Friday, September 28, 2018

Kicks for Cancer, Digital Animation, Fall Coaches Letter, Athletic Program Letter & The Mighty Moose

Kicks for Cancer
Started in 2007, Kicks for Cancer is played annually in support of all families who have been touched by this awful disease. All proceeds from the evening’s game will be donated in memory of Lois Wells to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to support woman's cancer research. Teams will wear pink or teal uniforms to support breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

For the first three years of the event, only one game was played. Starting in 2010, Kicks for Cancer expanded to 2 games. The following year the event expanded again, featuring 6 games and now features 10 matches between some of the top high school soccer teams in Massachusetts. 

Kicks for Cancer continues to grow and with the addition of the Mighty Moose 5K it will most likely raise more funds than last year all for a great cause, The Dana Farber Cancer Institute. 

Money raised since Kicks for Cancer inception:

2017-  $62,642.30
2015 - $46,940.00
2014 - $44,307.65
2013 - $33,409.01
2012 - $28,989.96
2011 - $28,273.27
2010 - $17,051.00
2009 - $10,124.25
2008 - $11,032.40
2007 - $8,000.00

By Ray Pavlik
This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Lois Wells Memorial Kicks for Cancer. Lois is the mother of our very own Steve Wells. Tomorrow, 9/29, many 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. 

There will be eighteen local schools participating in twelve full-length games that will run 10:00 am through 7:00 pm.  24 soccer teams, 20 Varsity, 4 Junior Varsity, girls and boys teams will play. CCHS JV and Varsity girls field hockey teams will play "Sticks For Cancer" 10:00 am and 11:30 am.

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 campus will be full of athletic competitions all weekend.  

CC Digital Animation 
Check out some pretty impressive student work from our Digital Animation class by Alejandro Cancio, Ben Clarke, and Kyle Bonefant. Please excuse the poor photo quality by the photographer, me, that does not do the quality of student work justice.

Letter to Student Athletes & Letter to Fall Coaches
We have some great sporting events this weekend in service of a great cause. I am including a letter written to our student-athletes written for CC Athletic Programs. Also, please read the letter sent to coaches as we partner to promote healthy living for our student-athletes.

Athletic Program Letter
Dear Student-Athletes:
I am proud to say that some of my fondest memories in life are derived from my experiences in high school athletics. The memories born from these experiences, and the bonds formed during my high school athletic career, live on today. This fact serves as a testament to the profound impact sports can have on a young student-athlete.

Vince Lombardi, the late legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers once said: “The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”

I believe it to be true, that the qualities and virtues learned on the playing field are universal skills that will help you succeed in whatever endeavor you so choose. The life lessons I have learned through athletics are far too many to list, but chief among them are teamwork, a disciplined work ethic, and learning how to succeed in the face of what appears to be insurmountable odds.

As a society, we revere success but often fail to recognize process. The hard work, sacrifice, commitment, and dedication necessary to succeed are things that only you and your teammates can truly comprehend. It is important to note, however, that the lessons learned in the face of defeat can exceed those learned in winning, as one of the secrets of life is to fall down eight times and to get up nine. It is easy to demonstrate sportsmanship when victorious, but the true judge of one’s character can best be determined when you are exposed to defeat.

Competition and learning how to compete are vital to your future success. Whether in a rink, on a court or a field, I look forward to watching our student-athletes compete. I know you will make us proud. See you at the game.


Michael J. Mastrullo

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Safety & Security at CCHS

A.L.I.C.E. Emergency Drill

On Wednesday, September 26th, 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, including individuals from Acton, Bedford, and the State Police, 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. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Activities Fair, TOYS Club, Merit Scholars, Support a Local Community In Need & More

Photo By Adam Gooder

The frenetic pace that accompanies September arrives with a warning, but advance notice is powerless to slow forces brought by the speed of fall; one day ambling along with the tailwind of summer and the next day running full throttle on a treadmill; the start-of-school is visible to all with a posted date listed a year in advance, but knowledge of when the marathon begins does not lessen the demanding pace. 

The good news, fall sports are in full swing, preparation for the fall drama performance have commenced, and coursework is in full stride for all students. The added responsibility of postgraduate preparations round out a demanding schedule for seniors. 

The former responsibilities are challenging but rewarding and fun, and for those continuing to college next year, the college application process is an endurance challenge wrought with anxiety and at best a tireless commitment begrudgingly met. 

As we forge ahead, I encourage students to consider a few adages: "the days are long and the years are short," and a reminder to "enjoy the gifts of this hour." Occasionally, easier said than done. 

I want to thank all members of the community who attended Back-to-School Night last week.  The event was exceptionally well attended.  This spectacular building coupled with the large attendance provides further evidence that the towns of Concord, Carlisle, and the city of Boston value education and care deeply about our school.  I have included links to both the Back-to-School presentation and the 9th-grade parent presentation for your review. 

Although the school year is filled with trials and tribulations, it is vital for all of us to remember that high school is meant to be enjoyed and it is not merely a passage endured to advance onward toward the next thing.  It is essential for students to learn the importance of hard work and commitment, but it is equally important that they enjoy the journey, and more critical that they wake up every day with the intention of contributing to the well-being of others.  

Enjoy the first weekend of fall arriving this weekend. 

Activities Fair
Today at CCHS we are holding an activities fair showcasing all clubs and organizations. Encourage your child to participate.  You can learn more by visiting our website.  Also, check out the booklet made by senior, Iris Chen.  

Teach our Youth Science (TOYS)
The Teach Our Youth Science, or TOYS club is a way for high school students to share their love of science with elementary school students! Ms. Benson does a fantastic job leading students in a variety of activities where they design fun, hands-on science activities (while eating snacks and hanging out!) and then do these activities with K-2nd graders at an after school program once per week. 

TOYS club members earn community service credits too! If you like working with children and love science, this is a great club to get involved with. Get weekly updates, usually posted on Monday about that Wednesdays activity:

By Jen Benson, TOYS Club Adviser
Yesterday was marshmallow catapult engineering, two designs to create and test! 16 high schoolers and 56 k-2nd graders (each age group about 18-20 kids for 20min before the next age group came in) and a lot of eating of leftover marshmallows by the high schoolers afterwards! 

Other exciting things we have done are small electrical circuits, mentos and soda, bottle rockets, etc. goal is to have the high schoolers develop lesson plans and plan out the activity with minimal input from me (and they always impress me!), and to show the little kids that science is fun. They love talking to the high school kids!

Merrimack Valley Families in Desperate Need
By Annie Brennan
Please help families that were affected by the gas explosions last week in Lawrence and surrounding towns.  Many families are homeless and in desperate need of help.  

The most urgent need for people at this time are basic toiletries - toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorants-  towels, socks, baby formula and diapers.  Gift cards to market basket or Walmart would also be greatly appreciated as many families are in need of food.

A box will be outside the front office for any donations.   Thanks for any help you are able to give.  

CCHS National Merit Scholars
Five students from CCHS were named among approximately 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and they will be competing for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships next spring worth more than $31 million.  More than 1.6 million juniors from 22,000 high school competed in the National Merit Scholarship Program, the 15 semi-finalists listed below scored in the top 1%. Impressive! Congratulations to our semi-finalists.

Meghan Concannon
Zoe Macy
Phoebe Meyerson
Justin Reed
Louisa Stevens

PSAT Registration - Deadline Friday, Sept 28 at 3:00pm
Attention classes of 2020 and 2021
Registration for the Saturday, October 13th administration of the PSATs at Concord Carlisle High School is now available through the MySchoolBucks Store The cost is $39.00 and payment must be received by Friday, September 28 at 3:00pm to ensure all students who want to participate have the necessary materials. If you need financial assistance, please contact your guidance counselor.

If you have specific questions about the PSAT test, you can visit the College Board website or connect with your guidance counselor. Once the registration is complete, students should visit the Student Support Office to receive the student guide and practice test.

If you are already using MySchoolBucks to pay for school meals, your account is already set-up and ready to go! Just login and click on the new link to Store.

If you don’t already use MySchoolBucks to pay for school meals, Enrollment is easy!

  1. Go to and register for an account.
  2. Add your students using their school name and student ID.
  3. Make a payment to your students’ accounts with your credit/debit card or electronic check.

If you have any questions, please visit and click Help, email, or call MySchoolBucks Customer Support at 1-855-832-5226.

Important: Student Health & Emergency Contact/Demographic Information
Updating Student Health, Emergency Contact, and Student Demographic Information must be done online through the Aspen parent portal.
Families are able to update important emergency contact information and critical health information electronically.

It is important that these forms are updated, verified and submitted each school year.

Please pay particular attention to the permission checkboxes regarding use of student photo and names in media publications.  In order for the CCHS Parents Association to receive your student and family contact information, you must check the box granting permission.

For Parent Portal help, please email 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Open House Tonight, 9/13 at CCHS

Open House
Just a friendly reminder that this evening is Open House at CCHS.  Parents of first-year-students are invited to a presentation from 6:00 to 6:45.  All parents are invited back for the evening presentation that begins at 7:00pm.  Immediately after the presentation, parents/guardians will follow their child's schedule.  

Students spent time in advisory today preparing a schedule for parents/guardians to bring with them tomorrow evening.  Please arrive with the schedule in hand.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow evening.  

Evening Schedule 

Friday, September 7, 2018

School Rankings, Homework & Religious Holiday Policy, Freshmen Dance, Open House, & More

Please read below for information on school rankings, Homework Practices & Expectations, School Committee Religious Policy information, Open House, Freshmen Dance, and More.

Open House
Please join us for Open House on September 13th.  9th Grade parents are welcome to arrive at 6:00 for a presentation specifically for freshmen parents, and all parents are welcome to attend at 7:00pm.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

School Rankings
There are numerous national and local publications utilizing different metrics to rank public high schools across the state and country.  They measure variables ranging from standardized test scores, teacher-to-student ratio, number of Advanced Placement courses and school resources and funding. 

I will refrain from getting too deep into the details; partly because ranking public schools is a difficult undertaking once you move beyond standardized test scores. Although important, I can say with certainty that MCAS results, Advanced Placement scores, SAT, ACT, and a small sampling of other standardized tests are not the only measure of a school's success. Regardless of metrics employed, you will find CCHS ranks near the top of all lists when measured solely on academic performance; however, our best qualities are not easily measured.

As I have stated previously, we are never perfect and ahead lay countless hours of work to improve, but there is no doubt that CCHS is a high achieving academic institution that excels in many areas, and it is a fantastic place to come to school and work each and every day.  We are all so very lucky to have the opportunity to do so.  

Top Public High Schools In Eastern MA: Boston Magazine Article

Homework Practices & School Committee Religious Holiday Policy
We know that academic progress is important and that our students work hard for their achievements.  We also believe that everyone needs playtime, downtime, and family time every day. We include our homework practices, the School Committee developed religious holiday policy, and helpful tips for starting the school year.  

Determining how long an assignment will take for students to complete will vary greatly based on the student's learning style and strengths, as well as personal circumstances that may vary on a daily basis. However, we feel it is important to share these homework practices and expectations so all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the school's expectations surrounding homework.

It is important students do not have distractions during the time allotted for school work at night, so we recommend talking with your child about potential distractions and removing their phone and other electronics not needed to complete their work.

The hallmark of this school is relationships between students and staff so we encourage the student body to communicate with teachers if the homework load or practices are outside of the guidelines listed.  Further, we encourage staff to frequently “check-in” with students to determine the length of time needed to complete a homework assignment, and we encourage staff to allow students to begin homework in class when the lesson allows extra time.  Lastly, we encourage students and parents to talk with their teachers and the respective Department Chairs to discuss the homework policy. Please contact the guidance counselor if you would like to discuss your child’s well-being or academic program. Leslie Knight, Brian Miller, and I are resources as well.

We include a few parent resources from our partners at Challenge Success.

Top Ten Back-to-School Tips to Help Your Child Thrive

Freshmen Dance

We are excited for the freshmen only dance tonight. We want it to be a fun, safe, and enjoyable experience for all involved. To that end, it is preferred that students do not bring bags, backpacks, or jackets. If a student needs to bring one of these items it will need to be "checked" at the door and held until the end of the dance. If a student must access one of these items during the dance it will be done under the supervision of school personnel.  

Also, the long-standing practice of utilizing a portable breath test upon entry to the dance will take place and students will be chosen at random by high school personnel.  

Special Education Parent Coffee

Members of the Special Education Department held a parent coffee to outline the new special education model being implemented this year.  This new model follows a year of collaboration between CCHS staff, parents, students, and consultants from WestEd.  One goal was to create conditions were additional specialized instruction can take place during the school day with student skills and the IEP driving the process.  There are four cohort models with varied specialized instruction depending on student goals, strengths, and areas in need of improvement.  For example, one of the four cohorts has a focus on Writing, Reading, and Academic Processes (WRAP).  We are excited about the changes and feel it will better support our students.  

Parking Update
As of September 7th, all student parking spots on campus have been distributed to 222 seniors - who purchased a spot prior to the August 19 deadline.  These students were emailed their random spot assignments on Monday, August 27.  After working through the first week of school, we identified a few more spots for students.  Through this morning, 11 more seniors requested spots and this has maxed out our 233 student spots on campus. Eleven students who were on the Beede Loop Road were chosen through a random draw to move into the main lot and the students who purchased spots after the initial deadline were assigned the spots in the Beede Loop Road.

The next step for seniors with a parking spot is to obtain their parking sticker from Mark Hernandez.  Mr. Hernandez will be in the parking lot before school, during all lunch blocks, and after school next week.  

In order to obtain your parking spot, seniors will need:
Current Driver’s License
Current Car Registration

Once confirmed, Mr. Hernandez will issue a parking sticker to a Class of 2019 student.  If a student is unable to provide these two documents, the parking spot will be revoked.

Any student who has not picked up their parking sticker by Friday, September 14 will have their parking spot revoked, their purchase price refunded, and they will not be eligible to park on campus. If there are any spots that fall into this category, they will be used for a potential lottery for juniors.  If you have any questions please reach out to Mark Hernandez.

Parking spaces are for students assigned to the spot. Selling or leasing parking spaces is strictly prohibited. 

Thank you all as we continue to work through the parking challenges on the Concord Carlisle Campus.  I remind all families that there are special Town Meetings in both Concord October 1st and Carlisle on October 2nd. where the potential development of the CCHS Campus will be discussed and that might include additional parking. I encourage you to participate.

Steve Lane: CCHS Teacher, Coach, New Dad and Author 
By Steve Lane
On Wednesday, September 12th, my first book, No Sanctuary, will be published by the University Press of New England. Needless to say, I am very excited. No Sanctuary tells the story of the teachers and students who created the first programs to support LGBTQ youth in schools. Their work started slowly, but in a relatively short period, they helped launch an educational revolution: what began with a few schools in the Boston area became the framework for state law in Massachusetts, which became a model for schools across the nation.

I am doubly excited for the forum I am moderating at the Concord Public Library on September 12th at 7pm. Four of the people I write about in the book – Arthur Lipkin, a former teacher at Cambridge Rindge & Latin; Robert Parlin, a teacher at Newton South; Sharon Tentarelli, a former student at Phillips Andover Academy; and Donald McNemar, former head of school at Phillips Andover – will talk about their work and participate in an audience Q & A. This will be a fascinating discussion – not often do you get to hear firsthand from true historymakers.

Whatever progress we have made toward creating a more tolerant and just society, it is vital that we not take that progress for granted, that we not assume progress is inevitable. It is quite daunting to look at the problems we face in this world; every now and then, we need a message of hope to help us see again the path toward a better future. I believe that these four individuals can offer such a message – they are a living, breathing lesson about the power of schools – really, the power of all of us in the school community – to change the world.

For more information about the forum, please visit the Concord Public Library events page.