Superintendent's Message

Reopening of School Campuses

June 3, 2020

Dear Families:

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:

Group Size: No groups larger than 10 are allowed to gather: 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


An Important Letter from Our METCO Director, Good News and SEPAC Meeting

June 2, 2020

Dear Families:

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.

CCHS theater students who spring musical was cancelled recreated the “9 to 5” theme for us to enjoy virtually.  Such talent!  Watch it here:

SEPAC will hold its last meeting of the year tomorrow night at 7 pm.  The Zoom information is here.
Meeting ID: 830 9441 2835
Password: 251886

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 if you need to talk.

An Opportunity

June 1, 2020

Dear Families:

Tonight, I write with a heavier heart.  The pain of long-term racism and inequality was felt today as it touched our school community directly and the city of Boston where families in our community live.  We created a plan for staff and student discussions as incident management teams met, staff meetings began, student conversation started and a plan to host community discussions of race drafted.

I see an opportunity here.  We know this is not an immediate solution to the racism that exists in our schools.  We hope, however, that it is a beginning.

I am grateful for the immediate response of The Center for Parents and Teachers as they offer programming focused on children, race and wellness.  That information is found below.

We invite and urge you to join us.


The Center for Parents and Teachers is offering a number of collaborative programs, free to parents and grandparents — (please scroll below) along with a couple of helpful resources on how to speak with your children about racial justice.  (this one is written for parents of younger children but actually has quite a lot of helpful information for parents of older children as well).

(1) Ivy Child International will present its final monthly Mindfulness workshop for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers.

June 3, 7 – 8:30 PM EDT

The theme for this session will be a timely and vitally important offering on Mindfulness and Racial Justice  led by Craig Martin.

Craig Martin, 2018 National Distinguished Principal and Massachusetts Elementary Principal of the Year and 2009 Boston Public Schools’ Educator of the Year, currently serves as the Executive Director of Bridge Boston Charter School in Roxbury, MA.

In six years as Proud Principal of the Michael J. Perkins School, with strategic professional development, partnerships, and investments in socio-emotional learning, culturally responsive pedagogy, trauma-informed practices, mindfulness, 21st Century technology skills development, blended learning, and social media presence, the Michael J. Perkins’ School student achievement has improved over 320% leading to reversals in achievement gaps among English Language Learners and Latino American Learners, a 50% reduction in suspensions, a 25% decline in chronic absenteeism all while being named a 2019 Semi-Finalist for the Edvestors’ School on the Move Prize.

Craig is the founder of the Brown Boys of Boston Ed-Camp, an educational Think Tank of best practices and approaches to how we educate, elevate, and empower our African American and Latino American male youth to their genius potential. Additionally, he served as Co-President of the Boston K8 Principals Association; Founder of the School Leaders of Color Think Tank; and Founder of the Brown Boys Network.

Craig holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Dillard University and a M. Ed in Educational Leadership from Lesley University.

This tremendously important workshop is FREE but you will need to pre-register ahead in order to receive the log-in information. Please go to:

(2) Join Dr. Rachel Kramer for a live webinar on “Promoting Social and Emotional Well-being this Summer  for Parents of Preschool to Grade 4”

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 10:30am

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

Password: 759816

(3) 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:

Password: 432289

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 –

Learn about these and other workshops — and how you can support this nonprofit local organization that is able to offer its services through grants and donations — by visiting:

Uniting Us

May 31, 2020

Dear Families:

Tonight, I reflect on a wide range of emotions this weekend.  I am deeply saddened and angry about the racial incident yesterday within our community and the horrible, unspeakable tragedy of George Floyd’s death that is having an impact nationally.   We continue to work with the Concord Police Department to investigate the unacceptable media post and ensure that we respond strongly and deter future behavior of this kind.  The district committed to being more culturally competent three years ago, as outlined in the Strategic Plan.  I believe that the work is ongoing and must ensure that we foster a supportive, inclusive environment and educate the next generation about the urgency and the role we all have in creating equity and respect for all.

On the other end of the spectrum, the high school’s collaborative celebration of the Class of 2020 through today’s parade is an event that united us this afternoon. It allowed us to be together, not just physically but emotionally.  Although students and families were in vehicles and the faculty spread out and masked, there was a community atmosphere of making up for lost events, creating long-lasting memories, and honoring every graduate in a very personal way.   The event felt like a symbol for what can be (even if only for an hour) in a world currently filled so much pain from illness, job loss, and racism.

Over and over again, I experience this community’s ability to support one another, come together in crisis, have difficult conversations, and be stronger than we were before.



Summer Food Service Survey and Donation Portal

May 29, 2020

Dear Families:

It has been our pleasure to help to provide food to those in need.  As of this week, approximately 3400 bags of food were made available to those in need at an average of 45 families each weekday.  Since our structures and processes shift as school closes, we need to review our plans for the summer.  We are asking for your help by providing a very brief survey in order to have data to inform our plans.  If you need food to be available this summer, please complete this anonymous survey:

This service is a result of the incredible generosity of the community.  Donations and grants so far have totaled just over $39,000.  Thank you so much.  Offering food for the summer months will require additional fundraising.  If you are able and interested in giving, please do so via the electronic portal on the food service webpage:

Thank you for the community’s support of one another.




Incoming Kindergarten Registration is Open Please Share

May 28, 2020

Dear Families:

We are thrilled to announce that an electronic registration portal is now available so that incoming Kindergarten students can register.  This was a goal we had planned for two years from now.  Thanks to the Ripley staff we created it in months since we had no other means to register the Class of 2033!

For anyone with a child eligible for Kindergarten in the fall, please go to this page and you will find the instructions as to what you will need and how the process will work.

If you know of other families, please pass this along to them so we are sure to reach as many people as possible.



Task Force Work and Highlights from the News

May 27, 2020

Dear Families:

The Concord Journal highlighted these efforts of a Concord Middle School student.  It is great to see students giving back!  View Article Here

The CCHS Class of 2020 car parade has been postponed to Sunday, May 31 given the potential for storms on Saturday.  We look forward to seeing everyone from a distance!

The Concord Education Fund’s Operation Celebration where you can send balloons to the home of a CCHS senior.  The information is found here:

The District COVID Task Force met this morning.  The recording of the meeting is posted here:

The presentation that provides an overview of the process is found here:

Two articles published today reflect the work of the Task Force as to what school could look like in the fall are worth reading.  This first one offers comments from Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley:

A Boston Globe article captured all of the questions we are grappling with while being highly committed to a fruitful 2020-2021 school year educationally:



COVID-19 Task Force Meeting Tomorrow and Career Day at CMS

May 26, 2020
Dear Families:

As noted last week, the District COVID-19 Task Force will begin meeting tomorrow morning at 9 am.  The meeting is accessible via the Zoom information below.   We ask that if you plan to join us as an observer that you attend the meeting without your video on.  The meeting will be recorded and posted on the webpage as will the materials that we discuss and other related documents.

In addition to the District Task Force, four working groups are forming (Health and Safety, Blended Innovative Learning, Social and Emotional, Operations) which will have opportunities for members to join.  Each school will also have a building-based task force.  The planning process will ebb and flow between these three groups.

We are so grateful for the outpouring of interest to serve on these committees.  Many of you will be contacted over the next week as to how you could participate.  There will also be opportunities to attend focus groups and forums and to complete surveys engage throughout the creation of the plans for the fall.

Secondly, today was virtual Career Day at the middle school. Click here for a quick video walkthrough of the day.  The day began with Kate Merrill, CCHS graduate and current CMS/CCHS parent going live from the WBZ studio with a keynote address for close to 500 students. There were a total of 56 Zoom presentations for the middle school students today.  The middle school extends their gratitude to the following parents of Concord Public Schools and Concord-Carlisle Regional School District who presented their careers today: Eve Isenberg, Carla Moynihan, Doug Johnson, Matthew Growney, Steve Valentine, Courtney Eaton, Cassandra Price, Matt Carey, Beth Vause, Dr. Patrick Henning, Emmy Odunze, Rebecca Connolly, Major (Ret) Jon Belmont, Meg Jensen, Dr. Mike Fahey, Charles Babu, A. Eden Evins, Angela Martino, Tia Manchuso, Justin Bull, Leslie Flinn, Christine Hart and Kate Merrill. The middle school also played host to non-parent presenters, including the Assistant Concord Fire Chief, a Visual Artist and Executive Director of Concord Art.

Finally, the day would not have been made possible without the support and participation of the following middle school staff who worked behind the scenes to support this special day for the kids: Valerie Young, Debra Bordonaro, Tara Fernandez-Davila, Sharon Moss, Carol Costello, Paul Crowley, George Lewis, Sarah Pozmanter, Maria McDermott, Rakesh Bhol, Sharon Taft, Richard Murphy, Rachel Balian, Dave Davidson, Karin Baker, Suzie Chapin, Maureen Murphy Baker, Roseanne Katsaris, Joe Meyer, Janice Gullotti, Megan Hogan Stedman, Mary Anderson, Shannon Babu, Brian Revell, Theresa Scalzi, Christine Cunningham, Roseanne Katsaris, Eleanne Roosenburg, Molly Burkhard, Bonnie Echmalian, Jobie Fagans, Elizabeth Stockwood, Cheryl Shea, and Kristen Callahan.

Please enjoy the night!




Topic: COVID-19 District Task Force

Time: May 27, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Updates, Resources and Dinner on Friday

May 25, 2020

Dear Families:

I hope you had a great long weekend!

The CCHS staff will host another cooking lesson on Friday at 4 pm.  I’m posting it today so you have more time to gather the ingredients if it is of interest.  This week’s delicious recipe is for leek soup!  All of the information is found at the bottom of the email.

The Autism Research Center shared a social story about wearing face masks that would be useful with all children of younger ages.  You can find it here:

Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders posted a webinar entitled “Parenting During COVID – Helpful Webinar for Parents and Caregivers of Children and Adolescents”.  It is posted here:

This article from a health care group in NY offers thoughts on how to manage the summer once school is out during COVID-19.  The article is found here:

We have regrouped the calendar posted on the district webpage so it can be a resource for the many virtual events going on.  You can either look at one school or select the menu to show you a few or all of them.  The district calendar is found here:



Q5 Fun Fridays


Join us for our second Q5 Fun Friday!!!  Q5 may not be happening at the end of the semester, but you get a chance to experience some of the courses virtually each Friday!  Join us for some fun, live sessions brought to you by the CCHS staff and teachers who were also going to really miss Q5.


This week’s Q5 Fun Friday will be hosted on Zoom by Ms. Lina Smith from the CCHS Foreign Language department!  Ms. Smith will be teaching you the Foundations of Cooking while creating a delicious leek soup.   If you’re interested, here’s what you need to do:

Hope to see you there!

Memorial Day 2020

May 24, 2020

Dear Families:

This Memorial Day is unlike any in recent times and yet it also seems more relatable in how we honor those who gave so much in service to others.  Although our traditions are not an option, there are still ways to celebrate.



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