Concord-Carlisle High School
June 11, 2020
We find ourselves facing the last week of school and its many celebrations happening in unique formats while we discuss the very important topics of racism, wellness, and planning for the unknowns of the fall. We are so grateful for the engagement and support.
If you were not able to attend this week’s webinars about talking with children about race, I hope you will watch the recordings which are posted here: https://www.concordps.org/superintendent/cultural-competency-anti-racism/. The nights were both very powerful and have had a lasting impact on those of us in attendance. At the bottom of this email, I’ve included the resources shared during those nights.
Another article of interest was shared with me about a METCO alumni and the related challenges: https://medium.com/@rnagarajah2/reflections-from-a-token-black-friend-2f1ea522d42d
The District COVID-19 Task Force met yesterday. The recording of the meeting is posted here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vTZaX-7axgJCuavf-D5YM946cu6e9qjjXhRcg7QGRwQ/edit?usp=sharing
The Virtual Coffee will be held tomorrow at 3 pm.
I am off to the second awards ceremony of the week only to be followed by 4 car parades next week for all grade 5 and 8 students!
Have a good night.
How to Speak to Children About Racism Resources:
Something Happened in Our Town (book) https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=DzVkf2UpyqM
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (book) https://anastasiahigginbotham.com/not-my-idea/
June 10, 2020
Tonight, I share a letter to the community from the Concord School Committee and the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee that was first shared at last night’s Joint School Committee meeting.
Concord/Concord-Carlisle School Committees
June 9, 2020
Statement to the Community
The killing of George Perry Floyd Jr. is the most recent in a long line of crimes and injustices that are made possible by persistent bias and discrimination that is embedded in American culture. Mr. Floyd’s death has elicited a widespread call to action to put new energy and commitment toward achieving our goal of racial equality and an end to hate.
Systemic racism and institutionalized prejudice have taken root in our culture, and our schools, over the past four hundred years. “Enough is enough” is the appeal that these School Committees and school leaders hear as a new call to action. It is our call to action.
Does hope for a better future die today at the knee of systemic racism? We reject that.
Does love for others die as we witness, in horror, eight minutes of cruelty? We reject that.
Does our personal dignity die when we discover that our hands casually remain in our pockets while we witness injustice? We reject that. Furthermore, we promise that you will not find our hands in our pockets. We have work to do in the Concord and Concord-Carlisle Schools and we are committed to that work.
Cultural awareness is one part — we need to provide our children with positive growth opportunities and first-hand experiences that teach responsibility for the safety and dignity of others. We expect the schools to develop more cross-community programs that leverage Concord and Carlisle’s privileged position and benefit communities beyond our own. Toward this end we ask the support of the entire community. We commit to listening and learning and acting for change, so that the children and families we support are empowered to love, learn, and transform American society and realize our dream of equality for all.
We understand that the killings of George Floyd and countless other men, women and children of color over the course of our nation’s history is made possible because people have accepted it. White people have learned this acceptance. Implicit bias is real and powerful and among us. We have learned that it is easier to “go along to get along.” But we’ve been grievously wrong all along. The truth is that it’s time to change. We will do the necessary work of listening and learning and acting for change, so that the children and families of Concord, Carlisle and Boston that we support are empowered to love, learn, and transform American society and realize the dream of equality for all. Racism has no place here.
We rededicate ourselves to the cause of racial justice and respect for all human beings.
Heather Bout, Chairperson Wallace Johnston, Chairperson
Concord School Committee Concord-Carlisle School Committee
June 9, 2020
The CCHS Friday afternoon cooking series has been a big success.
Join us for our last Q5 Fun Friday!!! This Friday (June 12th) we will explore many aspects (and tastes) of Chocolate!!
Ms. Sandy Haupt will be teaching you about the gift for the gods. A seed so precious it was used as currency. For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated with the delicious phenomenon that we call “chocolate”. Explore the products and the culture of chocolate from bean to bar through the lenses of science, history, literature, and social and environmental values. We will do “guided tasting” and learn about chocolate resources in the local area.
If you’re interested, here’s what you need to do:
- Obtain the ingredients needed on thislist by Friday, June 12th
- Join us Friday, June 12th at 4:00 pm (duration: about 45 minutes) ready to taste & learn!
- Use this Zoom link to join the webinar:
- Webinar ID: 936 7367 6746 Password: 299465
If you missed any of the past Fun Fridays, here are the instructions & recordings of the activities:
- Making Calzone – By Ms. Adrienne Dunne. Her ingredient list and instructions can be found here.
- Foundations of Cooking – by Mrs. Lina Smith. Her ingredient list and instructions can be found here.
- Cooking Risotto – by Jeremy Pietropaolo (you may want to skip the first recording where we are setting up and go right to the cooking video). His ingredient list and instructions can be found here.
June 8, 2020
We have partnered with the Concord Free Public Library to join efforts with their summer reading program for kids and teens of all ages. Please see the announcement below and links to the reading lists. All Concord Public School and CCHS students can enroll. We encourage all students to participate.
The Concord Free Public Library invites kids and teens to join the online Summer Learning Program, ”Imagine Your Story.” The program runs June 15 – August 31 and is free and open to children from preschool through high school. The goal of the Summer Learning Program is to keep kids and teens reading and learning during summer, ensuring that they maintain or gain skills and start the next school year on track and ready to learn.
The program focuses on steam-related, educational, fun and enriching activities. The Library will host weekly learning challenges, and give kids an opportunity to share their creations in a fun supportive environment. Kids will be encouraged to participate in Chronicling Concord through Covid-19 initiative.
Programs will include storytimes, book groups, concerts, cooking workshops, a trivia game contest, a superhero costume party, a science game, writing workshops, a photography workshop, a paper clay workshop, and an Alien adventure game. The summer fun will culminate in a talent show in which kids and teens are invited to submit a 3 minute video of them sharing their special talent. All programs will be virtual.
Kids will have weekly opportunities to win gift certificates to local shops. Students at Concord Public Schools can earn 2 free homework passes for participating. Elementary students in Concord Public Schools have an added option of receiving a free book for participating. The program seeks to encourage kids to develop a civic spirit and charitable, community-minded outlook. On behalf of the children’s participation, the Friends of the Library will make a donation to Gaining Ground, a nonprofit organic farm in Concord, Massachusetts. As an added reward, the kids who have the highest level of summer participation will be invited to Gaining Ground to present the donation at the end of the summer.
The Summer Learning Program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library. Register at: https://concordlibrary.beanstack.org/. For more information about the Summer Learning Program, including where and how kids can sign up to participate, visit https://concordlibrary.org/kids/summer-learning-2020
For information about all our summer events, visit: https://concordlibrary.org/news-events/events-calendar
Book lists for all grades are posted here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VBEYQsb76juxYH_91rAEkEQgw-m7xfvQ?usp=sharing
June 7, 2020
I hope you had a great weekend! I share a number of updates and reminders of this week’s events and more.
Campus, Field and Building Access Updates
Last week, we opened the school grounds primarily to allow for individual and family use of the fields. Playground and access for organized sports are part of Phase 2 which begins tomorrow per Governor Baker. We just received the requirements to host organized sports and will need a little time to put the safety protocols in place. The school buildings remain closed throughout the summer. Access will be by invitation as we decide how to collect school items and return student belongings. Library books will be collected via a box outside of the main entrances at each school beginning this week. Please watch for an email from the building principal saying when the process is ready to begin.
This Week’s Districtwide Events for Parents:
Monday 7 p.m. How to have conversations about race (Zoom information provided by email June 5)
Tuesday 5 p.m. Joint School Committees Agenda and Zoom found here: https://www.concordps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CCSC-Joint-Agenda-6.9.20.pdf
Wednesday 9 am District COVID-19 Task Force ( Zoom information to come)
Wednesday 7 p.m. How to have conversations about race (Zoom information provided by email June 5)
Friday 3 p.m. Virtual Coffee
Another group of involved CCHS students created a webpage with resources in the efforts to reduce racism. Eva Fergusun, Jack Scheffel, and Taylor Gushue hope you will visit their Resources for Action webpage: http://www.resourcesforaction.org
The recording of Friday’s Virtual Coffee is posted here:
Have a good night.
June 6, 2020
Tonight, I share a letter from the Concord Teachers’ Association and an updated list of programs for parents from The Center for Parents and Teachers over the next two weeks. Both are found below. I hope you enjoyed the summery weather!
June 5, 2020
The Concord Teachers’ Association adds their voice to the many condemning the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. It is with tremendous grief and pain that we own the urgent work we have to do as teachers and citizens in a racist society. As teachers of Concord’s youngest students, we are reminded daily that no one is born knowing how to hate. We see examples of this every day in our students, yet we acknowledge that Concord is not immune to racism.
Addressing systemic racism must permeate all aspects of our work as teachers. We must redouble our efforts to engage in difficult conversations and sit with uncomfortable truths. We must look more closely at our professional culture and improve its inclusiveness of all people. It must be reflected in our curriculum: the books we read and share, our lens on history, the art we create, and the songs we sing with children. We must recommit to promoting social justice through our teaching and our action.
The physical distance between us has made framing and unpacking the events of the last few weeks in age-appropriate ways even more difficult. Personal relationships are the foundation of all other work that we do with our students. Building community in our classrooms and harnessing teachable moments are the elements of in-person teaching that we miss the most during this pandemic and it is where we do our best work. Our inability to fully process these events with your children feels wrong.
Thank you for entrusting us with your children, especially during these incredibly difficult times. We carry the weight of that responsibility with tremendous resolve. We know we can do better, and are committed to continuing to learn how together.
Karin Baker – CTA President, Kate Squire – CTA Vice President, and the CTA Officers
The Center for Parents and Teachers invite parents to the following free programs:
(1) Please join Dr. Rachel Kramer for a live webinar on “Promoting Social and Emotional Well-being this Summer – for Parents of Tweens and Teens”
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 10:30am
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
These webinars will focus on Q&A from parents about how to promote social and emotional well-being during the coronavirus pandemic. Can’t join live? All webinars are recorded and posted on Dr. Kramer’s website – www.drrachelkramer.com
(2) Parents of High School Students: Save the Date! Please join Dr. Nadja Reilly in a live webinar on “How Parents Can Support High School Students During Key Transitions”
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 7 PM
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 930 4171 1794
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Learn about these and other resources — and how you can support this nonprofit local organization that is able to offer its services through grants and individual donations — by visiting:
June 4, 2020
I wanted to provide an update on the COVID-19 Task Force discussions. This week, each of the COVID-19 Task Force Working Groups met as did the Building-Based Task Forces. We are grateful for the input of everyone who is engaged with these ten committees. If you would still like to participate but haven’t heard from us yet, please watch for Focus Group invitations over the coming week. The District Task Force meets on Wednesday, June 10 at which point we will be reviewing a big picture vision for the 2020-2021 school year and a brief assessment of the work ahead. It seemed valuable to share the recent guidance released by the state to open camps and daycares since we expect much of it may translate to the directives we expect from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education later this month. https://eeclead.force.com/resource/1591036172000/Min_Req
The Challenge Success program with whom we partner on student wellness posted anti-racist resources for parents. They are posted here:
We are finalizing plans for parent forums next week to allow for discussion and support. Please watch for details shortly.
Finally, below I share the philanthropic efforts of a CCHS student to support those on the frontline. We are so proud of the many efforts of our students to support others!
My name is Julia Zipoli and I am a sophomore at Concord Carlisle High School. Recently I founded a community service organization called, Caring for the Frontlines – Concord and Carlisle. I am raising money from members of the community and beyond and am also receiving donations from local businesses so that I may recognize essential workers who have worked so hard to keep the community going. I am emailing today regarding this project. So far, I have raised $900 from the community and family members and have begun to recognize one group of essential workers this week with the delivery of pizza for the Carlisle Police Department on Tuesday. Tomorrow, I will be delivering pizza to the Concord Police Department. To contribute, please use this link:
June 3, 2020
Tonight, I share two items of very different nature common in that they both promote community.
A CCHS student will host this Friday afternoon’s cooking lesson so he’d love to have live viewers cook along with him:
Join us for our third Q5 Fun Friday!!! This Friday (June 5th) we have a special guest teacher….your very own rising senior, Jeremy Pietropaolo, class of 2021!! Jeremy has a love of cooking and has already taught a few classes through the CCRSD Adult & Community Education program.
Jeremy will be teaching you how to make Risotto (mushroom or any vegetable of your choice). If you’re interested, here’s what you need to do:
Tune in next Friday, June 12th for a lesson on Chocolate!!
Secondly, I share a letter to the community crafted by the teachers at CCHS of the Concord-Carlisle Teachers’ Association. They asked that I share it with everyone. It is found below.
Dear Communities of Boston, Concord, and Carlisle,
We, the members of the Concord-Carlisle Teachers’ Association, condemn the senseless killing of Black people and the injustices perpetrated against people of color in our country.
We mourn the devastating, continual loss of Black lives and the impact of this loss on all of our communities, especially our Black communities of students, staff, and their families.
We vow to recommit ourselves in our classrooms to addressing racism, including the historical and systemic ways it has functioned and continues to function, and to promote the kind of critical thinking and moral courage required of us, our students, and communities to take action to counter and dismantle it.
Many of us have already renewed these discussions in our virtual classrooms to help all students understand the complexity of recent events, sort truth from misinformation, and to reflect with compassion and critical thinking.
Teachers and staff are also educating and supporting one another pedagogically by sharing anti-racism reading lists and resources, relevant articles to use in the classroom, and upcoming events to attend in support of justice and awareness. In addition, the Concord-Carlisle High School Anti-Racism Group for Educators (CHARGE) continues to offer professional development to staff.
We believe in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and look forward to partnering with you to fulfill them: “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
We also stand by the wise words of Coretta Scott King who declared, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
To our students and colleagues of color and their families: We see you, we care about you, and we will be here for you through the summer and beyond.
June 3, 2020
As you are aware, Governor Baker allowed access to open spaces for public use as part of the phased approach to reopening. As a result, the school campuses are reopening today. We believe strongly in the need for families and individuals to be outside and enjoy outdoor activities. I do share reminders of the Governor’s directives so that this can occur with both personal and public safety in mind. The items I share below are found in the May 18, 2020 Memorandum from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Please note that the use of playground equipment is not permitted.
DPH Orders and Guidelines
Face Coverings and Masks: All visitors to parks and open space, as well as those participating in outdoor education programs should comply with COVID-19 Order 31: Order Requiring Face Coverings in Public Places Where Social Distancing is Not Possible. The order requires any person over the age of 2, whether indoors or outdoors, to wear a face covering or mask when they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others, unless they have a medical condition preventing them from doing so (see further guidance here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency).
Group Size: No groups larger than 10 are allowed to gather: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march- 31-2020-assemblage-guidance/download
Parks and Open Space Guidelines:
- Visitors should always practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from others and adhering to all site-specific rules, regulations, and posted signage regarding permitted uses.
- On trails, walker and hikers should move aside and leave room for others to pass, and cyclists and runners should alert other users when approaching and wait for others to step aside before passing.
- After visiting public spaces, users should use wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
Athletic Fields and Non-Contact Courts (Non-Organized/Permitted Use)
Athletic fields and athletic courts can be utilized only for non-contact sports, with no shared equipment, such as tennis and pickleball. No permits should be issued for group gatherings and users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games or tournaments.
Athletic Fields Guidelines:
- Users should sanitize hands before and after play, not share equipment, and clean and wipe down equipment.
- When engaged in play, users should avoid touching other users’ equipment in separate areas.
- Users waiting to utilize a section or area of the field should wait outside the field of play until previous users have vacated the facility to ensure proper social distancing and prevent accidental contact of other users’ equipment.
- Users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games, or tournaments.
Athletic Courts (Non-Contact) Guidelines:
- Users should sanitize hands before and after play, not share equipment and clean and wipe down equipment, including racquets, balls, and water bottles.
- Users waiting to utilize a court should wait outside the court’s gates/fence until previous users have vacated the facility to ensure proper social distancing and prevent accidental contact of other users’ equipment.
- Users should not engage in pick-up games, organized games, or tournaments
June 2, 2020
Tonight, I start with good news.
This past week, two students were highlighted in the Concord Journal for their help to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Concord Journal Link
The CCHS administrators received recognition in a Boston Globe article about creative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/05/29/metro/with-drive-throughs-yard-signs-photo-ops-seniors-forge-ahead-with-nontraditional-graduations/
CCHS theater students who spring musical was cancelled recreated the “9 to 5” theme for us to enjoy virtually. Such talent! Watch it here: https://youtu.be/to3Xh-BLalc
SEPAC will hold its last meeting of the year tomorrow night at 7 pm. The Zoom information is here.
Meeting ID: 830 9441 2835
Finally, I share the poignant words of METCO Director Andrew Nyamekye and his reflections about this race in this country. I ask that everyone take the time to read, reflect, and reach out if you need to.
Dear Parents and Guardians:
As I laid here this morning watching the sunrise, I was reminded that “darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” Over the last week and still today, I find myself in deep sadness and in thought trying to process what we all have witnessed in the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and now George Floyd. These stories are all too familiar to us, and it sickens me to my core. This modern-day lynching, by way of officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on the neck of George Floyd I know, infuriates us all. The impact of the murder of George Floyd and that of every senseless killing of unarmed Black men and women by the hands of some racist White police officers will have long-reaching ramifications and the sad reality is, it probably won’t be the last.
I feel that we have been bringing attention to BLACK LIVES MATTER for 400 years. I feel that African Americans cannot continue to be the only ones teaching America about racism and how it systemically infects every foundation of our institutions. I was not born in this country, nor was I born in the sixties but with the historical knowledge that I have gained through my education, what has occurred with the murder of George Floyd, as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom of Atlanta says, “it feels like America before 1965.” While I know we stand firm in solidarity with George Floyd and his family and are joining forces with those who are standing up for this injustice, we must now more than ever recognize the impact on our youth, particularly, on our Black and Brown boys and girls who are experiencing these events, and the devaluation of the black body. As an educator, the well-being of our Black and Brown students at this pivotal moment in time is at the forefront of my thoughts and feelings. The anxiety around the health pandemic, the interruption of school, and the anxiety our Black and Brown boys and girls are feeling now and how to soothe and cope, will be critical to their well-being; mentally and emotionally, in the days, months and years to come.
As we engage with our children, families, friends, and colleagues, our conversations need to be open and honest conversations. Despite how deep racism runs to the core of this country, and as much as it is painful to open up the wounds of the past, we have to educate ourselves, and our youth, and those who do not know about the past about the long term impact of slavery, remembering the story of Emmitt Till, the Civil Rights Movement, Jim Crow Era, MLK, and Malcolm X, just to list a few, and yes, even the silver linings such as the Harlem Renaissance where the social and artistic explosion of African American culture manifested in literature, music, stage performance, and art, and the powerful story of Greenwood “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa Oklahoma, where the largest African American townships were located after the civil war, and black-owned businesses and establishments amassed economic power in the 20th century.
While I feel there’s no grand gesture that can mend the list of injustices inflicted on African Americans in this country and around the world, It is my hope that through all of this, we recognize and celebrate our differences and point to the fact that WE CAN come together to bring about justice and effective policy changes in this country- we cannot afford to lose faith and hope. This work, this rebellion needs to be a collective responsibility on everyone and especially, on our White allies and accomplices who are 1) understanding how much of a “punch in the gut” it is for African Americans and communities of color to be marginalized, criticized, and treated unfairly, and 2) are not becoming defensive or take it as a personal attack when the notion of white supremacy and its institutionalization is mentioned. I empower you to continue to speak up and against racism, injustice, lack of equity, and every “ism” in-between when it happens, and hold individuals accountable.
I offer you, your family, your son, or daughter my support. In navigating the current events we are witnessing in this country, please, I ask you do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com if you need to talk.
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