Friday, May 21, 2021

Graduation Ceremony Update, 2021 Class Act Awards, & NCTE Winners

Remember when I sent detailed instructions for Graduation on 7 May and 17 May?  Well, you can ignore most of that information due to the latest guidance provided by the Governor and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  It will not be a traditional graduation, but the latest announcement moves us away from the information shared on the 7th and 17th and closer to a typical graduation.  Please read on for additional details with the caveat that they are subject to change.  Additional correspondence coming early next week. 

Please welcome me in celebrating the Class Act Award winners for their years of dedicated service, and a hardy thank you to all the volunteers that help making Class Act a unique and successful endeavor.  

Lastly, congratulations to Mia Caruso and  Grace Waldeck for winning a prestigious writing award.  Details included below.  Have a great weekend.  

Guidance From the DESE 

  • Effective May 29, for outdoor graduations only
  • Attendees and staff are not required to wear masks and are encouraged to distance themselves from individuals not in their household as feasible.
  • Attendees are encouraged to wear face coverings if they are not vaccinated.
  •  Commencements held outdoors are not subject to a capacity limit but must adhere to the social distancing requirements. 
Do students have to wear masks while outdoors?

On May 17th, 2021, after consultation with the MA COVID Command Center’s Medical Advisory Board, the Governor announced that given the low rate of outdoor transmission of COVID-19, students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, even if distance cannot be maintained. Effective May 18, this guidance update applies to recess, physical education, youth sports, and outdoor learning environments. Adults must continue to wear masks outdoors if distancing cannot be maintained. At this time, adults and students must continue to wear masks indoors.

Will the gathering limits for school events with outside participants change this spring?

In alignment with state guidance, the gathering limits for school events with outside participants will be lifted starting May 29, 2021. 

Additional CC Specific Graduation Details

  • Date: Saturday, June 5 (Rain Date is June 6)
  • Time: 9:00am (please begin arriving at 8:00am)
  • Tickets are no longer required for guests.
  • Families will have the option to sit in pods of 6 on the field that is first-come, first-serve, or they can sit in the bleachers.  
  • Students will not process into the stadium. They have assigned seating by alpha, and each seat will be labeled.  
  • Minuteman Media (MMN) will broadcast the graduation live on cable channel 99 in Concord and Carlisle.  MMN will also stream it online at 
  • WIQH will broadcast (audio only, of course) live on 88.3FM in Concord and Carlisle.  We will also stream it via our website


    • Guests requiring accommodations (parking, seating, accessibility) during graduation should make requests as soon as possible and no later than Tuesday, June 1.
    • Please complete this form to request an accessibility accommodation for you or a guest.

 2021 Class Act Award Winners

Celebrating Your Service to the School and Community

The 2021 Class Act Awards night was canceled, like many school events.  However, the sponsors of the event, listed below, want to be sure that the incredible individual community service efforts of CCHS students do not go unrecognized.  Congratulations to all!

CCHS Awards Community Service is an integral part of the total learning experience at CCHS.  Students must complete at least 40 hours of service for graduation, but many students volunteer for much more than the minimum.  These awards recognize the graduating seniors who have volunteered over 100 hours of their time in their careers at CCHS.

Rotary Club of Concord   The Rotary Club of Concord recognizes the contribution of young people in our schools and rewards them for Community Service, Integrity, Kindness, Leadership, and Civic Responsibility. Each club and sport at CCHS has an opportunity to choose their award recipients, as nominated by their group advisors or coaches.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards   2Volunteer, the Concord-Carlisle community-based organization which assists CCHS in its Community Service program, is a designated certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.  The Award is given by the Points of Light Foundation, as inspired by George H.W. Bush, to recognize the best in American spirit and to encourage Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation.  Students are eligible for consideration for this award if they have demonstrated outstanding community service over the course of any consecutive 12-month period.  The Young Adult (service completed above age of 16) Bronze Award is given for 100-174 hours of service, the Silver Award for 175-249 hours, and the Gold Award for 250 or more hours.  The Teen (service completed before age 16) Bronze Award is given for 50-74 hours of service, the Silver Award for 75-99 hours of service, and the Gold Award for 100 or more hours of service.

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest    Awards are given by the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest to CCHS students who have demonstrated initiative and commitment to an organization or a volunteer project within the area of direct human services.  The recipients are selected by the Community Chest Board of Directors.

Maureen Taggert Award  This award is given to a CCHS senior who exhibits exemplary community service participation in Recreation Department programs.  It is named in honor of a beloved Concord Recreation employee who lifelong gave selflessly of her time.

NEADS Award  The National Education for Assistance Dog Services trains service dogs to help individuals with disabilities, and is interested in service in general to the disabled.  The Award is given to a member of the junior or senior class who has demonstrated exemplary community service in the area of working with individuals with disabilities.

Contest Winners: National Council for the Teachers of English Writing

Congratulations to Grace Waldeck and Mia Caruso for winning the "Certificate of Superior Writing," the highest designation in the contest.

Mia Caruso and Grace Waldeck, Students at Concord Carlisle High School, Win 2021 NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing

Mia Caruso and Grace Waldeck, both class of 2022, have been selected for a 2021 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students to write and to recognize some of the best student writers in the nation. Only students who are juniors may participate. Schools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, American schools abroad, and the Virgin Islands are eligible to nominate students for the writing program.

Caruso and Waldeck, as well as a third student, Grace Paradis, were nominated by a panel of two CCHS English teachers as a part of the department's annual in-house NCTE writing contest, during which their writing submissions were selected from a pool of 22 competitors identified by the English department as highly skilled writers. These nominees then each submitted two pieces of writing to the national level contest, where two independent judges scored each submission on expression of ideas, language use, and unique perspective and voice.

"CCHS students have a solid track record in winning NCTE awards at the national level" said CCHS English teacher David Nurenberg, who has coordinated CC's in-house NCTE contest since 2015. "It's a credit both to their hard work, and to the excellent work of my colleagues in the English department for helping them develop those skills -- especially during this year of unprecedented stress and disruption thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is the nation’s most comprehensive literacy organization, supporting more than 25,000 teachers across the preK–college spectrum. Through the expertise of its members, NCTE has served at the forefront of every major improvement in the teaching and learning of English and the language arts since 1911.

For more information about the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing, including past winners, see


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