A recent 60 Minutes episode featured a story on the addictive nature of phones. A theme most parents are acutely aware of. I am sharing a link to the video below. The episode featured a former Google employee who argues that phones are purposefully addictive. He is not swayed by arguments that self-control is enough to resist mobile devices and social media. If nothing else, the piece is thought-provoking.
Students do not have homework over break. No homework over break was born out of a homework committee, and due to our work with the Challenge Success Program. A way for the school to do their part in helping to reduce student stress.
Wouldn't it be great if students agreed to minimize, or, better yet, have a phone free April Vacation? Overly ambitious, perhaps, but I think we could all benefit from less screen time including the author of this blog. Have a great break.
Coast to Coast Peer Editing
Google Apps for Education allows for easy & secure collaboration. CCHS students create, share, and edit files in real-time. Being a cloud based product collaboration is not restricted to the borders of Concord, Carlisle, and Boston. Robin Cicchetti, our talented teacher, and librarian, teacher AP Capstone - Seminar, which is a course for CCHS juniors that teaches students skills in research, argumentation, and analysis. The final assessment requires students to identify a problem that incorporates material from a "stimulus packet," and generated a research-based solution. Through research, students produce and defend a solution to the problem.
CCHS students partnered with AP Seminar students from Aptos, California for peer editing. Sharing their drafts via GoogleDrive, students provided and received rubric-based feedback to one another.
Erin Mackey said "the peer editing was really exciting and it was fun to work with kids from across the country and to get their perspectives on our work. We were also able to edit their papers and give them feedback. This class has really improved my research skills, and it was exciting to learn about all these topics this year." Maggie Dorr felt she "got really good feedback and it really helped my paper." Sam Parker said that after editing and providing feedback he really wants to see their final papers.
Library Commons Spring Blog:
The Guidance and Counseling April Newsletter: CLICK HERE
CCHS senior Daniel Braunegg is one of six New England students to receive a Marine Corps ROTC scholarship this year. Daniel will be attending Tufts in the fall on scholarship. Congratulations, Daniel.
The Paula Sirois Poetry Contest
Each year the English Department holds a competition in memory of Ms. Paula Sirois, a former English teacher at the high school who was an accomplished poet and longtime advisor to Reflections. Paula retired from CCHS in 1988.
A team of CCHS judge selected "Son to Mother," by Jess Aldous'17 as the winner of the poetry contest. Honorable mentions go to Maddy Mueller '20 and Bentley Meyer '17 for their untitled poems.
By Jessica Aldous
I know my stairs are well lit.
You sanded them,
even if you still have scars from your splinters.
You laid down carpet and added a rail,
even if you had nothing to lean on.
But my stairs are still steep.
I still stumble,
trying to go up too many too fast.
Because such nice stairs should be easy to climb.
But some holes you can't fix.
The carpet still burns my feet,
leaving them raw.
There are nails you can't see,
because they were never on your stairs.
Sometimes it goes dark,
but even you can't light them for me.
And some falls not even your rail can stop.
I know my stairs are nicer,
easier than yours.
But my life ain't no crystal stair either.
Rivers & Revolutions & Willard Elementary School
By Michael Goodwin
As part of the Rivers and Revolutions Stewardship program, ten of our students have been
working with Kim Rivers’ classroom at Willard Elementary School. Every Wednesday, students have been designing and implementing interdisciplinary, experiential lessons for the fifth graders.
This past week, students started their day at the Concord River by the North Bridge, exploring the historical, literary and ecological significance of the floodplain through direct instruction as well as reflective journaling. Students then came back to CCHS and were given tours of the building before heading to the Rivers room to create watercolor illustrations of the text they had generated by the river earlier in the day.
Our students have been doing an amazing job of teaching and mentoring the fifth-grade students, and in the process have been blown away by the depth of insight offered by these younger students. The relationship is truly a mutually beneficial one, and is a model of peer to peer collaboration across grade levels in the district.
Participating CCHS RR students include, Margaret Grace, Avery Hammond, Titus Wilson, Ian Ehlers, Wyatt Pasco, Emma Keeler, Emily Downing, Lisa Asadoorian, John Mulligan, and Spencer Patenaude.
By Thomas Keane
To help keep students, parents and other interested parties up-to-date on exciting Pathways news and events, members of the Pathways Program have created a blog. The blog is located at the following internet address: http://cchspathways.blogspot.com/
Once at the page, you can click "SUBSCRIBE" at the top of the page and enter your email address to get an email notification whenever the blog is updated. We hope you enjoy this new method of communication and we are excited to be able to easily share all the great things that are going on with Pathways students every day. A special thank you to Anna Romanov, Melissa Ring and Terry Smolka for their efforts in creating this interactive communication platform.
Student Government Day
Tyler Lee '17 and Elizabeth Shoup '18 taking part in Student Government Day today.
CCHS School Newspaper
Passover, Voice Alumni Update, MICCA, Moot Court, and More!
CCHS Alumni In the News
Sam Presti, CCHS Class of 1995 & General Manager of the NBA Oklahoma City Thunder, was featured in a recent Sports Illustrated Article.
Harper Sample's Semester Abroad
It is now the beginning of April which means I am a little over halfway done with my program here in France. There have been so many amazing moments during my stay, but without a doubt some hard ones too. Thankfully my host family has been amazing and so welcoming.
I never really thought of France being too different from the US, but I was very wrong. I still find differences between cultures every day. Overall, I think school is the most different and was the hardest to adjust. My school receives about ten exchange students every year, so it is well versed in knowing how to make exchange students fit in and feel comfortable.
The biggest difference between CCHS and my French school is freedom. As a senior in Concord, I could drive to school which allowed me to come and go when I had free blocks, it also allowed me to go off campus for lunch. In France, I take a bus to school, and it is forbidden to leave campus. The building itself is so different from CCHS, with each classroom equipped with only the finest chalkboards and VCR players. There is no wireless wifi in the school, which means all students take notes with good old fashion pen and paper. With no sports, electives, or extracurricular activities, education is the only priority here in France.
Every hour of school is spent either in a classroom or studying. The students here are preparing for the “Bac” which is an amped up SAT/ACT/MCAS. This test determines if you graduate high school as well as which university you can attend. It’s mandatory, extremely difficult and incredibly long. I asked one student (a senior) what she is doing for her two-week April break, and she replied: “just be studying for the Bac.” As for the students here, they have been extremely nice to me and very patient with me as I progress in French. They are very kind and have made me feel very comfortable in such a foreign environment.
I like to believe I have adjusted to the French lifestyle. I am getting used to eating at 8 pm and have even caught myself saying “aie” instead of “ow” when I hurt myself. As for my French, it has improved immensely. I am not fluent, but I can more easily follow a conversation and chime in occasionally.
As for my host family, they have been a perfect match as well as unbelievably welcoming. They have been so supportive of my program and my attempts to adapt to their wonderful culture. For me, one of the best experiences was going from being the youngest of four siblings in Concord to being now the oldest of four siblings in France. My brothers have been very attentive and supportive of me, making sure I found my way to school the first few weeks and allowing me privacy in my own room when I needed it. My host parents have treated me like part of the family, taking me on a ski vacation to the Alps in February and soon to London in May.
Since I am over halfway through my stay, I can say with confidence that it will be something I will never forget. I can also say with confidence that I have gained a whole new perspective on CCHS and have come to appreciate my home more than ever before.
CCHS students attend Global Leadership Summit in Peru
By Iolanda Volpe
Pictures from the Trip
CCHS students Mark Behnam, Deedy Chang, Mia Royce, Benny Thomas, Emma Walker and Zaina Huseni participated in a Global Student Leadership Summit in Peru to learn about global citizenship in a changing world. World Languages Department members and Global Literacy Certificate Program advisors, Ms. Iolanda Volpe and Ms. Rachel Washa accompanied the students.
From March 12–20, the group experienced Peru through the lens of global citizenship and modern innovation. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, the very things that unite people around the world inevitably affect local customs. The students explored what it means to be a global citizen in today’s economy and discovered the importance of protecting cultural traditions for future generations in a world that values innovation and progress. They also explored the Sacred Valley of the Incas, learned about the local economy and artisan crafts, visited the Lima Larco Museum, participated in a weaving demonstration in Chinchero, visited Peru Challenge, an NGO dedicated to helping women continue to practice their crafts and earn a living wage. They discovered the importance of preserving ancient wonders and the beauty of nature on a visit to Machu Picchu.
Teachers and students attended a leadership conference from March 18–20 and heard from world-renowned inspirational speakers, including Deedy Trotter, Dr. Wade Davis, and Dr. Derrick Gay. They also attended expert-led workshops with 500 other students from different parts of the US and from other countries. Using Design Thinking, the students gained valuable insight into what global citizenship is in our increasingly interconnected world.
Mark Behnam, Deedy Chang, Mia Royce, Benny Thomas, Emma Walker and Zaina Huseni are recipients of the Global Literacy Certificate Program at CCHS, a program designed to foster global and cross-cultural awareness in high school students. It aims to support students in acquiring a forward-looking global perspective and gaining cultural competence.
The above students have done service learning in cultural settings different from their own and have demonstrated an understanding of the importance of linguistic and cultural competence, skills necessary for communicating effectively with people across geographic, cultural and language divides. Also, they have a deep appreciation and regard for diversity and the ability to interact respectfully with others, at home, and around the world.
When asked what their takeaways from the Peru Summit were, they said it was an amazing learning experience and added the following reflections:
"I gained a whole new perspective about life when we visited Peru Challenge, Jane and the Inca Mamas, I was inspired…and I felt as though I discovered my life's purpose while listening to Dr. Wade Davis at the summit."
"We are grateful for such an inspiring and profound experience."
"It was an honor for us to represent CCHS at the Global Leadership Summit. We were exposed to a new way of thinking, called Design Thinking."
"We were moved by the keynote speakers at the event, and we had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with youth from around the world."
"We worked in small groups with other students from the US s and from other countries to find innovative solutions to real-world problems."
"In Machu Picchu, I felt what a small part of the world we are."
At CCHS, in partnership with parents and the community, we are preparing students to be active and responsible global citizens. We are acutely aware of the immensity of this responsibility. Rather than shy away from it, we choose to embrace it; evidenced by our mission statement.
"Committed to excellence in and out of the classroom, the CCHS community believes that it is our mission to inspire our students from Concord, Carlisle, and Boston to strive for and meet high levels of academic and personal achievement. We believe that the respectful, supportive and engaging learning environment at CCHS instills intellectual curiosity, a passion for learning as well as an understanding of one’s role in the local community and in a diverse global society. "
Through studying world languages and religions, through researching different customs and cultures, through academic research and engaging classroom discussions, through international and domestic travel, we strive to lift globalization from engaging classroom rhetoric to authentic, multi-cultural experiences.
Attending the Peru Global Leadership Summit proved to be a truly authentic, global, multicultural experience for these students. The future can use thoughtful young leaders who have a global mindset and a heartfelt understanding and respect for their own culture, the cultures of others across the globe and how valuable the interactions between these are.
Hoops for Heart
On Thursday, Nancy Slocum along with members of the Health and Wellness Department held the 5th annual Hoops for Heart Event. They provided students and the whole school community with a fun, engaging and educational event.
They raised $600 dollars for the American Heart Association and the numbers of students engaged and participating, especially female students, was up from past years
The Health Office provided blood pressure readings for students and manned the table with the Heart-Healthy activities. Thank you to Lisa Koski and Kari-Ann DeCapua.
Great job, all.
Brice Kapel Performs at CCHS
By Madame Roussel, Madame Penaud, and Madame Smith
Brice Kapel is a professional musician, performance artist and natural Pied Piper. Children (and adults) of all ages love to watch him perform songs from his native Togo in French, English, and Mina. They especially enjoy singing and dancing along with him during an hour of joyful celebration of language and culture. CCHS students enjoyed a performance thanks to the generosity of the Concord Education Fund
It was a pleasure to watch Brice interact with each of our French classes on Wednesday. He shared stories, taught sign language, and intently interacted with each student in the room. His messages were wise, heartwarming and funny, his songs irresistible. These personal encounters laid the groundwork for an even more meaningful, engaging encounter for our entire program when the concert finally took place.
Yesterday's performance was a resounding success, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of our students and staff. It was so wonderful to look out over the hundreds of smiling faces and waving hands throughout Brice's electric performance. What a treat to bring real-life linguistic and cultural experiences to our students. Merci beaucoup for making all of this possible!
Attached please find some photos of the event. CCTV also recorded the concert; we hope they will broadcast it often. And we are in the process of issuing a second round of surveys to our students (as well as a survey for their parents/guardians). We will be in touch with the results after April vacation.
In the meantime, we will bask in the glow of Brice's humanity and stardom. He became a real celebrity in the halls of CC, with students asking for selfies, autographs and hugs. He was delighted to meet all of us, and we hope to welcome him back in the near future.
For a sample of what the students enjoyed, please view the video included.
v=saQJIVMpgAI (French arts report on Brice Kapel, 3 minutes 39 seconds)
Recent Items of Note From Previous Blog Posts
Q5 at CCHS
I am excited to tell you about a new program that will begin in June 2018. The new program, called Q5, was inspired by an idea adopted by Weston High School called June Academy.
Dr. Michael Vela, CCHS Science Department Chair, along with members of the STEAM Committee, presented the idea in January as a way to re-think how we end the school year. In February a committee --comprised of students, staff, and parents -- was formed to explore the concept further, and student assemblies were held to introduce the potential program to the student body.
After careful consideration, buoyed by the fact that more than 90% of students surveyed expressed a desire to adopt the proposal, we have decided to move forward with our version of June Academy in June 2018. The CCHS version will be called Q5.
To date, the Q5 Committee has completed a detailed a FAQ and a mission statement.
CCHS Q5 Mission Statement An immersive learning experience leveraging the curiosity, knowledge, and passions of students and faculty to foster complex thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Q5 complements our academic program and seeks to inspire students and faculty to pursue shared interests and ideas.
Further details to come, but in brief, with the new Q5 program we will finish our regular academic schedule, after holding AP and Final exams, in early June and end the year with a two-week immersive learning experience. Students will participate in experiential courses ranging from one class all day to two classes a day that are three hours in length. Combining the expertise of staff along with student interests, we aim to provide diverse course offerings that will add additional learning experiences that complement our already robust course offerings.
Knowing the wealth of knowledge present in the three communities we serve: Concord, Carlisle, and Boston; we see this as an opportunity to engage with community members to further enrich the Q5 experience for students and staff. We look forward to communicating additional details and gauging community interest in the months and weeks ahead.
Although Q5 is currently in the infancy stages of planning, at a recent faculty meeting staff contributed some early ideas they are considering as potential course offerings.
A few examples include:
The Basics of Beekeeping
Ecosystems of Concord
The Art and Architecture of Boston
Path of Thoreau's Paddle
Ancient Greek / Classical Literature in Translation
Literature, Ecology, and History of the White Mountains
History of the Boston Marathon
Project Adventure & Leadership
Habitat For Humanity Project
How Birds Tie the World Together
I am including Weston's course descriptions merely as a reference of their courses and not ones being offered at CCHS. (Weston's June Academy Course Descriptions)
The following are some of the scheduled award ceremonies along with graduation information. As a reminder, all events are posted on the CCHS calendar on our website.
Class Act Awards
Celebrating Community Service achievements
Date: May 4
Location: CCHS Auditorium & Dining Commons
METCO Senior Dinner
Farewell to METCO Seniors
Date: May 12
Location: CCHS Dining Commons
Junior Class Awards Night
Academic achievement and Book Awards for Juniors
Date: May 17
Location: CCHS Dining Commons
Senior Awards Night
Academic achievement and graduation awards for Seniors
Date: May 30
Location: CCHS Dining Commons
Date: May 31
Location: Nashawtuc Country Club
Celebrating the Class of 2017
Date: June 3
Free VHS Summer Classes
By Ann Little
For the first time, thanks to a generous, anonymous grant, we are pleased to be able to offer fully subsidized four and eight week VHS summer classes to all students. Students may take classes for credit recovery or for enrichment, and credits will be awarded based on contact hours. To learn more about the summer program, please visit http://thevhscollaborative.org/?q=node/9.
Students who are interested should consult with their guidance counselors and then sign up via this Google Form link: https://goo.gl/forms/LE6ZSS3grQ8dh9mr1. Registration is ongoing. Questions should be addressed to Ann Little, VHS Site Coordinator: email@example.com.