Superintendent's Message

Two Positive COVID Cases

December 26, 2020

Dear Families:

Today, we learned of a positive student COVID case at CCHS that did not require contact tracing since the student had not attended in-person learning recently.

We also learned of a positive adult COVID case at Alcott.  We completed contract tracing earlier this afternoon and have notified everyone involved.

As a reminder, the plan is to only share cases that require school-related contact tracing as we get further into the vacation.  We will send summary information as we reopen in January.

Have a great night.



Positive COVID CCHS and Mask and Distancing Reminders

December 25, 2020

Dear Families:

This afternoon we learned of a positive COVID student CCHS case.  We are completing contract tracing this evening.

I hope it was a wonderful day for everyone.  It seems imperative to offer reminders as we go into the next week of school vacation.  Given the 6 cases in the past 48 hours, it is very clear that caution and vigilance are required.

  • You should assume that everyone you interact with outside of your home could be COVID positive.  This means staying with the immediate family only is the safest option.
  • If you spend time with those outside of the house, everyone should wear masks and stay 6 feet apart- even if these are people who you consider close friends or family.
  • Distance and masks pertain to any time that even young people spend together.  Playdates, sleepovers, and even casual time together can spread the virus.  Please consider not using this coming week to allow these social events.  We know it is hard.  We also know it can create a cluster of COVID cases.
  • If you elected to leave Massachusetts, please remember you must test after returning and quarantine until the test is back given our new protocol.

If you have COVID related information to share or have questions, please use the email address so we can respond to you in a timely way over the break.

I hope you have had a great start to the vacation.   Please do your part to slow the spread of COVID and ensure it is a great vacation for everyone.



COVID Email Address and Food Pantry

December 22, 2020

Dear Families:

I have what I think will be the last set of informational items before we close for the break.

COVID Email Address

Over the vacation, we will be monitoring one email address across all of the schools for COVID related information and questions.  Please use this email rather than emailing the principals or nurses so we can ensure that you will get a timely response.  This account will be active only during school vacation periods.  It is still important for us to know of any positive cases and, as needed, be available to answer your questions.  The email address is below.

Over the next several days, we will report positive COVID cases if they have an impact to the in-person school setting.  Otherwise, we will share summary information as we return in January.

Food Pantry Wednesday 1-2 pm

From Open Table:  We are hosting a drive-thru food pantry at First Parish Church, 20 Lexington Road, Concord this Wednesday, December 23 from 1-2 pm for Concord and Carlisle residents, and for those who live elsewhere but work in Concord and Carlisle. We’ll be handing out special holiday bags in addition to our regular groceries! Please pass on this information to anyone in your networks who may be interested in getting food before Open Table and other pantries close for the holidays.

We are so deeply grateful for your partnership with us.  It is certainly a milestone to have stayed open for the duration of 2020.  I believe the ability to do that was beyond most of our expectations.  The success of the first portion of the year is a testament to the commitment of educators and school staff, dedication of parents, support of a caring and involved community, and the energy of 3300 amazing kids.



One Positive Case and COVID Testing After Travel

December 21, 2020

Dear Families:

I hope you are enjoying these last few days until the break.

One Positive CCHS Case

We learned of one positive student COVID case this afternoon.  We completed contact tracing a short time ago.

District Revisions to Travel Order and Testing

In consultation with the local health officials, when we reopen in January, we will require that anyone traveling be tested after returning to Massachusetts.  We recognize that the Governor’s order allows for testing 72 hours prior to entering the state but feel we must ask for test results when travel is complete.  Please allow for the time needed to get negative test results upon return in your planning process.

Holiday Health Guidance

It is clear that Thanksgiving gatherings furthered the spread of the virus.  Please, please be thoughtful about the choices you make over the break.  It is very important to comply with the holiday guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Boston Globe 2020 Everyday Heroes 

We were thrilled to see our own public health nurse, Tricia McGean, named one of The Globe’s 2020 Everyday Heroes.  Tricia has been a key support to our reopening and remaining open.  We are so grateful for her help. In addition to Concord and Carlisle, Trish serves Maynard and Lincoln.

Have a good night.



2 Positive Cases CCHS and Other Updates

December 18, 2020

Dear Families:

Two Positive COVID Cases CCHS

We had two positive COVID student cases at CCHS today.  When I update our district dashboard this weekend, these cases will bring the total to 46 since we reopened.  This week, we had 6 cases.

Concord Carlisle COVID Dashboard

The state’s data report continues to include MCI Concord.  The public health nurse and Concord health director provide us community data without the prison cases in the linked version of the dashboard.  They report 23 new cases in Concord this week.  There were 29 last week and 45 the week before.  Carlisle had 18 new cases this week.

November 2020 Survey Data

The results of the parent, staff, and student surveys conducted in November are posted on the webpage.  Your feedback was confirming and is important in our planning processes.  Thank you so much.

Flu Vaccine Reminder

Thank you to so many of you who have provided us the required documentation of the flu vaccine for your child.  If you have not yet done so, it is important to submit that since in-person learning will not be available in January unless it is on file.

Upcoming Vacation, Holidays and Travel

It is critical that we are all careful over the upcoming holidays.  It is safest to celebrate only with immediate family at home.  Please continue to remember that care and vigilance are critical.  If you decide to travel which is not recommended, please ensure you comply with the Governor’s Travel Order.

Snow Days and Remote Learning

I thought I would share some thoughts about yesterday’s decision to have a remote learning day.  That decision was incorporated into the reopening plan that we developed this summer.  We had always hoped for a way to control the June calendar, especially given some very bad winters where the year extended almost into July.  We also knew we had robust remote plans that would allow for continuity and consistency.  In the elementary schools, we were actually a bit eager to try these plans since we had not used them extensively yet, thankfully.  Given that last weekend was a three day weekend and we are almost to the vacation, it made sense to go forward as planned.

I know that is a huge change of mindset when it is snowing and some communicated that to me.  Will we never have a snow day again?  I certainly would not say that.  As with everything this year, we are trying to find the right balance.  So, we will see how the winter goes and, at minimum, consider the plans for future years.   As with most snow day decisions, there are always a range of opinions which is a good thing so long as we all remember decisions are made with good intentions.

COVID Vaccine

In good news, the School Committees will join me in the current discussion with the town leadership about planning for distribution of the COVID vaccine.  There are not many details yet available but it is clear that Concord and Carlisle will be well prepared.

Have a wonderful weekend!




School is OPEN Tomorrow- Friday, December 18

December 17, 2020

Dear Families:

Thanks to everyone for a great remote learning day today!  I was able to visit with a second grade class this morning.  What a treat on a snowy morning!

We are grateful for our maintenance and custodial crews who worked all night and will have the schools ready to open on time tomorrow morning.

Enjoy the night!




Remote Learning December 17/ One COVID Case

December 16, 2020

Dear Families:

Tomorrow, Thursday, December 17 will be a remote learning day for all of the Concord Public Schools, CCHS, and Ripley.  The principals shared information about the remote learning plan earlier today.  We had questions about what happens if the power or internet goes out.  If there is a large outage, I will address that through communication to everyone.  If the outages are isolated, please simply send an email to the principal, teacher or guidance counselor and we will be very flexible.

Earlier today, we learned of a positive COVID student case at CCHS.  The student has been out of school for an extended period so there are no close contacts in the school setting.

Thank you for your flexibility and support!  Enjoy the snow!




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