Superintendent's Message

Masks, Food Distribution/Online Donations, Social Distancing

March 22, 2020

Dear Families:

Tonight, I offer several pieces of information and reminders.

There is a great video clip of burning matches that demonstrates the impact of social distancing if you scroll down this Newsweek article:

I also include an op-ed from the Presidents of Harvard, MIT and Stanford published in last week’s New York Times discussing why they closed their colleges:

Today, we donated 400 masks to Emerson Hospital with the expectation we have more in the schools.  They are happy to have people begin sewing fabric masks as well.  Please use this information if you are interested in participating:

We posted all of the supplemental educational resources (with the correct links!) on the web page:

Among the many options, there are many opportunities to visit museums, etc. virtually.  My personal favorite is The Cincinnati Zoo’s Home Safari Facebook Live broadcast at 3 pm daily.

It has been our pleasure to provide food to those who need it during these difficult times.  We continue to provide bagged breakfasts and lunches centrally for the community at our Concord-Carlisle High School for PICK-UP ONLY.  This is in service to the community and open to anyone who is need during this closure from 8:30-11 a.m. each weekday morning  We are not able to accept food donations but fiscal donations are welcome.  An electronic link is now available on the food service web site at: Please answer this survey so we know how many meals to prepare. We can deliver on a limited basis. Please note, this survey is ANONYMOUS.


Please enjoy the cold (a little snow tomorrow!) but bright evening!



Updates and a Social Distance Birthday Party Parade

March 21, 2020

Dear Families:

I hope this sunny Saturday allowed you some time outside.  I know my dog enjoyed a walk.  I do think the pets are the ones benefitting most with all of us at home.

I came across a creative approach to social distancing and celebrations that I thought you would enjoy while also serving as a reminder.  This middle schooler was supposed to have a birthday party but had a parade of friends instead.

Yesterday, I recorded a video public service announcement with other Concord town leaders (Select Board Chair, Town Moderator, Police and Fire Chiefs, Town Manager) about the town’s response to COVID-19.  It is posted here and will run on Minuteman Media Network:

A recording of yesterday’s Virtual Superintendent’s Coffee is posted.  Thank you to the 185 people who attended.   We will hold these sessions weekly.

Should you wish to review previous emails, they are all posted on the web page:

We are providing 400 masks to Emerson Hospital tomorrow.  I am in constant communication with them.  If you are aware of any available, please let us know.  They are working on prototypes to sew or to create them with 3D printers and will stay in touch if those options become plausible.

For ongoing updates from the College Board about SAT’s and AP courses, I am providing those links again as well.  AP testing updates were posted yesterday.





Supplemental Educational Materials

March 20, 2020

Dear Families:

As you know, right now our fantastic teachers are providing educational opportunities to students during the school closure.  This week, the curriculum team worked diligently with our Director of Teaching and Learning, Kristen Herbert, to gather a wide range of supplemental and enriching activities for all age levels which is found below.  We hope this exhaustive list helps you and your children to find additional learning experiences during this time at home.

I expect we will have other updates about teaching and learning as more discussions occur at both the state and local levels next week.  We know it is challenging to balance the home environment, student learning, and the worry over what is being missed. There are no simple answers. I assure you that we will all continue to work together to ensure the emotional and educational wellbeing of our kids.

I am very grateful for the support of the community, the leadership team, and the extraordinary educators who made things happen this week that they did not even know were coming a week ago.




Grades 6 – 8

Grades 9 – 12

A Message from the Concord and Concord-Carlisle School Committees

To:  All Concord and Concord-Carlisle Families and Staff
From: The Concord and Concord-Carlisle School Committees

The Concord and Concord-Carlisle School Committees would like to express our utmost, heartfelt thanks to the administration, teachers, and all employees of our school districts for their courageous and dedicated leadership as we face the challenges and uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is in times of uncertainty that we truly need strong leadership.  It is also these times that test that leadership.  We are incredibly grateful that the leadership of the Concord and Concord-Carlisle schools has not only stood up to that test, but has surpassed any bar we could have set.  They have stepped up as leaders in our towns and are paving the way in providing guidance and support not only for school families but for other members of the community as well.

Similarly, the teachers and staff have gone above and beyond what could be expected during these trying times.  The remarkably swift creation and launch of virtual engagement opportunities for students to both maintain skills and provide students and families with a sense of continued engagement and community has been nothing short of extraordinary.  The teachers’ outreach to students provides them with a sense of connection that is critical during a time like this, and the efforts of all employees to stay connected and be ready to step in wherever needed are invaluable.  All said, we are in awe of the significant work going on throughout the districts to ensure that our students’ needs will be addressed in the long-term and that our buildings will be clean and ready for us when we can finally return to them.

We are incredibly grateful for the strength, dedication, thought, and care that our district administrators, teachers, and employees are showing during this challenging time.

With wishes for health and safety to all,
The Concord and Concord-Carlisle School Committees

The Math Behind Social Distancing

March 19, 2020

Dear Families:

Thanks so much for the ongoing efforts to help keep everyone safe.  Today’s theme is around the math behind social distancing. Both resources offer the same message in different ways.

I also did want to clarify (by sharing the link directly) as to Concord’s statement about the use of town parks, playgrounds, and fields which is found here: 


A video entitled  Exponential Growth:


A Letter from Physicians in Brookline to the School Community:

Letter from MDs in Brookline to school community:

“As there is so much confusion, misinformation and denial on social media about the coronavirus we hope to explain, in plain language, why the experts see this as such an emergency. Many people are reading the claim online that this virus is a lot like the viruses that cause colds, and that if you get it, it will probably just seem like a bad cold and you are very unlikely to die. Depending on who you are, this may be true, but there is more to this story that is key to our outcome as a community.

This is a coronavirus that is new to the human population. Although it is related to the viruses that cause colds, and acts a lot like them in many ways, nobody has ever been exposed to this before, which means nobody has any immunity to it.

The virus is now moving explosively through the human population, spreading through respiratory secretions and 10 times more contagious that the flu or cold. Although many people will recover, about 20% will wind up with a serious pneumonia that will require hospitalization. Some will be so ill from the pneumonia that they will die. We estimate this may be 2-3%, but it is higher in Italy’s experience, partially because the healthcare system was overwhelmed so rapidly. In those over age 70, the death rate is 8-20%. So if a child catches it on a playdate, they can easily transmit it to their grandmother as easily as touching the same doorknob or countertop.

Scientists measure the spread of an epidemic by a number called R0, or “R naught.” That number is calculated this way: for every person who develops the illness, how many other people do they give it to before they are cured (or dead) and no longer infectious? The R0 for coronavirus appears to be a number close to 3 – an extremely frightening number for such a deadly disease.

Suppose you catch the virus. You will give it to 3 other people, and they will each give it to three others, and so forth. Here is how the math works, where you, the “index case,” are the first line:

So, in just 15 steps of transmission, the virus has gone from just one index case to 14.3 million other people. Those 15 steps might take only a few weeks. With school out and lots of playdates, maybe less. The first person may be young and healthy Brookline child, but many of those 14 million people will be old and sick, and they will likely die because they got a virus that started in one person’s throat.
R0 is not fixed – it can be lowered by control measures. If we can get the number below 1, the epidemic will die out. This is the point of the quarantines and social distancing, but we are not doing it fast enough.

In the US, we have to slow down the virus. American hospitals, Boston hospitals, have limited resources. We have a fixed number of ventilators and an impending calamity on our hands. Our Italian critical care colleagues have shared with us that they simply do not have enough resources (ventilators, physicians and nurse, critical care beds), and are forced to choose who lives and dies based on old tenets of wartime triage. Older patients do not even get a ventilator and die of their pneumonia. These are decisions nobody should have to face, and we are only 11 days behind Italy’s fate. Their hospitals are quite advanced, and we are no better in Boston. As doctors, we are desperately trying to prepare for the onslaught of patients in the coming weeks. It is already beginning. This is an opportunity for you as the district leadership the time to be aggressive and help us fight this by “Flattening the Curve”.

We implore you, as a group of Boston’s doctors preparing to fight this, to help us. Please send a new email to ALL the Brookline school district families. Social distancing is painful. We know that kids have cabin fever, they are pleading to see their friends, they may have birthday parties coming up or special events they have been looking forward to. All of us need to work and childcare is a big worry. But we need to overcome these issues and boredom for the coming weeks so that we can survive this with as few deaths as possible. What does that mean?

1) No playdates, not even 1:1.
2) No small gatherings, no meetings between a couple families, even for birthday parties.
3) Avoid trampoline parks, climbing gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, anything in an enclosed area. Many of these places are advertising increased cleaning and hygiene. This is not sufficient! Do not go.
4) Cancel planned vacations for the next month. Avoid airline travel that is not an emergency. Many airlines and rental agencies are offering penalty free cancellations.
5) Stay at home as much as possible. Work from home if you possibly can. You may have to go buy groceries and medicine, of course, but make the trips quick and purposeful.
6) Wash your hands thoroughly after you have been in public places, for a full 20 seconds, soaping up thoroughly and being sure to get between the fingers.
7) Please avoid disseminating social media claims that the situation is not serious or is being exaggerated. This is a national crisis and conveying misinformation to your friends and family may put their lives in danger.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and stay safe and healthy in the coming weeks.”

Erika Rangel, MD, Director of Surgical Critical Care, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital
Shawn Rangel, MD, Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital Boston
Asaf Bitton, MD, Executive Director Ariadne Labs and Internal Medicine, BWH
Daniel O’connor, MD, Pediatrics, Longwood Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Boston
Beth O’connor, MD, Pediatrics, Roslindale Pediatrics
Vandana Madhavan, MD, Clinical Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease, MGH
Parag Amin, MD, Pediatrics, Centre Pediatrics
Christy Cummings, MD, Neonatology, Children’s Hospital Boston
Eric Bluman, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, BWH
Trimble Augur, MD, Internal Medicine, Hebrew Rehabilitation Center
Dasha Weir, MD, Pediatric gastroenterology
Amy Evenson Warren, Transplant Surgery, BIDMC
William Oldham, MD, PhD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, BWH
James Kryzanski, MD, Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center
Ben Zendejas-Mummert, MD, Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital Boston
Johanna Iturrino Moreda, MD, Gastroenterology, BIDMC
David Berg, MD, Cardiology and Cardiac Critical Care, BWH
Jennifer Crombie, MD, Hematology Oncology, BWH
Jenifer Lightdale, MD, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, U Mass Memorial Hospital
Wayne Tworetzky, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Hospital Boston
Elaine Yu, MD, Endocrinology
Jonathan Li, Infectious Disease
Nancy Cho, MD, Surgical Oncology, BWH
Eric Sheu, MD, Minimally Invasive Surgery, BWH
Reza Askari, MD, Director, Surgical Critical Care, BWH
Cindy Lien, MD, Internal Medicine and Palliative Care, BIDMC
Hannah Parker, MD, OB/GYN
Alysa E. Doyle, PhD, Center for Genomic Medicine, MGH
Christopher Smith, MD, Internal Medicine, Charles River Medical Associates, Wellesley, MA
Maya Greer, NP, Children’s Hospital Boston
Rusty Jennings, MD, Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital Boston
Emily Oken, MD, Professor of Population Medicine, BWH
Chinwe Ukomadu, MD, Head of Clinical Hepatology, Novartis
Jennifer Kaufman, MD, Internal Medicine, BWH
Ann Poduri, MD, MPH, Pediatric Neurology
Susan Yehle Ritter, MD, Rheumatology
Diego Martinucci, MD Psychiatry, Atrius Health
Shih-Ning Liaw, MD, Pediatric Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Boston Children’s Hospital
Wolfram Goessling, MD, Gastroenterology and Oncology, MGH
Paola Daza, Pediatrics, MGH
Juan Matute, Neonatology, MGH
John Ross, MD, Internal Medicine, BWH
Megan Sandel, MD, Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center
Kathy Calvillo, MD, Surgery, BWH
Christine Greco, MD, Anesthesia, Children’s Hospital Boston
Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD, Internal Medicine, BWH and Harvard T.H. Chand School of Public Health
Chandru Krishnan, MD, Ophthalmology, Tufts Medical Center
Amy Ship, MD, Internal Medicine, Associate Director of Medical Education, Atrius Health
Yen-Lin Evelyn Chen, MD, Radiation Oncology, MGH
Daihung Do, MD, Dermatology, BIDMC
Chloe Zera, MD, MPH, Maternal Fetal Medicine, BIDMC
Alejandra Barrero-Castillero, MD, MPH, Neonatology, Children’s Hospital Boston
Jesse Esch, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Hospital Boston
Alison Packard, MD, OB/GYN, MGH
Vik Khurana, MD PhD, Chief Division of Movement Disorders, BWH
Tu-Mai Tran, MD, MSc, Family Medicine, BMC
Yu Liu, MD PhD, Internal Medicine, Bristol Myers Squibb
Yih-Chieh Chen, MD
Lily Li, MD, Allergy and Immunology, BWH

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video FLATTEN THE CURVE 1: Social Distancing and Exponential Growth – some HOPE. (FLATTEN THE CURVE)

FLATTEN THE CURVE 1: Social Distancing and Exponential Growth – some HOPE. (FLATTEN THE CURVE)

Virtual Coffee with the Superintendent Friday 4 pm

March 19, 2020

Good Afternoon,

In hopes of offering everyone another way to ask questions and receive information, a virtual “coffee” is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (Friday, March 20, 2020) at 4 p.m.  I’ll be joined by the other districts leaders including:

Kristen Herbert, Director of Teaching and Learning

Jared Stanton, Director of Finance and Operations

Ruth Grube, Director of Student Services

The session will be recorded and posted for those who cannot attend live.  We are using Zoom.  The login information is found below.  It is our first large group use of Zoom so I hope you will attend with that in mind should there be glitches.



CPS Meetings is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: My Meeting
Time: Mar 20, 2020 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 612 260 502

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Mental Health or Other Resources

March 19, 2020

Good Morning,

The school leaders, staff and counselors are happy to support you during this challenging time.  Sometimes, however, outside support is also necessary.  Earlier this winter, we shared a list of mental health contacts and resources.  It seems very appropriate that we provide that to you again.  This list is housed on the main district web page at:

If any family is in need of other assistance beyond the food services or these mental health supports, please do not hesitate to be in touch with me confidentially at or to reach out to the building principals.



Reminder Food Distribution/Online Donations

March 18, 2020

A Reminder from the Food Service Team:

It has been our pleasure to provide food to those who need it during these difficult times.  We continue to provide bagged breakfasts and lunches centrally for the community at our Concord-Carlisle High School for PICK-UP ONLY.

We are asking that students/families arrive between 8:30 am-11 am and line up in their cars. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING. One of our attendants will ask you to pop your trunk or rear door and an attendant from our staff will place a bag in your vehicle and if needed close the door once placed inside.

This is in service to the community and open to anyone who is need during this closure.  We are not able to accept food donations but fiscal donations are welcome.  An electronic link is now available on the food service web site at:

Please answer this survey so we know how many meals to prepare.  Please note, this survey is ANONYMOUS.

Thank you!

Public Recreation Spaces Closed – Social Distancing Graphic

March 18, 2020

Dear Families:

All of the public play and recreation spaces are closed in Concord to minimize close contact of its citizens.  

This includes all of the playground equipment and fields at all of the Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle High School.  This is for the public’s well-being.

Attached is a graphic that visually clarifies what we are trying to accomplish.    Its point:  If we do nothing, every person can infect 2.5 people.  With 50% less exposure, every person infects 1.25 people.  With 75% less exposure, every person can infect .625 people.  Those numbers make an exponential difference.  Did you know that 345 people died in Italy just yesterday according to major news sources?

Thank you for your cooperation!


File attachments:

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