July 21, 2021
I write to share that we had a COVID case in the summer school program today. I primarily share it as a means to provide a few thoughts about the fall since we have heard of some questions.
We will certainly have a full in-person return to school with normal operations as the theme in most environments including transportation and lunch. The state continues to share that as the message with the caveat that masks may be required at the younger grades. The Commissioner shared that his office is working with DPH to review the recent CDC guidance and provide us any updates. The rest of the summer will include a review of any remaining COVID protocols around illness, etc. We will have that ready as August comes and be sure it is shared ahead of time. If you have any questions before then, please reach out to the building or district leaders.
Have a great night!
July 21, 2021
As was shared earlier this morning, Ruth Grube, Director of Student Services, has decided to pursue other opportunities and will be leaving us in the early fall. We are very appreciative of Ruth’s service to the district and wish her all the best.
Given the timing, I will be posting for an Interim Director of Student Services for the 2021-2022 school year. The goal is for that person to be in place for the start of school at the end of August. I will share updates as I have them.
The building leaders continue to be available to you as we provide a continuity of service to students throughout the transition.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Enjoy the sun while it is out!
June 29, 2021
The day was spent assessing and reviewing the situation at Thoreau following last night’s fire. Below, I share the email from Principal Charles to the Thoreau community earlier tonight for everyone’s information since we now know that the impacted wing of the building will not be accessible in time for the start of school.
We also continue discussions with the Concord Fire Department as to the cause of the fire. The State Fire Marshall was on site last night and an investigation is still in process. It does appear that a heater installed in the attic for winter use to prevent the sprinklers from freezing may have been involved. In conjunction with the fire department, we will assess the other schools and any particular systems as well.
As appropriate, we will continue to share updates. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
June 29, 2021
Dear Thoreau Families,
I am writing with an update on the fire which occurred last night in the 94 wing of the school. Dr. Hunter and I spent today at Thoreau working with folks from various town departments, facilities and water/fire restoration specialists and would like to provide an update on what we learned and next steps.
While the fire affected two classrooms significantly, the harm caused by the activation of the sprinkler system was far more impactful to the entire area. We learned today that the extensive water damage is what will be the biggest obstacle we will need to address before we are able to safely reopen the 9 impacted classrooms. We are so grateful that the incident occurred with no students or staff present, classrooms had been packed away for the summer and that it happened so early in the summer.
The water remediation process began last night and will continue in the coming weeks. The next phase will include demo and rebuilding and, as we learned today, will take several months to complete. As this work gets underway we are actively exploring the relocation of the impacted classrooms for the fall and are confident we will be able to serve some of these homerooms in our building. We are also exploring the utilization of classrooms at the Concord Middle School, sixth grade building, to handle the overflow.
While there is much to figure out in the coming weeks, please know that the safety and best interest of our students is the driver behind every decision we make.
I will provide updates in the coming days as I receive any new information.
June 28, 2021
As you may have heard, earlier this evening there was a fire at Thoreau. The electrical fire was located in the attic over the single story older part of the building. The sprinklers doused and contained the fire as designed. We already have a service company on site to begin the fire and water clean up and to cover the exposed portion of the roof. We expect that the summer will allow us enough time to occupy these classrooms by the start of school.
We are very appreciative of the response of the Concord Fire Department along with the Concord Police Department and the multiple local communities whose fire departments responded to assist given the extreme heat.
I will provide more updates as we have them over the coming days.