JW Killam Principal's Corner

Ms. Leveque's Weekly Newsletter

From the Desk of Ms. Leveque

This week, we welcomed the following staff members since the start of the school year. Ms. Samantha Cacciola has joined our Therapeutic Support Program as the teacher for students in grade 3-5. Ms. Cacciola has a Bachelor's degree from UMass Lowell, a Masters degree from Lesley University, and previously taught in the Arlington and Burlington Public Schools and at Wood End Elementary School. We are thrilled to have her as a Killam koala! We also welcome Mrs. Kathy Kinney as our office paraeducator, Mrs. Kerry Yurewicz as a general education paraeducator, Mrs. Julie Wall as a tutor, Mrs. Suzanne Menenello as a tutor, and Mrs. Krista Marchand as a kindergarten paraeducator. Everyone has jumped right into the school year and have been supporting our students who are currently in the building. As more students join us at school, this Killam team will shift to support the general education classrooms. Should you see a new face on campus, don't hesitate to introduce yourself and your child!




Stay well,

Ms. Leveque

Killam Upcoming Dates

Week of October 4th: Cohort A

Friday, October 9th: No School - Teacher In-Service Day

Tuesday, October 13th: Grades 1 and 2 begin hybrid (Cohort B in-person; Cohort A remote)

Thursday, October 15th: Elementary School Virtual Open House/Curriculum Night. 5:30-7:30PM. Details to follow!

General Education Supports at Killam

Many of you have or will receive letters throughout the year from general education support staff informing you that your child is joining a small instructional group. We are fortunate at Killam to have a reading specialist, mathematics and reading tutors, and Title I math and literacy interventionists that support our students in a variety of ways. In previous years, we had multiple tutors and interventionists. This year, most of our tutors and interventionists will be supporting our satellite classrooms so they will not be holding small group sessions.


Of the few that are, these services fall under general education services; it's just how we do business as usual at Killam as we believe our students deserve as much opportunity to learn, ask questions, and have repeated exposure to our curriculum as possible. This year may look different in how we provide these services, yet we still want to maintain these crucial moments for our students. To provide further information about these roles and services, please refer to this letter that I shared with the community last year.

What happens if my teacher is absent today?

As you know, teachers sometimes have to be absent from work for health or personal reasons. For the past year we have had difficulty filling teacher absences with substitutes. This situation is made more complicated by remote learning which requires a skill set that most substitutes do not have. While we are in this hybrid model, if a teacher is absent during their remote week, their class will work remotely on asynchronous lessons for the day. The grade level team will make a plan for this so that students in the affected class are being kept current on lessons while their teacher is absent. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Please Update Your Child's Information

We are asking every family to update their information in the Portal. It is important that the Killam main office has accurate demographic and contact information for every child. Please take a few minutes between Tuesday, September 29th and Friday, October 9th to verify or correct your child’s current demographic information by choosing one of the following methods:


Click here to login to your portal account. Once you are logged in, select Forms from the menu bar and complete the 2020-2021 Reading Public Schools Pupil Information form.


OR


If you do not have access to technology, please contact the Main Office at Killam to request a paper copy which you can return to the school via U.S. mail or drop off at your earliest convenience.


Please take a minute to review the Student Handbook on our website as well as the Student Acceptable Use Policy. Thank you very much for helping us keep information about you and your child up-to-date.

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Reminders from the School Nurse

I am enjoying seeing our in-person students and I can’t wait for more students to return to Killam soon. As we begin the transition to hybrid classes, we will work to keep everyone healthy with the goal of keeping our students at school for in-person instruction.


Please review this information every day before departing for school:

  • Does your student currently have any of the following symptoms?
  • fever of 100° or higher
  • cough (not due to other known cause such as asthma)
  • shortness of breath or chest pain
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • nasal congestion unrelated to seasonal allergies
  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • loss of smell and taste
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?

  • Has your student been in close contact (within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) with someone who has tested positive for or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days?


If your answer to any of the above is ‘Yes’:

  • Please have your student stay home and please contact your student’s physician.
  • Please contact Killam’s office to report your student’s absence: 781-944-7831 or Mrs. Grottkau, the school nurse at 781-942-9177.


Please: Also, make sure your student wears a clean, well-fitting mask to school every day. If you have any questions or concerns about your student, please contact me. Thank you.

Message from our School Psychologist, Dr. Gomez-Salemi

Supporting our students and ourselves this year requires the development of new skills as well as greater creativity and fortitude! In order to stay connected and engaged with students and families, I will upload resources to your child’s google classroom weekly. Resources will be based on different social-emotional topics. Topics will include but are not limited to: calming strategies, growth mindset techniques, brain breaks, coping skills, mindfulness, yoga, and breathing activities. Resources will be earmarked as strategies to support student learning and resources for families. Virtual learning is a different experience for all of us. We want to make sure you feel safe and supported so please feel free to reach out anytime!

A Message from our Food Services Office

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PTO Corner

This week the PTO selected room parents for each class. Your room parent should be reaching out shortly, if they have not already done so, and introducing themselves. If you do not receive an e-mail from your room parent, make sure you are signed up and your information is up to date on AtoZ Connect. If you did not update your child’s teacher, you will not receive an e-mail from your room parent! The room parents are in charge of sending important information such as upcoming PTO events and coordinating class gifts. If you have questions about AtoZ or how to help out with the PTO please send an email to jwkpresidents@gmail.com


We are also having a Day of Service for Killam on October 2nd from 1-3pm. Volunteers and donations are needed. Please see the signup genius for more details! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0F49ACA72EA1FC1-killam1

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Message from SEPAC

Dear SEPAC Community & Friends:


The Reading Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is hosting a Basic Rights Presentation "Evaluation and Eligibility", presented by a representative for the Federation for Children with Special Needs.

The Basic Rights Presentation will be held, virtually, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM , via ZOOM.

All attendees must register via the link provided on the flyer (see below).


A priority that was proposed as a SEPAC goal for the 2020-2021 school year was caregiver education on reading and literacy, particularly early signs of reading challenges. While the SEPAC, in collaboration with the District, works towards this goal, in the meantime, Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents (NESCA) is offering a webinar on this specific topic on Oct. 15th. Details and link to register are below.


"Early Signs of Reading Challenges"

A webinar featuring NESCA Pediatric Neuropsychologist Alissa Talamo, Ph.D.

October 15 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Register in advance for this webinar:

https://nesca-newton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4XOoaw4IS-e8xEkHt6ev_A


--

Thank you,

SEPAC Board

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Resources to Setup Your Child for Remote Learning

Your child's teacher will communicate today the daily schedule for remote learning. They will also be sharing their own resources and tutorials. Below are a few of the main instructional platforms that all students will be using. These documents walk you through how to setup for success for the first day of school.


All information is listed under the Distance Learning Resources tab on the Killam Homepage.


Google Classroom
-How to Sign-in to Google Classroom

-How to Post Assignments in Google Classrooms

-How to View and Respond to Comments in Google Classroom
-Supporting your Child in Google Classroom


-Google – Teach from Anywhere: Google has established a website to help families and teachers (individual links) use Google and troubleshoot common problems, but all provide helpful hints. This is something teachers may want to share with families at some point. Click HERE to check it out!



Zoom
-How to Login to Zoom


Microsoft Teams

-How to Login to Microsoft Teams


SeeSaw
-How to Access SeeSaw through Google Classroom


Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Support Resources:
In an effort to streamline locations that you can access for support, we've included all the information in one centralized location. On the Behavioral Health page of the Reading Public School's District website, you will now find all Covid-19 related resources, broken down by categories (upper right hand corner of the page). We are fortunate to have access to an incredible array of resources and we hope this helps you navigate this unprecedented time. Each page is set up in the same format, and hyperlinks are included to help get you quickly to the information you need.

School Presentations:
Building (Hybrid) Safety Procedures, October 2020 (Passcode: 2*7M=v9S)

Message from the Student Services Office

Digital Forms

In our new digital world, we have developed ways for families virtually to sign paperwork. This reduces the length of time it takes to get forms to you.


If Dr. Shana Goldwyn, our Team Chair, has paperwork for you to sign, she sends you an email letting you know that you will be getting an email from Frontline Education. When you get that email it will have a link to take you to the form. We are using this for all paper working, including meeting invitations, consents to evaluate, and IEPs.


Please check your junk, clutter or spam folder if you get an email from Dr. Goldwyn indicating that she has sent you a form through Frontline Education.



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

Message from the Reading Technology Department

Technology Questions

The district IT department has loaned out 793 laptops to families. They have run out of devices that are set up and currently are setting up more for loan. If you have requested a laptop recently, you may not hear about its availability for a week.


If your technology needs have changed since you completed the family survey, please email Killam's Administrative Assitant at jaculen.maglio@reading.k12.ma.us and let her know the change. She will forward your request to the technology department.


There has been some concern about Chromebooks for use in online/distance learning. Any laptop (Chromebook, Mac, PC) that has a web browser will work for online/distance learning. Our platform is web based. Tablets (including Kindle Fires) and phones with internet browsers can be used, however, the interface is difficult on these devices. A laptop is recommended.

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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!