October 4, 2021

October 4, 2021

Dear Alcott Families,

I hope you are all doing well and had a wonderful September!  Although most of the leaves on the trees are still green, the weather has suddenly begun to feel a lot more like fall!  In October’s Newsletter, you will find updates on MCAS, Test and Stay, special activities and more!

MCAS Score Reports: MCAS score reports will be mailed home to families later this week.  Please see the attached letter to help you better understand MCAS in the context of COVID.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Assistant Principal Olson.

Questions about Test and Stay: Alcott experienced this school year’s first COVID positive over the weekend, with Test and Stay still underway for those identified as close contacts.  Since then, we have received several questions about Test and Stay which I would like to address here.  If students participate in Test and Stay, they are allowed to come to school in their usual manner and participate in their usual school activities so long as they test negative every morning.  Nurse Amante does the testing each morning herself.  It takes us about 20 minutes to test the entire class and another 15 minutes to get the test results.  Test and Stay does not apply to the weekends.  Students who participate in Test and Stay are still expected to quarantine on the weekends because they are not being tested by Nurse Amante on those days.  This flowchart provides a visual comparing the traditional quarantine with the Test and Stay program.

Stargazing for Grade 2: Calling all 2nd grade Astronomers and Dreamers! In conjunction with the Concord Free Public Library, the Concord Festival of Authors, and the Aldrich Astronomical Society — we are presenting a series of events to educate and inspire Concord students and their families.  Teachers and/or librarians will share a wonderful new book with students, written by a local author that students will meet (via zoom!).  Also, families are invited to come to the big open area in front of the playground at Alcott to learn from a real astronomer as the sun goes down and the stars come out!

Please see the attached flyer below and consider joining the fun.

A few notes: parents must accompany their children to the evening event, the building will not be accessible, and all current district covid protocols will be observed.  In the event of poor weather, the event will be cancelled.

Steam Lab Field Trips: Steam Lab field trips are in full swing and we couldn’t be more happy they are back!  Students are having a blast with the hands-on learning experiences Alcott’s former kindergarten teacher, Allison Forseter, is leading for them!

Inclement/Cold Weather Lunches: As the weather gets colder, we have started to make plans for when outdoor lunch will no longer be a viable option.  For now, we will continue to eat lunch outside as long as the tents remain up and weather permits.  However, winter will be here before we know it and the tents have to be taken down before the first snowfall.  Starting in November, we will begin to use the cafeteria for lunch during inclement or very cold weather.  Each classroom will have a designated area to sit and students will remain in their classroom cohort while in the cafeteria.

Dismissal Change Reminder: If you need to change your child’s dismissal plan, please try to do so as early as possible.  Ideally, you would email your child’s teacher, Kristin Corliss (kcorliss@concordps.org) and Theresa Bertolami (tbertolami@concordps.org) before the start of the day.  However, we do understand that unexpected changes do occasionally arise.  For these unexpected changes, we still ask that you communicate with the main office as early in the day as possible.  If you absolutely must make a change after 11:30 on a half day or 2:30 on a full day, you will need to call the main office to ensure that someone gets the message in time for dismissal.

Reporting Absences: When you report that your child is out sick using the Online Attendance Reporting Form, it is very helpful for the main office and Nurse Amante if you include details of the illness in the “additional information” line.  Nurse Amante follows up on all absences that might require COVID testing.  Including details of the illness in your absence report helps streamline the process.  Thank you!