JW Killam Principal's Corner
Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter
From the Desk of Ms. Leveque
We had a beautiful winter wonderland come to New England yesterday. I hope that you and your children were able to take a moment to enjoy one of the true childhood joys in New England- a snow day! For adults, the shoveling and snow removal is a challenge but for a child, waking up and hearing there is an opportunity to go sledding, build a snowman, or just go play outside is a special moment. In this pandemic filled year, having a few reminders of normalcy brings a smile to my face.
We continue to be amazed by what our students are learning this year, both in school and at home. The resiliency and focus is on full display and below you will find a few photos from Mrs. Adamo and the Hour of Code work our students have participated in. If there is nothing else that this year teaches us, it is that our students' have incredible minds and their creativity and ability to think will make them productive members of our society. As we approach winter break, please remember to follow the MA travel guidelines and maintain our social distancing procedures. It is only with your help that we can keep our Killam community safe and open to our children attending school in-person.
I wish you all a healthy and relaxed December break, and a joyous New Year. May 2021 bring the glimmer of hope we all need. I will be taking the break off to recharge and see my family. My next newsletter will be coming the week of January 10th.
Killam Upcoming Dates
Week of December 20th: Cohort B
Wednesday, December 23rd: Full day of school
-Optional Reading Public School Hybrid Model Parent Survey Deadline. To access the survey from Dr. Doherty, click here.
Thursday, December 24th - Sunday, January 3rd: No School; December Break
Monday, January 4th: School Re-opens
Cohort A week
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
Killam Library Media Hour of Code: A Note from Mrs. Adamo
Below are some pictures from Killam’s Hour of Code. Even through a pandemic, the Killam kids continue to impress me with their coding abilities. This year we learned how to code a sandcastle and how to code a rollercoaster. We talked about how robots work and even learned how to write our names in binary code! Many of our fourth and fifth grade students also created their own computer games using free resources through www.code.org! If your child wants to do more coding at home, please visit this website for more free coding resources https://hourofcode.com/us/learn
Travel Over the Holidays
Many of you may be traveling to see family or loved ones. Even if your celebration is smaller this year, travel may be involved in your holiday plans. We have seen an uptick in positive COVID cases since the Thanksgiving holiday. Remember, if you are traveling to a location out of state that is not considered a lower risk state by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must either quarantine for 14 days upon return or have a COVID test. This link will take you to the Commonwealth's COVID 19 Travel Order site that includes a list of lower risk states.
If you travel to one of these states, please either quarantine for 14 days upon return or have a PCR COVID test and send the negative results to Sharon Grottkau, Killam nurse.
If you have questions about learning during the period of a quarantine or awaiting a test result, please contact me by email.
We are a community and need to band together to keep Killam School safe for our students and staff. Thank you for your support in this.
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.
Beloved Community Event
Every year, Reading celebrates the message and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, during this unprecedented time of a pandemic, we've already started planning for an event themed 'Beloved Community' that is both inspiring, engaging, and can be delivered 100% remotely. Dr. King popularized the notion of the beloved community. He defined it as a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings. There were many before him who fought for the rights of those who were not treated equally.
How can your group help us educate and celebrate his message? How can everyone here in Reading internalize the message as a unified beloved community? We are looking for 3-5 minute pre-recordings that exemplify 'Beloved Community'. Could you create a song? A poem? A reading? An original interpretation or story telling? All of these are welcome!
Please email your content to the Human Rights Advisory Council by January 5, 2021.
Student Services Office Hours
With the holidays upon us, we wanted to take a quick moment to thank all the families for their support and partnership during this most unusual school year. We hope that you all have a chance to relax, spend time with family and reenergize for the coming weeks!
As December is approaching, we wanted to share our office hours for the month of December. Jen Stys, Director of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services, are available for office hours on the following dates. Please sign up for an appointment through the link below.
December Office Hours
- Monday, December 21 @ 12-1 pm
Link to the DOODLE Poll to sign up for office hours:
Jennifer Stys and Allison Wright
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.
Rolling Car Drop-off
This year, we are not having bad weather flag days, meaning regardless of weather, students are entering from their external classroom doors. Again, we are not using the front entrance, cafeteria, or gym for bad weather days. The only exception to this is if it's after 8:25 in which we will have students enter the front door at socially distanced timings. As overall reminders:
-drive like your own children go to school here! Safety is key!
-drive slowly, being mindful of the crosswalks in the driveway. We have a LOT of children and families using our driveway crosswalks so eyes need to be on the surroundings at all times.
-pull all the way forward in the driveway. This helps us get our students unloaded quickly and safely.
-have your child exit the car closest to the sidewalk and front face of the building. This helps us keep students out of the path of cars.
-only take a right hand turn out of the driveway. This helps us avoid a bottleneck traffic jam.
-drop-off prior to 8:10 AM.
-stop directly in front of the school. Pull forward to the end of the driveway.
-get out of your car. If your child needs extra help to unload or to say goodbye, park and walk your child to their external classroom door.
-pass any buses or vans. It's against the law to pass a school bus/van that is unloading.
-pass cars in front of you once you drop-off. Stay in a single line.
-park in the staff parking lot.
-use the rolling car line to drop off materials to your child or class. Please park and bring the materials to the door.
The Killam PTO wants to wish all of our families a happy and healthy winter break and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year!
Gear and Book Fair order pick up
We will be organizing a gear and book fair order drive-thru pick up on December 22nd, please keep an eye out for more details.
Toys for Tots
With the help of the Killam community, we dropped off 30 Target bags worth of donations to the Reading Fire Department. THANK YOU to all those who made this possible! If you or anyone you know is still interested in donating to Toys for Tots, the fire department will be collecting until Monday, December 21st. With many corporations and companies closed this year due to Covid-19, donations are down so please spread the word! A huge thank you to Nicole Crosby for organizing, collecting and dropping off the drive!
5th Grade Clothing Drive
The Killam 5th graders collected nearly 2,000 pounds of clothing donations!! It took 7 cars/minivans to get it all delivered! Thank you Killam community for all your generous donations!
The Killam community is truly amazing! Last Friday night we raised $1150 for the PTO through The Mandarin dine-out! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the PTO and an awesome local restaurant! We also want to thank the Mandarin for supporting us; they rocked it last Friday night!
Looking for last minute holiday gifts? We still have masks, water bottles, Killam pencils and more for sale on our gear site!
Connect with the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) by clicking these links:
- Join SEPAC's mailing list by emailing SEPACREADING@gmail.com
- Follow SEPAC on Facebook (please adjust settings so that you are sure to see our posts)
- Visit SEPAC’s website
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.
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
All information is listed under the Distance Learning Resources tab on the Killam Homepage.
-How to Sign-in to 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!
-How to Login to Zoom
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.
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)