Jaguar Tracks for Families
September 15, 2020
From the Office of Mrs. Ippolito
Dearest Joshua Eaton Parents and Guardians,
WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!
We are SO excited and hope you are too! It is finally time for school and we are so ready to welcome our Jaguars back!! While certainly a different start than past years, we know this will be a year of growth, innovation, and new opportunity. We believe in our entire Joshua Eaton community and know we can do anything together!!
Kindergarten students will be coming to their assigned screening appointments over this next week. Grades 1 - 5 has orientation on Tuesday, September 15th. The classroom teachers sent out sign-ups for their classes. Can't wait to see you there.
I would love to take a minute to highlight some of the accomplishments of the JE Team. Last year, the entire professional staff completed a 15-hour course together titled "Inclusion". This course pushed our thinking around inclusion, equity, and differentiated instruction. We continue to fine-tune these tools in our ever-changing work.
Secondly, the Bridge Team (Language-Based Program) and I worked over the past three years to define, grow, and make an engaging learning program for our students. This work was balanced and connected to the wonderful work being done by the district based Bridge team. We are so proud of the Language-Based program and how far we have come. We will be presenting our work to families in the coming months.
Lastly, 10 staff members and I read the book Culturize By Jimmy Casas. This book was used as a book study for our team to look inward and reflect on ourselves as educators and the culture we are trying to building at Joshua Eaton. As a result of this group, we created two action steps; one for the entire staff and the other to reflect deeply on the needs of our students. A mentoring program will be rolled out this fall to match students who are at risk for various reasons with a volunteer staff member. This partnership is to ensure that every child has a sense of belonging within our school and always has an adult to turn to when needed. We will be sharing more information in the coming months.
Thank you to all of you and our PTO for the lovely Kudoboard notes and the staff snack bar (pictured below). We appreciate your warmth and thoughtfulness.
See you Tuesday!!
Mrs. Ippolito, Principal
WELCOME BACK JAGUARS!!! We can't wait to see you!!
Students should be joining the Music, Library, and PE Google classrooms for their grade levels. The links are being sent by the classroom teachers. These links are also located on the specials schedule on the class landing pages. Students will have double music during the first half of the year and double art during the second half of the year.
Specialists will be following the A/B schedule. For Grades 1-5, on each classroom's cohort week they will be receiving synchronous (remote live) lessons. Then on their opposite cohort week, they will be receiving asynchronous (recorded) lessons. All specials next week are asynchronous.
From the Office of Danielle Collins, Food Service Director
Dear Reading Public School Families,
While the return to school this fall is not what any of us envisioned, I want to assure you the Reading Schools Food Services is working hard to create a welcoming and safe environment to provide healthy meals for all Reading Public Schools students. We are so excited to provide our students with nourishing and nutritious meals that will support them, both in school and at home.
There will be some significant changes to the Food Service program this fall. The primary one is related to the payment system. In March, when our schools closed because of COVID-19, the USDA (the federal agency that oversees the nation’s school lunch and school breakfast program) allowed all schools in the US to provide meals at no cost to all students and then they extended that provision through the summer. A second extension was announced on August 31st and is set to expire on December 31st or when funds run out. What this means is ALL students will eat for free through this USDA extension period. All students, regardless of eligibility are able to receive one free breakfast and one free lunch every academic day until December 31st. We understand the vital importance of providing meals at no cost for all students across our community during this unprecedented time. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has requested that the USDA extend free meals for all students for the entire school year. However, no decision has been made by the USDA.
Families should still submit a household application to determine eligibility for free and reduced price school meals in order to qualify for any additional benefits as well as have a seamless transition when school meals transition to a paid school meal program. Therefore, we strongly encourage families to complete an application for free and reduced priced meals as soon as possible. The application is available to download at Reading.k12.ma.us under Food Services.
In addition, we also encourage families to apply for SNAP benefits. SNAP provides monthly cash benefits (on an EBT card) to purchase groceries for eligible families. To apply for SNAP, visit DTA Connect at https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov/ or call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. Families approved for SNAP are directly eligible to receive free meals at school.
Meal Distribution will be provided each Wednesday from 2:30 – 3:30 pm and Friday from 11 am – 12 noon at the bridge of Reading Memorial High School. Please reach out with any questions you might have. Your children are the reason we love our jobs and we are here to make sure that they are fueled with good food and ready to learn!
Danielle Collins, Food Service Director
How to Translate this Newsletter
In the black box at the top of the newsletter, select Translate Newsletter to pick the desired language.
- Portuguese: Na caixa preta na parte superior do boletim, selecione Traduzir Boletim informativo para escolher o idioma desejado.
- Spanish: En el cuadro de Negro en la parte superior del boletín de noticias, seleccione Traducir Boletín de escoger el idioma deseado.
- Arabic : في المربع الأسود في أعلى النشرة الإخبارية، حدد ترجمة الرسالة الإخبارية لاختيار اللغة المطلوبة.
Half-Day Kindergarten (HDK) is either live M-TH, 8:05 - 11:30 with remote Friday 8:15 -11:00
Half-Day Kindergarten (HDK) is FULL REMOTE -***UPDATE*** There are two sessions, an am and pm. The am session is M-TH, 8:05 - 11:30 and Friday 8:15 -11:00. The pm session is M-TH 12:00-2:45. We have hired a new 1/2 Kindergarten remote teacher, Ms. Fisichella. With the large number of students using remote K, we felt it best to have direct remote instruction. This remote teacher will be servicing all remote 1/2 day students in Reading. I am the principal of these students as well.
Beginning Sept 15th - All Kindergarten students will be screened by their Kindergarten Teacher. All families of Kindergarten students who will be hybrid should have received and signed up for a time slot. The link is individual to classrooms and was in the email and letter I sent.
Remote 1/2 day Kindergarten students, whose "homeschool" is Eaton will be receiving a link this week. Those students whose "homeschool" is another elementary school in Reading will receive a link from their homeschool.
Week of Sept. 21st - All Kindergarten class (FDK and HDK) will be hybrid (live) at Joshua Eaton, except for those families that chose HDK remote, which will also begin this week following the remote model.
Grades 1-5 Remote Learning and Orientation
September 16th - Students in Grades 1-5 will then begin their remote learning on September 16th at 8:10 - 2:45. Each teacher has built a Google Classroom page that will be shared with you by September 12th. Some parents have shared concerns about younger siblings' dropoffs or conflicts due to travel time. There is some slight flexibility in the start time, but all students should be engaged in the teacher's lesson by 8:30. Attendance is taken twice a day, per DESE requirements. Please email your teacher directly with concerns. We know that everyone is trying their best!
Please see the Orientation Flyer for more information!
Please visit the ClassWork tab to view the classroom "Landing Page". This document contains contact information, schedules, links, and resources.
We have had a great response from our JE families already registering within the individual classes. Please join the classrooms BEFORE TUESDAY, so that we can help troubleshoot any problems before classes start.
If your child forgot their password please try one of two things:
1. Ask your child if their password started with RPS202* (* = YOG, ex. 2028) and then some other numbers.
2. Click reset my password
3. Email Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org and she will reset the password. Please be patient, as Kathy is supporting the entire district with Google. :) Please just write your child's full name, Eaton, and Grade in the email.
Google Support -TEACH FROM ANYWHERE
Here is a link to help families troubleshoot and learn from home.
Office of Student Services
During the extended closure in the Spring of 2020 office hours were offered to families and we would like to continue to offer virtual office hours with Jennifer Stys, Director of Student Services, and Allison Wright, Assistant Director of Student Services. Office hours are a time for individual families to discuss questions and concerns regarding the implementation of their student’s IEP, their progress or to share positive feedback. If you are interested in attending office hours, please sign up for a 15-minute block via the link below. The dates/times of office hours are as follows:
- Friday 9/18, 10-11 am
- Wednesday 9/23 9-10 am
- Tuesday 9/29 2-3 pm
Special Education Support
If you have any questions about your student’s IEP or services please reach out to our building Team Chairperson, Shana Goldwyn at Shana.Goldwyn@reading.k12.ma.us
SEPAC and Parent Resources are always listed in the Jaguar Tracks. See the information section below.
COVID-19 Update for Families from SEPAC (Special Education Advisory Council)
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:
- Promote a network of parents of children with special needs, and provide a forum to share information;
- Advise the Director of Student Services, School Committee, and Superintendent on special education programs and policies, and parent and teacher training needs;
- 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;
- Provide informational workshops to parents, educators, students, and professionals
- SEPAC board members participate in weekly teleconference check-ins with district administrators (Superintendent, Asst. Superintendent, Director of Student Services, Asst. Director of Student Services).
- The SEPAC board welcomes comments and questions from members. We will continue to do our best to address systemic concerns.
- We remind parents/caregivers to contact team chairs and principals with individual concerns and questions.
- The SEPAC Board strongly encourages members to review the following links:
- The SEPAC Board strongly encourages all parents of children who receive special education services or children who may be in need of those services, to 1) ensure that they are on SEPAC's confidential member email distribution list by sending an email to email@example.com, 2) follow SEPAC on Facebook and set preferences to ensure that you see SEPAC's updates, and 3) visit SEPAC's website for helpful information that we sent out earlier in the crisis.
- Families should refer to recent direct communication from SEPAC for additional information.