Middlesex Savings Bank Supports Concord Education

Middlesex Savings Bank Supports Concord Education

CEF Receives $50,000 Gift from Middlesex Savings Bank

February 2018, Concord, MA — Concord Education Fund (CEF) has received a $50,000 gift from Middlesex Savings Bank (MSB), part of a $1.2 million donation in support of education foundations in MSB branch towns.

The Concord Education Fund is a nonprofit organization that awards grants for novel teaching ideas, new learning initiatives, and innovative academic programs that require funding beyond the scope of the district school budget. Therefore, the Middlesex Savings Bank gift will support teachers and administrators in Concord Carlisle Public Schools (CPS) and Concord Carlisle High School (CCHS) who are eager to offer students extraordinary educational experiences.

CEF co-president Suzanne Jachinowski expressed her gratitude, “We’re very grateful for Middlesex Savings Bank’s incredibly generous and totally unexpected gift.” Fellow co-president Rick Hedeman added, “By contributing to the Concord Education Fund, I think MSB knows that they are supporting the incredible commitment and creativity of CPS/CCHS teachers.”

“Middlesex Savings Bank has great respect for the education foundations in our community,” said Michael McAuliffe, President and CEO of Middlesex Savings Bank. “They work hard to support projects and programs that foster learning and creativity. We hope these donations will make their jobs easier this year and are excited to see their existing academic programs flourish or new ones come to life.”

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About Middlesex Savings Bank
Founded in 1835 and headquartered in Natick, Mass., Middlesex Savings Bank has been right there with its community for nearly 200 years. The Bank takes a customer-first focus when it comes to offering products, technology, and an unparalleled level of customer service. Middlesex Savings Bank provides funds to local nonprofits and organizations through corporate giving and community sponsorship, as well as through its philanthropic arm – the Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation. The FDIC and DIF insured bank has 30 branch offices located in 25 communities – Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Bellingham, Boxborough, Concord, Framingham, Franklin, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Littleton, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wellesley, and Westford. For more information, please visit www.middlesexbank.com, www.facebook.com/connectwithmsb and www.twitter.com/middlesexbank.

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CEF Totally Awesome 80’s Party Benefits from Community Support

CEF Totally Awesome 80’s Party Benefits from Community Support

Title Sponsor Cambridge Savings Bank Integral to Success

The Concord Education Fund, (CEF) extends its thanks to everyone who contributed dollars, goods, talent, time, and totally awesome dance moves to the Concord Education Fund’s Annual Fundraiser.

The CEF annual party raises funds for novel teaching ideas, new learning initiatives, and innovative academic programs at Concord Public Schools (CPS) and Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS).

Held at Nashawtuc Country Club on November 11th 2017, over 200 partygoers adorned with spandex, leather and way too much hair spray were treated to 80’s hits and humor compliments of DJ Tone Terra of Boston’s 5 O’Clock Gridlock on 103.3 AMP Radio, and local MC/Funnyman Jimmy Dunn of TV’s The McCarthy’s.

While last year, CEF funding helped initiate the development of a new elementary innovation lab, this year CEF raised funds to help ensure the development of electives for CCHS Q5, when students will have the opportunity to select from more than 80 new electives that leverage the curiosity, knowledge, and passions of CCHS faculty.

Integral to the success of the CEF party year after year, is the steadfast support of Cambridge Savings Bank (CSB). CEF title sponsor for the eighth consecutive year, Cambridge Savings Bank contributed a whopping $10,500 to the event, as well as highly coveted auction items and CSB team members to assist with registration and checkout.

Wayne Patenaude, Presiden & CEO of Cambridge Savings Bank, flanked by CEF Co-Presidents Rick Hedeman and Suzanne Jachinowski.

The entire CEF board extends its gratitude to CSB and the rest of our business sponsors and auction contributors for their generosity in support of CPS/CCHS teachers who are eager to offer students extraordinary educational experiences.

Title Sponsor
Cambridge Savings Bank

Business Sponsors
Reichheld Ting Orthodontics | The Senkler Team at Coldwell Banker | Emerson Hospital | Kim Patenaude & Rory Fivek Team at Barrett Sotheby’s International Realty | Boston Harbor Wealth Management | McWalter Volunteer Insurance Agency | Cape Ann Capital

Auction Contributors
Lori & Ray Jiménez | Rich & Alden Perkins | The Emerson Umbrella | Woodshill Table | Laura McKenna of Barrett/Sotheby’s Realty | Jeff Backerman | Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre | Astrid Behnam | Candlewick Press | Kim Patenaude & Rory Fivek of Barrett/Sothebys Realty | Saltbox Kitchen Brewery | Boston Lounge Décor | West Concord Liquors | Joe & Lori Johnson | Matthew & Shelley Growney | Nashawtuc Country Club | Corporate Limousine Service, Inc. | Nigel Bentley of Concord Country Club | CCHS WIQH Radio | Leslie Feigh | Patriot Hoop Clinics | Middlesex School Summer Arts | Richard Yarmatino of BOSE | Leann and Paul Griesinger | 80 Thoreau | Joy Street | Orangetheory Fitness Concord | Suzanne & Joe Jachinowski | CCHS Principal Mike Mastrullo | Reichheld Ting Orthodontics | Cambridge Savings Bank

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Concord Education Fund Announces Support for Q5

Concord Education Fund Announces Support for Q5

80 new electives focusing on everything from technology and culture, to ecology and film, to wellness and social justice, to creative writing and food

The Concord Education Fund is excited to be integral to the launch of Q5, the re-envisioned last two weeks of the CCHS school year – a 5th Quarter directly following the completion of final exams – when students will have the opportunity to select from more than 80 new electives that leverage the curiosity, knowledge, and passions of CCHS faculty.

Q5 encourages learning for learning’s sake, promotes non-traditional academic exploration, and fosters an open and connected school/community. Teachers look forward to sharing their various passions with students as well as learning from their colleagues. And teachers and students alike look forward to sharing interests and building new, different relationships in a less stressful, more engaging learning environment. Just listen to what the students are saying:

Q5 Sounds Fun!
I’m really excited to have Q5 at CCHS
This is very exciting and I am so glad to be able to explore different facets of learning that I would otherwise not be able to.
Alot of these courses look really interesting 🙂

Take some time to check out principal Mastrullo’s blog, watch the video, and read through the amazing courses being offered to see why the Concord Education Fund is so excited to be a part of Q5!

Learn More About Q5

 

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New Innovation Lab is Moving Full Steam Ahead

New Innovation Lab is Moving Full Steam Ahead

Engineering/Maker Classes for Elementary Teachers and Students Building Excitement for New Innovation Lab

Progress continues on the new Innovation Lab at Ripley, a ‘maker space’ where elementary students can gather to share ideas and use tools and equipment to design, tinker, build and create solutions to design challenges encompassing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM).

Infrastructure work at Ripley is still pending, but CEF-funded materials and training are moving full STEAM ahead. The Innovation Lab has already been put to work as an offsite learning environment where K-5 teachers discover innovative ways to incorporate making/engineering design challenges into the grade school curriculum. STEAM specialists from Lesley University working in partnership with CPS science leadership have conducted two district-wide development afternoons to an enthusiastic audience of K-2 educators.

According to Diane Kablik, CPS K-5 Science Curriculum Specialist, “The positive feedback and energy created by the teachers was so contagious; even the presenters from Lesley University said they were inspired by the group!”

Two more professional development sessions are planned along with a series of kick-off events featuring an entire day of STEAM activities at each of the Concord elementary schools:

Alcott – December 6th
Willard – December 7th
Thoreau – December 8th

And fifth graders will visit a temporary Innovation Lab at Ripley during the month of January where they will pilot 3-4 challenges dealing with circuits, magnetism and electricity:

Alcott – January 3, 4, 8, 11,
Thoreau – January 5, 10, 12, 17
Willard – January 22, 24, 25, 26

Kristen Herbert, CPS Director of Teaching & Learning praised the entire team of educators for their commitment and enthusiasm, but noted that none of the professional development opportunities or kick off events would have been possible without the generous support from the Concord Education Fund.

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CCHS Students Launch a Weather Balloon into the Stratosphere

CCHS Students Launch a Weather Balloon into the Stratosphere

CC Weather Club and Meteorology Class launch a STEM Weather Balloon

The idea was born at the 2016 American Meteorological Society conference.  Theresa Ruggiero, Earth Science and Meteorology teacher at Concord Carlisle High School, and her Weather Club students, saw an academic poster presentation describing an educationally-focused Weather Balloon launching and immediately realized this would be an amazing learning experience for CCHS students to undertake.

Upon return to Concord, Theresa set out exploring options and researching companies that would provide the materials and insight to make an educationally focused Weather Balloon launch a reality for the Weather Club, and Meteorology and Earth Science students. After learning of the cost to get the project off the ground, she turned to the Concord Education Fund (CEF) for assistance by submitting a grant proposal in early 2016. CEF immediately recognized the unique learning experience this project would present for CCHS students and the community at large, and elected to fund the project in the spring, along with a broad mix of others innovative projects.

During the summer months, Theresa conducted due diligence and held conversations with a number of companies, finally settling on Stratostar. With all of the supplies on hand by October of the 2016 school year, and with the help of Ned Roos and Stephan Lane, teachers who are also involved in the Weather Club’s activities, she organized the Weather Club student volunteers into groups working on different aspects of the project like building the payload, doing outreach to Earth Science students to help them design experiments, working with the Meteorology students to do Jetstream and weather forecasts to predict launch positioning and recovery, developing outreach and publicity materials, and preparing to run the launch and do the recovery.  Her dedication, and the many hours of preparation invested by her students, enabled the team to ready the project for testing.

On Friday, December 2, 2016, a large number of students, as well as many school faculty and administrators, including the Principal, Superintendent and K-12 science curriculum specialist, assembled to witness the test launch held at the CCHS turf fields. Thanks to the work of the publicity team, both local newspapers as well as the school newspaper had representatives at the test launch. With music playing and an eager audience watching, the students opened the helium tank valve and inflated the balloon to its desired size (about 12’ in diameter), properly attached the parachute and the 3 cargo boxes housing the experiments, sensors and cameras that would record the entire flight.  The SatCom unit was triggered, the sensors were connected and students practiced the controlled launch procedure (necessary when winds are high) from under a tarp using a tether to bring the balloon back down for a second trial launch.  With a successful test run under their belts, Theresa and her Weather Club team determined that they were ready to launch the following day, despite a difficult weather prediction at the chosen launch site of up to 15 mph winds and the possibility of snow.

On December 3rd, two separate teams of students were assembled: a launch crew and a recovery crew.  Based on a variety of weather conditions, most notably the location and speed of the Jetstream, specific launch and predicted recovery coordinates were calculated. The FAA was notified of a 10am launch. The launch crew loaded all of the gear into their transport vehicles at 6:45am and began the 3 hour drive north to Bennington, VT.  The entire launch was shared live via Facebook and followed by students and community members from afar.  Later that morning, accompanied by CCHS earth science teacher Ray Pavlik, the recovery team headed out to the Worcester area to prepare to recover the instruments and other equipment that would reach the ground roughly 30 minutes after the balloon popped at the edge of space.

The ariel photo was taken onboard the balloon as it neared its remarkable maximum height of 93,000 feet before bursting from the extremely low air pressure.  If you look closely you can see the forks of Long island in the distance.  At this altitude, there is so little air that the sky looks black and breathing would be impossible.  There are no clouds or life.  This is nearly 3 times higher than airplanes fly – it is the edge of space with 99% of the molecules of gas that make up our atmosphere lying below.

After the balloon popped, the 3 boxes containing all of the instrumentation, cameras, GPS trackers and experiments plummeted turbulently and rapidly through the thin atmosphere until there was enough air to catch the parachute and open it.  Within a few minutes the boxes were travelling through the Jetstream again and the instruments recorded the extremely high 120 mph wind speeds of this upper level wind system.  Within 20 minutes, the boxes had landed near the Worcester airport, entangled in the branches of a residential neighborhood tree.  The recovery team was on-site within minutes and used their tree trimming equipment and climbing skills to recover the valuable payload boxes.

While the nearly 3 hour balloon flight mission was over, the experience for the students was not.  That night Cooper Ernst, Charlie Peachy, and Luke Pailet eagerly unpacked the boxes to see the results of the experiments and be the first ones to experience the footage shot by the on-board video cameras.  Cooper described the moment he saw the shot of Long Island while scanning through the video footage as one he would always remember.  He was completely blown away to have been part of that experience.  An aspiring film major at NYU next fall, Cooper quickly turned this balloon footage into a 6 minute movie complete with music that was posted to YouTube and easily reached 1,000 views.  You can view it here at:

https://youtu.be/qVMt0gu5rcc

A clip from the video was featured on local and national news the Tuesday after the launch.  Over 3,000 people had interacted with the mission control page with real-time data and social media feed for the launch.   You still can see the data, and flight path there still at:

https://tracking.stratostar.net/mission/0106

Charlie Peachy, a CCHS Junior who became interested in meteorology as a college major after joining the Weather Balloon launch team this year, organized team members to visit 15 Concord elementary and middle school classrooms to share the video footage and data collected on the launch and inspire them to become involved.

In January 2017, a year after the original idea was born, Theresa Ruggiero, Steve Lane, and Ned Roos, travelled back to the yearly American Meteorological Society conference with 5 of the students most involved with the launch: Bentley Meyer, Jalen Winstanly, Cooper Ernst, Charlie Peachy, and Peter Mushlitz. There the students attended sessions held by high-level meteorologists from around the world and had a chance to present their own work, getting a taste of what it’s like to be a part of the real scientific community.  While there, they met another group of students who presented their work on building and programming a weather station.  The two groups of students are planning to collaborate and re-design the weather station to be fit for flight on next year’s balloon launch, which is planned for October, 2017.

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CMS Band Performs Two World Premier Pieces

CMS Band Performs Two World Premier Pieces

Written Especially for CMS by Award Winning Composer Tyler S. Grant

This year the Concord Middle School (CMS) Band’s Spring Concert included the premier of two original works, written especially for CMS by composer Tyler S. Grant, a 20-year old, award winning composer/conductor whose work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Macy’s Day Parade, and (as of June 9th) Concord-Carlisle High School.

Mr. Grant’s commission was made possible by a grant from the Concord Education Fund (CEF) submitted by band directors Christopher Noce and Paul Halpainy. According to Mr. Halpainy, “We reached out to Tyler to compose two works – one for the 6th grade band and one for the 7th and 8th grade band – that were connected thematically to each other, to Concord’s rich history, and to the student performers coming of age as they progress through middle school.”

The 6th grade band performed the work entitled From the Concord Chronicles, an energetic piece inspired by an historical April morning in Concord that culminated with what Emerson called, “the shot heard round the world.” It purposefully captures many different styles, allowing 6th grade performers to move from a soft, almost ominous opening to a fast, frantic, resounding conclusion.

The 7th and 8th grade band performed Resplendent Light, a moving, lyrical piece inspired by Thoreau’s On Walden Pond and a personal loss suffered by the composer. Begun the day he learned that his grandfather passed away, Grant found it fitting that Resplendent Light premiered on what would have been his grandfather’s 80th birthday. Introducing the piece, Mr. Grant went on to note, “One of the reasons that I support music education as much as I do is for its social value. It’s an activity that allows young musicians to come together and experience some joy in a world that really needs it.”

Prior to the concert, Grant worked directly with the students to fine-tune their interpretation of each piece before conducting them through the premier performances. He concluded his remarks at the concert by complimenting the students, the band directors and especially the Concord parent community for its enthusiastic support of music education. According to Grant, “The commissioning of two original pieces in one year is rare, but that both were commissioned by a middle school is extraordinary.”

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