Friday, September 30, 2016

Principal's Blog: Important Message to Students, Football Game, Student Newspaper & More

Message to Students/Football Game
I wanted to share with you a message that was broadcast to students this afternoon. In addition, I wanted to inform you of a peaceful protest that will transpire at the football game this evening.

Earlier this week, METCO Director, Aaron Joncas, Athletic Director, Barry Haley, Health and Wellness/METCO teacher, Hannah Bruno, and the head football coach, Mike Robichaud met with the young men on the football team. We are so impressed by the thoughtful way they discussed their heartfelt feelings and processed their emotions regarding race relations in America. The team will stand together, arm in arm, during the national anthem tonight to raise consciousness about race relations and to stand united in protest. We stand with them.

The message to students.

"If you attended the opening day presentations, you might recall that I highlighted the fact that we are all different.  I highlighted the fact that we are unique individuals who practice different religions; we have different ethnic backgrounds, different financial situations, different likes and dislikes.  I then highlighted the fact that we all share one thing in common.  We work and attend school at CCHS.  This binds us and we should take care of each other.  That brings me to my next point.  As you may be aware, there have been three police shootings of young African American men in the last two weeks. This is a time of strong feelings: fear, frustration, anger, and confusion, among Americans of all races.
Our football team tonight, plans to lock arms during the national anthem as a way to raise consciousness about race relations and to demonstrate unity as representatives of CCHS.  A peaceful protest with a powerful message.  We are not immune to what is going on in the world and we can only affect so much change, but we can stand as a model for others to follow.  The football team standing united is a model to follow. We stand with them.
As of today 1/8th of the school year is complete.  I want to thank you for making the first 1/8 great and I challenge you to make the next 1/8th better."

Project Adventure

METCO Director, Aaron Joncas, and METCO Coordinator, Hannah Bruno led a day of team building exercises last weekend at project adventure. METCO mentors and mentees had a terrific day. I was happy to be invited and to participate. I have included picture of the group along with a picture of Nathan Smith scaling a wall of terrifying height.

Linnea Hubbard-Nelson
Concord-Carlisle High School senior Linnea Hubbard-Nelson will join the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAFME) 2016 All-National Honors Choir on November 13, during the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas (outside Dallas). The gala concert starts at 9:00am in the Texan Ballroom at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.

The All-National Honor Ensembles Concert is one of the many highlights planned for the four-day conference taking place November 10-13, which also includes interest sessions and workshops for music educators and administrators.  Selected singers are currently rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the baton of world-renowned conductor Dr. Anton Armstrong.  Linnea Hubbard-Nelson is an outstanding member of both the Choral and Drama Programs at Concord-Carlisle.

Fresh Class Officers
Congratulations to the new freshman class government representatives.

President: Gretchen Carr
Vice-Presidents: Adrian Goode, Kenneth Liu
Class Secretary: Cindy Li
Class Treasurer: Sarah McMorrow

Learning Commons

Want information on what is going on the in the Learning Commons? Read the Learning Commons Blog.

Student Newspaper
Read The Voice! Weekend Sports, Freshmen Election Speeches, New Teachers, Movie Reviews, and More

CC Weather Service
By Matt Murphy
If you stepped in a puddle today and you got annoyed when your shoe got wet, then it's safe to say that the weather is important to you.  Fortunately, CCHS has a club full of people who are interested in the weather!

CC Weather Services collaborates with the radio station and with the TV station to put out daily weather forecasts as we explore the weather on a local and global scale.  It's a lot of fun and it's really interesting stuff, so come check it out!  Please contact Matt Murphy ( or Peter Mushlitz ( if you have any questions.

CCHS Driver Education classes are starting soon!
Community Education is offering four driver education courses this fall, which includes 30 classroom hours, 12 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, and 6 hours of on-the-road observation.

Fall I: #2771: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Oct 12 - Nov 16, 2:15-4:15pm
Fall II: #2712: Tuesday and Thursday, Oct 11 - Dec 6, 6-8pm
Fall III: #2713: Sunday, Oct 23 - Dec 11, 4:15-8:30pm

Tuition is $775 for class and road work, including a $15 RMV fee; other RMV fees additional

Parent class: Wednesday, October 5th from 7-9pm

College & Test Prep Classes
CC ACE offers a variety of College & Test Prep classes. Register your son or daughter today!  The College Application Essay: Practical Tips for Writing a Compelling Essay on Thursday, Oct 6, 7-8:30 pm. Fee: $20

The SAT & ACT: The Right Test for the Right Student on Thursday, Oct 13 or Thursday, Dec 8, 7-8:30 pm. Fee: $25

For more details and to register, visit or call 978-318-1432.

After School Music Lessons
By Deborah Levine

Music lessons are open to all CCHS students, after school and evenings. The fall session is underway, and new students are welcome to join at any time – lesson cost is pro-rated. Instruction is available for all band and orchestra instruments, guitar, piano and voice.
Learn more about IMSCC’s outstanding faculty at Questions? Contact Debbie Levine at, 978-341-2490 ext. 7124 or look me up in room 123 in the Dining Commons. IMSCC is part of the Community Education department of the Concord-Carlisle public schools.

Additional Links & Information

Judy Lithcott-Haimes spoke at CCHS last year. Check out her Ted Talk.

Sal Khan's Ted Talks: Let's teach for mastery not test scores.

Visit our Facebook Page!
Follow me on Twitter!
Follow Brian Miller on Twitter!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Safety & Security at CCHS

A.L.I.C.E. Emergency Drill
On Wednesday, September 28th, we conducted a review of our emergency protocols and procedures with students, staff, and local law enforcement officials. The Concord Police Department, the Concord Fire Department in conjunction with neighboring law enforcement personnel, along with CCHS staff and administration reviewed our response options for dealing with an emergency situation. At the conclusion of the emergency drill, we utilized the Advisory program to review our emergency protocols in a small group setting.  

On Monday Detective Camilleri provided an overview of the A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) emergency response system with members of the freshmen class, as well as all new students.  The emergency drill that transpired this morning is part of ongoing training efforts with students and staff.

Although these are routine exercises, we encourage you to talk with your child about the drills they participated in this morning.  We take pride in running a school that is safe, organized, and focused on teaching and learning.  Safety resides at the top of that list.   
It is important to remind everyone that schools remain extremely safe places to be.

If you have questions or comments, please contact our School Resource Officer, Det. Scott Camilleri ( or email me directly.

At the conclusion of the drill, we sent a text alert to all students notifying them that the drill was complete. This is how we plan to provide real-time information in the case of an emergency. If the notification was not received we do not have the student's cell phone number. Please follow the link to a previous blog for instructions on how to update student cell phone information in Aspen.


Michael Mastrullo

Friday, September 23, 2016

Principal's Blog: Kicks for Cancer, Activities Fair, Internship, Hackathon & Much More

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Kicks for Cancer

By Ray Pavlik
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Lois Wells Memorial Kicks for Cancer. Lois is the mother of our very own Steve Wells. Tomorrow, 9/24, 16 of the top men's and women's teams in the state will play matches on the CCHS turf fields and wear special pink and blue game jerseys honoring people in their lives who have battled cancer by wearing the names of their loved ones on their backs.  It is common to see players have, Nana, Pop or Mom and Dad on their jerseys as they play.  

As part of the fundraiser we sell these jerseys to the public; 100% of the proceeds go to Dana Farber to support women's cancer research.

We would love to have all members of the community in attendance this weekend.  The girl's soccer team plays at 4:30 and the boy's team soccer team will play immediately after at 7:00 pm.  The campus will be full of athletic competitions all weekend.

For a complete list of games please go to Schedule Star. Bring your entire family, there will be an amazing raffle, food, and lots of fun. Last year we raised nearly $47,000 and hope to raise $50,000 this year!

CCHS Activities Fair
By Lauren Reese

The Student Senate organized the Activities Fair this past Tuesday in an effort to inform students about the wide variety of extracurricular opportunities available to them. Over thirty clubs set up tables with information about their clubs and staffed their tables with current club members, who happily answered questions and welcomed new sign-ups. The Student Senate encourages all students to participate and become engaged in the school community.  

The Senate is also organizing the current freshmen elections and encourages all freshmen to cast their vote—let your voice be heard! The Student Senate meets twice a month to discuss school-wide issues, voice concerns of their fellow students, and generate ideas about how to make CCHS the best place possible for students and staff. If you have any concerns or ideas about what could make CCHS a better place, talk to your senators or come to our next meeting on Monday, September 26th at 6:30 AM.

For a complete list of clubs please visit our website.  

CCHS staff member Owen Curtain is responsible for creating content on our wallboard in the cafeteria.  The link below highlights the content he created for the activities fair and provides an example of the great work he is doing at CCHS.  

Senior Internship Program Information

By Alison Nowicki

For the second year, CCHS will be offering a senior internship program in the Spring of 2017.  This program matches interested students at placements, such as The Concord Journal, elementary schools, advertising agencies, and area hospitals, from Monday, April 24th through Thursday, May 25th. More information about the program can be found here.

An informational meeting with the program coordinator, Peter Bagley of Babson College, will be held onWednesday, September 28th at 7pm in the CCHS Learning Commons.  

If you are interested in signing up for the program, fill out this form.

For additional information on the internship program please click here.

By Anthony Beckwith

Several of my Coding Club students went the to LexHack last weekend.  A "hackathon" is an event (usually 24 hours long) where people try to invent/code a new app all in one sitting, working in teams.  Tech companies hold them, as do colleges and other organizations, usually providing lots of food, places to rest and sometimes a live band.  

This one was hosted by Lexington High School  and was 16 hours long and provided mentors for students that had little coding experience.  My students signed up and formed 2 teams. They performed admirably and represented the school very well.  

William Wheeler Exchange

By David Nurenberg
Do you want to take advantage of an amazing opportunity to live and study for one month in Hokkaido, Japan?  For more information please follow read the William Wheeler Flyer.   

The Voice
Check out the latest edition of the student newspaper, The Voice.

Photo by Madi Green

Digital Photography 
By Adam Gooder

Students in my Digital Photography class will be shooting a "48 Hour Photo Diary. Some students are capturing one image every hour from the moment they wake up on Friday morning to the moment they go to bed on Saturday; others are shooting Sunday and Monday.

Students are being asked to record one digital image per hour while awake over the course of 48 hours–at home, at school, with friends, and everywhere in between. Students must carry their cameras (or cell phone) with them everywhere they go. They may take one image each hour, so they must be selective and thoughtful about what they shoot. The image can be spontaneous and intuitive: close or wide; an object, person or landscape; straightforward or symbolic. The collection of images can be as varied as the student’s day.

For more information about this particular assignment, or to view additional information about this class, please read my blog.

3D Printing
Kiefer Read, class of 2019, spent his summer months working and refining his 3D printing skills. Below is an example of some of the great work he is doing.  

My name is Kiefer Read, and I am currently a student at CCHS.  I didn't have a summer job or internship, nor did I want one as a rising sophomore.  As such, I had to fill my own time this summer.  What I did have on hand, however, was a 3D printer and plenty of filament.  I had wanted to do this particular project for a while; I decided I would do it this summer.

This project was to design and assemble an entire drive module, which would be 2 wheels driven by 1 motor.  With conventional bicycle chain, this isn't too daring a feat.  However, I had no intention of using any bicycle chain.  I wanted to make the entire thing 3D printed, literally.  This included the chain, my first successful attempt at Print-in-Place(PIP) 3D printing.  

Print-in-Place printing means that moving parts are printed in place, with no assembly at all for that mechanism.  In this case, it meant every single chain piece had to be connected to the one before and after it.

This is easier said than done, as there are limitations on the structures the printers can lay down.  For one, there can be no more than 45-60 degree overhangs.  Any larger an angle past that and the print starts to become very messy.  Bridges, when the material is stretched across a gap to create one surface, also have their limitations.  They cannot stretch further than usually 30-40 mm, which is often enough to allow for some basic mechanisms.

The program I used to create the module is called Onshape, an online industrial MCAD program.  Fortunately enough, despite being professional, it remains free for all users, making it an outlier in a world of $800-4000 licensed programs, such as programs called ZBrush and Solidworks.  Onshape does support multiple objects being created and edited at once, so almost every part was designed in place, as it would be assembled.

The design was gradual and went through several minor iterations to make things work.  After about a month of designing, printing, and redesigning, the pieces finally came together.  The module, comprised of a total of 23 separate parts, was complete.  

While it certainly could work better, it accomplished the original goal: everything was 3D printed, even the adhesives.  Specifically, there were no adhesives; everything was friction fit.  For those who dislike post-processing, there are no supports required, though they could certainly help.  More important, it fits on smaller print beds.  All of these parts were printed on a Printrbot Metal Simple, a 6" x 6" x 6" print bed, a 156 mm x 156 mm x 156 mm printed be for the metrically inclined. However, only one thing matters about the design.  It met the gold standard; it works.

Currently, the design is entirely free and open source.  If you want the .stl files for either remixing or printing, they can be found here.

PSAT Registration
By Amy Byron

Attention Sophomores and Juniors

Registration for the PSATs will be open at 7:00 AM on Tuesday, September 6th. We are using a new registration service this year, Total Registration, which can be found at this link. The PSAT registration fee will be $35. Please follow the directions online for payment information and do not send payments to the school. 

Registration will close at 7:00 PM on October 7th. Please put these dates on your calendars. If you have any questions please contact me at

Monday, September 19, 2016

Student Demographic Verification and Student Health Information Online Forms

Student Demographic Verification and Student Health Information Online Forms
On Wednesday, September 14th, the district is rolling out two new online student information forms through the Aspen Parent Portal: the Student Demographic Verification form and the Student Health Information form. These forms will replace the paper versions previously distributed and collected by CMS and CCHS. Both online forms will become available for elementary school students through the Aspen Parent Portal early spring 2017.

CCHS and CMS will start collecting student health information immediately. In the event of a health emergency, our school nurses need this information to provide optimal care for our students.

CCHS and CMS Parents Only
Please log onto the Aspen Parent Portal as soon as possible to submit your student’s health, medication and permission information for the 2016-2017 school year.  Follow the instructions posted on the home page. Once completed, please review your student’s emergency contact information listed on their Student Demographic Verification form. If your student’s demographic information has not changed,  you do not need to submit the Student Demographic Verification form at this time. Please call your school nurse if you have any further questions.

CPS Parents
In Spring 2017, we will send further information regarding your access to the Aspen Parent Portal for your elementary student and these online forms.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Principal's Blog: Back-to-School Presentations, Merit Scholars & More

I want to thank all members of the community who attended Back-to-School Night last evening.  The event was extremely well attended.  This spectacular building coupled with the tremendous attendance last evening provides further evidence that the communities of Concord, Carlisle, and Boston value education and care deeply about our school.  

I enjoyed getting to meet so many parents and I appreciate the warm welcome.  As promised, I have included links to both the Back-to-School presentation and the 9th-grade presentation.   During the presentation, I had the opportunity to highlight some of the messages conveyed to students at the beginning of school.  We encouraged them to work-hard, we encouraged them to be gritty, and we encouraged them to adopt a growth mindset.  We also reminded them that this phase of their life cannot exist simply as a passage endured to advance onward toward greater things.  More importantly, enjoying the journey and waking up every day with the intention of contributing to the well-being of others is of seminal importance.  

Back-to-School Presentation

9th Grade Parent Presentation

CCHS National Merit Scholars
Seven students from CCHS were named among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program and will be competing for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships next spring.

Ruettgers Seminar
Students are encouraged to apply to the Ruettgers Seminar! Exploring Latin America Through Cooking & Culture.  Enjoy hands-on cooking, culture, dance, history, and geography.  Ms. Wendy Cahill is the instructor and the application deadline is September 30th.  

Greenest in the State
The new Concord-Carlisle Regional High School was verified as the most sustainable public high school ever constructed in Massachusetts when officials at Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performance Schools (MA-CHPS) recently informed the Regional School District that the project had earned the highest sustainability score for a public school project to date.  Additional information can be found on our website.

Sustainable Efforts at CCHS
By Peter Nichol

Three bins together but not too close: 
This "System" was piloted in the old building with the help of the custodians and brought to the new high school but is yet to be implemented throughout.  There are signs that go above each bin with the intention that every classroom would be identical.  When bins get "contaminated" it all goes in the trash.  

Yes, we are taking food out of our waste stream and returning it to the soil.  This any sustainable society would need to do and allows CCHS better meet its goal.  This is a NEW habit to develop for most in the school.  Bins need to be used properly in the lunch room for this to work. Contamination means it is thrown away.

The kitchen staff is now composting their food scraps and leftovers instead of putting it down the disposal (to the cheers of Concord's waste water treatment plant.)  It's all incredible progress but will take some time for these new habits to develop.  Faculty, staff, and students should all help to educate others.  One more point . . . when food goes into a landfill it turns to methane, the potent greenhouse gas.  Biology, Environmental Science and Rivers are all worm composting if students want to contribute their food waste to those classrooms.  It will be a journey for us all back to a rhythm once practiced by all communities.


Recycle your energy bar wrappers and cereal box liners in the labeled bins located around the school.  All that we sent to TerraCycle contributes money to Charity Water, a cutting edge organization helping to provide clean water to the 780 million people on our planet who do not have access to clean drinking water.

High Schoolers and Snooze Buttons: The New Public Health Crisis 
By Kristin Johnson

Where: Concord-Carlisle High School Auditorium
When:  Wednesday, October 19, 2016 
Time:    7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Please join the CCHS PA for an important evening that will take an in-depth look at what is being called an epidemic and national crisis for American high schoolers: insufficient sleep. An esteemed panel of speakers led by Dr. Judith Owens from Boston Children's Sleep Center will review current research on sleep patterns in adolescents, factors contributing to chronic sleep loss, and health-related consequences, such as depression, risky behaviors, increased obesity risk, and higher rates of drowsy driving accidents. The panel will also discuss the potential role of policy changes such as reduced homework and later school start times as a means of reducing the adolescent sleep crisis. Event is FREE but Registration is Required.