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Superintendent's Message

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

 

Lifting of Outdoor Mask Requirement at School

May 17, 2021

Dear Families:

It is with a sense of great hope and optimism that I share the initial impact of the changes to the COVID guidance today as announced by the Governor’s office.

Per Governor Baker, DPH, DESE, and the local health officials, all students and adults are no longer required to wear masks when outside beginning tomorrow. 

Students now have no mask requirement including at recess, in athletics, in physical education, and in outdoor learning.  Adults will only need masks outside when not able to distance.

All of our other protocols remain in place including the requirement for masks at all times in the school buildings (unless eating).  Masks are also required for everyone on the school bus.

We will be reviewing the other aspects of today’s guidance for other school related impacts.

Thank you so very, very much for your support this year. We will certainly relish the return toward normalcy together.

Best,

Laurie

 

METCO Director Candidates Forum Thursday 6 pm

May 17, 2021

Dear Families:

As we interview for a Director of the METCO Program, we invite you to participate in the process.

This Thursday, May 20th from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM on Zoom, is the METCO Director Finalists Forum. This forum is another important step in the hiring process to ensure that the voices of our community, especially that of our Boston students and families, are included in the process for a new METCO Director.

Best,

Laurie

 

CMS COVID Case and Racial Incident

May 11, 2021

Dear Families:

I have two updates for the community tonight.

 

  • A CMS staff tested positive today while in quarantine so there are no close contacts at school.

 

  • Also at CMS this afternoon, an absolutely unacceptable anti-Asian slur was used toward a student by another student.  Principal Cameron’s letter to the middle school community is found herewhich includes resources to use with children in having these difficult but important conversations.

 

We are deeply committed to an environment where all students feel safe and will not tolerate acts such as this one.  Thank you for joining us in this effort.

Best,

Laurie

 

Change to Length of Quarantine and Middle School Building Project Update

May 9, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you enjoyed the weekend and celebrated the mothers in your lives today.  As happens every spring, we are going to be busier than ever and maybe this year we appreciate that since last spring is not that distant of a memory.  I share two updates tonight.  One update is COVID related and one looks forward.

Change to 7-Day Quarantine

The pattern that we expected after the break has proven true with a reduction to only three cases last week from almost 20 the week before.  We have also grown more confident in having all of the kids in school and minimizing the chance of spread.  As a result, we will move immediately from the 10-day quarantine protocol to the 7-day protocol.  Anyone in quarantine will have the timeline adjusted for a sooner return.  It is important to note the details of the 7-day quarantine per the Department of Public Health as outlined below:

7 Days of Strict Quarantine

  • Release on Day 8 if:
    • A test taken on Day 5 or later is negative AND
    • The individual has not experienced any symptoms up to that point AND
    • The individual conducts active monitoring through Day 14 and isolates immediately if symptoms develop

Concord Middle School Building Project Update

Middle School Building Committee Votes Revised Space Summary to Begin Schematic Design and Launches New Website

At their May 6 meeting, the Middle School Building Committee voted a revised space summary that includes enlargements to the gym and auditorium, along with adjustments to other spaces. Information regarding the project can be found on their newly launched website: www.cmsbuildingproject.org

Have a great night!

Best,

Laurie

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