Center Community Chat

September 6, 2021

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Dear Center Families,

Wooo Hoooo! We welcomed approximately 70 staff members and 494 students back to Center school this week, full-time, full-day!. After starting the year off with only half of our students for a truncated day last year, this is certainly something to celebrate.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to establish routines and procedures. We have already made a few changes which have helped make arrival and dismissal go a bit smoother. Please see the changes below:

Arrival -

Please do not arrive on campus for drop off until 8:40, we can not begin assisting students out of cars until 8:45 . Arriving after 8:40 allows us to keep a flow of traffic exiting the campus and preventing backups on Billerica Road. We now have two drop off lines, one in the upper parking lot and one in the lower lot, at the start of drop off in order to get cars on campus. Please remain in your car; a staff member will come to your car, indicating your student can exit.

Walkers should meet in front of the school rather than at the bike rack. Parents will enter the building with other parents picking up students at the end of the day.


Please park in designated parking spaces only and adhere to the no-parking signs on the access road to campus. The first access road serves two-way traffic. We also want to ensure no cars get blocked in.

Staffing Updates:

Leanna Labinski and Corrie Maclean have both joined our paraprofessional teams. Both come to Center with years of teaching experience so we are fortunate to have them supporting our students.

Kim Fultz, a paraprofessional who worked at Center for 6 years, has left to pursue a teaching position in Tyngsborough. We wish her the best!

Permission to take pictures

A picture speaks a thousand words as they say, and we love to include these in our weekly updates and on the website through our Twitter feed. Please let email Ms. O’Hearn at if you do not want your child’s picture included in these forums.

Save the Date

Curriculum night is Tuesday, September 14th. Please see details below.

Thank you again for your part in ensuring a wonderful start to the school year.

Warm Regards,

Dianna and Donna

From Center's Librarian

Hello families and welcome back to Center School!

I am excited to have classes coming back into the library and checking out books! Once again, I am looking for volunteers to help in the Center School Library. You are welcome to volunteer during your child’s class time or any other time that works for your schedule. In addition to organizing and shelving books, volunteers checkin and checkout books, help students in class and assist with a variety of projects. If you are interested in volunteering, please email me at Please include the following information in your email: your name, your student's name, their teacher's name and whether you would like to help every week or every other week.

Thank you so much for your support!

Mrs. Engdahl



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Curriculum Night

We are looking forward to our annual Curriculum Night on Tuesday, September 14th , which will be held in person. All participants must be wearing a mask. Please see the schedule and details below:

  • Grades K-2 - 5:00-5:30 p.m. Principal Presentations in the cafeteria

  • Grades K-2 - 5:30- 6:15 p.m.- Classroom Presentations

  • All Grades - 6:15-7:00 p.m.—Specialist and Special Educator Time: Music, Art, Library, Computer, P.E., Special Education, Reading, and ELL Staff Members will be in their rooms. Please stop by these areas and meet our Specialists and Special Educators!

    Specialist and Special Educator Classrooms

  • Grades 3&4 - 7:00 -7:30 p.m. Principal Presentation

  • Grades 3&4 - 7:30 -8:15 p.m. Classroom Presentations

  • Just a reminder that this is an opportunity for caretakers to meet with Center staff. Please make child care accommodations for your children as this an adult only event.

  • Please remember that open house is an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, see their class, and learn about the curriculum. We respectfully ask you to refrain from asking questions pertaining to your children, this will be reserved for conferences.

  • Please note that classrooms will be closed until the grade level classroom presentations. If you have children in both grade levels, feel free to attend only one of the parent meetings in the cafeteria, as it will be the same presentation twice.

Upcoming Events


  • Monday, September 6: Labor Day, No School

  • Monday, September 6: Rosh Hashanah through Wednesday, 9/8

  • Tuesday, September 7: Be Kind-Wear Kind (usually the first Monday of each month)

  • Tuesday, September 14: Open House Night, Grades K, 1 & 2: 5-6:15 PM,Grades 3 & 4: 7-8:15 PM

  • Thursday, September 15: International Dot Day; Wear your dots!

  • Thursday, September 15: Yom Kippur at sundown - nightfall on September 16
  • Wednesday, September 29: CSPTO meeting at Center Library, 6:30 meet and greet, 7-8 PM meeting

Social Emotional Learning

Welcome back to all of our students and families. We hope that you enjoyed a restful and safe summer vacation. My name is Shannon Bischoff and I am new to the district as the Coordinator of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Counseling Services. I have had the opportunity to partner with all of the schools throughout the summer weeks to learn about the resources and supports in place in our schools and in our surrounding community to respond to student’s social emotional well-being. What I have learned is that there is an amazing framework of dedicated families, students, teachers, counselors, psychologists and administrators that prioritize your student’s social-emotional needs and well-being.

This year all elementary and middle schools in the district will implement a new digital curriculum called Second Step which you will hear about from your students and their teachers. This wonderful new curriculum has a community and family component which will allow you to engage in meaningful conversations at home around the topic of social-emotional learning. If you would like to learn more about this curriculum I welcome you to visit their website where they have several free and user friendly resources for you to access.

Throughout the year I plan to partner with our school psychologists and counselors to provide you with resources and information to support your student’s growth and learning in the area of SEL and respond to their social-emotional needs.

I welcome you to email or call me to introduce yourself and your child, to share ideas and insights, and help me better get to know the Chelmsford community.

As our students, families and staff return from the summer vacation, I look forward to getting to know each of you. We can’t wait to see your child grow this year and look forward to joining you in celebrating their successes.

With warm regards,

Shannon Bischoff

Coordinator of SEL and Counseling Services PreK-12

(978) 251-5199 ext. 5601


Interface Referral Services: Helpline (888) 244-6843

Second Step:https: //

What is SEL Video: What is SEL?

Resources and Information

Important District COVID Protocols and Procedures

Please be sure to read this important update from Dr. Lang if you haven't already done so.

COVID-19 Vaccination Status

One of the significant changes this year, over last, is that asymptomatic vaccinated individuals are not considered close contacts to a confirmed COVID positive individual and do not need to test or quarantine to remain in school. Parents are asked to provide documentation of vaccine status for their child so we may appropriately identify "close contacts" exempt from COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols in the event a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 this school year. Vaccination is a key mitigation strategy as we work to provide a healthy and safe learning environment in our school community. If a parent elects not to share the vaccine status of their child, the child is assumed unvaccinated and must follow COVID-19 test and quarantine protocols for unvaccinated individuals. Parents may access the COVID-19 vaccination notification status form at the following link to inform CPS nursing staff of their child’s vaccination status: You are required to log-in to a Google account to upload your form. If you do not have a Google account, you may upload the form through your child’s school issued Google account. Please complete a separate form for each child that attends a Chelmsford Public School.

Test and Stay Protocol

CPS will be offering a Test and Stay protocol for individuals who are identified as “close contacts” due to a COVID-19 positive school exposure. This testing protocol will minimize the amount of time individuals (students and staff) are out of school due to an in-school COVID-19 positive exposure and is a safe alternative to at-home isolation. The Test and Stay protocol requires an individual take a rapid antigen test, BinaxNOW, upon arrival to school each day and receive a negative test result.

The duration of the Test and Stay protocol is seven (7) days from the date of exposure, and close contacts may remain in school if they:

  • Are asymptomatic;
  • Wear masks in school at all times, other than when eating or drinking (when eating or drinking 3 feet of distance from other individuals should be maintained);
  • Take a rapid antigen test – BinaxNOW, each school day and receive a negative test result. When the 7 days from date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, individuals should quarantine on weekends/holidays and if they remain asymptomatic, upon return to school be tested immediately. If the individual remains negative, they may stay in school;
  • Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop.

Individuals who elect to participate in the Test and Stay protocol may be eligible to participate in school sports and extracurricular activities. For school events and sports that take place on non-school days, testing will be required on those days to participate. Test and Stay is only applicable to in-school COVID-19 exposure. Exposures outside of school require a traditional quarantine protocol response.

Important Information – Consent to Participate Required

For your child to participate in the Test and Stay protocol if they are identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 positive individual, consent is required to test. Please refer to the consent form for additional information. Our nursing staff is thoroughly trained on how to administer the Abbott BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test.

To provide permission for your child to participate in the Test and Stay protocol in our schools, please select the following link to complete the consent form:

*Please note the consent includes an option for Symptomatic Testing, however, symptomatic testing is not currently available in our schools. The consent is applicable only for weekly COVID-19 pool testing and/or the Test and Stay protocol.

Arrival and Dismissal Information

Caretaker Drop-off

  • Drive through drop-off begins at 8:45 and ends at 8:59. Please do not arrive on campus prior to 8:40. Please enter from Billerica road and turn right when approaching the school. Please drive up to a cone before stopping your vehicle and letting students exit. Another staff member will be stationed as the entrance curves to the right, please do not drop any students off before you reach this staff member.

  • Students should exit from the driver’s side so they do not cross in front or behind cars. Students can enter the building and go directly to their classrooms at 8:50.


  • Caretakers who are walking students to school please wait with your child in the front of the school. This option is for families who live in walking distance. Please do not park on campus and walk your child to the front door.


  • Caretakers must turn off and park their cars in the upper parking lot nearest Billerica Road, if entering the building to pick up your student. Proceed to the crosswalk and down the sidewalk to the front door. Park in designated spots only so cars are not blocked in.

  • Parking on the access road to the school is not allowed as buses are entering there and caretakers are using that road to exit. Caretakers are allowed to park behind town hall and walk through the large path to the school.

  • Doors open at 3:18, please go directly to the cafeteria. All families entering must be wearing a mask. A card with your students' name will be on a table to the right. Please pick this up and proceed into the cafe, find your child and join the line to the staff member who will dismiss your child. Please have a form of identification ready upon exiting at least for the first two weeks, or until our staff member becomes familiar with you.

  • Please send in a note for teachers on the first day to let them know if your student will not be riding a bus home every day. If your child normally rides the bus but you need to pick up, please send a note to the teacher, the teacher will notify the office. If you need to change your student’s after school plans you must call the office by 2:30. Students will not be dismissed from the office after 2:45

School Nutrition Department Updates

Breakfast and lunch will be provided, at school, free of charge to all families throughout the 2021-2022 school year.


School menus (breakfast and lunch) -

Free and Reduced Form -

Free and Reduced Lunch Forms - You only need to fill out one per family. This form can be returned to any office in the district, including food services, located at Chelmsford High School.