banner5

Superintendent's Message

COVID Updates and Welcome to Winter Break

December 23, 2021

Good Afternoon,

Welcome to the break!  We hope you enjoy the slower pace and time together.

You are not surprised to hear that we are seeing a marked uptick in COVID cases.  This week, we have had a total of 31 cases so far with 10 of those coming today.  The COVID Data Dashboard is live and will be continually updated throughout the vacation week.  Expecting January will bring further spikes in cases, we are revisiting our protocols to be proactive:

  • Return to 3′ distance in classrooms where possible with students not facing each other
  • Restrict access to school to those exposed to a positive case in their homes regardless of vaccination status (staff and students)
  • Return to wiping of desks regularly and in between classes at CMS and CCHS

Other measures can have significant impact on our school environment as well.

  • Participate in pool testing.  It is an enormous resource that can assist us in managing the surge.  If you have not given consent to test your child, you can do so at any time:  Electronic Consent Form
  • Symptomatic individuals should stay home until a negative PCR is received and symptoms subside.

Our goal is to have as little disruption as possible to normal school schedules which is why pooled testing and staying home when sick are so important.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is clear that closing school can occur in two situations:

  • consultation and permission from DESE and DPH due to a spike which could allow for a classroom, grade level or school to go remote
  • superintendent discussion to use a “snow day” that needs to be made up at the end of the year

Several districts are using the snow day approach to manage testing or large case numbers.  We are going to take this a day at a time and see what the needs are and determine the best response.  Given that we did not close at all last year, it is absolutely the hope we maintain that same consistency.

Should you have COVID questions, cases to report or information to share, please use the COVID email account during the vacation as it will be monitored regularly since the administrators and nurses will be on well-deserved vacations.

COVID Email Account:  covid@concordps.org

Thank you for the ongoing and collaborative support.  Have a wonderful week!

Best,

Laurie

 

 

 

Community Vaccine Clinic January 6 CCHS

December 22, 2021

Dear Families:

We are again hosting a vaccine clinic at CCHS on January 6 thanks to the arrangements made by the local health officials.  The clinic is open to everyone in the community over age 5.  The details to make an appointment are found below.

Best,

Laurie

 

COVID Vaccine Clinic

Ages 5 and up

Thursday, January 6

4-9 p.m.

Concord-Carlisle High School

Register for an appointment:

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/purpleshield?calendar=c20a6c06-e5fa-4240-a952-9e74f871f6ee

 

 

Updates December 19 2021

December 19, 2021

Dear Families:

Welcome to the last school days of 2021!

This Week’s Spotlight

This week, I highlight the dedication of our amazing school bus drivers.  In times when the National Guard has been called up to drive children to school, we are so very grateful for their commitment to our students.  It is important to share their contributions to the fabric of our district beyond driving itself.  Throughout the pandemic, their willingness to support the schools during the middle of the day led to a large number of them serving as student supervisors.  Without this support, it would have been impossible to cover the changes to the lunch program and beyond.  They have also engaged in our work in equity and cultural competency as seen in the photo below during The Playbook Initiative Training at the middle school last spring.  Many of the drivers have very extended careers.  Among the longest was Linda Robbins pictured below who retired last year after 47 years!  We hope that you will join us in thanking them for their service to our children.  I would be remiss not to share appreciation for Transportation Manager John Arena who makes it all happen day in and day out!

School Security

The schools have a comprehensive Emergency Response Manual that includes security practices.  In the early days of COVID some of these were on hold since, at times, they directly conflicted with the COVID protocols.  We are actively reviewing and again prioritizing these practices.  Teachers will participate in refreshers early in 2022.  We are also exploring a communication app that would allow for immediate and easily accessible emergency information.  Please watch for additional information in further updates.

 

Concord Middle School Project

On Thursday night, the Public Hearing for the proposed Concord Middle School was held.  If you would like to hear the presentations that focused on building design, sustainability and solar energy, and taxpayer impact, the link to the Hearing is posted here.  Additional information about the project is found on the Concord Middle School Building Project website.

 

Update Children’s Room Opening Concord Free Public Library

Please see this linked update from the Concord Free Public Library about the new date to open the new children’s room.

 

COVID Updates

In the last week, we had 6 positive COVID cases for a total of 81:

1 Alcott student

1 Willard student

1 Willard staff

2 CMS students

1 CCHS student

We also had adult cases today at Ripley and CCHS.

The COVID Dashboard will be updated throughout the week.

Please use the COVID email account over the vacation for all COVID-related communication.  The administrators and nurses will not be checking email regularly.

COVID Email Account:  covid@concordps.org

Have a wonderful week and vacation with friends and family!

Best,

LaurieDecember 19, 2021

Dear Families:

Welcome to the last school days of 2021!

This Week’s Spotlight

This week, I highlight the dedication of our amazing school bus drivers.  In times when the National Guard has been called up to drive children to school, we are so very grateful for their commitment to our students.  It is important to share their contributions to the fabric of our district beyond driving itself.  Throughout the pandemic, their willingness to support the schools during the middle of the day led to a large number of them serving as student supervisors.  Without this support, it would have been impossible to cover the changes to the lunch program and beyond.  They have also engaged in our work in equity and cultural competency as seen in the photo below during The Playbook Initiative Training at the middle school last spring.  Many of the drivers have very extended careers.  Among the longest was Linda Robbins pictured below who retired last year after 47 years!  We hope that you will join us in thanking them for their service to our children.  I would be remiss not to share appreciation for Transportation Manager John Arena who makes it all happen day in and day out!

 

 

School Security

The schools have a comprehensive Emergency Response Manual that includes security practices.  In the early days of COVID some of these were on hold since, at times, they directly conflicted with the COVID protocols.  We are actively reviewing and again prioritizing these practices.  Teachers will participate in refreshers early in 2022.  We are also exploring a communication app that would allow for immediate and easily accessible emergency information.  Please watch for additional information in further updates.

 

Concord Middle School Project

On Thursday night, the Public Hearing for the proposed Concord Middle School was held.  If you would like to hear the presentations that focused on building design, sustainability and solar energy, and taxpayer impact, the link to the Hearing is posted here.  Additional information about the project is found on the Concord Middle School Building Project website.

 

Update Children’s Room Opening Concord Free Public Library

Please see this linked update from the Concord Free Public Library about the new date to open the new children’s room.

 

COVID Updates

In the last week, we had 6 positive COVID cases for a total of 81:

1 Alcott student

1 Willard student

1 Willard staff

2 CMS students

1 CCHS student

We also had adult cases today at Ripley and CCHS.

The COVID Dashboard will be updated throughout the week.

Please use the COVID email account over the vacation for all COVID-related communication.  The administrators and nurses will not be checking email regularly.

COVID Email Account:  covid@concordps.org

Have a wonderful week and vacation with friends and family!

Best,

Laurie

 

 

FYI Tik Tok Challenge

December 16, 2021

Dear Families,

Earlier today, we became aware of a troubling post that has been shared widely this week on the social media platform TikTok. The post refers to a threat to school safety “for every school in the USA, even elementary,” on Friday, December 17.

The post appears to be part of a national TikTok trend and did not originate in our school district. We have heard reports from other districts that the same post is circulating in their schools. While we do not believe the threat to be credible, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking it seriously.

Additionally, the district has been in contact with the Concord Police Department regarding the post. We may have an increased police presence around our buildings on Friday as an added precaution.

This situation serves as a good example of why it is important to avoid sharing posts online that refer to school safety threats. Even if they are not credible threats, they can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety for our students, families, and staff. We ask our families to monitor their children’s social media activity and speak with them about proper behavior online.

If you or your child become aware of any potential threat posted to social media or anywhere else, please notify a school staff member or trusted adult right away.

As always, thank you for your partnership as we work to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for our students. I am also grateful for the partnership with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents who crafted much of this letter for superintendents in the Commonwealth so we could share it in as timely a way as possible.

Best,

Laurie

 

Updates December 12 2021

December 12, 2021

Dear Families:

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  It is a busy time of year both in and outside of the schools.

This Week’s Spotlight

Environmental Sustainability

We are committed to making environmental sustainability our way of operating and by providing experiences to students, inside and outside of the classroom.

The new middle school project is focused on being highly sustainable.  Last week’s forum on that topic was recorded and is posted here.  In addition, a Sustainability Subcommittee of the Concord Middle School Building Committee meets regularly and has discussed a myriad of topics which are found on the Sustainability Subcommittee’s webpage.

Students are engaged in multiple clubs at both CMS and CCHS including The Green Team who proposed a pollinator garden that is now active.

At a recent School Committee meeting, we heard an update from student representative Darcy Keenan-Mills about the many sustainability efforts at CCHS.  Darcy shares at the very beginning of the November 30, 2021 School Committee meeting.  The recording is posted here.

The pandemic slowed our efforts but we are restoring composting to the schools.  Counter to that is biking to school which soared since the beginning of COVID.  A District Sustainability Committee allows us connections to the many community groups and to be part of Concord’s sustainability goals.  We look forward to sharing ongoing updates.

Equity Survey and Focus Group Updates 

1) There will be an equity survey focus group make-up session for Concord families PreK-12, and Carlisle families with children at CCHS tomorrow Monday, December 13th from 3pm-4pm on Zoom. If you’d like to participate, please RSVP at your earliest convenience.

2) Additionally, we would like to invite interested middle and high school students to participate in an equity survey focus group on Monday, December 13th from 7pm-8pm on Zoom. If your child is interested in participating, please have them RSVP at their earliest convenience.

Please contact Andrew Nyamekye at anyamekye@concordps.org, if you have any questions or concerns.

Minuteman Media Network and School Programs

We are very fortunate to have a close partnership with Minuteman Media Network who records, posts, and live streams some of our student activities.  Among those most recently are a number of the extraordinary music concerts that returned in person.  Last week, a number of concerts were live streamed.  Most or all are recorded and posted for future viewing and run on the local cable stations.  Posted currently is the November 2, 2021, CCHS choral concert which is found here. I hope you will enjoy the gifts of these talented young people.  We will keep you aware of future postings as well.

U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory Protecting Youth Mental Health

Last week, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office publishing an important advisory:  Protecting Youth Mental Health.  The report outlines the increase in mental health issues due to the pandemic while noting that a crisis existed pre-COVID.  Please take the time to read the report.  Among our strategic goals is destigmatizing mental health needs.  With so many children requiring assistance, it must be a topic we discuss openly.   If your child is in need, please do not hesitate to contact a counselor at your child’s school.

Senior Citizens Wanted

Partners in Rhyme is a partnership between CCHS ninth-grade students and senior citizens from Concord Carlisle to read and share poetry together.  The program is in need of additional senior citizen volunteers for the session that starts in January:  January 4, 11, 18, 25, Feb 1, 8 from 8-9 am on zoom.  Contact Patti Russo to register:  pattirusso317@gmail.com or 978-314-8659.

Concord Middle School Project Public Hearing

A public hearing will be held on Thursday, December 16 at 7 pm regarding the middle school project.  Additional information is found here.

COVID Update

Last week, we saw 5 cases bringing the total to 75 since the beginning of the year.

1 Thoreau student

1 Willard staff

1 CMS staff

2 CCHS students

The COVID Dashboard will be updated throughout the week.  We now encourage all 16 and 17 year olds to get a booster shot and ensure additional protection against the virus.

Have a wonderful week!

Best,

Laurie

 

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.)

 

« Previous PageNext Page »