Wood End Wildcat News

March 7, 2021 ~ Cohort A In-Person This Week

Wood End Celebrates 100th Day of School!

Dear Wood End Families,


As we have now heard, Commissioner Riley announced on Friday that all elementary students will return to full in-person learning five days a week, beginning April 5th. This will involve a significant undertaking on our part to prepare for this change. I am currently in the process of identifying any students who may be remaining fully remote, as not all families completed the survey which was required for every student. We have 250 students at Wood End and I only received responses for 144 students. Please email me directly ONLY if your child is staying fully remote, and you did not receive an email from me this weekend confirming that information. Otherwise, we will plan on your child attending in-person. I am currently updating class rosters to plan for appropriate seating and we need an accurate count to set up the classrooms according to the current guidelines.


Since the Commissioner's update on Friday, we have changed the dates related to our return. All students in Grades 1 to 5 who are moving from fully remote to in-person learning will start on April 5th. The March 15th date no longer applies unless your child is in kindergarten. Please see Dr. Doherty's letter below for more information about this change.


I am creating new schedules and plans since we will soon be at full capacity. Beginning April 5th, school will be in session Monday through Thursday, 8:15-2:45 and on Fridays from 8:15 until 11:30. We will still be using the same safety protocols and require that all students and staff wear masks, socially distance, wash hands, and remain home if they are sick. will remain. Students will be kept as far apart as possible in the classrooms with a minimum of 3 feet, and 6 feet in the cafeteria during lunches. Every class has been assigned an outdoor space that can be utilized for snack, mask breaks, and learning time when the weather improves.


As we learn more about the dates students are returning to this new model, I will continue to keep families updated.


There has been some confusion about the upcoming teacher in-service day. There will be no school for students on Friday, March 26th as teachers will be attending a variety of district-planned workshops. Additionally, the MCAS dates have also been changed by DESE and have been moved to later in the spring. I have included the revised schedule for Wood End, so please see below for those dates.


Enjoy the warmer days ahead this week,

Dr. King

Letter from Dr. Doherty

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

Read Across America Week 1 Recap

We just kicked off this year's Read Across America with our virtual All School meeting led by Student Council members who explained all the details for this year's theme and events! This year's theme is "Around the World with Reading." Every year we have a storyline that students help create to go along with the theme. This year, Woody the Wildcat gets lost somewhere in the world and the only way to get him back to Wood End is through the power of reading!


So far Woody has made is his way to Italy, Canada, India and China! Students will continue to follow clues to guess where he is each day next week. This past week we had the first Battle of the Books competition! The story We Are the Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom was up against Ho'onani by Heather Gale. Both books are based on real life events and these stories are beautifully written and illustrated. One is about Hawaiian culture with a message to be uniquely who you are, and the other is about Indigenous people and their value of natural resources, specifically water. You can listen to them by clicking on the links. Classes listened throughout the week and voted as class for their favorite. Ho'onani won and will make a return for our final bracket after we choose this week's winner.


Students can continue with the optional reading BINGO and reading tracking sheets throughout this week. A reminder that Makerspace Challenge submissions are due by Monday, March 15. You can email a photo of your design to Miss Norcross. This year's challenge is to make a model design of somewhere in the world! You may work alone, with friends, siblings or as a family. All photo submissions will be added to an online museum that will be shared later with families. You can use recyclable materials, building items such as Legos or blocks, craft materials and new this year, digital design! We had a friend ask about building a model on a platform such as Minecraft. Due to the virtual nature of our world this year, that is okay. Send a screenshot or Jpeg of your creation in an email to be featured in the museum. If you have any questions, please reach out to Miss Norcross.


You can also tag us on Twitter and Instagram @missnlibrary and @woodendsch.


Entire Virtual All School Meeting


2021 Music Video


Where in the World is Woody Skit by Student Council


Important Events This Week:

  • Wednesday, March 10 - Neon Day!
  • Monday, March 15 - Makerspace Challenge Online Submissions Due: email to Miss Norcross
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WE Wins Bruins Spirit Contest!

Thanks to the efforts of our amazing 4th grade teacher, Lindsey Tainsh, Wood End has been selected to win a B-Fit Virtual School Assembly with the Boston Bruins! The program will take place virtually on March 16th at 10:00 a.m. This “virtual” school assembly discusses topics such as living a happy healthy lifestyle, staying active, hard work, and more! The program is led by John Whitesides, the former Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Bruins, along with former Boston Bruins player and current NESN personality, Andrew Raycroft.


The Zoom link will be sent out to all families via email just prior to the event.

Last Chance to Order Wildcat Spirit Wear!

Show your school pride! Wildcat Spirit Wear is here! Orders are being accepted through March 7th. Orders will be distributed after March 21st. There are both youth and adult sizes available! Check out the Wildcat T-shirts, sweatshirts, pajama bottoms, beanies and more! Click HERE to place your order!

Girls On the Run!

Our talented music teacher, Erin Hussey, who also has a passion for running, will soon be offering an amazing opportunity to girls in grades 4 & 5 at Wood End. Girls On the Run is an organization dedicated to the empowerment of young girls inspiring them to be joyful, healthy and confident. Utilizing a curriculum which integrates running, its mission is to provide a fun and inclusive experience for girls. This after-school program is run by trained coaches and volunteers. If you are willing to become part of this program which begins in late March for our girls at Wood End, stay tuned for more details coming soon, or reach out to Erin Hussey!
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Parker Middle School Drama is presenting The Jungle Book - livestreamed! - on Thursday, March 25 @ 6:30pm and Friday, March 26 @ 7:30pm.

5th Grade Celebration Planning Meeting, March 10

We have begun making plans for our 5th grade celebration. We have our second planning meeting this week via Zoom and we would love to invite all 5th grade families to join. The meeting is Wednesday, March 10th at 7:30 p.m. A link will be sent to families on Monday.


Knowing we will likely still be following the social distancing protocols, we are planning for these end-of-year activities to be outdoors. Several parents have stepped up to take on some leadership roles, and are asking for some additional support to make this year's event a success. If you can help out, please reach out to one of the committee members below.



The Yearbook Art Contest has been extended to March 18th. If your student is submitting artwork for this contest, all entries must be submitted by this date, no exceptions!


Don't forget to send in those pictures! We want to be sure every child is included!

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Grade 4-5 Students Attend BSO, Virtually

Thanks to the generous support of our PTO, students in Grades 4 & 5 will be attending (virtually) the BSO Youth Concert with Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor, Thomas Wilkins, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra! Teachers have been provided access to the program as well as supplemental materials and lesson plans to enhance our students' experience. Be sure to ask your child about this amazing opportunity.

School Photo Day Coming Soon!

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 planning on having all students (K-5) in Cohort A on March 23 as well as Mrs. Commito’s 5th grade class photo for the yearbook. Then, we will have all students in Cohort B on March 31 as well as Mrs. Malone’s 5th grade class photo for the yearbook. Remote students will have an opportunity to come in after school if they want to participate. Mark your calendars. More details will be coming soon!
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MWRA Student Contest Ends This Week!

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.

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

  • 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 Doodle Poll to sign up for Office Hours


Best,

Allison Wright

PTO Reminders

Amazon Smile

When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to the PTO. Bookmark in your browser for every time you shop Amazon. Save this link as a shortcut on your phone desktop!


Shutterfly

Be sure to use our school's Shutterfly & TinyPrints Storefront when ordering cards, photos, gifts, invitations, etc. Did you know that 8% of your purchase gets donated back to Wood End for our kids? Please feel free to share our storefront with family members and friends.


Stop and Shop A+ School Rewards

Once registered, Stop and Shop will donate to the school when you use your card and shop, sign up now! Go to: https://stopandshop.com/school-rewards/

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Next Meeting Marcy 9, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

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, March 9th at 7 PM.

Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting


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.

Technology Help

If you have any technology issues with your student's laptop, please contact our IT department HELP DESK or by calling 781-670-2888.

MCAS Dates REVISED!

We have just been notified by Commissioner Riley that we are still taking MCAS this year, though the testing window has been moved to later in the spring, May 10-June 11. More information will be coming from the State, but the NEW testing schedule for Wood End (as of today!) is below:


  • May 11 - English Language Arts - Grade 5
  • May 12 - English Language Arts - Grade 4
  • May 17 - English Language Arts - Grade 3
  • May 18 - Mathematics - Grade 5
  • May 19 - Mathematics - Grade 4
  • May 26 - Mathematics - Grade 3
  • May 27 - Science, Technology, Engineering - Grade 5


DESE is making adjustments to the number of sessions due to the shortened testing window. Please keep these testing windows in mind when scheduling appointments or other school absences for your child.

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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!

Family Resources

Please be reminded of these amazing resources, if your family is in need:

  • RPS Behavioral Health Resources linked here.
  • Town of Reading: compiled resources linked here.
  • RCASA and Mental Health Support linked here.
  • St. Vincent de Paul linked here.
  • Free & Reduced lunch access: sign up here.
  • Reading Food Pantry linked here.
  • Project Bread link here.
  • Residential Financial Assistance (Rent/Mortgage) link here. (New resource! Check it out!)

Upcoming Events:

March

10: Neon Day

11: Grade 2 Term Closes

15: Makerspace Challenge Online Submissions Due

17: Happy St. Patrick's Day; All-School Meeting, 8:30-9:00

23: School Pictures for Cohort A

26: Teacher In-Service: No school for students; Term 2 Report Cards sent to families

31: School Pictures for Cohort B

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