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Superintendent's Message

Updates December 5, 2021

December 5, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you had a great weekend with the cold sunshine in place!

This Week’s Spotlight

Giving Back

Among the strengths of our community is the willingness to give back to others.  That is found regularly throughout all of the schools as we look to engage students in those efforts and understand how they can contribute.  In fact, it happens so often that it is impossible to highlight every event so I share just a few from this Fall:

The CCHS Interact Club raised $470 for Sleep in Heavenly Peace to purchase beds for families which was matched by the Rotary Club of Concord in part through this pie eating contest at Verrill Farm!  Thanks to CCHS teachers Agatha Wozniak and Steve Lane for their prize-winning pie-eating performances!

Willard students read the most books in the Concord Free Public Library‘s summer program leading to a $200 donation to The Nature Connection.

Alcott was able to return to its annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot this year.  All donations go to Open Table. Thank you for making it another very successful event!

 

DEI December Newsletter from the DEI Director

Dear Families: Here’s the DEI Newsletter for December. Thank you to everyone who has contributed a resource or highlight for this month’s newsletter. If you come across any content on the newsletter that you may have a question or concern about, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew K. Nyamekye at anyamekye@concordps.org.

 

Concord Middle School Building Project Information

Recording of December 1 Community Forum

A recording of last week’s information forum is found here if you missed it and want to catch up on progress.

Panel Discussion: Sustainability in the Middle School Building Project 

Wednesday, December 8, 7:00pm at the CMS Peabody Building

Join the Middle School Building Committee and a panel of experts to discuss Sustainability in the new building design.

Our three Panelists will be Matt Root, Sustainable Design Professional and Sustainability Subcommittee Chair on the Middle School Building Committee; Martine Dion, Sustainable Design Director at SMMA; and Jake Swenson, Chair of Concord’s Climate Action Advisory Board (CAAB).

The discussion will be moderated by Dawn Guarriello, Co-Chair of the Middle School Building Committee and also a school architect in her professional life.  Dawn will ask the panel a series of questions regarding sustainability in the proposed design of the new middle school and will then open the floor to questions from the audience.

As this event will be in person, masks will be required for all attendees.  Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Additional information about the project is found on the CMS Building Website Project

Adult and Community Education

Concord Carlisle Adult and Community Education operate under the regional school district’s umbrella.  In addition to music lessons and driver’s education, there are programs for everyone.  The winter session is just starting so we encourage you to peruse the offerings.  They are found here on the Concord Carlisle Adult and Community Education webpage.

COVID Updates

In the last week, we had 8 positive COVID cases for a total of 70:

1 Willard student

3 CMS students

2 CMS staff

1 Alcott staff

1 CCHS student

The COVID Dashboard will be updated throughout the week.  We will continue to monitor transmission rates as necessary.

Have a wonderful start to the week!

Best,

Laurie

 

Updates November 28, 2021

November 28, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends.  I know there was much to be thankful for as we were able to resume even the simplest gathering with grandparents.  We look forward to the coming weeks to wrap up 2021!

In the Spotlight

Fine Arts:  Tonight, I share some of the amazing artwork produced at CCHS with the intent of sharing elementary and middle school work in future emails.  There is no shortage of outstanding pieces!

The CCHS student newspaper, The Voice, recently highlighted sculpture installed in the display room off of the main lobby at CCHS.  Photos are available on The Voice’s website.

Last spring, Principal Mastrullo shared a number of character designs done by CCHS students.  The complete set of work on Principal Mastrullo’s blog is linked here.

Every spring, Concord Art hosts a CCHS student art show which is always extraordinary.  Last year’s show was no expectation as you’ll see in the awards video posted here.

Finally, we are always excited when students take the initiative to beautify our schools with their talent.  The CCHS trainer’s room is a work in progress, thanks to CCHS Senior Mia Comeau.

 

Concord Middle School Building Project

An informational forum is scheduled for this week:

Concord Middle School Forum

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Join on Zoom: https://concordps.zoom.us/j/9754570084 4?pwd=T3FPS3FtWFlOWTk4c05UZ0htYk VKdz09

Passcode: 141014

Check out the CMS project website:  https://www.concordps.org/cms-building-project/

 

Equity Survey Focus Groups

If you’re interested in participating in the virtual equity survey focus group, please click here to view the dates scheduled and RSVP. Contact Andrew Nyamekye at anyamekye@concordps.org, if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Snow Days

With the wintry weather upon us, I share an update on the plan for snow days.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is not currently approving remote learning for any purposes except an extraordinary DESE sanctioned school-closure for COVID reasons.  As of right now, we believe that all snow days will be traditional snow days with make-up days in June.  We will let you know if DESE provides additional information.

 

Town of Concord Community Events

A Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting

Wednesday December 1, 2021

4:30-6:00 p.m.

Concord Youth Theater Lawn

53 Church Street, Concord

 

Concord Tree Lighting

Sunday, December 5, 2021

3:00-6:00 p.m.

Concord Center, Concord

 

COVID 

In the last week, we had 9 positive COVID cases for a total of 62 to date this year:

7 Thoreau students

1 Thoreau staff

1 CCHS student

The COVID Dashboard will be updated throughout the week.  The spike at Thoreau is not unexpected, especially until the youngest students are fully vaccinated.  As previously mentioned, the dashboard will serve as our communication tool unless a significant set of circumstances warrants a separate notification.

Have a great start to the week!

Best,

Laurie

COVID Email Account Active/ Vaccine Slots

November 24, 2021

Dear Families,

As we head into the holiday, please use the COVID email account only for all COVID-related communication.  The administrators and nurses will not be monitoring their emails.

COVID Email Communication:  covid@concordps.org

Also, the vendor added additional slots to the vaccine clinics on December 1 and 13.  Hopefully, that allows everyone who needs a second shot to secure an appointment.

We are so grateful for your partnership and support.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Best,

Laurie

 

Update for Full Vaccination Clinics

November 23, 2021

Dear Families:

We made the vendor aware that the vaccine clinics on the 1st and 13th of December are currently full since the portal allowed for anyone to register.  The vendor is looking to see how to address the issue.  I will send updates as I have them.  Given the volume, I do not plan to respond to individual emails about this.  Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Laurie

 

Schedule Second Shot for Under 12

November 23, 2021

Dear Families:

I write to share the link to schedule second shots for the children vaccinated on November 10 and November 17.  Please note the location has changed to allow for ease of parking.  Please be sure to bring your child’s vaccination card with you.  

Best,
Laurie

Use this link to schedule appointments for December 1 or December 13:  

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/yankeeline

Wednesday 12/1

Concord Carlisle High School Cafeteria

500 Walden Street

Concord, MA

4:00pm – 9:00pm (2nd dose clinic for 11/10 clinic.)

 

Monday 12/13

Concord Carlisle High School Cafeteria

500 Walden Street

Concord, MA

4:00pm – 9pm (2nd dose clinic for 11/17 clinic.)

 

COVID Case Information

November 22, 2021

Dear Families:

Today, we had four student additional student cases at Thoreau and one at CCHS.   This brings Thoreau’s case count to 11 in the last week.  We consulted both with the Concord public health nurse and DPH epidemiologist about the number of cases.  They confirmed that our current work with the Test and Stay program is the best course of action.   The Commissioner of Education also met with all Massachusetts superintendents today.  DESE and DPH do expect there will be spikes in cases this Fall and Winter like the one occurring at Thoreau although not as significant as last winter, especially as the young children become fully vaccinated.  The goal is for students to be in school.  The Test and Stay program allows for that in most instances.

Please utilize the online COVID Dashboard for current case counts.  It is always up to date with current information.  Those exposed to any new cases are informed immediately at the school level.  We are only planning on occasional school or district updates in between my Sunday emails when situations change significantly as they did last week.

Enjoy the rest of the night!

Best,

Laurie

 

Updates 11.21.21

November 21, 2021

Dear Families:

Welcome to a short week!  I am going to be briefer tonight because of the abbreviated week before the holiday.

COVID Updates

Over the past week, we had 14 positive COVID cases for a total of 53:

7 Thoreau students

2 Willard students

2 Willard staff

2 CMS students

1 Alcott student

The COVID Dashboard will be updated throughout the week.  We are keeping a close eye on any patterns.  We ask that you watch students carefully for any symptoms and err on the side of caution given the rise in cases.  We will reinstate the COVID email account later this week for COVID-related communication while we are closed for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Open Table Food Pantry

We have worked very closely with Open Table since the start of the pandemic.  They continue to provide food for those in need both during the holidays and throughout the year.  Please visit the Open Table website for further information.  

Have a great start to the week!

Best,

Laurie

 

COVID Case Update

November 18, 2021

Dear Families:

I wanted to share an update on COVID cases today since we are seeing a change in the pattern.  7 pools returned as positive today:  4 at Thoreau and 3 at Willard.  We identified 7 positive individuals:  4 Thoreau students, 1 Willard student, 2 Willard adults.  This brings our case count total to 12 this week so far.  The COVID Dashboard on the webpage outlines the breakdown.  So far, we do not see signs of school transmission which I believe strongly is a result of the pool testing identifying cases early.

We are excited that so many elementary children received the first vaccine over the past two weeks.  We encourage anyone eligible to get the booster that was approved today.  The Test and Stay program is allowing students to remain in school which makes the impact of this kind of case count very different than last year.  I am also very encouraged to see the counts remain very low with the secondary students being approximately 90% vaccinated.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best,

Laurie

 

Updates November 14, 2021

 

November 14, 2021

Dear Families:
It was a beautiful weekend in between the rainstorms.  I hope you are enjoying these late Fall days!  We are definitely taking advantage of the weather while we can to have students outside.

This Week’s Spotlight

Athletics

Athletics is more than just the talent and skill that pertains to any particular sport.  Community and teamwork are important aspects for students in being connected to school.  It has always been exciting for us to run active, engaging programs at the secondary level.  The middle school offers a wide range of options (the most I’ve ever seen in a middle school) and CCHS is deep in opportunities for students who enjoy team sports as well as many individual sports.  The entire list of options is found on the CMS and CCHS webpages.  During COVID, we further committed to ensuring programs continued.  It is the Fall postseason and so we do celebrate the drive, resilience, and success of all teams including those moving forward in the tournament.  Congratulations to all of our Fall athletes!

 

Parent Equity Survey

The equity survey is now available for parents and guardians of Boston, Concord, and Carlisle. Please click here to access the parent equity survey, and be advised that the survey portal will close on Friday, November 19th. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Nyamekye, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at anyamekye@concordps.org.

 

COVID Updates

 

This week, we had 3 COVID cases all in vaccinated individuals:

1 CCHS student

1 Alcott adult

1 Thoreau adult

This brings our total case count to 39.  The live COVID Dashboard on the webpage is available is kept current.

 

The vaccine clinic at Alcott was very successful in immunizing 714 children.  This Wednesday’s clinic is almost equally booked.  Follow-up dates for the second shot have been set for December 1 (for those vaccinated on November 10 ) and December 13 (for those to be vaccinated on November 17).  Thank you to all involved in making this event happen!

 

 

Envision Concord

 

In 2018, Concord released its long-term comprehensive plan as the outcome of a multi-year process.  The plan is being reviewed tomorrow night by the Concord Select Board as to updates and progress.  Carlisle is involved in a recent master planning process as well led by a Master Plan Steering Committee that meets regularly.

 

Have a great night!

Best,

Laurie

 

 

 

 

Vaccination Clinic Details

November 9, 2021

Dear Families:

We are excited to have such a huge response to the upcoming vaccine clinic tomorrow at Alcott.  I write to share a few logistical details to help the night go smoothly:

  • The clinic is very full. Please do not arrive before your appointment.  If you arrive early, you will be asked to leave and come back.
  • Alcott is located at 73 Laurel Street.  Under the direction of the Concord Police, Laurel Street will be one way during the clinic.   Access will only be available from Thoreau Street.  Access will not be allowed from Walden Street or Stow Street.
  • Parking may be difficult at Alcott.  It may be possible to find parking on the street and walk a block or two to alleviate congestion.
  • Please remember to bring the completed consent forms with you.

Thank you again.

Best,

Laurie

 

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