Wood End Wildcat News

January 3, 2021 ~ REMOTE for ALL STUDENTS

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Happy New Year Wood End Families!

I hope you all had a wonderful vacation and took time to relax and rejuvenate. We all worked hard to complete the first few months of a very challenging start to the school year. Thanks to the support of our families and staff, we made it to the holiday break rather successfully, given our circumstances. I did enjoy some much needed time with my kids and grandsons on Christmas, then spent the rest of my time refinishing some furniture, reading a few books, and I even bought myself a new pair of ice skates that I have been breaking in this week. I must say, after almost 40 years (yikes!) I had the hang of it again in no time! So much fun!

Thank you to all the families who have shared their holiday cards with us. We have a wonderful collection of photos from friends—past & present—hanging in the office. We enjoy "seeing" our families especially when we cannot be together in person.

Well, it looks like 2021 is also going to keep us on our toes! As you have heard by now, our students will all be working remotely this week. So, whether they are in Cohort A or B, all students will be at home until Dr. Doherty notifies us of any changes due to the increase in COVID cases. This will also impact many of our staff as they will also be working remotely this week. However, Mrs. Finigan, the custodians, and I will be in-person during this time to provide any support that may be needed. As soon as we are able to bring students and staff back safely in-person, we will be sure to communicate with everyone.

I will be working with all the grade level teachers on Monday to prepare any student materials that will be needed for the week, and possibly next week. We will likely have a supply pick up late Monday afternoon, or early Tuesday morning. We will be sure to communicate this information as soon as it is finalized.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I will be back in the office bright and early Monday morning!

Wishing you all a more peaceful 2021,

Dr. King

Thank You for Making the Holidays So Special!

The Wood End community once again came together to make our annual Wishing Tree a huge success! Thank you to all who donated gifts for our families in need. Our amazing and very generous staff & community donated over 100 gifts to nine families in need! We also put together some beautiful “pampering” gift baskets for our moms who are conquering cancer. I had the opportunity to deliver the baskets in person and spend some time with these families last week. Our families were thrilled beyond words and so appreciative of all we did to help them enjoy this holiday season!

Wood End Meal Train Continues

As you know, two of our moms have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are currently undergoing treatment. These amazing women continue to juggle their many roles including caring for their children, working full-time jobs, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and as always, thinking of others. We started a meal train to provide some family-friendly dinners so they can concentrate on the next phase of their journey to health. Many folks have asked to help so we are continuing to provide this support through the month of March.

The goal of this meal train is to provide some nourishment for these beautiful ladies and their families. If you are interested in providing a meal, or gift cards to some local restaurants, please click on this link and join the meal train. We thank you for any support you can provide, as well as your thoughts & prayers.

If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to Dr. King. We are happy to help in any way!

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.

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.

Wildcat Family & Staff Holiday Traditions

Wood End continues to take over Instagram! Throughout the next few weeks, we will be highlighting ways our staff celebrate this time of year and some traditions that are special to us. If you and your family want to be highlighted on our page, share your photos! You could share a favorite dish, decoration, holiday countdown, story you read, and so much more. It’s so nice to see how we come together to keep traditions alive, even when we have to be apart.

If you are on Instagram or Twitter, you can post there and tag @woodendsch! You can also email us your photos and we will share. Send photos to Miss Norcross. We can't wait to share!

Last Call to Participate in 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.

Special Education Office Hours

Dear Families,

As this year comes to a close, we wanted to thank you for all that you do. This has been a challenging year for all and we couldn't have done it without the support you've provided to your students and the school. As Russel Johnson, the Director of Special Ed for DESE always says, 'We are only stronger when we work together. We are all looking forward to the New Year!

Prior to leaving for vacation, we wanted to let you know of our Office Hours for January. We have enjoyed meeting with families during this time and encourage you to sign up if you have any questions or concerns for us. Please use the link below to select a time to meet with us. 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.

Office Hours for January

  • Thursday 1/7 @9-10 am
  • Tuesday 1/12 @ 12-1pm
  • Wednesday 1/20 @ 3-4 pm
  • Monday 1/25 @ 10-11 am

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


We hope that you all have a restful and enjoyable break! Happy Holidays!


Jen Stys and Allison Wright

FY22 Budget Process Begins

To learn information about the FY22 Superintendent's Recommended Budget, please join the upcoming School Committee meetings. The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, January 7th

  • Administrative
  • District Wide
  • Facilities Cost Centers
  • FY22 Capital

Thursday, January 14th

  • Regular Day Cost Center
  • Special Education Cost Center

Thursday, January 21st

  • Public Hearing on FY22 Budget (via Zoom)
  • School Committee Budget Questions

Monday, January 25th

  • School Committee Vote on FY22 Budget

All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. on Microsoft Teams and will be broadcast on RCTV. We encourage all members of the community to participate in this budget process and to view the budget meetings. If you have any questions about the budget, please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent of Schools John Doherty at john.doherty@reading.k12.ma.us .

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Updates From the PTO

Our next PTO meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27th at 7:30 p.m. This will be a time to meet, socialize a bit, and hear some updates about PTO. We are hoping you can join us as we take a little time to connect after the holidays and plan for the year ahead. Meeting link will be sent out prior to this date, so mark your calendars!

We have several ways families can help with some easy "fundraisers" including...

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!


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/

If you are interested in running for Co-President, Treasurer, Enrichment Coordinator, Events & Fundraising Coordinator, or Secretary please email us as soon as possible and let us know! This would be the perfect year to "shadow" someone in that role and ease into some responsibilities.

Dress for Winter Recess

As a reminder, all students will go outdoors every day for recess and mask breaks when the temperature is above 25 degrees and there is no precipitation (hail, sleet, freezing rain). Please be sure to send your child to school prepared for the outdoor weather wearing warm clothes including jackets, gloves/mittens, hats and boots. If students want to play in the snow, they must be dressed appropriately with snow pants, jackets, boots and gloves/mittens. Welcome winter fun!

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.

FAQs About COVID-19

What happens if my child is sent home sick from school?

Any child who is ill will be sent home and asked to follow up with their pediatrician. Children with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 will be tested at the doctor's recommendation. If a student has COVID-19-like symptoms, they may return to school after they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.

If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis). If your child has been to the doctor, please provide a note when they return to school.

Where can I get myself/my child tested?

Here are local testing sites and information COVID-19 Testing

If a student in my child’s class tests positive will the class need to quarantine?

If a student tests positive, any close contacts of the child should also be tested and must quarantine. The rest of the class and teacher would only have to quarantine if the child tests positive, and if they had close contact with the student within 2 days prior to the positive test.

What is a close contact?

A close contact is anyone who has been within 6 feet of another individual for a period of at least 10-15 minutes. By wearing masks, we are hoping to decrease the transmission of the virus, however it is still considered an exposure.

What happens if I or my child test positive?

It is important to note that testing, combined with contact tracing and isolation, helps control the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. All test results, both positive and negative, are reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). When a person has a positive COVID-19 test, it is the local board of health or the Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative that will reach out to provide support so that these individuals can remain safely in medical isolation. They will also ask for help to identify close contacts. These organizations will then reach out to the individual’s close contacts to provide important information that is aimed to stop the spread of the virus, including how to safely isolate/quarantine. While these organizations will provide support to further assist with contact tracing, the student/family and staff are asked to reach out to their personal contacts and notify the school.

Does Reading have a lot of cases?

Check here to get more information about our community

What if my family travels outside of Massachusetts?

Anyone traveling to a higher risk area must complete a travel form and quarantine for 14 days unless they have a negative test within 72 hours of return/entry.

See COVID-19 Travel Order for details.

Where can I get more health information?

Click here to access the Reading School Nurses Virtual Health Office or Massachusetts Deptartment of Public Health or CDC

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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:


1: Happy New Year!

4: Welcome Back!

15: Teacher In-Service; No school for students, PreK-12

18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No School

25: School Council Meeting via Zoom, 7-8 p.m.

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