Wood End Wildcat News
February 28, 2021 ~ Cohort B In-Person This Week
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,
Changing from Remote to Hybrid Learning
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
- 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!
The Zoom link will be sent out to all families via email just prior to the event.
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!
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:
- Co-chair of Committee - Lisa Caraviello and Cristina Prior
- Yearbook - Cassie Dealy, Susan Stathoulopoulos and Amy Croot
- Photo Collection - Cristina Prior
- T-Shirts - Nicole Barletta and Michelle Mini
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!
School Photo Day Coming Soon!
MWRA Student Contest
All entries must be postmarked no later than March 12th.
Student Services Office Hours
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
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/
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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!)
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