Wood End Wildcat News

February 28, 2021 ~ Cohort B In-Person This Week

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Dear Wood End Families,


We'd like to thank everyone who has participated in our Meal Train over the past several months. We appreciate the kindness and care shown to our families, and I know they truly enjoyed the many savory dinners that were provided. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


On Tuesday, Commissioner Riley announced that all districts will return to in-person learning five days a week, beginning in April. School districts and administrators were unaware that this announcement was coming. At this point, the only facts I have are that families will still have the option to remain fully remote, and the expected start date for this change is April 5th.


Administrators are working to plan out the logistics for this change, which include: finding adequate space for socially distanced lunches and recesses; the need for additional classroom space; returning furniture that is currently in storage to each school; impact on creating new schedules for recess, lunch and specialists; additional staffing for lunches and recess; and the learning needs of children who remain fully remote. I will keep you informed as we learn more and plans are made for our students.


We are also currently working on the administration of MCAS testing in Grades 3, 4 and 5. There will be one day of testing for each content area at each grade level. This means two days of testing for Grades 3 and 4 and three days of testing for Grade 5.


All students enrolled in Massachusetts Public Schools are expected to take the MCAS. Each school will develop a plan for remote only students to take the test, which must happen within a school setting. As soon as there is a plan, we will communicate with remote only families. The testing windows are:

  • April 5 to May 7 English Language Arts - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • April 26 to May 28 Math - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • April 27 to May 28 - Science, Technology Engineering - Grade 5


The Reading Public Schools planned for students to return from full remote to hybrid learning during the weeks of March 15th (Cohort A) and March 22nd (Cohort B). At this time, we do not know if the announcement about returning to full in-person learning in April will impact these plans. I will keep you updated as we learn more.


Have a wonderful weekend,

Dr. King

Changing from Remote to Hybrid Learning

As we have been informing our families, the next date that students can move from remote learning to our hybrid model is Monday, March 15th. If you are requesting a change in your child's learning model, please complete this survey link no later than Tuesday, March 9th so we can make the necessary changes. This change will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year.

Read Across America March 1-12

We are kicking off this year's Read Across America on Monday, March 1st! This year's theme is "Around the World with Reading." Last Wednesday, we had a virtual All School meeting led by Student Council members who explained all the details for this year's theme and events.


The whole idea behind Read Across America is to spread the love of reading and share it with one another. With this year's theme, we are focusing on stories and tales from all around the world. Linked below are the slides for the All School meeting, which is also posted in Google Classrooms. In addition, you can find this year's music video featuring all grades, and a skit by Student Council called "Where in the World is Woody." 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! Optional BINGO reading challenge cards and reading tracking sheets were sent home to Cohort A last week, and will go home with students in cohort B on Monday.


Everything you need to know is posted in each class's Google Classroom under the topic "Read Across America 2021." This includes PDFs of BINGO and reading tracking sheets in case your child's gets misplaced, information about this year's Makerspace Challenge, links to past year's music videos and more! We hope you have fun and share some stories over the next two weeks!


Please send any photos of your child and family reading, doing any of the activities, or taking part in the spirit days 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 Dates


  • Wednesday, March 3 - Vacation Spirit Day: Dress for a vacation you want to go on!
  • Wednesday, March 10 - Neon Day!
  • Monday, March 15 - Makerspace Challenge Online Submissions Due: email to Miss Norcross

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.

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Pooled Testing at Wood End

We have begun COVID pooled testing this past week with our staff at Wood End. We will now begin testing students who have completed consent. If you have not done so already, and are interested in having your child tested, please complete the COVID Consent Form.


For information and details about pooled testing please refer to Dr. Doherty's February 6th blog post.

Last Week to Order Wildcat Spirit Wear!

Show your school pride! Wildcat Spirit Wear is here! Order now 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!

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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 Underway

We have begun making plans for our 5th grade celebration. Knowing we will likely still be following the social distancing protocols, we are planning for these end-of-year activities to be outdoors. The following parents have stepped up to take on some leadership roles, though we need everyone's participation to make this year's activities a success:



If you are interested in helping, please reach out to these folks.


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!

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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

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

  • Wednesday 3/3 @9:00-10:00 am
  • 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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Please join the SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) at our next business meeting on

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM!

New business for this meeting includes an update from our reading/literacy subcommittee

and a brief presentation by Alice Gomez, School Psychologist,

on community resources, followed by a parent discussion regarding the same.

Please join us for this presentation 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.

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.

MCAS Update

We are beginning preparations now for the spring administration of MCAS testing in grades 3-5. More information will be coming from the State, but the testing schedule is below:


  • April 5 to May 7 English Language Arts - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • April 26 to May 28 Math - Grades 3, 4, and 5
  • April 27 to May 28 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

1: Read Across America Week Begins

3: Vacation Spirit Day

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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