Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Sad News To Share Regarding A CCHS Graduate

I’m writing to share some tragic news. Trevon Sands, affectionately referred to as Tre, was killed by gun violence over the weekend. We offer our deepest condolences to Tre’s family, friends, and loved ones.  

Tre graduated from CC in 2019 and his brother Devin Sands graduated from CC in 2021.  Losing a member of our community, whether past or present, is heartbreaking and we encourage all students and adults to ask for support as needed. Students should contact a trusted adult or their guidance counselor should they need additional support.

Warmly,


Michael J. Mastrullo

Friday, October 1, 2021

15th Annual Kicks for Cancer

15th Annual Kicks for Cancer returns to CCHS

By Kicks for Cancer Committee Members


After hosting a virtual event in 2020, the 15th annual Lois Wells Memorial Kicks for Cancer event returned to the fields at Concord-Carlisle High School this past Saturday, September 25th.  The crowds and community spirit were record-breaking!  As more than 20 towns faced off in matches throughout the day, and the CCHS teams matched up against Lincoln-Sudbury High School, the extensive fan base and community support was palpable.  This year was special!


On the field, the CCHS women’s varsity soccer team prevailed with a 2-1 win over L-S, but the men’s varsity soccer team didn’t get the result they were looking for, losing 3-2 to Lincoln-Sudbury.  However, the day is about so much more than wins and losses.  This day is about the name on your back - the person that you are honoring, remembering, celebrating.  We all have a story to share at Kicks for Cancer.


Kicks is proud of its roots - this long-standing community event has grown from one benefit game between CCHS and Boston Latin High School in October 2007 to honor the life and spirit of Lois Wells, the beloved mother of CCHS assistant soccer coach Steve Wells and his brother Dan, both CCHS alum.  Lois lost her battle with stage IV ovarian cancer less than a year after being diagnosed.  Fifteen years later, Kicks for Cancer has grown into the cornerstone of an incredible community-building weekend held every September at CCHS.  This year was unparalleled with the outpouring of community spirit and support! 


Kicks for Cancer also partners with The Mighty Moose 5k, which originated in 2018 in honor of Concord resident and mother Jenna Swaim, whose dream was to add a 5K Fun Run as part of Kicks for Cancer Weekend.  Many students and community members also came out early this past Sunday to run, walk and volunteer at the Mighty Moose - it was another joyful, celebratory day!


In addition, other CCHS athletic teams also played their part during Kicks Weekend:  field hockey (Sticks for Cancer), cross country (Kilometers for Cancer), golf (Links for Cancer), and football (Tackling Cancer together) all participated.  


Coming into this year, Kicks and the Mighty Moose had already contributed more than $1 million to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to advance women’s cancer research over the years.  Today, the events celebrate “One Community One Goal”—both in creating a powerful sense of community and awareness and by raising funds to advance ovarian cancer prevention. 


This year’s fundraising numbers are not yet available, but organizers are optimistic as attendance and enthusiasm at the event suggest a tremendous success.


In Coach Wells’s words, “I am beyond humbled and awed by the magnitude of Kicks. The generosity of the CCHS community—and now that of many other towns—is indescribable. The time, effort, and energy put into Kicks for Cancer by Coach Pavlik and so many parent volunteers is unbelievable. Our commitment to cancer research and to the patients and families impacted by cancer is unwavering.”


Thank you, CCHS!  Kicks for Cancer can't wait to see you again next year!



























Nevaeh Lewis, Harlem Lacrosse Gear Drive, CCHS Chorus, Updated 21-22 Calendar, & Online Student Demographic Form

The longest September in recorded history comes to a close. Well, it felt that way from my vantage point. A beautiful October 1 brings optimism for the month ahead. Please read on for important information and some highlights from CCHS students. 

Updated 2021-2022 School Calendar

The CCHS early release day scheduled for February 9th has been moved to January 12th. The updated calendar is available on the website here.


Reminder: Please Complete the Online Student Demographic Verification Form

  1. Log onto your Aspen account and click on the "Online Student Demographic Verification Form" link under Announcements (see screenshot below).
  2. Choose "Student Demographic Verification" under workflow and choose your child.
  3. Once on the form, you will be able to add additional emergency contacts by clicking the "add" button to the right under "Student Contact Information".
  4. Please note:  Changes will not appear until accepted by the school.





Reminder: A Healthier Approach to College Admissions

Please remember to register for the parent workshop about college admissions. The workshop will take place on October 5 at 7:00 pm ET. You can find the original blog post about the workshop here

CCHS Chorus Performs the classic, "September"

CCHS Chorus performs the Earth, Wind, and Fire classic, "September".  Filmed and recorded in the spring, Owen Curtin (Colonial Sound) and I worked to edit and finish it over the summer.  We are so proud of how the video turned out and thankful to the many staff members who took part in it.  We hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to share! Click here to view the video.

- Deb Smith, Director of Choirs 



CCHS Junior, Nevaeh Lewis, Competes at the Big E

You may not see her on an athletic field participating in a sport at school, but you will find her at a barn training or doing community service.  Nevaeh has a deep passion for riding and has set a goal to compete at Worlds with the Friesian breed.  She excels in equitation but will ride in any class her trainer asks while showing.  

She is thrilled to be riding a 6yr old Friesian, Ylisa van Stal Hogewald, who is owned by Danielle and Justin Piascik from Brookside Friesians (Feeding Hills, MA), while training with Dan Dali Haber from Mountain View Training Center out of Granby, MA.  Nevaeh competed at the Big E this weekend.  

Her largest class was 12 and her smallest was 9.  She placed 3rd, 4th, 4th, and 5th.  She feels blessed to have support from Danielle and Dan to guide her with her journey and goal.  It takes a lot of training not only in the saddle but learning in the barn too.  Nevaeh is a Junior and one of your equestrians! 






Harlem Lacrosse Gear Drive

Gear2Goals for Harlem Lacrosse: 4th Annual LAX gear and athletic clothing drive for student-athletes in Harlem Lacrosse’s Boston schools. Seeking donations of gently used athletic clothing for girls and boys of all ages, and any gently used lacrosse gear. Donations can be dropped off anytime this week at 52 Indian Spring Road or 42 Nashoba Road, Concord, MA. Thank you!









Friday, September 24, 2021

Kicks for Cancer 2021 is here!

The year is off to a solid beginning. I am proud of how well our educational community has adapted to the challenges before us. In the face of great uncertainties, prediction is a fool's game, but as September begins to wind down, I am cautiously optimistic this school year will feel more like our pre-pandemic world. 

We have a few signature events at CCHS; none of which are bigger, or more important, than Kicks for Cancer.  It is a true community-wide event with contributions, both large and small, from hundreds of individuals.  A hardy round of applause and a big thank you to all the remembers of the 2021 Kicks for Cancer Committee. We hope to see you this weekend.



Kicks for Cancer 2021 is here!
By The 2021 Kicks for Cancer Committee

The Kicks for Cancer Committee would like to thank the CCHS community for their incredible community spirit and support of Kicks for Cancer and the Mighty Moose 5K Walk/Run!   It was amazing to see the students, staff and faculty wearing their Kicks for Cancer shirts as they entered the building this morning, thank you!

We hope to see you all tomorrow at Kicks for Cancer!  Here are some details:

The Main Entry Gate for Kicks will be up at the upper parking lot.  The game schedule is here:  https://www.kicksforcancer1.org/game-schedule.html

The Sticks for Cancer games will be at the Lower Turf - Memorial Field.  Thank you to the Field Hockey Team for their dedication and support!

New this year - the entire upper parking lot will be closed to cars and traffic. There will be a festival-type area in this parking lot, which will include food trucks, games and activities for kids, and Kicks for Cancer and Mighty Moose merchandise for sale.  Stop by and check out our new merchandise, including Kicks sweatpants!  And take some photos next to the festive Kicks for Cancer signs!

For parking information, please see the attached map and parking guidelines.  Please arrive early!

We also look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday at the Mighty Moose 5K Walk/Run.  Thank you to the many student volunteers who will be helping out on Sunday morning!  For more information, go to: mightymoose5k.org

Thank you to all CCHS students, athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supportive staff and faculty.  We are so proud of our community coming together for this wonderful cause.  We are One Community with One Goal.  Thank you, CCHS!

The 2021 Kicks for Cancer Committee






Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Mask-Wearing Guidelines, Tik Tok, College Admissions Workshop

I write to solicit help with mask mandates, school vandalism, and to provide information on a College Admissions event from our partner at Challenge Success. 

DESE's Guidance on Mask Wearing

At this time, per DESE’s Implementation of Mask Requirement document, all individuals in schools - including vaccinated individuals – must wear masks.  Individuals’ masks must completely cover their nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of their face without gaps. 

The CDC has published additional helpful guidelines on proper mask-wearing, including emphasizing that individuals should not choose masks that have any holes or vents, such as those for exhalation, which allow the virus particles to escape.

I include this as a reminder that all students and staff must properly wear their masks. The majority of our students are doing great with this mandate, but some are not and we need help reinforcing the message. We have made it clear that students in need of a mask break are welcome to do so outside when necessary. Our long lunch period offers some relief. Thank you for your assistance with communication. 

Tik Tok & School Vandalism

A Tik Tok challenge called Devious Licks encourages students to engage in acts of vandalism and theft at school. This includes making a mess, vandalizing bathrooms, and stealing from the school and school staff. 

This ridiculous trend is so prevalent it was a featured story on NPR. Unfortunately, we are not immune to this trend and recently we closed two bathrooms due to destroyed soap dispensers.

Thanks to our gracious community, we are fortunate to learn in a 100 million state-of-the-art building. As a staff, we rave about our empathetic, kind, and respectful student body. These criminal acts of vandalism are immature and run contrary to the values of our school and the typical actions of our students. 

Please talk with your child about the importance of caring for our building. I encourage anyone with information related to the actions outlined above to report it to the high school administration so we can notify the Concord Police Department. 

We are all merely stewards of this majestic building and campus. Collectively we need to properly maintain it as part of our legacy and for posterity. Thank you for your assistance.

A Healthier Approach to College Admissions


OCT 5th at 4pm PT | 7pm ET
 
What is “fit” and why does it matter?
Are students who attend higher-ranked colleges better off later in life?
What do college rankings really measure?
 
Learn strategies to help reduce pressure around the college admissions process and ways to support students' well-being and readiness for life in college and beyond.  With the pandemic inserting more uncertainty into this process, we will include a Q&A at the end to answer some of your most pressing questions. $10 per person. Appropriate for parents, students, college counselors, and educators.



INTERESTED IN MORE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS RESOURCES?
See our Resource page for everything from our college admissions white paper to blog posts and suggestions from the experts for how to approach this college application season.
















Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Student Picture Orders, DE&I News, Upcoming Parenting Education Programs & Resources

I write to provide details on the upcoming picture day, some valuable resources from our new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Andrew Nyamekye, and upcoming programming offered by the Center for Parents and Teachers.  

Picture Day

Picture Day will be this Friday, September 17 from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Main Entrance Walkway.

Students should proceed to the Main Entrance during their free blocks or during lunch.

For online ordering information please CLICK HERE. For Coffeepond's COVID-19 protocol click HERE.  Order forms are also available in the Main Office. In the event of rain, picture day will be rescheduled to October 22, 2021.

DE&I News

Over the last few weeks Andrew Nyamekye, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has shared several DE&I-related emails with students, families, faculty, and staff. Below is an organized list of each corresponding email. Please take a moment to read each piece of information if you have not had the time to do so, and learn about how you can RSVP to DEI Roundtable Discussion Meetings that Mr. Nyamekye will host in the coming weeks. 



Center for Parents and Teachers Upcoming Parenting Education Programs & Resources

 The Center for Parents and Teachers is your local nonprofit that has been dedicated for 35 years to supporting families and educators in raising healthy children.  As a small nonprofit relying on donations and grants, we are grateful for your support.  


(1) Topic: Grieving
For anyone in our community suffering the loss of a loved one, we want you to be aware there is a resource available to you:  The Children's Room is a long-standing non-profit organization, located in Arlington that offers caring support for grieving children, teens and families.  Services are provided both in-person and virtual.  Learn more at https://childrensroom.org/support/
 
(2) Topic:  Talking to Youth about Climate Change
Some of you may have been with us in January 2019 at Willard when many parents and students attended an in-person event where Varshini Prakash addressed what young people can do in response to climate change. Her message was inspiring and motivating for all of us!  We are thrilled the Discovery Museum is offering a Virtual event with Varshini Prakash: Youth Voices in Climate Change. Thursday, September 23, 2021, 7pm to 8:30pm. Moderated by WBUR’s Miriam Wasser. Presented virtually by Zoom webinar, the event is free with required pre-registration at https://26033.blackbaudhosting.com/26033/Discovery-Museum-Speaker-Series-2021-Featuring-Varshini-Prakash.

Varshini Prakash, originally from Acton, is the Executive Director and co-founder of Sunrise, a national movement of young people working to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process through the Green New Deal. Varshini has been a leading voice for young Americans, including when she helped lead a mass demonstration for that went viral and put the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda for the 2020 elections. Varshini's work has been featured in The New York Times, MSNBC, The New Yorker, BBC, The Washington Post and more. In 2019, she was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list for law and policy, and TIME 100 Next, a new list of rising stars who are shaping politics, popular culture, science, and more.  Please join us for this important event!
 
(3) Topic:  Parenting younger children (up to age 9).  Please check out a free program offered by First Connections, held virtually on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.  To register please email: lmatthews@jri.org

Behavior is Communication - 3 Surprising Reasons Your Child Won't Listen. presented by Kathy Whitham, R.N.
You want your child to listen and you want your child to talk to you. Gaining a deeper understanding of the language your child uses to communicate is crucial to getting through to your child and building a solid foundation for connection and communication throughout their development. In this 1 hour Webinar, you’ll discover 3 surprising reasons that get in the way of communication with your child (and learn the science behind them). You’ll also gain practical strategies to help you avoid yelling to be heard, and be the parent your child talks to. Includes at least 20 minutes for interaction around your questions.

Kathy Whitham, RN, is a Parenting Coach, Child Behavior Specialist, Mom, Grammy and poet. She helps parents and caregivers understand what’s happening with their child and learn to respond rather than react to button-pushing behaviors.. Kathy's No-Yell™ parenting approach promotes deep connection and communication and lies at the intersection of brain science, attachment theory, inter-generational family dynamics, and parents’ inner wisdom. 

(4) Topic:  Depression. Families for Depression Awareness is presenting a free online program What If I Say the Wrong Thing? Tips for Communicating When Your Loved One Is Depressed on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM 

In this webinar, Dr. Chris Segrin shares how caregivers can communicate effectively with a loved one about their depression, manage conflict, maintain their own boundaries, and offer hope to a person living with depression.

Register to join them for a live webinar discussion or watch on-demand after it airs. After the webinar, complete the online evaluation and you'll receive a free copy of 60-page handbook - Helping Someone Living with Depression or Bipolar Disorder: A Handbook for Families and Caregivers. Click here to register:  https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a7ZPzexWT8apgeYtSnz0Cg

Can't attend the live webinar? Register today to submit your questions and watch the recorded webinar after it airs.

(5) Topic:  Vaping  Please check out this site for resources to understand the risks of vaping so you can have more productive discussions with your teens/pre-teens:

 
(6) Topic:  Fentanyl Awareness  Earlier this month the nationally televised Today Show offered a segment, featuring youth voices, addressing the crisis of fentanyl contamination leading to poisoning.  Most adults are unaware of how pervasive this threat is -- and the vital need to discuss this with our teens.  Please check out the clip below (just mute the initial ad). The entire clip is only a few minutes long but worth your consideration.









 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Two-decades later....

Remembering September 11, 2001

This morning, following the Pledge of Allegiance, we held a brief moment of silence to commemorate the fateful day of September 11, 2001. Borderline unfathomable to believe it was two decades ago; nearly a generation has passed, yet September 11, 2001, feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. 

Anyone 30-years-old likely knows where they were that day, and undoubtedly anyone north of 35-years-old remembers all too well where they were when they learned of the tragic events and the unnerving feelings that accompanied this act of terrorism. 

Nobody was left unscathed. Those impacted most lost loved ones on that day. Many did not lose a loved one, but they knew friends who did or friends of friends who lost a loved one.  

Mostly unspoken, but we were all acutely aware of the tragic irony to follow. September 11, 2001, plunged the United States into the longest war in our nation's history. That war began October 7, 2001, and ended August 30, 2021.

Today, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker ordered the United States of America flag and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts flag to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise until sunset in honor of Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo USMC, of Lawrence, Massachusetts.  She passed away on August 26, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan. 

USMC Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo was five years old when America was attacked—likely shielded by her loved ones of the dreadful news. Two decades later, she paid the ultimate sacrifice for events she was too young even to bear witness. 

It should not be lost on any of us that brave Americans, like Johanny Rosario Pichardo, volunteer for the armed forces, so those who wish to choose another path can do so. 

"On September 11, 2021, the United States Marine Corps will fly Sergeant Rosario Pichardo's remains to Boston's Logan International Airport, where she will be received by her mother and siblings and honored guests. Those repatriation services are private and for family only." There are no words that console. 

There is no silver lining to be drawn from September 11, 2001; however, one bi-product of that day was how America rallied in support of one another. The United States felt more like "we." It is unfortunate that as a country, too often, we divide ourselves into two parts. We and they. A polarization so entrenched that even a worldwide pandemic and a common enemy known as COVID-19 failed to rally Americans behind a common cause.  

Less a message of hopelessness and more a reminder that however flawed, we are all Americans, and there is much to celebrate about our Republic. Also, what we don't like about our country, we are free to openly criticize and work collectively to change. There are billions of people in 2021 who do not enjoy these natural-born rights. 

A difficult transition, but one constant we all live with is that time marches on. On that note, I am not surprised but supremely grateful that our CCHS community came out in droves to support our school last night. 

Last evening was Back-to-School night, and despite being held on Zoom, nearly 700 people logged in to view the opening presentation and undoubtedly even more visited with teachers. On behalf of all of us at CCHS, thank you for the unwavering support of our school and the great students we serve.  

Sincerely,


Michael J. Mastrullo


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Back to School Night Information, Parents Association, & CCHS Traffic Pattern

Good Evening,

The school year is off to a splendid beginning. Never perfect, and always room for improvement, but the smiling faces of students breathe life into our hollow hallways when empty.  

With the acuity of hindsight, we are left with two choices. Bemoan what is lost, or savior what we took for granted. I choose the latter as we look forward to a year of possibility.  Below I share an ask for the Parents Association, a reminder of the traffic pattern so we can keep everyone safe, and information regarding Back-to-School Night tomorrow evening.   

Let us continue to work together during these difficult times. We are all doing our best to cope with the stresses of life only made more challenging by COVID-19. Let's pull in the same direction, focus on solutions, and remember that life is challenging and moments of extreme tension must be prevented by the strongest means.  Have a good evening.

Michael J. Mastrullo

Principal

BTSN Information


  • The PA spends close to $40 per student every year, supporting and enhancing students' experience and the entire CCHS community. 
    • The Student Government counts on the PA to fund and support its activities. 
    • The faculty counts on PA money for grants they can't fund elsewhere that touch almost every student - like annotation software used in virtual learning last year, a pollinator garden, sociology library, and birthday baskets in the Learning Commons, to name a few. 
    • Parents and guardians count on the PA for speaker events on timely topics and social events that build community.
    • The senior class counts on the PA to fund memorable events like the first/last day breakfasts, the graduation reception, class video, and much more.
  • The PA needs your help. Over the last 4 years, donations have decreased by over 40%, exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • I want to appeal to our generous parent community. Please support the PA with a tax-deductible donation at cchspa.org so that they may continue to support and enrich CCHS. 

Parents Associaton Information 


Concord Carlisle High School

Back to School Night

Thursday, September 9, 2021


6:00 - 6:45PM 9th-Grade Academy Presentations

6:50 - 7:20PM All Parent Meeting (zoom link)








Traffic Pattern

I am writing to share the traffic pattern with all parents and students. Parents dropping their children off cannot enter the area in front of the cafeteria where busses unload students. Please follow the instructions outlined on the map.  We all must follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of all students and staff.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  



Monday, September 6, 2021

Unified Basketball Information

Unified Basketball

By Aaron Joncas, Athletic Director

 Dear Students and Parents:


We are excited to announce our continued participation in Unified Sports with the introduction of our Unified Basketball program this Fall. Unified Sports is a Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) partnership with Special Olympics. 


As stated on their website, “Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. 


In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability. That makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all.  Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.” 


Please watch this short video to learn more about Unified Sports


Please click on the link below to register for Unified Basketball:

Family ID for Unified Basketball

  

UNIFIED BASKETBALL DETAILS

  • Unified Basketball practice begins on September 21st. The season lasts 6-8 weeks.

  • Practices are held two times per week from 2:45pm to 3:45pm at CCHS, typically on Tuesdays and Fridays 

  • The team is Co-Ed and will be coached by Joseph Flynn, an educator in CCHS’s Pathways Program and Beth Murphy, a Health and Fitness Teacher at Thoreau Elementary.

  • Composition of the team is a 50/50 ratio of students with and without intellectual developmental disabilities. 

  • The team will play 4-6 games vs. local schools and participate in one Jamboree event. Game days will vary but will be on weekday afternoons both at CCHS and nearby schools. 

  • Students are not paired; they are teammates who mentor and coach each other as they train and compete together 

  • All students’ performances are important and valued 

  • A user fee of  $150 is required for registration/participation. As always, financial assistance is available. Please contact Aaron Joncas, CCHS Athletic Director, at ajoncas@concordcarlisle.org for more information.