Friday, January 31, 2020

Important Update

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I am writing to provide a brief update on the tragic news shared early this morning and to provide information on support available at CCHS this weekend.  

Today staff members from CPS, CCHS, and Carlisle went to each class to notify students and staff of the dreadful news.  We had a team of people supporting students and staff.  We remain in close contact with the family, and they are so gracious and kind while dealing with grief beyond words.  Our thoughts are with them.

Below is correspondence from Dr. Hunter that includes resources and information about this weekend.  

Take care of yourself and each other.


Michael Mastrullo

Dear Community, 
The recent death of our student, Chase Bjork,  has impacted many if not all of us in some way. This is a tragedy for the Bjork family, for our school and for our community, and we are all deeply saddened by what has happened. We are grieving the loss of one of our own.
Support for anyone in need is being offered in multiple forms: 
  • There will be Open Hours at CCHS on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 AM - 1 PM and Sunday, February 2, from 2 PM - 4 PM with counselors present for anyone (students, parents, faculty, and community members).

  • The bottom of this message has a list of Mental Health Resources for Youth and Families.
  • The school is working closely with the Riverside Community Care, a Department of Mental Health funded organization that provides support to schools and communities following suicides. They are helping us to plan student support groups, conduct staff training and provide more resources for parents. More information will be forthcoming.
  • Counselors and teachers at the schools are providing ongoing support to students. This support will continue over the coming days and weeks.
  • More supports and training will be available through the Center for Parents and Teachers, the Parent Teacher Groups, and Riverside Community Care. 
This is a time for our community to grieve and there are no easy answers. We need to be accessible to one another and to truly listen when someone opens up to us. In short, we need to be here for each other during this difficult time.

Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent

Mental Health Services for Youth and Families
This list of resources is presented in an attempt to provide options for those seeking assistance. 
Their mention herein does not necessarily indicate the endorsement of Concord-Carlisle High School. 

CCHS Guidance Dept. (978)341-2941 or (978)341-2924 
Emerson Hospital (978) 369-1400
Advocates 800-640-5432 (mobile risk assessment service)
Concord Emergency Services (police & fire dispatch) (978)318-3400
Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program (800)799-7233
Elliot Community Health Services (800)988-1111 
Concord Health Department (978)318-3275
William James College Interface, Help-Line, Website:;  617-332-3666,  x 411

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800)273-TALK (24 hr.) 
National Hope Line Network (800)442-HOPE (4673)
Covenant House Nine Line (800) 999-9999 
Boston Emergency Screening Team (800) 981-HELP 
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (800) 841-8371 
Fenway Community Health Center Peer Listening Line 
(Hotline for GLBT teens) (800) 399-7337 
Samaritans Teen Line (For Teens Only) (800) 525-TEEN (24hrs.) 

Riverside Emergency Services Team 24-hr Crisis Line:  (800) 529-5077 
Parental Stress Line (800) 632-8188 (24 hrs.) 
Samaritans Hotline (617) 247-0220 (24 hrs.) 
Riverside Outpatient Center (617) 969-4925 

MA Substance Abuse Information and Education Help Line (800) 327-5050 
Substance Abuse Treatment Referral (800) 662-HELP 
Alcoholics Anonymous (Boston) (617) 426-9444 
Al-Ateen 508-366-0556


Principal's Blog: Sad News to Share


I am following up on the tragic news shared by Dr. Hunter sent earlier this morning.  Words seem woefully inadequate at this time, but with the heaviest of hearts, we mourn the loss of Chase Bjork.  We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. 

Counselors from Concord and Carlisle, along with nearby schools, are on-site across the district to support those grieving.  The superintendent will share additional information and resources later today.  

Lastly, I am sharing the statement read to students earlier today. 


Michael Mastrullo

Statement Read to Students

Dear Students,

It is with our deepest sympathies and greatest sorrows that we share the loss of a member of our school community. With great sadness, the family informed us that Chase Bjork died by suicide last evening. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, including his brothers Lars, a current sophomore at CCHS, and Bryce, class of 2016.

We recognize that this is a difficult time for many in our school community, and we are all here to support one another. Guidance counselors, school adjustment counselors, and grief counselors are available to help students and staff during this difficult time.  Anyone in need of support is welcome in the guidance department.

Message from Superintendent 
January 31, 2020

 With great sadness, I share that we learned this morning that a member of our community, Chase Bjork, died last night.  The family shared with us that he died by suicide.  

Support is available to students and adults who are in need.  We are working closely with Riverside Trauma Center and will be sharing more information shortly.  

We extend our deepest condolences to the Bjork family.   


Dr. Laurie Hunter, Superintendent

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

9th-Grade Academy Information

9th-Grade Academy

I am excited to provide detailed information about the new 9th-Grade Academy beginning in the fall of 2020.  Below is an introduction.  I would encourage you to read the complete document that provides a broader overview of the 9th-Grade Academy.  

Born from our continued work with Challenge Success, the idea to explore the ninth-grade student experience in more detail emerged roughly 18 months ago.   After months of research, along with internal reflection, debate, and dialogue, we are excited to announce that students entering high school in the Fall of 2020 will enjoy a slightly different experience than their predecessors. The Fall of 2020 will feature a new 9th-Grade Academy.

Ninth grade is an extremely challenging year for many high school students for a variety of developmental, social, and academic reasons. High-school years are formative ones for adolescents, and a successful 9th-grade experience is critical to success. Even students who handle transitions well can struggle when leaving their highly structured elementary and middle schools and entering larger, comprehensive high schools. Those who do not cope well with this dramatic transition, and who become disengaged from their high school during their first-year often struggle throughout high school.

We are acutely aware that being a teenager today is different than it was five, ten, or twenty years ago. In many respects, it is harder today than it was for previous generations of teens. There is a mountain of evidence to support this statement, but one look no further than a September Washington Post article, which named students from high-achieving schools an at-risk group.  Further, many factors are influencing the experience for teens, and no generation is immune to modern social, political, and economic developments; however, there is no doubt we are witnessing an alarming rise in mental health challenges in our student population.  As 2020 dawns and we enter a new decade, we accept that the world and teens are far different than they were one or two generations ago, and we need to adapt and change the way first-year-students experience 9th-grade.  

The 9th-Grade Academy Committee began working earnestly over the summer to identify, among other things, the most important questions to consider, to review data collected to-date, to identify and review current academic research, and to prepare for site visits and informational sessions with educators from Brookline, Lexington, Parker Charter, and Beverly. 

Ultimately, the 9th-Grade Academy will feature smaller learning communities that will employ a team approach to ensure all students are known and supported during their transition to CCHS. The goal is to create an emotionally healthy, socially inclusive, and academically supportive first-year experience for our 9th-grade students. We want them to transition to 10th-grade with more skills, more resiliency, better coping mechanisms, and move on better prepared to succeed in high school and beyond. As with most new endeavors, the 9th-Grade Academy will develop and evolve as we learn through shared experiences. Still, we are confident students will enjoy a better experience and leave well prepared for 10th-grade and beyond.

9th-Grade Academy Information

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MLK Celebration at CCHS: January 15, 2020 @ 6:30

I am happy to announce the 27th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration hosted by CCHS. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, January 15, from 6:30 pm - 8 pm at CCHS (auditorium).

This event is hosted in partnership with the Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council, and the CPS and CCHS METCO Department.

We have a phenomenal keynote presenter, by the name of Ron Jones. Mr. Jones who is the owner of Dialogues On Diversity, an award-winning, and highly praised theatre company that uses theatrical models to deliver a message of difference, inclusion and social justice.

Below is the event flier, and we ask that you share this event, the flier, and EVITE LINK as all members of the community are welcome.

As a METCO district, we are part of a historic legacy of school integration. Come join us to rediscover the grassroots movement that brought students of color from Boston to your suburb in the peak of the Civil Rights Movement.

There will be acapella performances by CCHS Take Note, and The Works, a local adult acapella singing group to offer inspiration that honors the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This annual event is always a special evening, and a wonderful opportunity to reflect on Dr. King’s message of integration, freedom, and justice for all. The celebration begins at 6:30 PM, at the Concord-Carlisle High School (500 Walden Street, Concord, MA). The event is free and all are welcome. 

For more information about the Concord Carlisle Human Rights Council, go to and for the Concord and Concord Carlisle METCO Department, contact Andrew K. Nyamekye, Director of METCO at