Wood End Wildcat News
March 28, 2021 ~ Cohort B In-Person This Week
Students tell us why they are lucky to be themselves
Dear Wood End Families,
Wood End is very excited to welcome its newest addition to the Wildcat family! Daniel Finigan Cooney was born Thursday morning weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces to proud parents, Katie and Tom Cooney. However, I think his new grandparents Lisa & Joe Finigan are beyond thrilled to welcome this little boy into their family. Congratulations to all!
We are putting the final plans in place to get ready for the April 5th return to in-person learning. Classrooms are ready and teachers and staff have been very busy planning curriculum and revising schedules to make sure our students have what they need to finish the year strong!
If your dismissal plans have changed, please be sure to notify Mrs. Finigan as soon as possible. We need to know how every child is getting home after school, and we would like all updated dismissal plans on file before April 5th.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend,
Grade 2 scientists experiment with floating & sinking
March 29th Parent Support
School Photos for Cohort B
5th Grade Middle School Transition Night
Save the date! March 29 at 6:30 pm - Middle School Transition Night for Grade 5 Families
The Parker and Coolidge Middle School principals will host informational Zoom meetings for students and their families to hear about the transition and what middle school is like. Zoom links will be sent out prior to March 29. Stay tuned!
Girls On the Run-Registration is Open!
Hello 4th and 5th Grade Families!
After tightening up some loose ends and solidifying Wood End as a registered site, we are happy to announce that registration for spring 2021 Girls on the Run Reading is officially open! Here you will find a link to register your child for our program, more information about Girls on the Run, and some scheduling information.
Our season will officially start the week of April 4th, and we will meet from 3-4:30 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays. If your child is in Grade 4 or 5 and is interested in Girls on the Run, please make sure that both days work in your schedule. If doctors appointments or occasional schedule problems arise, that is totally fine. However, if your child has a scheduling conflict every Monday or every Wednesday we will unfortunately not be able to take them in as a participant.
As Girls on the Run is an official greater Boston organization, there is a fee of $225 to register your child. This fee includes a GOTR swag bag, registration in the GOTR end of season 5K, and 8 weeks of instruction facilitated by our 4 trained site coaches; myself, Keri Dinapoli, Kelly Mahoney, and Pam Daskalakis. NO child will ever be turned away from GOTR due to financial need, so there is a financial aid option in the registration link found below.
Here is the LINK for Girls on the Run spring 2021 registration.
Our season will be fully in person, with optional zoom sessions in case we need it going forward! PLEASE NOTE: Girls on the Run has a set cap on the amount of participants allowed per each staff member. To avoid turning away girls, we have 4 coaches this season so no interested girls will miss out on this wonderful opportunity.
GOTR is a social emotional learning curriculum disguised as a running group. While girls will be actually running and performing physical activity, they will also be building friendships across grade levels and building self-confidence through various games and activities all while hopefully developing a life-long love of exercise :)
As Reading's GOTR head coach, please feel free to reach out with any questions comments or concerns. More detailed season information will be coming next for families that sign up! Happy registering!
Wood End and Birch Meadow Elementary
Reading Public Schools
Mr. Traniello delivers the book bags from Reading Rotary to Dr. King
Notes from the Nurse
The pooled testing for this past week has shown negative results for those who participated, which is a great sign that our mitigation strategies are working! As a reminder, if you don't hear from me on Thursdays, it means your child's test group was negative. We will only contact you if there was a positive test, or inconclusive results. Pooled testing will continue through the month of April so if you are interested in having your child participate, please register HERE.
As we prepare to return to full in-person learning next week:
- Please continue to check in with a doctor or get a Covid test if your child has ANY symptoms of illness.
- Many children with Covid have shown only mild head cold symptoms, and often a test is the only way to distinguish the virus.
- Many pediatricians have recommendations for testing sites and results are now coming in faster (usually within 24 hours).
Please contact our School Nurse, Kristen Agami, with any health questions or concerns.
Student Council members help get ready to welcome students back!
Is 3 feet of social distancing really safe?
A recent study of Massachusetts schools compared infection rates of staff and students of 3 feet versus 6 feet physical distancing. The results indicated that Among 251 eligible school districts, 537,336 students, and 99,390 staff attended in-person instruction during the 16-week study period, representing 6,400,175 student learning weeks and 1,342,574 staff learning weeks. Student case rates were similar in the 242 districts with ≥3 feet versus ≥6 feet of physical distancing between students (IRR, 0.891, 95% CI, 0.594-1.335); results were similar after adjusting for community incidence (adjusted IRR, 0.904, 95% CI, 0.616-1.325). Cases among school staff in districts with ≥3 feet versus ≥6 feet of physical distancing were also similar (IRR, 1.015, 95% CI, 0.754-1.365).
The conclusion of this study indicates that lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety.
Are You Interested in a Big Buddy?
We are looking to start a tutoring program at local elementary schools similar to the Study Buddies club that takes place at the library, except centered more around individual elementary students. If you are interested, please fill out our survey HERE and we will provide more information.
5th Grade Celebration Planning
If you would like to offer a helping hand, please reach out the committee members below.
1st Days School Supplies for 2021-22
We have been working with 1st Days School Supplies to once again create grade-level supply kits for next year! By ordering through this vendor, families are able to do their back to school shopping risk free from the comfort and safety of their own home. Get the exact supplies our teachers are requesting without the hassle and aggravation of shopping at big box retailers.
To order supplies, click HERE and you're ready to go! This link will be open until June so order when it's convenient for you.
Emails from 1st Day School Supplies with this link were also sent directly to all families who purchased a kit in prior years.
Calareso's Fundraiser March 15 - April 5
PTO Updates & Upcoming Meetings
Ball in the House
On May 10th, the PTO is bringing this talented totally vocal group to Wood End for a virtual enrichment program that is sure to entertain all our students, K-5. Through contemporary and classic songs as well as original works, Ball in the House will help our students learn more about teamwork, harmony, rhythm and the history of acapella. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the performance date!
Boston Symphony Orchestra Field Trip
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.
Upcoming Meetings for Spring
We have scheduled the last of our PTO meetings for this school year and hope you can join us. All meetings will take place on Zoom and begin at 7:30 p.m. Links to our general meetings will be sent to all families and we encourage you to come and bring a friend!
- Board Meeting: Wednesday, April 7th 8-9pm (note time change)
- May General PTO Meeting: Wednesday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m.
- June Elections/General PTO Meeting: Wednesday, June 9th at 7:30 p.m.
If you are interested in filling any of the open vacancies, please reach out to Melissa Moran or Cristina Prior. We still need the following roles filled: President, Secretary, and 2 VP positions - Enrichment Coordinator and Events & Fundraising. Without folks taking on these roles, we cannot provide fieldtrips, school events, or support our students and school community the way we have done in the past. Please consider helping us out!
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!
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/
Student Services Office Hours
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 3/31 @ 9:00-10:00 am
Link to Doodle Poll to sign up for Office Hours
The SEPAC Community & Friends welcome your input and help to identify topics of high interest for future Special Education Parent Advisory Council presentations. Our goal is to build a stronger connection to not only the special education community and families, but the wider community as a whole. Learning together and building stronger relationships with all families creates a more accepting and informed community.
Please email email@example.com with your suggestions for presentation topics by Friday, April 2nd. We look forward to hearing from you!
Connect with SEPAC 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.
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.
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!
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!)
29: School Council Meeting via Zoom, 7:00-8:00 PM
31: School Pictures for Cohort B