Superintendent's Message

Alcott COVID Cases

January 29, 2021

Dear Families:

As you saw, this week we have had a number of cases at Alcott.  In the last 12 hours or so, we learned of two adult cases. It now appears that we have 4 total cases this week (3 adults, 1 child) that may be connected to one another.  It is difficult to pinpoint timelines and exposures exactly but we are now implementing our protocol for possible school transmission.

All of these classrooms are in quarantine as are any other close contacts.  This morning, I am consulting with Concord’s Public Health Nurse and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to determine whether the cases are considered contained or if additional steps are required like school closure.    Our structures have students and teachers mixing very little which is very beneficial in this situation.

We are actively reviewing the safety protocols and their implementation and will deeply clean Alcott this weekend.  I will provide additional information as I have it later today.  Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.



COVID Updates and a Snow Day

January 28, 2021

Dear Families:

Today, I report the following COVID cases:

1 CCHS student

1 Alcott student

1 Alcott adult

We also successfully began to asymptomatically test staff today.  This weekend, I’ll be providing additional information about the student program. This information will be an important component of continuing to ensure safety in the schools.

Finally, by popular demand..

Given that we are reaching the end of January and the winter has been mild (at least one thing has been easy this year!), I will be calling one traditional snow day when the next big storm comes through.  We will limit it to one so June is still short and this year winds down before the dog days of summer.  After that, we’ll return to remote learning for any additional storms.  I’d keep an eye on next week from what I’ve seen so far of the forecast…

Have a great night!



Updates January 24 2021

January 24, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you are staying warm!

New COVID Cases

This weekend, we learned of 3 COVID cases and completed all of the required contact tracing.

2 CCHS Students

1 Alcott Adult

COVID Data Dashboards

The district dashboard is posted on the webpage as of yesterday morning.  With the 3 cases since then, the total since we reopened is 104.

The community dashboard as provided by DPH is also linked to the webpage.  Concord and Carlisle remain in the yellow category for moderate risk.

Caller ID State Contact Tracers

If you receive a call from “MA COVID TEAM”, please be sure to answer.  This is how your caller ID will show when the state contact tracers are making calls.

14 Day Quarantine

I am being asked about our choice to use the August guideline for 14-day quarantines rather than the more recent CDC and DPH guidelines which call for less.  Given the high rate of the virus and the need to be extraordinarily careful in the school setting, the district is utilizing the original dates in agreement with the local health officials.  This is typical for all area school districts.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Asymptomatic Testing

This week, we hope to start testing asymptomatic staff who elect to participate.  The state released the timeline for its program which will then allow us to start testing students.  The target date from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is the week of February 8.  Please watch for more details.  If you haven’t responded to the survey, it is still open through this link.

Vaccine Distribution

The distribution to first responders (including the school nurses) went off very successfully at CCHS.  The second dose is scheduled for distribution on February 12 and February 13 after school and on the weekend.  DPH continues to predict Phase 2 which includes educators in February.

CMS Building Project Forum

Tomorrow night at 5 pm, a community forum focused on sharing information and gathering feedback about the CMS building project will be held.  This flyer provides all of the details.

Enjoy the rest of the evening!




Two Positive COVID Cases

January 20, 2021

Dear Families:

We learned of two positive COVID student cases since yesterday.  One case occurred at CMS and one at Alcott.  We completed the contract tracing process are currently wrapping up close contact notifications for today’s case.

As I’m sure you have noticed, cases have dropped since the earlier part of the month.  We thank you for your efforts to minimize transmission.

Have a good night.




Updates January 18 2021

January 18, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you had a great long weekend!   I am sharing updates and reminders tonight.

Positive COVID Case

We learned of a positive student COVID case at CMS this weekend.  There are no contacts since the student has not been in school since before the break.

COVID District Data Dashboard

The COVID District Data Dashboard is updated as of Saturday morning.  Including this additional case, the total number of identified cases since school opened is 97.

DPH Community Dashboard

The DPH Weekly Community Dashboard indicates that Concord and Carlisle remain in the yellow category.

Asymptomatic Pooled COVID Testing Survey

As indicated last week, we will be participating in the state’s surveillance COVID testing program.  This is a program utilizing pooled PCR tests that are processed in groups of 10.  The positive pool is tested individually in order to identify the positive person. We expect to be able to conduct the individual PCR test at CCHS with a 24-48 hours turnaround for test results.  The entire pool of 10 quarantines until the results are received.  The state is offering districts 6 free weeks.  We will be then be discussing the next steps.  It is very helpful to have data about the level of interest so please complete this one question survey as soon as possible.

Updates to the Travel Order

DPH now indicates that if you have a previous PCR positive COVID test documented then you do not need to be tested after travel.  In lieu of providing a negative test result, anyone who tested positive previously will need to share the documentation of that with us prior to a return to school.  The state also clarified that a vaccine does not exempt you from the need for testing at this point.

If you traveled this weekend out of state, you must provide a negative result to the school nurse after your return to Massachusetts (unless the above applies).

Special Martin Luther King Day Programs on WIQH

A number of programs related to Dr. King’s birthday are shared on WIQH this weekend.  This list outlines the details.

New Concord Middle School Community Forum

On January 25 at 5 p.m., a forum will provide updates and offer opportunities for feedback about the process of designing a new Concord Middle School.  Details are found in this flyer.

Have a great start to the week!




Free Asymptomatic Student COVID Testing

January 13, 2021

Dear Families:

We did learn of two cases today:

1 adult at Willard

1 student at CMS

Last night, the Joint School Committees supported the districts’ participation in the upcoming free six week on-site asymptomatic PCR pooled COVID testing program funding by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  In this program, 10 nasal samples are bundled together and analyzed.  The pool comes back positive or negative.  If it is positive, the individuals in the pool need to be tested individually.  Our hope is that this six week program will allow us to get started and then determine the next steps.

Our greatest need right now is to understand the level of student participation.  If you intend for your child to participate, please complete this anonymous form.  Please submit one form for each child.


Family Survey


Please let us know if you have any questions.

Have a great night!




Food Pantry Today 1-2 pm

January 13, 2021

Dear Families,

We wanted to pass along this information from Open Table about today’s local food pantry.



Food Pantry Wednesday, January 13 1-2 pm

There will be a drive-thru food pantry at First Parish in Concord today, Wednesday, January 13,  from 1-2 pm for Concord and Carlisle residents, and for those who live elsewhere but work in Concord and Carlisle.  Thanks as always for helping us spread the word and feed our friends and neighbors!


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