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Superintendent's Message

Alcott

Concerning Incidents in Carlisle

April 9, 2022

Dear Families:

I write to share information about two incidents in Carlisle on Thursday that involved a suspicious person approaching middle school-aged girls.  The Carlisle Police Department report the events as the following:

The first incident took place Thursday at approximately 3:00 p.m. when a young female was at track practice on Church Street.  She described the vehicle as a dirty red/maroon Honda with an older male, possibly with a beard, approximately 5’10” tall.  The male was standing outside of the vehicle, a short distance away from her, and asked for a place to get coffee.  The girl responded and the male party asked for help putting it in his GPS.  She declined and the suspect left in his vehicle.

The second incident took place at approximately 5:00 p.m. at Fern’s Country Store in Carlisle when another young female was approached by a middle aged, tall male, with white/born hair driving a red/maroon four door vehicle.  The male party asked her for help with something in his vehicle, the girl declined, and the male party left the area.

The Concord Police have reported no similar incidents in Concord and remain alert and in ongoing contact with the Carlisle Police.

These events are important reminders to talk regularly with kids about how to respond if approached by a stranger and to never get in cars with anyone.  If you have any information about these two particular incidents, please contact the Carlisle Police Department at (978) 369-1155.

Best,

Laurie

 

Updates April 3 2022

April 3, 2022

Dear Families:

I hope you had a great weekend! I share updates on several topics tonight.

In the Spotlight

Mental health is one of the major district initiatives identified in 2018 as a priority in the District Strategic Plan.  The pandemic magnified what we already viewed as a crisis.  On Friday, the CDC joined the American Academy of Pediatrics to declare an emergency in the mental health of our young people and children.  It is complicated and critical that we partner together.  We know relationships are at the core.  It seemed timely to share an overview of the ongoing district work.

  • Challenge Successout of Stanford offers resources that assist in creating school structures that foster balance, including schedules and homework.  CMS and CCHS are Challenge Success schools.
  • Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) allows for discussion and presentation of skills and strategies.  Advisory at CCHS, Homebase at CMS, and Open Circle at the elementary schools provideD our structures while also giving kids smaller groups experiences in the secondary schools.
  • We utilize screening tools and surveys to gather input from the kids regarding their perception of themselves and school. These tools include PEAR(Partnerships in Education and Resilience) and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
  • A variety of programs provide a range of direct services to students at all levels, including adjustment counselors and related interventions to extensive, significant programming with counseling support in smaller settings.  We are always reviewing this continuum and recently added an adjustment counselor at CMS and are looking to expand the intensive program at Alcott to include Kindergarten through Grade 2.
  • It is very important that families have an opportunity to connect with services outside of school.  We recently joined Care Solacefor that very purpose.  Families can make connections directly or with the support of a school counselor.

I believe wholeheartedly that it is most important is that we talk with the kids.  Based on my conversations with them, it seems critical that we reduce the stigma of mental health needs and foster communication.  If our message is that it is OK not to be OK all of the time, I think we are off to a strong start.

Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations

It is with pleasure that I announce that Robert Conry will begin as Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations on July 1, given the resignation of Jared Stanton.  Mr. Conry’s experience includes serving a regional school district as his current position is the Director of Finance and Operations for the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District.  In addition to his work with Berlin-Boylston, Conry has a wide range of financial and operation experiences, including more than ten years at Harvard University.

COVID

Last week saw a very low COVID case count with a total of 19.   Our case counts are kept current on the COVID Dashboard.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion -Andrew Nyamekye DEI Director

  • April is Arab-American Heritage Month, and the Islamic holy month Ramadan, began at sundown yesterday, April 2nd. Dr. Swansan Jaber, a high school English teacher, has written a letter for educators highlighting ways to be responsive, empathetic, and create mirrors and windows for Muslim students.Please click here to read Dr. Jaber’s letter, and make note of the resources she provides. Additionally, please take a moment to review our districts’ Accommodations For Religious And Cultural Observances.  Please be on the lookout for follow-up emails from the principals offering students who observe Ramadan alternative lunch spaces.
  • April’s DEI Newsletter can be accessed here.
  • On April 27th from 7 pm-8 pm at Willard Elementary School, Mr. Steve Goldberg, a Holocaust Historian will visit Concord to present his life’s work,My Friend Abe: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story (below is the flyer)Abe’s powerful story of survival during the Holocaust saw him taken from his family in Poland at age 13. For nearly 50 years, Abe did not speak about what happened to him. In the last decade of his life, Abe finally did start telling his story to more than 10,000 people across North Carolina. Though it was painful, Abe kept on telling his story because he felt the world had to know what happened to him, and what can happen when hate and dehumanization go unchecked. Abe sadly passed away in January of 2020 at the age of 91. Before Abe’s passing, he asked Steve to continue telling his story of survival. Please click here for additional information, and please use this google form to RSVP to the event at your earliest convenience. Separate from the evening event, there will be an early previewing opportunity of Mr. Goldberg’s presentation for CCHS students only from 12:15 pm-1:15 pm. I am cordially inviting teachers to sign up and bring their classes to the auditorium for Mr. Goldberg’s presentation.

Have a great night!

Best,

Laurie

 

Carlisle Police Report Missing Girl Found Safe

March 31, 2022

Dear Families:

With great appreciation to everyone involved, I share the news that Eloa was located safely.  Please see the details below in the Carlisle Police Department’s press release.

Best,

Laurie

 

 

 

Carlisle Police Department

John Fisher,

Chief of Police

41 Lowell St,

Carlisle, MA 01741

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Contact: Robert Mills

Phone: 617-993-0003

Email: robert@jgpr.net

*UPDATE* Carlisle Police Report Missing Girl Found Safe

CARLISLE — Chief John Fisher is pleased to report that Carlisle Police and law enforcement partners have located a missing 15-year-old girl after a nearly two-week search.

The girl was located early Thursday morning in Fall River by Fall River Police. She had been missing since March 18.

Due to evidence indicating the girl did not intend to stay in the Carlisle area, police worked with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to expand the search across the state and to areas she was thought to have ties.

Carlisle Police would like to thank their law enforcement partners from Fall River Police, Concord Police, Framingham Police, Braintree Police, Malden Police, Arlington Police, Norwood Police, the Middlesex District Attorneys Office, the FBI, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Massachusetts State Police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their invaluable assistance.

“Our law enforcement partners were crucial to this search effort, and I want to express the gratitude of the Carlisle Police Department,” said Chief Fisher. “I also want to thank all of the community members, people across the Commonwealth, and media outlets who assisted our search. This was a true team effort, and it led to a member of our community being located.”

A message from the Carlisle Police Department

Distributed By:

John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC

8 Prospect St.

Georgetown, MA 01833

617-993-0003

CMS’ Mr. Calabria Honored at New England Revolution Game April 2

March 28, 2022

Dear Families:

I neglected to include this last night but it is special enough to warrant its own email.  We congratulate Captain of the USA National Amputee Soccer Team, Mr. Nico Calabria of Concord Middle School, on the success of the team and the upcoming World Cup tournament this fall.

CMS Principal Cameron below outlined an opportunity to see a New England Revolution game this weekend where Mr. Calabria and his team will be honored and play during half time.

Congratulations!

Best,

Laurie

 

Updates March 27 2022

March 27, 2022

Dear Families:

I hope you enjoyed this early spring weekend.  I see the flowers starting to bud which is very hopeful!

In the Spotlight

At Tuesday’s School Committee meeting, several of the World Language teachers presented an overview of the program from Kindergarten through CCHS.  It was an interactive and thorough presentation that I hope you will take the time to review.  The slides are found here.

Cooler Concord Sustainability Series

Cooler Concord Sustainability series, which includes many worthwhile events to attend.  CCHS student groups are helping host two events in the series.

CCHS Sunrise Hub is the co-host for Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT’s keynote talk on Climate Change on Wed. April 27 at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center and the CCHS Green Team is helping host the Cooler Concord Climate Festival held on Sat. April 30th on the Concord Main Library Lawn.  There will be free tree seedlings provided to celebrate Arbor Day on April 29th and at the Cooler Concord Climate Festival on April 30th.

Ongoing Search for Eloa

We all share concerns for Eloa’s well-being and safety.  We are in close contact with the Carlisle Police Department regularly and know that many agencies are working around the clock.  I will certainly provide information as I have it.

COVID

In good news, last week we dropped dramatically to 34 COVID cases across all of the schools with the Peabody surge behind us.  We do watch for any clusters and will respond accordingly.  Our COVID Dashboard is updated every evening and is found here.

Have a great night.

Best,

Laurie

 

Important Updates March 20 2022

March 20, 2022

Dear Families:

Thank you for your ongoing engagement in recent days, as we experienced several significant events simultaneously.  I am very grateful for everyone who supports us.  I want to recognize the work of the Concord health leaders and Concord and Carlisle Police Departments and the tireless work they do to keep children safe.  That was never more evident than over the past week.

COVID Updates, Especially for Peabody Parents

We continue to see cases decline at Peabody, which began on Friday after 51 positive cases occurred last week.  Below is a summary of our plan for this week in consultation with local leaders, DESE, and the state epidemiology office:

  • Masks will be required for all sixth graders on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Pool testing occurs tomorrow at Peabody.  Assuming symptomatic and pool testing results remain low, we will return to mask optional on Wednesday.
  • All positive students need to remain masked on days 6-10 following the 5 day quarantine period.
  • This weekend, we changed all of the filters and reinstated the electrostatic sprayers in addition to our regular cleaning practices and opening the school to the fresh air.  We will continue to spray for another week and ensure fresh air flows often.

We are not reducing capacity limits on audience sizes which were just increased.  For this week only, we ask that any large audiences at all school events mask until we have a bit more time behind us with this surge.

The COVID dashboard remains active and is updated daily, usually after 3 pm.

Search for CCHS Student

Under the leadership of the Carlisle Police Department, we are fully cooperating in the search for Eloa, who was last seen at CCHS on Friday afternoon.  It has been a very busy weekend.  We remain hopeful for her safe return.  If you or your child has any information, please contact the Carlisle Police at 978-369-1818.  Please also contact the counseling staff if you or your child require any support.

Thank you for the ongoing collaboration and partnership.  Enjoy this beautiful first day of spring.

Best,

Laurie

 

Carlisle Police Seek Help Locating Missing CCHS Student

March 19, 2022

Dear Families:

Last night, we learned that a CCHS student was unaccounted for.  Eloa is a ninth grader who lives in Carlisle and has not been seen since yesterday.  The Carlisle Police ask that you share any information that you have.

The posting below is found via the link at the Carlisle Mosquito.

Thank you so much for your help.

Best,

Laurie

Concord Police Request Information Pellet Gun Shootings

March 19, 2022

Dear Families:

We are cooperating with the Concord Police Department in their request for any information regarding two incidents of pellet gun shootings at vehicles yesterday.  Please see the details below and contact them if you have any information.

Best,

Laurie

*UPDATE* Concord Police Department Investigating Second Incident of Person Being Struck by Pellet

MARCH 18, 2022 BY BENJAMIN PAULIN

Police Believe Incidents May Be Related to ‘Orbeez Challenge’ on TikTok

CONCORD — Chief Joseph O’Connor reports that the Concord Police Department is investigating a second incident today where a person was struck by a pellet, believed to have been shot from an air-powered pellet gun.

Approximately 6:45 p.m. today, Concord Police were called to the intersection of Sudbury Road and Thoreau Street for a report of a teen that was struck by a pellet. The teen was not injured. A black Range Rover may have been involved in the incident.

A water gel pellet was recovered and collected as evidence by police.

Concord Police now believe that this incident may be related to a recent TikTok trend called the “Orbeez Challenge,” where small circular water gel pellets are shot from air-powered pellet guns at people or property. Several incidents of the “challenge” have been reported throughout the country in recent weeks, with some leading to people being injured. There have also been several arrests made as a result of these incidents.

Chief O’Connor would like residents to know that they are taking these incidents seriously and anyone caught may be arrested or face criminal charges.

“These incidents could cause serious injury and we’ve seen cases in other parts of the country where innocent people have been hurt,” Chief O’Connor said. “Anyone caught engaging in this reckless behavior could be charged with assault and battery or assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.”

Earlier today, around 4 p.m., a driver reported to Concord Police that she was struck in the face by a projectile that she believed was from an air-powered pellet gun. The reporting party said she was driving north on Sudbury Road near Oxbow Lane, and was passing a dark-colored sport utility vehicle when she was struck in the face.

Police believe that these incidents may be related and are continuing to investigate.

Anyone with information on this incident, or anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area, to call police at 978-318-3400, or to call the Concord Police anonymous tip line at 978-318-3407.

 

Peabody Closed March 18 and COVID Updates

March 17, 2022

Dear Families:

I write to share updates on the current COVID status in the schools.  As you know, we have been watching an outbreak at Peabody in grade 6.  All other schools continue to have low COVID counts, including Sanborn.  Today, we had another 8 cases at Peabody, bringing the total this week to 44.

In addition to the COVID cases, we have been carefully watching attendance rates as well.  There are small upticks or no changes in the K-5 schools, Sanborn, and CCHS.  Today, we faced a 30% absentee rate at Peabody.  Regardless of what illness (i.e.flu, or stomach virus) caused that rate, we would be reviewing where we are at and what makes sense next.

I spent the morning communicating with local public health officials and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Following those discussions, it was decided to close Peabody just for tomorrow to allow for a chance for ill students to recover, instruction to occur consistently, and to reduce any remaining virus transmission.  Given that it is a school closure, there will be a half-day makeup day in June.  Again, we would react the same if it were a flu or stomach virus outbreak that grew to this extent.  We expect to be fully operational at all schools on Monday.

We are very grateful that all ill students and staff with COVID have mild flu-like symptoms.  In addition, all grade 6 students and staff have been provided antigen tests to test at home on Monday morning or if they become symptomatic.  Out of an abundance of caution, we will thoroughly clean the Peabody building tomorrow.

All other schools will operate normally and remain mask optional tomorrow.  No one can quite explain why these events are occurring in such an isolated way so far.  Clearly, exposure at school played a role. We will continue to work with health officials and DESE to determine any other necessary mitigation steps.

We are available to answer your questions or concerns and, as always, appreciate your support and patience as we continue to face unexpected situations.

Best,

Laurie

 

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