May 8, 2022
As often happens in May, we begin this week in what feels like early spring and end in what feels like summer if the forecasts are accurate!
I will start with a huge Shout Out to the entire cast, orchestra, crew, and all those involved with the CCHS production of 42nd Street! The talents were very impressive and production very special since the CCHS theater had been without a spring musical since 2019!
In the Spotlight
Interim Director of Student Services Debbie Dixson provided an overview of special education in both districts at the last School Committee meeting. You will find the presentation informative, as is the recording of the discussion during the meeting. The slides are posted here and the presentation begins at minute 44 in the video posted here.
Multi Tiered System of Support Literacy Presentation
Ever wonder how struggling students get their learning needs met in our school? Or, what assessments are given to monitor our educational program? Or, how dyslexia in students is addressed?
You are cordially invited to a virtual presentation on
Monday, May 16, 2022, 7 PM – 8 PM
Zoom Login Link
Meeting ID: 928 2622 5340
This will be a full slideshow presentation by nine of our faculty with time for Q&A at the end.
MTSS Literacy Presentation 2022
Race Amity Day
The Concord Race Amity Day Community Potluck is scheduled for Sunday, June 12th from 1pm-4pm at Alcott Elementary School (rain date is June 19th). Families are encouraged to bring cultural dishes, non-alcoholic beverages, and games/activities to share. Click here to view the event flyer and RSVP via Sign up Genius. Attached is a copy of the flyer as well.
Volunteers are needed to help the Race Amity Day Planning Group with setting up and breaking down the event. Please Use this Google Form to volunteer by May 20th.
If you have any questions, concerns, and/or suggestions, please contact the planning group: Ji Orloff—email@example.com, Rich Yamartino— firstname.lastname@example.org, and Andrew Nyamekye—: email@example.com. Click here to learn about Race Amity Day.
Last week’s COVID case count as of Friday night was 94, which is a significant increase from prior weeks. We expect a similar pattern may continue this week. Our case counts are kept current on the COVID Dashboard. If any clusters develop, we may reinstate masks temporarily (if contained in an individual classroom) and provide antigen tests.
Have a great night!
May 4, 2022
Good Evening! I wanted to share an update as our COVID case counts this week. As is happening in most places, we are seeing a rise in positive COVID cases.
Since Sunday, 67 cases have been reported. One elementary school has a cluster of cases, so parents were provided antigen tests and masks temporarily reinstated. Otherwise, the cases are spread throughout the schools.
The COVID Data Dashboard is up to date. I am sharing the information so everyone can make informed decisions about masking, etc.
Have a great night!
May 1, 2022
I hope you enjoyed this beautiful weekend! Hopefully, turning the calendar to May continues to bring this perfect weather!
In the Spotlight
Environmental Sustainability in the Curriculum
At Tuesday night’s School Committee meeting, the science curriculum leaders from K-12 shared areas in the curriculum where environmental sustainability is the focus. As a core value of the community and schools, it is critical that students have the scientific knowledge to be stewards of the planet. The entire slide deck is posted here. A recording of the School Committee meeting is found here with the presentation starting at 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Concord and Carlisle Town Meetings
Both communities held Town Meeting this week. We are very appreciative of the support as the 2022-2023 operating budgets and other capital articles were successfully passed.
June Dates 2022
June 15 is the last day of school for all students except grade 6. Grade 6 has a half-day on June 16.
Concord Free Public Library
The CFPL is excited to offer new hours at the Main Library as we continue to restore services impacted by the pandemic. The new hours will take effect Monday, May 2nd. Visit concordlibrary.org to view the changes in detail. Hours at the Fowler Branch Library and Special Collections remain the same.
We saw an expected small uptick in cases last week. Our case counts are kept current on the COVID Dashboard.
Enjoy the rest of the night!
April 24, 2022
I hope you had a wonderful vacation week! We are excited to return and experience all that the end of the school year brings.
In the Spotlight
This week’s updates highlight a number of our partnerships with the community to bring rich experiences for families, students, and the community at large. It is among our greatest pleasures for the school and community to be a rich, thriving network of support and opportunity. Please see below for the variety of upcoming events.
Cooler Concord Climate Festival
April 30th 2022, 10:00 am-2:00 pm
Concord Free Public Library, Main Branch, Front Lawn, Concord, MA
Join neighbors and friends for a day of fun, education, and entertainment celebrating how each of us has the power to help stop climate change.
The Cooler Concord Climate Festival will feature art, food, information, and activities for children, youth, and adults.
Learn, connect, celebrate and take action! Gather inspiration for practical climate actions you can incorporate into your everyday life, and connect with groups working collectively to build a healthier, safer, more sustainable community. The time for action is now!
Cohosted with the CCHS Green Team & Mothers Out Front.
Rain Date: Saturday, May7th
My Friend Abe: A Holocaust Survivor’s Story
On Wednesday, April 27th from 7 pm—8:15 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.
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.
1) Attached is the event flyer. You may click on the flyer or use this google form to RSVP to the event.
2) Mr. Goldberg has provided has made the following resources available to us in preparation for his presentation. Please take a couple of minutes to access these resources.
– A four-page synopsis in advance of the presentation on Abe’s life.
Three short videos:
– A 2-minute clip from local media here of Abe, and his family visiting a Holocaust museum.
– This 45-second clip of Abe introducing himself.
– 5-minute video from Mr. Goldberg, so you can understand some context about the Holocaust.
We are very fortunate that Mr. Goldberg will be presenting Abe’s story of survival to our school community, as we observe the Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah, April 27th—28th). Many thanks to Concord parent Robin Grace, for connecting us to Mr. Goldberg. We look forward to seeing you on April 27th at Willard Elementary School (185 Powder Mill Rd, Concord, MA 01742) beginning at 7 pm. There will be light refreshments before (starting at 6:30pm) and after the presentation.
Partners in Rhyme
Mental Health Priority
As mentioned, among our greatest priorities is the mental wellness of all students. Two recent articles continue to highlight the acute needs of our young people nationally. We see the same patterns locally and within our schools.
From The Atlantic: Why American Teens Are So Sad
From The New York Times: ‘It’s Life or Death’: The Mental Health Crisis Among U.S. Teens
The partnership with families in these efforts is essential. Sharing information and a common understanding is a foundation for those partnerships. We encourage you to use articles like these as tools for conversation and communication in your home.
We remind you to antigen test at-home tomorrow morning. If you would like to participate but haven’t enrolled, please use this student opt-in form. We are still gathering case numbers from last week. Our case counts are kept current on the COVID Dashboard.
Welcome back! Have a great start to the week.
April 15, 2022
Should you need COVID support over the vacation, please contact Public Health Nurse Tricia McGean:
Positive cases can be reported to the school nurses as we return from break. The nurses and administrators will not be monitoring email. The dashboard will also be updated on April 25.
Have a wonderful week!
April 12, 2022
I am writing to share an update on COVID cases. The COVID Data Dashboard is up to date as of this afternoon. You will see that we have nine cases at Willard so far this week. Seven of those are in the same classroom. I spoke to local health officials who are in touch with the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. As we move to the endemic phase of the pandemic, there is no remote option available, as we have noted before, meaning all classrooms will remain open. We are providing additional regular antigen testing and are masking in that classroom.
Please also remember to keep also symptomatic children at home. In addition to testing for COVID, we are noting a marked increase in flu cases, some of which are also happening in clusters.
Thank you for your support. Enjoy the beautiful night!
April 10, 2022
Welcome to the week before spring break!
In the Spotlight
This week’s School Committee included an overview of the district’s K-12 work to integrate multicultural literature into the ELA program.
This work is extensive and inclusive so I urge you to scan the slideshow posted here. The video recording of the meeting to watch the full presentation is posted here at minute 41:50. By having a thorough screening process, we are able to bring in texts that illustrate a range of diversity such as gender, socioeconomic, race, religion, and disability.
METCO Representation on School Committee
The School Committee’s Policy Subcommittee discussed a policy to form a seat on the School Committee for a METCO representative similar to those found in Weston, Lincoln, and Bedford. The recording of the discussion is posted here.
We recognize that some students may be out on Friday. Our Religious Holiday Accommodation Policy will allow for flexibility and support for those who are not in school.
COVID counts remain low, Our case counts are kept current on the COVID Dashboard. At-home antigen kits will be distributed for use on Monday morning, April 25. Please remember that all symptomatic students should stay home even with a negative COVID test.
Adult ELL Classes – Concord Carlisle Adult and Community Education
We are excited to announce that CCACE will be offering English Language Learner (ELL) classes for adults beginning this summer!
Our pilot class will run for 6 Tuesday and Thursday evenings, July 12th – August 18th from 7-8:30 pm at CCHS. The tuition for this program is $245 and includes all materials. Scholarships are available.
For more information and to start an application, students can visit www.concordcarlisleace.org/adult-ell/.
Concord Cooler Climate Festival Art Display- CCHS Green Team
This exhibit is open to kids of all ages and all levels of art experience, with the main goal being to encourage them to learn a bit about climate change and have fun exploring art in nature. Submissions can be made of any medium but preferably 8×11 size and can be submitted to a drop-off box in the Concord Main Library throughout the month of April right up until the day of the festival (April 30th). You can choose to follow or be inspired by any of the following prompts:
- Why should we care about climate change?
- Paint a story on the effects of climate change or pollution.
- What makes you think of nature?
- What do you want your climate commitment to be?
To learn more about the Cooler Climate Festival in general, you can head to https://www.coolerconcord.org/events/354
We wish you a wonderful week ahead!
April 9, 2022
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.
April 3, 2022
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.
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!
March 31, 2022
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.
Carlisle Police Department
Chief of Police
41 Lowell St,
Carlisle, MA 01741
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Contact: Robert Mills
*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
John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC
8 Prospect St.
Georgetown, MA 01833
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