JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

We are excited to be participating in the "Read Across America" challenge this upcoming week. Monday, March 2nd marks the national "Read Across America" Day which encourages students to find the love of reading in diverse titles. We have a lot of activities going on at Killam to celebrate! Our entire school is getting in on the festivities. We'll have a presentation for students, complete with a special guest, on Monday. Half-day kindergarten students will have their own presentation with the return of the special guest on Wednesday. Library classes will focus on ways to encourage reading and special presentations. Teachers are feeling the love of reading and will be making book recommendations throughout the library in hopes of enticing students to try a new author or genre. Who knows if the special guest will make any other surprise appearances throughout the school during the week! We never know what could happen during this week. I have even been known to kiss a pig in the past when students met their reading goals.


We also will have theme days to promote the reading spirit! Monday is wear school colors. Tuesday is Fox in Sox Day so make sure to wear crazy socks. Wednesday, students are encouraged to dress as their favorite storybook character. Thursday is a celebration of the Cat in the Hat so wear a crazy hat. Make sure to check out our staff as they too show their school spirit!


Additionally, the "Read Across America" Scholastic Book Fair will take place on the stage in the Killam Cafeteria from Friday, February 28th through Thursday, March 5th. All proceeds raised from the Book Fair will be used to purchase new books for the Killam Library. To sign up to volunteer at the Book Fair during your child’s class time (or any other time that works for you), please click here or email kimberly.adamo@reading.k12.ma.us directly.


We wish to give a huge THANK YOU to our media specialist, Kim Adamo, for her support and organization of the Read Across America festivities. We encourage families to spend a few extra minutes next week enjoying a book together. Happy reading everyone!


Best,

Ms. Leveque

Important Killam Dates

Friday, February 28th - Thursday, March 5th: Scholastic Book Fair open during library classes

Monday, March 2nd: Launch of "Read Across America"-- wear school colors!


Tuesday, March 3rd: Fox in Sox Day- Wear Crazy Socks!


Wednesday, March 4th: Dress As Your Favorite Storybook Character!
-Scholastic Book Fair open to families, 12:45-3:00 pm on the cafeteria stage
-PTO Meeting, 7-8 pm in the Killam Library


Thursday, March 5th: Cat in the Hat Day- Wear a Crazy Hat!

Attention 5th Grade Families-- Middle School Transition Information

It is hard to believe that we are already preparing for transition to middle school! Although we are not ready to have the fifth graders leave us quite yet, they are sure to be ready for the big move come summer! Please click on the link below to access transition documents for both Coolidge and Parker including:

  • Welcome letters from each middle school principal

  • Parent input form due April 3 (please note these are different than the elementary input form)

  • Important Transition Dates

  • Registration forms for "Welcome to Parker" and "Welcome to Coolidge" (in August)

Gr 5 to 6 Transition Information

Killam Turns 50!

We will be celebrating Killam's 50th Anniversary on April 14th! In preparing for the festivities, the Killam 50th Celebration Committee is reaching out to past Killam students. If you or a family member attended Killam and would like to share memorabilia or stories from your time at Killam, please contact Sarah Leveque.

News from the Health Office: Information About Viral Illnesses

We are all aware about the news regarding the coronavirus outbreak. It is concerning to see the virus spread; for that reason we want to be sure that you are familiar with the information that is being provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regarding coronavirus. The school website contains documents with important information regarding the coronavirus and its symptoms and transmission. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Health Office at 781-942-9177. Click here to find out about the Coronavirus facts and information about how schools are addressing the spread of viral illness.

Skull Breaker Challenge

Some of you may have heard about the "Skull Breaker Challenge" or the "Triple Jumping Challenge" that is going around TikTok and Instagram social media. We are writing to caution families about the danger of this media dare. In it, three students stand side by side, then jump together. When the middle student leaps, the two students on the end stick out their legs, tripping the middle student, who crashes on the ground. This challenge has been known to cause serious back injuries and concussions. Please speak to your children about the danger of this challenge and encourage them to talk to their teacher if they see or hear about it on the playground. We all need to work together to keep this out of our schools.

Killam Extended Day Registration

Below are the dates for Extended Day Registration for the 2020-21 school year.


  • February 24th – March 16th – Priority registration for incoming kindergarten students and existing Extended Day families
  • March 16th – ongoing – Registration is available to anyone in the district provided space is available

You can find forms and registration information at the Extended Day Website.

Understanding Disabilities

February 24, 2020

February vacation is over, and as the students return (some reluctantly!) to their normal routines, Understanding Disabilities returns as well to our classrooms to finish out the year with the final two lessons, Physical Disabilities and Hearing and Vision Disabilities.


In March, Understanding Disabilities will return to the 1st grade classrooms across the district with the second UD lesson of the year for grade 1 - Physical Disabilities. In this lesson, we teach the students about Physical Disabilities and how to be a good friend to someone who is experiencing a physical challenge. The children learn what a physical disability is (and we discuss more broadly the term “disability”), some tools and supports that people with physical disabilities might use, and most important, we talk about ways that we are all the same inside. This lesson has three hands-on activities to help the students think about some of the tasks they complete every day, and what it might be like if they couldn’t do them in the way they normally might. Each classroom needs three grown-up volunteers to lead each of the activities. The link for Killam volunteers for 1st grade is: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a4baaac2da6fc1-killam1.


In May, while many of our grades 3-5 students may be thinking about MCAS, UD will visit the 2nd grade classrooms to teach about Hearing and Vision Disabilities. This unit, which used to be taught as two separate units, teaches the students about both hearing loss/deafness and vision loss/blindness. We discuss terms like “hard of hearing,” “deaf,” “low vision,” and “blind”, we learn about tools and supports used by people with hearing or vision disabilities, and we remember that we are all the same inside. There are four hands-on activities for this lesson, and thus four volunteer slots per classroom. The link for Killam volunteers for 2nd grade is: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0A4BAAAC2DA6FC1-killam2.


If you are interested in volunteering with UD, please contact Allison Sillers at asillers@understandingdisabilities.org. For additional resources and some at-home activities, please visit our website at www.UDathome.org.


Allison Sillers
Program Leader
Understanding Disabilities
asillers@understandingdisabilities.org

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PTO Corner

Thank you to our community!

Teachers and staff were thrilled with all the goodies that were recently provided during last week's "Spread the Love" days. Thanks to the generosity of so many families and the organization of our PTO, teachers filled up on crayons, dry erase markers, colored markers, cleaning wipes, tissues, pencils, post-it notes, and glue sticks! Our students and classrooms are all well-stocked for the remaining months of school...thank you to all who contributed!


We also wish to thank everyone who sent in the delicious baked goods. The staff could not have felt more appreciated on a Friday afternoon. We have unbelievable staff and outstanding families at Killam!


WOW Center
The WOW Center was also cleaned up this past week. Thank you to our families who financially supported the PTO in getting the center cleaned up in anticipation of spring!


New in 2019-20 - 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.

Report Cards for Term 2

Term 2 grades will close on Friday, February 28th and teachers will begin working on report cards. Our standards-based report cards will be emailed to families in mid-March. Please speak directly to your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress in school.


As a reminder, parents and guardians can access your child's released report cards at any time! Login to your PlusPortal account and choose the eLocker tab on the top of the page. This will bring you to all official report cards that can be downloaded as a PDF and printed or saved from the luxury of your home.

Killam MCAS Dates

Below are the MCAS Testing Dates for 2020. Please consider these dates when making appointments or other plans that involve absence from school. These dates are also posted under the Students tab on the Killam website.
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SEPAC

The Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) encourages you to attend the following upcoming events:

  • Thursday, March 5th, 7PM Parent Social at Biltmore & Main.

  • Tuesday, March 10th, 7PM SEPAC business meeting in the RMHS Schettini Library Media Center. Dr. Doherty and Dr. Stys will be in attendance to provide updates and ask for input. As always, there will be time for public comment. Agenda forthcoming.

  • Wednesday, April 1st, 10AM daytime SEPAC business meeting in the Reading PUBLIC Library conference room. Family-friendly engagement opportunity for parents and caregivers who cannot attend evening meetings. Agenda forthcoming.

Visit SEPAC's website and follow SEPAC on Facebook for more information!

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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!