special education guidance, not a document regarding the fall as reported by the press.  We plan to share the official document with you as soon as it is available to the public.  Our Task Force work then focuses on implementation and any decisions left in local control.    If it is of interest to you, California released their guidebook which you can read here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x3pMDdDBNS8btuMCFoTOqvfVAdH2faRb/view?usp=sharing

At the end of the year, I like to reflect on the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan goals we set for the year as to the appropriateness of the priorities and if they still hold since the plan is for five years.  You might be interested to do the same.  The plan is posted here and anchors all of our work:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ckpy2kKUposyMuH4hfBJD3EeK8IgMkHh2uQzk-SUPcU/edit?usp=sharing  In fact, the objectives in the plan seem more timely and appropriate than ever.

Thank you to the Concord Education Fund who presented a check for $81,000 tonight to the Joint School Committees.  This will fund teacher-generated projects as well as building-based work.  We will be sure to provide a complete list.  We are so grateful for CEF’s support!

Best,

Laurie

 

 

Updates and Reminders

June 15, 2020

Dear Families:

What a beautiful day for the Grade 8 parade at CCHS!  It is hard to believe that another one is on tap for all of the fifth graders tomorrow.  How fortunate it is that the weather cooperated for all of the events that could only be held outdoors!

The last day of school for students is Thursday, June 18.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education changed their approach a few times so an April email listed the date as June 19.  We are only making up the 3 snow days in December and March 13 so we needed only 184 of the 185 days in the original calendar.

I do want to add a reminder about what is allowed in Phase 2 of the Governor’s Reopening Plan, especially in regard to the use of the outdoor recreation spaces.  Phase 2 does not allow for contact sports even in a pick-up game environment.  The entirety of the Phase 2 guidelines are listed here:  https://www.mass.gov/doc/safety-standards-for-parks-open-space-and-outdoor-education-programs-phase-ii/download

Enjoy the beautiful evening.

Best,

Laurie

 

Counting Down

June 14, 2020

Dear Families:

In what seems like it took an eternity and yet was a blink, we look to the last four days of the school year.   The days are filled with celebrations, closure, and are business we couldn’t quite finish the way we would have wanted given the lack of in-person time together.  It goes without saying that the end of the year is very bittersweet this year.  I will join the others in sharing thoughts and reflections while providing logistical information about summer happenings and of course, fall planning.

This week will be our last Friday afternoon Virtual Coffee.  We will hold others on an intermittent basis this summer to share plans as they evolve.  I’ll wean back the daily emails to what I know will still be frequent and regular updates.

Tonight, I share some highlights of this week’s events and resources from Challenge Success.

Parents of High School Students:  Please join Dr. Nadja Reilly, a faculty member from William James College, in a live webinar on “How Parents Can Support High School Students During Key Transitions” this Wednesday evening, June 17, 2020 at 7 PM.  The Zoom information is found below.

Carlisle Town Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 20 at 10 a.m. outside at the Carlisle Public School.

The Joint School Committees will meet on Tuesday at 5 pm.  The agenda is posted here:  https://www.concordps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CCSC-Joint-Agenda-6.16.20-V2.pdf

Challenge Success posted Summer Activity Ideas at: https://www.challengesuccess.org/blog/summer-activity-ideas-covid-19/

Challenge Success also posted a thought starter for a conversation with your child about the remote learning experience and the impact of the pandemic.  As I listened, it seemed to be a very important conversation to both hear about the emotions of this year and help to prepare for the unpredictability of the fall.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiytAqkkoQA&feature=youtu.be

I hope you enjoyed this beautiful June weekend!

Best,

Laurie

“How Parents Can Support High School Students During Key Transitions” this Wednesday evening, June 17, 2020 at 7 PM

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://concordps.zoom.us/j/93041711794?pwd=OCtBbWNJTGNvbmcxTkV5R092K3FMUT09

Meeting ID: 930 4171 1794
Password: 639707
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Meeting ID: 930 4171 1794
Find your local number: https://concordps.zoom.us/u/adeYvUXq2

Learn about these and other resources — and how you can support this nonprofit local organization that is able to offer its services through grants and individual donations — by visiting:
www.centerforparentsandteachers.org

 

 

Food Drive June 22 and Summer Food Distribution Hours

June 13, 2020

Dear Families:

With great thanks to the food service department, we are pleased to continue our provisions at CCHS serving the community through the grocery pick-up and delivery services as we have provided during the school closure.

In order to do this, we need your help. We will be holding a one day food drive for non-perishable items on Monday, June 22 between 10am- 4pm at the CCHS loading dock. Please use this grocery items checklist to inform the type of items we can add to our bags in the coming weeks. We will continue to accept financial donations through our PayPal page and utilize those funds to purchase items through our vendors and local producers.

Our hours and days of operation will shift slightly for the summer. Beginning the week of June 22, we will only be open for distribution on Tuesdays/Thursdays between 9.00am-11:00am. We will absolutely communicate any changes to these hours well in advance should we face issues with sourcing and staffing the service.

We are hopeful that through these efforts we can continue to provide crucial services to all members of our community who find themselves in need. There will be ongoing communication regarding the viability of this effort, and if needed additional fundraising activities to continue as deep into the summer months as possible. Though we are excited to take this into the coming months, due to any number of circumstances, it is possible we may need to end sooner than the beginning of the next school year.

We are so grateful for the support to date in allowing us to provide for those in need.

Best,

Laurie

 

Information and Updates

June 12, 2020

Dear Families:

Tonight, I have updates and information about events and items of interest.  We see the last week of school upon us and will have a great deal of information to come over the next week and beyond.  Tonight’s items are on the lighter side.

The CCHS Voice just published its last edition of the year:

https://www.cchsvoice.org/2020/06/

The Boston Pops Play Pomp and Circumstance for the Class of 2020!  Every high school in Massachusetts is listed here including CCHS!

https://youtu.be/AOdd1VvonaE

CCHS Theater Performance and Production student will perform the 1943 suspense radio play “Sorry, Wrong Number” recorded live with quarantine-friendly homemade sound effects!  Airing on WIQH 88.3 this Saturday at 3 pm, Sunday at 8 pm, and Tuesday at 8 pm.  Hope you can tune in!  Also streaming on http://www.wiqh.org

Upcoming at the Virtual Concord Free Public Library

Interview Workshop with Geoff Edgars

June 23 at 11 am

More Information and Registration Details :  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NNsyMfj7KnRm6p6CMTsO0c2vBVEK7TAT/view?usp=sharing

 

Teens and Tweens
Virtual Cooking Workshop

Every Wednesday in July at 4 pm

More Information and Registration Details:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xCGQWqx_kbF5ueTQs1nZuBQUiGQISVdR/view?usp=sharing

Have a great start to the weekend!
Best,

Laurie

 

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