JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

This past Monday, our students in Grades 3-5 attended an internet safety presentation. The presentation was entitled, "Keeping Kids Safe and Secure Online." We have noticed that our students are increasing their amount online, at a younger and younger age. Many of the experiences students are having are positive, yet we feel strongly that as part of our digital citizenship focus, we have serious conversations with students about what to expect and the potential dangers of an online presence. Kim Adamo, our Media Specialists, embeds internet safety into her lessons starting in kindergarten. She does an outstanding job and we are fortunate to have her guidance. Knowing this is not enough, the PTO sponsored the internet safety presentation. The US Attorney's Office presented with our School Resource Officers, Brian Lewis and Matt Vatcher. Below are a few photos from the event. Prior to the presentation, students in grades 3-5 completed a survey regarding their online usage and this information was used to tailor the presentation to what is actually happening in our school community. It was a much appreciated presentation with the essential message being if you come across anything uncomfortable or questionable, tell a trusted adult immediately.

This past Thursday night, the PTO sponsored this presentation for parents. We wish to thank Diane Macari and Allison Sillers, our PTO Co-Presidents, for organizing this event and working with the PTOs across the District to support the presentation. We had a fantastic turnout with about 80 parents attending. A special thank you to our SROs Brian Lewis and Matt Vatcher as well as Attorneys Karen Legace and Jordi De Llano (Killam parent) for their powerful presentation. Although the content was intense, it was an incredible presentation that brings to light how we must monitor what our children are watching and participating in through online forums. The Killam PTO will be sharing resources for families on how to best support our children's browsing so be on the lookout for this. We hope that the message was well received as it is our obligation to educate all children on internet safety as we fully embrace a digital society.


Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Monday, November 11th: No School, Veteran's Day

Tuesday, November 12th: PTO Sponsored Dine-Out at Chipotle Restaurant, 4-8 pm, Walkers Brook Parkway

Week of November 18th: Parent-Teacher Conference Week. First term report cards will be handed out at the conference. All progress reports for students on IEPs will be emailed.
-PTO Sponsored Scholastic Book Fair

Friday, November 22nd: No School for students

Helpful Planning for November- School Routine Disruptions

November 11th and 22nd: No school

November 27th: 11 am dismissal for all

November 28th-29th: No school for Thanksgiving break

Upcoming Alice Drill at Killam

Over the course of the next two weeks, the Killam school will participate in our first of two ALICE drills of the year. These drills help students and staff know what to do in the event of an intruder or evacuation emergency. Prior to the drill, teachers will be working with their classes to explain the drill in developmentally appropriate ways. These drills are done with our school Safety Officer on site so that we may speak with students after the fact, answering questions, and assuring them that practicing a drill helps us be prepared with ideas, just as we do with our fire drills. Like the fire drills, students and staff do not know when the drill will take place. After the drill, I will send out an email to the Killam community explaining that a drill was completed and ways to speak with your child at home. If you would like to know more about the ALICE safety procedures, you can find information on the Killam School website at http://reading.k12.ma.us/killam/parents/.

Supporting our Veterans!

Thank you for your generosity as we collected for care packages and Treats for Troops. We had five boxes of donated supplies for the care packages and 140 pounds of candy for the troops! A special thanks to Mr. John Green, former Killam parent and Marine, for collecting our care package supplies and to Cub Scouts Pack 735 for transporting the candy. We appreciate that the Future of Dentistry in Wakefield ships all treats!

Below is a picture of Cub Scout Pack 735 and helpers right after they had loaded the candy for delivery. Pictured are Liam Harren, Jack Furrier, Adhav Sharma, Ben Clark, Sahana Sharma, Ian Guan, Cameron Myers, Bill Lockhart, Max Lockhart, Richard Crosby, and Jack Crosby. Thanks also to Charlene Cuatico (Lockhart), Bill Lockhart, Mrs. Demasse-Furrier & Grandpa Crosby for helping load all the treats!

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2020-2021 Incoming Kindergarten Information

It was a great turnout for the Parent Information session last Wednesday. If you were unable to attend, the presentation can be found on the Killam website at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/killam/. The presentation is under the "Parent" tab on the bottom of the homepage.

PTO Corner

New in 2019 - Pay PTO dues with Venmo at @KillamPTO!

Please be sure to include your child/family’s name in the notes when you submit your Venmo payment so we can credit the dues to the appropriate family.

Friendly Reminder about Parking

We know parking is tough around Killam and it will only get harder as we approach winter. As a reminder, please note that the parking along the driveway sidewalk (right hand side between the entrance and the cloth donation box) is for staff parking only. We ask that these spaces be kept open for staff as they enter and exit throughout the day.

News from the Extended Day & Community Education Department from Chris Kelley, Assistant Superintendent

We are officially welcoming Christopher Nelson as the new Extended Day and Community Education Director for the Reading Public Schools. Chris will officially begin in his role on Monday, November 18, 2019. Chris comes to Reading as the former Recreation Director for the Town of Winchester for the last eighteen years. In his role there, he has led afterschool programming, summer programming, preschool programming as well as many student and adult classes on a wide range of topics. We are excited to have Chris in this role and know that his breadth of experiences will support our students in all of our elementary schools as well as RISE Preschool.

Additionally, we would like to welcome Rich Belmonte back to the Reading Extended Day Program. Rich will resume his role as Community Services Coordinator as beginning tomorrow, October 29, 2019.

We are excited about our team moving forward and thank you to so many who have supported the Extended Day Program in our time of tremendous growth. We look forward to seeing what the future will hold.

Message from the Reading Public Schools Human Resources Office

It is an expectation of the Reading Public Schools that while any employee is out of work on a district approved leave of absence the district should not call an employee into work for any reason during this approved leave of absence. Contact with an employee on an approved leave of absence could be viewed as a form of interference with their rights while on leave. We asked that you refrain from contacting any employee on a leave of absence regarding work related matters to respect the rights of the employee on leave. If you ever have an emergent need that would require you to contact an employee on a leave of absence please make your Principal or Supervisor aware and they will work with Human Resources on how to address the concern.

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Updated Killam Parent Handbook

The Killam Parent Handbook has been updated for the 2019-2020 school year. You can access the handbook on the Killam homepage at https://www.reading.k12.ma.us/killam/.
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The SEPAC meets throughout the school year in the RMHS Library Media Center at 7:00 p.m. Please plan to attend on the following dates, or click here for additional information:

  • Tuesday, December 10th
  • Tuesday, January 14th
  • Tuesday, February 11th
  • Tuesday, March 10th
  • Tuesday, April 14th
  • Tuesday, May 12th

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. To that end, they will work to:

  1. Promote a network of parents of children with special needs, and provide a forum to share information;
  2. Advise the Director of Student Services, School Committee, and Superintendent on special education programs and policies, and parent and teacher training needs;
  3. Promote communication and sharing of information between SEPAC members, local, state and national organizations, councils and groups, as well as within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance and inclusion of students with special needs;
  4. Provide informational workshops to parents, educators, students and professionals.
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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!