JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

RETURN TO IN PERSON SCHOOLING UPDATE:

We continue to prepare schedules and make facilities plans for the return to in person schooling on April 5th.


As of this morning, we have 245 student responses to the return to school survey. We have 400 students enrolled at Killam School, so we're missing a few responses. If you have not done so already, please follow this link and complete the return to school survey for your children. You need to complete one survey per child and we need a survey for all children. If you've changed your mind from your original response, you can complete the survey again with your new information and we will use that survey response in planning. We are counting desks, chairs and seats in the cafeteria as well as measuring classrooms to plan for April 5, so we do need exact numbers. Thank you.


Since the Commissioner's update on returning to in person schooling, we have changed some dates related to our return. All students in Grades 1 to 5 who are moving from fully remote to in person learning will start in person learning on April 5th. The March 15th date no longer applies. If you have a kindergarten child who is moving from full remote learning to in person learning, they will make this move on March 15th. See below for Dr. Doherty's letter about this change.



Dear Reading Elementary Parents,


As you may be aware the Commissioner of Education is looking at getting Board of Education approval to change the Time on Learning Requirements so that K-5 students will be in person, five days per week, beginning on April 5th. Families will still have the option of having their child(ren) fully remote for the remainder of this school year.


Recently, we sent you a survey asking what model you were going to choose for your child for the third marking period, which begins on March 15th. Given this recent information by the Commissioner, we will not have students switch models on the dates previously set. All students Grades 1-5 who are changing models will transition to full in person on April 5th, regardless of their current cohort. The third marking period, however, will still begin on March 15th. Our rationale for this is to allow us to prepare for the switch to a full in person model and to minimize the number of transitions for some students.


We wanted to give you this information with as much advance notice as possible.

If you have any questions, please contact your building principal.


Dr. John Doherty



SCHOOL PICTURES:

Many families have asked about school pictures. We are once again working with O'Connor Studios to set up dates for our students to have their school pictures taken. Due to the COVID restrictions we need to follow, we are planning to have two separate weeks to ensure everyone has an opportunity to have their photo taken. We are taking individual photos this year but not class photos due to social distancing. We are planning on having all students, grade K-4 in Cohort B on Tuesday, March 16. Then, we will have all students in Cohort A on Wednesday, March 24.


Fully Remote students will have an opportunity to come in after school on March 24th from 3-4pm if they want to participate. If you are a fully remote family and wish for your child to have a school photo taken, please email our school administrative assistant, Jackie Maglio by March 12th. Mark your calendars. More details will be coming soon!




COVID POOL TESTING STUDENT SOCIAL STORY AND VIDEO:

As we begin rolling out pool testing with students, we wanted to share a Killam specific social story and video to help your child understand the procedures. Students who have been signed up to be Covid tested will be accompanied by a staff and will step out of their classrooms to take the test. We have a wonderful group of nurturing individuals, led by our own Sharon Grottkau, in helping think about our students emotional and physical needs throughout this testing process.



Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of March 7th: Cohort A week
-Read Across America


Wednesday, March 10th: Read Across America Spirit Day for Cohort A: Dress as your favorite storybook character


Thursday, March 11th: Read Across America Virtual Bedtime Story Hour, 6-7 pm



Hybrid In-person Weeks Staggered Dismissal:

-Grades One and Two: 2:35pm

-Grades Three and Four: 2:40pm
-Kindergarten and Grade Five: 2:45pm

-All students taking the bus or attending Extended Day will be monitored by Killam staff until picked up.

-Remote learning weeks end at 2:45, Grades K-5

Grades 3-5 MCAS Testing 2021

The Department of Education has notified schools that the elementary MCAS dates have moved to May 10-June 11. A Killam specific schedule will follow later in the year.

Killam Read Across America beginning in March!

Our Read Across America theme is Around the World with Reading. We will read and listen to authors and books from all over the world!


  • Our Spirit Days are Wednesday, March 10th (cohort A) and March 17th (kindergarten and cohort B) - Dress As Your Favorite Story Book Character!

  • We will have guest readers in school or over Zoom!

  • Our Virtual Bedtime Story Hour is Thursday, March 11th from 6:00-7:00!

  • Our 4th and 5th Graders will vote for their favorite MCBA Book!

  • We will host our first Battle of the Books Challenge and vote for our school favorite!

  • Our Makerspace At Home Challenge is to recreate the Landmarks of the World!

  • Lauren Tarshis Virtual Author Visit for 3rd-5th Grade in the Spring!

  • Send us pictures of you reading at home or at school!



Check out with Mrs. Adamo has put together for our students!
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MWRA Student Contest

The MWRA is sponsoring a Poster and Writing Contest for students who live in or attend school in a community served by the MWRA such as Reading. Students are invited to use their creative skills to design a poster and/or write an essay, poem or story about the important work being done behind the scenes at the MWRA to make sure we all have clean drinking water and/or proper wastewater treatment. For more information and the contest and all the paperwork needed to enter, please visit the MWRA website.


All entries must be postmarked no later than March 12th.

Building Safety Project at Killam

As part of the district wide building safety upgrades, all schools are getting new cameras and keyless entry systems. The electrical contractors will be starting at Killam on Monday. All contractors will be wearing IDs and have had CORI checks. They are following all COVID safety protocols. We anticipate this work to take four to six weeks. We're very excited about our safety upgrades.

Killam Safety Reminders

Arrival:

Follow these guidelines if you are participating in rolling car drop-off a child at the front of the building:


  1. Pull up as far as you can in the driveway prior to letting your child exit the car.
  2. Drivers stay in the car and children exit on the sidewalk side of the car.
  3. If your child is unable to get out of the car independently, please park in a street parking space and walk them in.
  4. Do not pass cars in the driveway and it is a right turn only out of the driveway.


Dismissal:

At dismissal time, there is no live pick up in the driveway except for students who take the bus.


As a safety reminder, the staff parking lot is staff only. We've seen families parking there for dismissal and we respectfully ask that you park along the street. With our students exiting from their external doors in the parking lot, having cars drive in and out is not safe. Thanks for helping us out.


Dogs and Puppies on School Grounds

As much as we all love dogs and puppies and as much fun as it is walking them, School Committee policy prohibits dogs on school grounds. If you'd like to walk your dog as part of your pick up routine, the dog has to stay off school property. If you'd like your child to walk to you on the sidewalk or to the driveway entrances at dismissal so you can wait with your dog please make that plan with them.

The Jungle Book

Parker Drama is presenting The Jungle Book - livestreamed! - on Thursday, March 25 @ 6:30pm and Friday, March 26 @ 7:30pm.

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Student Services Office Hours

Dear Families,


We hope everyone is feeling rested after February break and that you were able to spend some time with your families! As we move into the month of March, we wanted to share the Student Services Office Hours for the upcoming month. Please use the link to the DOODLE Poll to select a time to meet with us.


The purpose of Office Hours is to meet with the Director and Assistant Director of Student Services to ask questions, express concerns or to share personal experiences of your student. These are optional meetings and are not team meetings. We've enjoyed these opportunities and look forward to continuing connecting with families during office hours.


Prior to your scheduled time, a ZOOM link will be sent to you via email. Please be sure to include your email address when you sign up!


If you have any questions regarding Office Hours, please contact Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services @ Allison.Wright@reading.k12.ma.us.


Office Hours for March 2021

  • Wednesday 3/3 @9:00-10:00 am
  • Tuesday 3/9 @ 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Thursday 3/18 @ 11:00-12:00 pm
  • Monday 3/22 @ 10:30-11:30 am
  • Wednesday 3/31 @ 9:00-10:00 am

Link to the Doodle Poll to sign up for Office Hours:

Link to Doodle Poll



Thank you,
Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright

PTO Corner

PAINT NIGHT!

Please join us for a virtual paint night with Mrs. Hussey funded by the Killam PTO!


Read on for more details and then complete the form here: https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLSfrE3ujaMt.../viewform



DINE-OUT POSTPONED TO APRIL!

We will send out a new date soon. Please join us for our next dine-out with EJ’s Pizza grab and go. A portion of sales all day will go back to the PTO, just mention Killam when you order!



5th GRADE SCENTSY FUNDRAISER!

We’re hoping to send our Fifth Graders off in style after the craziness of the past year! To that end, Janelle Greatorex is sponsoring a Scentsy Sale to benefit our 5th graders! Janelle is generously donating 50% of all the sales back to help fund memory books, end of the year mementos and the 5th grade class gift to Killam.


She is offering a Fragrance Flower oil diffuser for $25, with many scent options to choose from! And also, giving us all an Insider PreSale opportunity for these adorable little Easter Bitty

Buddies for $15 each.


All items will be available before Easter** via drive thru pickup at **Killam ! And these guys would look adorable in a basket!


Order before March 10th, or while supplies last for the Easter Bitty Buddies!

https://docs.google.com/.../1FAIpQLSf1ZpbwDlWMPP.../viewform



100th DAY CELEBRATION

Thank you to everyone who has sent items for the teachers and staff for the 100th day of school! We were so excited to stock their lounge this week!

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SEPAC Information


Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at our next business meeting on


Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM!

New business for this meeting includes (1) A quick recap of topics covered by SEPAC in 20/21 academic year thus far and a call for parent volunteers to prepare a comprehensive survey on all topics of interest from SEPAC members; (2) Presentations on local family support services and resources, presenters include: Alice Gomez, School Psychologist; Terri Farrell, Director, Autism Insurance Resource Center Project, and Andrea Passacantilli, Mobile Crisis Intervention Program Manager, Elliott Community Human Services. Parent discussion to follow. (3) There will also be a brief update from the SEPAC's reading/literacy subcommittee.


Please join us for these presentations and discussion and feel free to share any additional resources that you think other parents may find helpful. All are welcome!



This meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom.


Join us for our next

VIRTUAL SEPAC MEETING

on Tuesday, February 9th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting



Please also join us for our next VIRTUAL Reading and Literacy Subcommittee Meeting

on Tuesday, February 2nd at 7PM.

Meeting link: https://readingpsma.zoom.us/j/87835232197


All are welcome and ENCOURAGED to attend!


Connect with SEPAC by clicking these links:


The mission of the Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is to work for the understanding of, respect for, and support of, all children with special needs in the community.

Remote Access for In-Person Students Who Are Absent From School

Below are the remote criteria that will be used when students who are in person during a particular week are absent from school. This was shared by Dr. Doherty in a newsletter.


Students will have live remote access under the following conditions:


  • He/she is quarantined due to testing positive for COVID-19.
  • He/she is quarantined due to being in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • He/she is being quarantined for being out of state and is waiting for a negative COVID test per DPH guidelines.
  • He/she is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.
  • He/she has another medical condition that prevents them from coming to school.



Students will not have live remote access under the following situations:


  • He/she is absent for any reason other than described above.
  • He/she is quarantining for 10-14 days because of out of state travel as defined by the MDPH Travel Order and is not getting a COVID-test.
  • He/she is going on a family vacation or other non-school activity during school days.



Please note that there may be extenuating circumstances in a school that would require a different action than above. These decisions are at the discretion of the building principal.

Lunch Reminders

As you all know, our lunch program is FREE for students this school year. All students may receive a healthy lunch at no cost. However, snacks, bottled water, and additional lunches are not free and families will be charged for those items. We have several students ordering an additional lunch or snack and we just want to be sure families are aware this is happening so you are not surprised if you are billed for these items. Please talk with your child and check your account to see about snacks.

Mask Up Reading!

The Town of Reading asks residents to:

· Wear a mask or face covering whenever you are not at home or in your personal vehicle.

· Maintain social distancing, at least 6' from others.

· Observe the State's Stay-at-Home Advisory from 10PM – 5AM.

· Review the latest CDC Guidance.

· Get a flu shot.

· Talk about Covid precautions with household members, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

· Stay home when you are experiencing symptoms.

· Don't hesitate to get a COVID-19 test (click here for testing sites).


If you have any questions, please contact our local Board of Health.

Reading Public School Laptops

A friendly reminder that if you were loaned a laptop from RPS, it is expected that your child is bringing that device to school whenever they are in person. Thank you!

A Note from Food Services

Through the extension of the Seamless Summer Meal program, started in response to COVID-19, we are able to offer all Reading Public School Children FREE meals for the entire 2020-2021 school year.


What this means for your family–


  • Your school-age children will receive a healthy breakfast (at Coolidge, Parker and RMHS only,) and lunch every school day, at no cost, in a safe and welcoming environment. This applies to students who are attending classes in school.
  • Our other option for FREE meals for children, ages 0-21, is meal distribution. This includes remote learners, learnings participating in a hybrid learning mode, or any other children in your home. These meals will provide breakfast and lunch for each day, including weekends. Our meal distribution is provided under the bridge at Reading Memorial High School every Wednesday from 2:30 – 3:30 pm or Friday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon.


This program allows Reading School District to provide the most nourishing and appetizing meals possible for your children. When your children eat school meals, it helps the school system by providing federal funds to the district. The more meals we serve, the more funding we receive, allowing us to focus on providing wonderful, nutritious meals for your family. If your children have never participated in school meals, consider trying the program this year!


The School Nutrition Office will be monitoring participation.
If you have any questions please contact Danielle Collins, School Nutrition Director, at Danielle.Collins@Reading.k12.ma.us or 781-670-2822

Resources to Setup Your Child for Remote Learning

Your child's teacher will communicate today the daily schedule for remote learning. They will also be sharing their own resources and tutorials. Below are a few of the main instructional platforms that all students will be using. These documents walk you through how to setup for success for the first day of school.


All information is listed under the Distance Learning Resources tab on the Killam Homepage.


Google Classroom
-How to Sign-in to Google Classroom

-How to Post Assignments in Google Classrooms

-How to View and Respond to Comments in Google Classroom
-Supporting your Child in Google Classroom


-Google – Teach from Anywhere: Google has established a website to help families and teachers (individual links) use Google and troubleshoot common problems, but all provide helpful hints. This is something teachers may want to share with families at some point. Click HERE to check it out!



Zoom
-How to Login to Zoom


Microsoft Teams

-How to Login to Microsoft Teams


SeeSaw
-How to Access SeeSaw through Google Classroom


Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Support Resources:
In an effort to streamline locations that you can access for support, we've included all the information in one centralized location. On the Behavioral Health page of the Reading Public School's District website, you will now find all Covid-19 related resources, broken down by categories (upper right hand corner of the page). We are fortunate to have access to an incredible array of resources and we hope this helps you navigate this unprecedented time. Each page is set up in the same format, and hyperlinks are included to help get you quickly to the information you need.


We have a secondary RPS Social-Emotional Learning Resource Center with additional materials.

School Presentations:
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)

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About These Services

The Town of Reading contracts with William James College to offer a special service for our residents. The William James INTERFACE Referral Service maintains a mental health and wellness referral help line Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm, at 888-244-6843 (toll free). This is a free, confidential referral service for individuals across the lifespan living in Reading. Callers are matched with licensed mental health providers from our extensive database. Each referral meets the location, insurance, and specialty needs of the caller. Click here to learn more!