January 31, 2020
The recent death of our student, Chase Bjork, has impacted many if not all of us in some way. This is a tragedy for the Bjork family, for our school and for our community, and we are all deeply saddened by what has happened. We are grieving the loss of one of our own.
Support for anyone in need is being offered in multiple forms:
- There will be Open Hours at CCHS on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 AM – 1 PM and Sunday, February 2, from 2 PM – 4 PM with counselors present for anyone (students, parents, faculty, and community members).
- The bottom of this message has a list of Mental Health Resources for Youth and Families.
- The school is working closely with the Riverside Community Care, a Department of Mental Health funded organization that provides support to schools and communities following suicides. They are helping us to plan student support groups, conduct staff training and provide more resources for parents. More information will be forthcoming.
- Counselors and teachers at the schools are providing ongoing support to students. This support will continue over the coming days and weeks.
- More supports and training will be available through the Center for Parents and Teachers, the Parent Teacher Groups, and Riverside Community Care.
This is a time for our community to grieve and there are no easy answers. We need to be accessible to one another and to truly listen when someone opens up to us. In short, we need to be here for each other during this difficult time.
Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent
Mental Health Services for Youth and Families
This list of resources is presented in an attempt to provide options for those seeking assistance.
Their mention herein does not necessarily indicate the endorsement of Concord-Carlisle High School.
LOCAL AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES
CCHS Guidance Dept. (978)341-2941 or (978)341-2924
Emerson Hospital (978) 369-1400
Advocates 800-640-5432 (mobile risk assessment service)
Concord Emergency Services (police & fire dispatch) (978)318-3400
Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program (800)799-7233
Elliot Community Health Services (800)988-1111
Concord Health Department (978)318-3275
William James College Interface, Help-Line, Website: www.interface.williamjames.edu; 617-332-3666, x 411
HELP FOR TEENS
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800)273-TALK (24 hr.)
National Hope Line Network (800)442-HOPE (4673)
Covenant House Nine Line (800) 999-9999
Boston Emergency Screening Team (800) 981-HELP
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (800) 841-8371
Fenway Community Health Center Peer Listening Line
(Hotline for GLBT teens) (800) 399-7337
Samaritans Teen Line (For Teens Only) (800) 525-TEEN (24hrs.)
HELP FOR FAMILIES
Riverside Emergency Services Team 24-hr Crisis Line: (800) 529-5077
Parental Stress Line (800) 632-8188 (24 hrs.)
Samaritans Hotline (617) 247-0220 (24 hrs.)
Riverside Outpatient Center (617) 969-4925
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AND SUPPORT
MA Substance Abuse Information and Education Help Line (800) 327-5050
Substance Abuse Treatment Referral (800) 662-HELP
Alcoholics Anonymous (Boston) (617) 426-9444
Needham ACTS – Parent Resources
Massachusetts Health & Human Services – Suicide
Sign and Symptoms of Depression
Supporting Your Teen After the Suicide of a Friend
Signs Symptoms of Depression and Suicidality – advocates ES – Concord.docx
Supporting Your Teen After the Suicide of a Friend 10.13.pdf
January 20, 2020
As previously mentioned, it is important to share updates relative to the efforts toward reaching the goals in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. The goal of creating a safe and healthy learning environment includes environmental sustainability. The schools are committed and enthusiastic about these efforts. One year ago, a District Sustainability Committee formed where administrators, faculty, parents, students and community members could plan this work.
The 2019-2020 Sustainability Action Plan integrates school-based focuses on reaching the Town of Concord’s Sustainability Goals and Principles. This year, we are focused on: Composting, Energy, Transportation, Student Learning. Updates on each are provided below.
Thoreau started composting last year. Results to date:
Composting Kickoff! A Composting Crew of 50 CCHS students recently started to coach their peers daily so composting happens smoothly!
CMS, Willard, and Alcott are making plans to get started!
Electric School Buses
We were notified in late December that our grant application for a second electric school bus was accepted! On January 21, 2020, we will present an overview of the status of the fleet and offer recommendations to continue to expand the number of electric buses.
Middle School Project
Please visit the CMS Building Project web page for an overview of the sustainability discussion to date: https://www.concordps.org/cms-building-project/cms-building-project-presentations/. The project looks to be among model schools in Massachusetts.
One of our major goals for the year is noting the alignment between the curriculum and sustainability. Director of Teaching and Learning, Kristen Herbert, will join us at the District Sustainability Committee meeting next week for that purpose.
In the meantime, I wanted to share a fantastic Energy Fair where 7th students made projects to educate their classmates on different types of energy. The students then recommended an energy source for the town which I shared with the Middle School Building Committee.
We enjoy partnerships with multiple groups in the community including:
Climate Solutions Speaker Series
Concord Climate Action Network
Concord on Tap
Mother’s Out Front
Town of Concord Sustainability and Energy Committee
Town of Concord Climate Action Advisory Board
Students are actively engaged in these efforts. Among a number of student groups are:
Concord Middle School Green Team
Concord Middle School Animals and Plant Club
CCHS Environmental Club
CCHS Green Team
CCHS Sunrise Movement
In order to share information regularly, the district web page now hosts an Environmental Sustainability page.
Finally, I want to highlight an event we are co-sponsoring at Willard tomorrow night at 7:30 pm. The founder of the Sunrise Movement, Varshini Parkash, will be available via video call. I’m sure it will be a motivating discussion!
Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent
January 4, 2020
Families of the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Schools:
Among our primary focus areas in the 2018-2023 strategic plan is the objective to create a collaborative and inclusive culture in the schools and community that values diversity and recognizes the contributions and uniqueness of each learner. Since the Fall of 2018, a priority has been to enhance our understanding and to foster a culturally competent community.
A District-Wide Cultural Competency Committee formed to craft a definition, vision, and action plan. The committee defined cultural competency in our districts as:
We strive to be a more culturally competent community. We support our diversity of race, gender, religion, national origin, gender identity, color, ancestry, sexual orientation, and ability. By our choices and actions, we promote all members to feel recognized, respected and valued. We have set our intention to be responsive, proactive, and empathetic to all facets of culture and diversity. The goal of continuously developing our cultural competency is that it will enable our students to develop the values, skills, and behaviors needed to interact effectively in a culturally diverse community, both locally and globally.
A significant component of the action plan is providing professional development. During the 2018-2019 school year through the support of the Concord Education Fund, three keynote speakers brought messages of cultural competency in the classroom:
- Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum: Nationally renown author of “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” and Other Conversations About Race
- Principal Baruti Kafele: Highly regarded urban educator, author, and leadership expert focused on the success of at-risk students and Black males
- Dr. Derrick Gay: International consultant on issues of diversity, cultural competency, and global citizenship
This year, all of PreK-12 will engage in professional development pathways that include offerings such as:
- Let’s Talk About “IT”: How to Have Difficult Conversations About the ISMS. Presentation by Dr. Paula Martin, Consultant with EDCO Collaborative
Student and staff groups now exist at both Concord Middle School and Concord-Carlisle High School. The CMS Allies teacher group and CCHS Charge (Concord-Carlisle High School Anti-Racism Group for Educators) meet regularly to discuss issues like racism and unconscious bias. The CMS RISE (Racial Impact Social Empowerment) and CCHS Intersections Club have similar discussions about the inclusion of all students, highlighting diversity, and how social identities shape student development.
The middle school is expanding its work with the Playbook Initiative. CCHS is looking to join the middle school in participating in the Tenacity Challenge, an academic competition for Latino and African-American students. We learned this week that we received a METCO grant to host a performance of a theater production of “Mr. Joy,” a play about racial divides. These programs are not reflective of all of the work to be done but do establish strong structures and models. A successful International Fair was held at Willard and is planned for other schools later this year. Equity walks through our hallways and classrooms allow for self-assessment of our efforts at inclusion.
Our work extends into the community. As part of the annual “Can We Talk?” series, Concord Carlisle Adult and Community Education (CCACE) presented workshops on cultural competency for our broader community. In November of 2018, “The Defamation Experience” was well attended. In this play, the audience acted as the jury in a civil lawsuit: An African American female business owner is suing a Jewish male real estate developer for defamation. The deliberations of this “case” focused on the role of race and culture play in society. This winter, CCACE partnered with the Friends of the Concord Free Library to offer a series, “Unconscious Bias: Interrupting the Cycle.” This series is comprised of five workshops: Unconscious Bias – what is in your backpack?; Class/Culture; Race, Racism, Racialized Structures, and Privilege; Gender, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression; and Tying it Together! Having Courageous Conversations about Difficult Topics. Both of these experiences were available at a minimal fee due to generous support from our sponsors.
This spring, we will conduct an equity audit where focus groups, surveys, and a review of our policies and practices will inform our effort to date and provide data as to the vast amount of work yet to be done.
Your feedback as students and parents is critical throughout these efforts. We encourage you to communicate about successes as well as to report incidents that should be brought to our attention or require intervention. With you as partners, we look forward to continuing to create a community that welcomes and values everyone.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 7 p.m.
Concord Middle School-Sanborn Building
The Concord Middle School Building Committee invites you to come hear about the Concord Middle School feasibility study process and timeline, ask questions of the project consultants and learn about future opportunities to engage and provide feedback.
After a brief overview of the process and timeline, we will open the floor to community questions and feedback. Our goal for this initial forum is to kick off the feasibility study public engagement process and hear from you! Visioning education in a new school will be a priority in the discussion. Subsequent sessions will be scheduled that will provide updates on the study progress and respond to questions raised.
We welcome your comments and input via the CMSBC email portal: https://www.concordps.org/cms-building-project/email-the-cms-building-committee/
Addition information and our meetings and forums online are found on the CMSBC webpages: