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Superintendent's Message

Willard

COVID Case

July 21, 2021

Dear Families:

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!

Best,

Laurie

 

Director of Student Services

July 21, 2021

Dear Families:

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!

Best,

Laurie

Thoreau Fire Update

June 29, 2021

Dear Families:

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.

Best,

Laurie

________________________________________________

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.

Best,
Angel Charles
Principal

 

Tonight’s Fire at Thoreau

June 28, 2021

Dear Families:

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.

Best,

Laurie

 

One Last Email……

June 16, 2021

Dear Families:

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

I suspect that we should all pause this morning and note what is likely a historic moment as we close the 2020-2021 school year.  I am sure for all of you it feels as if we have lived through multiple years since the Fall given the intensity.    It is very clear that the intimate partnership and collaboration between home and school was invaluable and the foundation of our success during this extraordinary year.

May the summer allow everyone the chance to recuperate and enjoy the return to normalcy while slowing down to appreciate what we used to take for granted.  Have a wonderful summer!

Best,
Laurie

 

Updates and Information

June 11, 2021

Dear Families:

Welcome to the last Friday of the school year!  I wanted to share a few updates as we prepare to close out the year.

No COVID Cases

After reporting 205 cases to you, it seems worth reporting that we have not had a COVID case since May 19.  The progress and relief of the waning cases are allowing the schools to flourish with end-of-year activities that feel incredibly normal.  Last week’s CCHS graduation and Grade 8 celebration are among the highlights.

New METCO Director

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Heidi Harris has accepted the METCO Director position.  She will be a valuable asset to the program.  Her biography and background are found here.

A Letter to the Community

I recently shared a letter of appreciation to the community with the local town leaders and the local newspapers.  I share the letter here in its entirety.  It has been extraordinary what we accomplished together this year.

Parent Survey

We left the parent survey open for the remainder of the school year.  If you haven’t completed it, the link to the survey is located here.

Concord Free Public Library Summer Program

Concord Free Public Library is gearing up for Summer Reading 2021. Our theme this year is Tails and Tales and we’re celebrating lots of different animals. We’ll be hatching quail eggs, and praying mantises, and we’ll be watching painted lady caterpillars turn into butterflies. We’ll have visits from an elephant, as well as farm animals from various sanctuaries. We’ll give away gift cards to local shops and we’ll have weekly scavenger hunts around town.

Here is information to learn more :

  1. PSA video
  2. Summer Reading webpage
  3. Register for Summer Reading on Beanstack
  4. “How To Sign Up For Beanstack” flier

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Best,

Laurie

 

Concord Middle School and Heatwave

June 4, 2021

Dear Families:

This message is for the families of Concord Middle School since we are fortunate to have air conditioning in all of the other schools.  I am including everyone in order to avoid any confusion.

As you have likely seen, a heatwave looks to be headed for us for the first part of next week.  COVID protocols require that we remain in masks indoors, prevent the use of fans blowing toward staff and students, and restrict drinking less than 6′ apart.  Given the challenges this could bring, I am planning ahead to let you know what the options are.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education made clear to us this afternoon that a remote learning day is not an option.  We can reduce the day to a half-day schedule but if we close, the day will need to be made up.   Given that we are all ready for summer break, I am not considering school closure.

I will continue to review the forecast and conditions in the two middle school buildings to decide if we will have a full day or half-day during these high temperatures.

For CMS fully remote families, the heat may lead to more asynchronous work than usual as classrooms relocate under a tent or in the shade outdoors.

I will decide each day’s plan by 7 pm the night before to allow for time to plan.  Again, this will only pertain to Concord Middle School.  All of the other schools will operate normally next week.

I had personally hoped we were going to cruise to the finish line but, as has happened all year, that does not seem to be the case!

Best,

Laurie

 

Anti-Gay Incident at CCHS

June 2, 2021

Dear Families:

It is with anger and sadness that I share Principal Mastrullo’s message to the CCHS community late last night regarding a homophobic slur found in a bathroom at CCHS.  We will continue to only tolerate an inclusive, welcoming environment for all students.

Laurie

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2021

 

A note from the principal

 

Dear Concord-Carlisle High School Community:

 

I am saddened to report that today we found a homophobic slur on a girls’ bathroom wall at CCHS. The timing of this could not be more disappointing. Today marks the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which is recognized both locally and nationally to honor the profound impact that our LGBTQ+ community members have made on our school, our community, and our country.

Words will not lessen or dull the pain and disappointment this incident brings to our LGBTQ+ students, families, employees, and community. Please be assured that our school administration is proactively investigating this incident, and we will work to find the individual(s) responsible for this unacceptable display of hate.

We will never tolerate this kind of behavior in our schools or community. Slurs and other forms of homophobia are unacceptable, and we are saddened to learn that this language was used and directed toward members of our school community. We ask our students to speak out when they witness hate in our schools and the community. We encourage everyone to lend their support to members of our LGBTQ+ community who, on this day, month, and beyond, should not be attacked by slurs, violence, and hatred.

There are resources for all students who may feel negatively impacted by this incident. Also, as always, guidance counselors are available to anyone in need of support. In addition, parents should feel empowered to engage with their students in using the aforementioned resource as a valuable guide for honest and authentic conversation.

This day and every day should be about love and respect for one another; our differences should be celebrated and bind us, not insulted and used to divide us. Our school community, comprised of students from Boston, Concord, and Carlisle, stands with our LGBTQ+ community in recognition that any form of hate, bias, and discrimination will never be tolerated.

I take solace knowing that this incident does not reflect the values of our community, and with confidence, I suggest that the tolerant and welcoming environment we hold dear will denounce this act in no uncertain terms and rally behind members of our community in need of support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael J. Mastrullo

Principal

 

Travel Protocol Remains in Place

May 25, 2021

Dear Families:

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.

Best,

Laurie

 

Positive COVID Case

May 19, 2021

Dear Families:

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.

Best,

Laurie

 

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