May 25, 2021
It is exciting to see the Memorial Day weekend approach as well as the progress in the reduced spread of the virus. Since the younger students are not yet vaccinated, we are leaving the travel protocol in place for the remainder of the year which requires a negative test upon return to Massachusetts if you travel out of state overnight. We find AFC Urgent Care Centers offer rapid molecular ID NOW tests which provide PCR tests within hours. I’ve included the entirety of the travel protocol since there are many nuances to it now with some students being vaccinated or having had COVID. We certainly expect this protocol to be lifted in the fall and are grateful for your cooperation this year.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
May 19, 2021
We learned of a positive student COVID case at CCHS today. Contract tracing was completed earlier.
I will offer an extended thank you to the Concord health officials for setting up the vaccine clinic at CCHS. Today and tomorrow over 500 Concord and Carlisle young people will be vaccinated.
Have a great night.
May 17, 2021
It is with a sense of great hope and optimism that I share the initial impact of the changes to the COVID guidance today as announced by the Governor’s office.
Per Governor Baker, DPH, DESE, and the local health officials, all students and adults are no longer required to wear masks when outside beginning tomorrow.
Students now have no mask requirement including at recess, in athletics, in physical education, and in outdoor learning. Adults will only need masks outside when not able to distance.
All of our other protocols remain in place including the requirement for masks at all times in the school buildings (unless eating). Masks are also required for everyone on the school bus.
We will be reviewing the other aspects of today’s guidance for other school related impacts.
Thank you so very, very much for your support this year. We will certainly relish the return toward normalcy together.
May 17, 2021
As we interview for a Director of the METCO Program, we invite you to participate in the process.
This Thursday, May 20th from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM on Zoom, is the METCO Director Finalists Forum. This forum is another important step in the hiring process to ensure that the voices of our community, especially that of our Boston students and families, are included in the process for a new METCO Director.
May 11, 2021
I have two updates for the community tonight.
- A CMS staff tested positive today while in quarantine so there are no close contacts at school.
- Also at CMS this afternoon, an absolutely unacceptable anti-Asian slur was used toward a student by another student. Principal Cameron’s letter to the middle school community is found herewhich includes resources to use with children in having these difficult but important conversations.
We are deeply committed to an environment where all students feel safe and will not tolerate acts such as this one. Thank you for joining us in this effort.
May 9, 2021
I hope you enjoyed the weekend and celebrated the mothers in your lives today. As happens every spring, we are going to be busier than ever and maybe this year we appreciate that since last spring is not that distant of a memory. I share two updates tonight. One update is COVID related and one looks forward.
Change to 7-Day Quarantine
The pattern that we expected after the break has proven true with a reduction to only three cases last week from almost 20 the week before. We have also grown more confident in having all of the kids in school and minimizing the chance of spread. As a result, we will move immediately from the 10-day quarantine protocol to the 7-day protocol. Anyone in quarantine will have the timeline adjusted for a sooner return. It is important to note the details of the 7-day quarantine per the Department of Public Health as outlined below:
7 Days of Strict Quarantine
- Release on Day 8 if:
- A test taken on Day 5 or later is negative AND
- The individual has not experienced any symptoms up to that point AND
- The individual conducts active monitoring through Day 14 and isolates immediately if symptoms develop
Concord Middle School Building Project Update
Middle School Building Committee Votes Revised Space Summary to Begin Schematic Design and Launches New Website
At their May 6 meeting, the Middle School Building Committee voted a revised space summary that includes enlargements to the gym and auditorium, along with adjustments to other spaces. Information regarding the project can be found on their newly launched website: www.cmsbuildingproject.org
Have a great night!
Special Education May 2021 Newsletter
SEPAC Awards and Video
Thank you so much to SEPAC for hosting a wonderful event yesterday where 57 teachers were honored based on parent nominations. SEPAC also shared this 2021 SEPAC Appreciation Award Recipient video that highlights each of the educators. Special thanks to CCHS student Tate Becker for editing the video.
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Tiered Focus Monitoring Report
DESE recently conducted a review of all of special education as part of their Tiered Focus Monitoring process. The State’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently completed a comprehensive review of the District’s special education efforts and did not have a single recommendation for improvement or change in practice. The full report is found here.
We very much value and enjoy our partnerships with parents. On rare occasion, the schools and parents do agree on the best path forward for a student and so we follow the process outlined by regulation. In the one case involving our schools, a decision was recently published. Special education hearings are not a win and lose situation but simply a method to determine next steps. It is important to note that the hearing officer in this case stated that our district demonstrated its commitment to the student by devoting substantial expertise, creativity and resources to educating him/her and that Concord staff members who participated in the matter were forthright, candid, sophisticated, and obviously invested in the student.
For the first time, the CCHS spring season includes a Unified Track team where both special education and general education students are teammates. We look forward to sharing more information as this team gets off the ground.
Special Education Program Overview
The Joint School Committees heard an overview of all of the districts’ special education programs on April 13. The recording of the meeting is found here. The slides from the presentation are also posted on the Special Education webpage here.
School Committee Presentation- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW1hSsOWLAY&t=3409s hour 2:09
Last week, a survey for special education parents was distributed by email to all special education parents. Your feedback is important to us. The survey will remain open until May 13, 2021.
Special Education Parent Coffee
Special education parents are invited to a virtual coffee on May 19, 2021 at 9 am. Please watch for an email with the zoom link.
Ruth Grube, Director of Student Services
May 6, 2021
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful night! We learned of 3 positive cases today:
1 CCHS student from the pool testing
1 CMS staff
1 Alcott student
We are encouraged to see the state number declining and vaccination rates increasing included a hopeful release for kids ages 12-16. Every step is a step forward!
A Joint Statement In Support of AAPI Students and Staff
May 5, 2021
The guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial represents one small step toward accountability and building a more just and equitable society. As our community and the nation absorbs the results, it is a time for engaging in dialogue and reflection. If education is, in fact, the most powerful tool we can use to change the world, it is imperative that the festering wound of racism be something we confront through our words, actions, and curriculum at all levels. It is the critical work of teaching, of learning, of parenting, of being a member of the human family to recognize racism and adopt antiracist practices.
In standing against hate as a community we also acknowledge the broader legacy of racism, including the increase in violence and hate perpetrated against Asian women and men. As we look to May and the start of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we reaffirm our support of our Asian American and Pacific Islander staff and students. Passage of the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act at the national level is an important step in addressing racial discrimination and violence. In our own schools and community, microaggressions toward AAPI students and staff persist and have a cumulative and devastating impact. In the Concord and Concord Carlisle public schools, there is simply no room for marginalization or “othering” in any form.
There are many students and adults in our community working to make change and we honor and join them in their commitment to creating a safer, antiracist world.
Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent
Concord Public Schools/Concord-Carlisle Regional School District
Sara Wilson, Chair
Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee
Court Booth, Chair
Concord School Committee
Kate Squire, President
Concord Teachers’ Association
Shel Hull, President
Concord-Carlisle Teachers’ Association
May 2, 2021
I hope you had a great weekend! We are excited to begin Teacher Appreciation Week! The efforts of our teachers this year are beyond compare. We are deeply grateful for all that they have done.
We had two student COVID cases since Friday which were both at CMS. One was a result of a positive pool. We identified the individual and concluded contact tracing yesterday.
It was great to see another 50 students engage in asymptomatic pool testing last week bringing the total to approximately 1750. In both of the positive pools last week (one was all adults at Ripley), we knew who the individual was within hours. It would be great to see the participation numbers continue to rise with everyone back in school. Participation is easy and quick and minimizes the chance for transmission. Please help our numbers keep growing by providing consent in Aspen.
Have a great night.
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