Superintendent's Message

Free Asymptomatic Student COVID Testing

January 13, 2021

Dear Families:

We did learn of two cases today:

1 adult at Willard

1 student at CMS

Last night, the Joint School Committees supported the districts’ participation in the upcoming free six week on-site asymptomatic PCR pooled COVID testing program funding by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  In this program, 10 nasal samples are bundled together and analyzed.  The pool comes back positive or negative.  If it is positive, the individuals in the pool need to be tested individually.  Our hope is that this six week program will allow us to get started and then determine the next steps.

Our greatest need right now is to understand the level of student participation.  If you intend for your child to participate, please complete this anonymous form.  Please submit one form for each child.


Family Survey


Please let us know if you have any questions.

Have a great night!




Food Pantry Today 1-2 pm

January 13, 2021

Dear Families,

We wanted to pass along this information from Open Table about today’s local food pantry.



Food Pantry Wednesday, January 13 1-2 pm

There will be a drive-thru food pantry at First Parish in Concord today, Wednesday, January 13,  from 1-2 pm for Concord and Carlisle residents, and for those who live elsewhere but work in Concord and Carlisle.  Thanks as always for helping us spread the word and feed our friends and neighbors!


A Few Updates

January 10, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you had a great weekend.  I offer several updates.

Weekend COVID Cases

1 CCHS adult

1 Alcott adult

There were no school close contacts.

District COVID Data Dashboard

The District Data Dashboard is updated as of yesterday morning.  With these two new cases, the total number of cases since we reopened is now 91.

Concord Carlisle COVID Data

The MDPH weekly numbers were released in the community report on January 7, 2021.  Both Concord and Carlisle remain in the yellow range.

Remote Learning and Travel

We have had a number of requests to learn remotely from various locations outside of the primary residence in Concord, Carlisle, or Boston.  While we understand the question, we just simply cannot handle more variables for students to learn remotely for various time periods from various locations.   Homeschooling is an option for these situations if you opt to still consider them.

Asymptomatic Pooled Testing

The Joint School Committees will discuss the plan proposed by DPH and DESE on Tuesday night.  The agenda is posted here.  Other agenda items include budget development and updates on our objectives to hire more faculty of color.

Vaccine Distribution at CCHS

First responders will be vaccinated in the CCHS parking lot on Thursday and Friday after school and during the evening as well as all day Saturday.

Have a great evening.




January 8 COVID Cases, Patterns, and Testing

January 8, 2021

Dear Families:

I am sharing four new COVID cases today:

  • 1 CCHS student
  • 1 CMS adult
  • 1 Ripley adult
  • 1 CCHS adult

I have been asked a number of times about the patterns we see in transmission.  I thought I’d list what I see as most prevalent during this current spike:

  • immediate family transmission
  • travel
  • small, informal social gatherings

School is not a source of spread so far from what we know without asymptomatic testing available which is of course very good news.  The School Committee will be discussing options on Tuesday night for surveillance testing hoping we can put something into place including perhaps the program the Governor rolled out today.  We will have more information over the coming week.



Thursday’s COVID Cases

January 7, 2021

Dear Families:

I write to update you on today’s 7 positive COVID cases.  None of the positive cases have been in school this week so there was no contact tracing

1 student     Alcott

3 students   CMS

2 students   CCHS

1 adult         CCHS

This brings the total case count since Sunday to 25.

Have a good evening.




Today’s National Events and Our Plans

January 6, 2021

Dear Families:

I write in response to events that occurred this afternoon in Washington D.C. and continue to evolve this evening.  This unprecedented use of violence to threaten the democratic process is intolerable and unacceptable.  This country prides itself on a peaceful approach to leadership and governance.   The public schools are key components in ensuring access to education for all and the future of democracy.  For us to do anything but abhor what happened today would disgrace the core values on which we operate.   This is not a political discussion.  It is a discussion of what is important and what we believe as Americans.

We are prepared to provide a structured response for all students tomorrow. It is best to acknowledge today’s events age appropriately.   Upper elementary, middle, and high school students will convene in brief discussions with the staff as to the events of what transpired.  We will stress the following facts:

  • we are all currently safe
  • violence is unacceptable
  • the American democratic processes must be protected

The youngest students will guide us in their need for discussion at an individual or group level through their questions.  Individual students at all levels will be encouraged to voice a need for support or request time with a counselor.  Of course, as parents, please reach out to our counseling and administrative staff about your child’s needs or your needs as parents.

I included resources listed below for you in how to support young people during traumatic events.  These documents will guide you but clearly, at the core, it is about relationships.  Creating environments where those relationships are the focus is the key to our success during difficult times.  The chronic crisis brought by COVID has shown our strengths as a caring, extraordinary community.  I trust that this newest difficult, painful chapter will result in the best of us all coming together at the local, community, and national level.

Thank you so very much for the support and partnership.



Talking with Your Children About Traumatic Events

Children and Trauma

Talking to Children About Violence


Today’s Postive COVID Cases

January 4, 2021

Dear Families:

Today, we learned of the following positive COVID cases:

2 CCHS Student

2 Willard Students

1 Alcott Adult

1 CMS Adult

One of these cases resulted in close contacts due to school-related activities over the break.

While the patterns we are seeing are not unexpected, I do hope it helps us all to remember our part in slowing the spread of the virus.

  • Traveling has risks to it and we have seen that on multiple occasions.  Please consider staying local until the virus rates have reduced.  We are appreciative of the adherence to the protocols when travel does happen.
  • Simple gatherings of friends can also spread the virus.  If even small groups of adults or students are going to be together, it is very important to wear masks and physically distance.  Of course, not gathering in any groups outside of the immediate family is best.
  • I do offer a reminder that the impact of a positive case is not just about the individual or family member involved.  Quarantine has a significant impact especially on the lives of young people when they cannot attend school for extended periods.  Of course, those at greatest risk can get seriously ill.

We are so grateful for your support.

Have a good night.



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